Should the Surface Phone really run full Windows 10?

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MS logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Surface Phone, however mythical it may be, is a popular topic among Microsoft, Surface and Windows Phone fans. To many, it's Microsoft's next attempt at breaking into the smartphone market, while at the same time reinventing how we think about smartphones altogether. That's a lot to live up to, and with Microsoft bringing full Windows 10 to ARM-based processors, rumors of the company looking to put full Windows on the Surface Phone quickly began circulating.

I get the hype around a phone running full Windows 10. With CShell, full Windows 10 would look just like Windows 10 Mobile does when in phone mode, and it would scale up perfectly when in Continuum for an experience that's identical to that of a normal Windows 10 desktop. The win32 apps would only work in Continuum mode and would normally be hidden in phone mode. The experience makes sense on paper. But I don't think it's a good idea.

For starters, many would describe Windows 10 as a much heavier, and maybe even a less-secure OS compared to Windows 10 Mobile. What's more, I don't want win32 apps on my phone. Win32 apps are old, and on ARM processors it will be emulated, meaning performance will likely be a little worse (or maybe a lot worse) than if it ran natively. I truly believe Microsoft should stick with Windows 10 Mobile with its rumored Surface Phone. Here's why.

With CShell, it doesn't matter

CShell is coming to both full Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, meaning you'll still get that very same desktop experience when in Continuum mode and that enhanced phone experience when in phone mode. For consumers, the only real difference between full Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile is that full Windows 10 is heavier and has Win32 support. Windows 10 Mobile is more streamlined and efficient for devices on the go. Not having Win32 on a Surface Phone is a good thing in my book.

The future of mobile doesn't rely on Win32, so it makes no sense to try to shoehorn it into a phone. Microsoft should take advantage of a Universal Windows Platform (UWP)-only SKU of Windows, and with Windows 10 Mobile it can do that. I've tossed around the idea before, but I think Microsoft should change the name of Windows 10 Mobile to something else, something that separates it from the "phone" reputation it has.

In fact, I think Microsoft should steer clear of the "phone" brand altogether, for hardware too. On the inside, it'll be a phone, but on the outside, Microsoft can and should market it a lightweight Surface device for use on the go. It could still make phone calls and have LTE connectivity. But don't call it a phone — call it Surface Pocket, or Surface Go, something to separate it from the iPhone or Samsung Galaxys.

The idea here is to sell it as a product that comes with Windows 10, not Windows 10 Mobile or full Windows 10. Just Windows 10. Microsoft should be clear that it's a lightweight version of Windows, for UWP apps only, and release it to the world. With CShell, Microsoft can do all kinds of crazy things with hardware, including make foldable phones, or it could stick with a more traditional phone form factor with accessories such as a Lap Dock or Desk Dock, similar to the HP Elite x3. (What Microsoft should do with the hardware is a whole other topic for another day.)

My point here is nobody really wants Win32 on a phone. We're living in a mobile world, where apps themselves are slowly dying. I really think Microsoft should leverage what it already has with Windows 10 Mobile, give it a new lick of paint and deliver it to hardware makers as a lightweight edition of Windows. Maybe that way, developers will take UWP more seriously, and as a result, more apps will show up in the Store.

I wouldn't be surprised if, eventually, we see Windows 10 Mobile running on lightweight laptops thanks to CShell. Of course, at that point it wouldn't even be called Windows 10 Mobile, but the UWP only-ness of Windows 10 Mobile would still be there. Whether you want to call it IoT, Mobile, or something else entirely, the point is I think Microsoft should take advantage of a UWP-only Windows. Not today, but in the future, when the world is far more prepared for it. Hopefully, by then we'd be able to avoid another "Windows RT" scenario, because the majority of apps that people use will be available in the Windows Store.

Full Windows 10, or Windows 10 Mobile?

Now, I'm going to play devil's advocate for a minute, but only because I see why people want full Windows 10 on a phone. For starters, being able to run Win32 in a Continuum environment from your phone would be incredibly handy, especially for people who aren't necessarily all-in on the Windows ecosystem. That's the beauty of Windows: you can be entirely in Google's ecosystem but still run Windows. That would be less true of a Surface Phone powered by Windows 10 Mobile.

Apart from being able to run Win32 apps, I honestly don't see why full Windows 10 with CShell is a better option than Windows 10 Mobile with CShell on a phone-type device. It's important to stress that the idea here is that you wouldn't get a different experience if you went with Windows 10 Mobile instead of full Windows 10. The biggest thing you'd be missing out on are Win32 apps.

But maybe I'm just crazy, and Win32 should be part of Microsoft's mobile vision. What's your take?

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I think we are seeing that a full copy of a PC OS isn't the best thing for a mobile product, at least as of right now. I'd prefer a modified Windows Mobile OS but I don't see MS putting that much effort into it. And with the delay of the mythical Surface Phone, which is looking less and less probable, I would like to see a new iteration of the 950 line with better hardware, Windows Hello recognition, etc.
  • I'm hoping to run Win32 apps on my phone.  I don't know how it will perform, but it would be awesome.  ​You see, if MS is going for enterprise, then they NEED win32 support.  NEED it.  WAAAAY too many custom business programs run on win32.  Many corporate workflows depend on Win32.  To have it on your phone, and pare down to one device with an HP LapDock type of device for the road, and a full desktop setup in the office, all while the IT department maintains ONE device rather than three, is almost like a dream for IT departments.  Cost wise, manpower wise, support wise.  ​I run a really small business... basically just myself.  And I have a number of Win32 programs that don't need a lot of power that would be amazing to run on my phone in continuum.  So even my tiny business sees a huge business benefit to Win32 on my phone.  ​In the consumer space though... really... I don't see the point.  But if MS is going after Enterprise, then having Win32 is the ONLY option to give some life to their mobile efforts.
  • I completely agree with you, win32 apps would be awesome for users from enterprise. But not just enterprise, and not just in Continuum mode. Few examples. I want to try to do something quick with my phone, but there is no monitor it smart TV around, etc... Then it would be great to be able to start this app on the phone. With a 5-6 inch screen, and perhaps even with a bluetooth mouse, I could be able to do some basic stuff. Better like this, than not being able at all. Having OTG would be useful too. Just imagine not having to buy a more expensive bluetooth mouse, but being able to use any wireless mouse & keyboard. And finally, for consumers. Imagine you're a kid, you visit your grandma, and you have no PC there. but you can connect and play any PC game on that TV while using your phone as a console. Not necessarily some if the latest games, at least being able to play one of those awesome games from 2001, or so.
  • I don't understand your OTG comment. You can buy a BT mouse for $10 and a keyboard for under $20. Check Amazon. What 'wireless' thing are you going to get that is cheaper? I could see the option of using a wired set with OTG.  Thing is we shouldn't be demanding OTG, but rather USB-C and all it supports. That includes support as a USB host. Some say USB-C does OTG, but I don't think that is technically correct. OTG is a specialized capability for a USB device to act as either a client or host. the USB-C protocol lets it act as both inherently. It's a function of the spec, not a varient. Given that you can hook up a wired keyboard/mouse to a USB-C port, or a wireless dongle, BT, 2.4Ghz, or Logitech Unifying reciever if you want. That's as long as the drivers exist, of course. That caveat goes away if the phone/tablet/whatever is running Windows, not Windows Mobile.  
  • I guess you're simply from a richer country, and this small differences in price are not an issue to you. The thing is that those non-bluetooth mice and keyboards are generally cheaper. They are least half the price of an equivalent bluetooth device. From what you say, if USB-C can really offer everything that OTG can, then you're right. And we actually think the same when it comes to that matter. We both agree this would be more than useful! I mean, if we can have "an OTG" with USB-C»USB adapter, and use a mouse, a keyboard, access the content of a flash drive, and many more...
  • I agree with you, it shouldn't be limited to run Win32 apps using Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, I don't plan to invest on wireless mouse and keyboard, since I can reuse my USB mouse and USB keyboard, and that should be allowed in the Surface Phone dock, to add an external USB hub so you can connect hard drives, mouse, keyboard and other USB periphereals like printers.
  • It doesn't matter what Microsoft does at this point.  They have no chance in mobile.  They failed.  They surrendered.  It's over.  The Surface Phone can't and won't save them.  Their chance has passed.  iOS and Android own mobile.  Next!
  • So you think that's it, IOS and Android will never have any competition for mobile. You don't know the history of this industry very well. Products come along that completely change the paradigm and market leaders all the time.
  • MSFT needs a mobile's the can reboot its attempt again...that's the thing about's losers can become tomorrow's winners if they continue to innovate...
  • I agree. Microsoft has failed. So far, that is. But they can still fail their way to success. Most successes come after a string of failures. Not usually after such a fabulous squandering of first mover status as Steve Ballmer was able to achieve, but Microsoft has a lot of other assets (cloud, enterprise relationships, technology, OS) to leverage here. The long and short of it is that Microsoft can take another run at mobile, by serving needs that are not being addressed. There is a lack of innovation in mobile at the moment, and a device that could run win32 when needed and be a phone the rest of the time makes sense. Continuum makes more sense internationally than it does in the US, but a folding device with two screens would be a great solution for mobile computing that would allow support for legacy win32 applications. Frankly a phone that opened into a tablet with a kickstand and would support some flavor of external mouse and keyboard would be really useful, especially with VPN support. And Verizon, please. There hasn't been a flagship windows device on Verizon for three years now. Microsoft could win a lot of people back that can't leave Verizon for network reasons.
  • I agree 💯 percent! I'm on verizon and I need this...
  • .
  • @cybersaurusrex; Mobile isn't going anywhere and will be there for whomever have a product. In fact if Microsoft continued with a steady hand when it had one of the better support staffs from Nokia they would still be growing the market today and with greater enterprise support would be growing here as well. 
  • I use a USB Flash drive with my 950XL and the phone recognizes it and let's me copy files between my phone and the Flash Drive. The inbuilt file explorer sees it as an additional drive.
  • And you are able to use a mouse and a keyboard via USB cables too? I'd love if more phones could do those things, even those non-Continuum. It's not that it wouldn't make sense.
  • iOS is literally the only mobile OS that can't do that.  With a OTG, Android supports keyboards, mice, USB drives, MIDI devices, and basically any other common USB device.
  • Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It's over for Windows Phone. Microsoft blew it. Most people don't need or want a phone that runs Win32 apps.  Heck, people don't even use them on their desktops like they used to. Maybe Microsoft can carve out a small niche for themselves (in mobile) like they have with the Surface tablets (2% market share), but it will be relatively insignificant. I just don't see Microsoft shifting any paradigms here.
  • Most Win32 apps are not made for touch though. It will be horrible in phone mode. Instead asking dev to make Win32 apps for touch better asking dev making UWP apps.
  • I agree, but it all depends of Microsoft. Nobody's going to make a UWP with Windows phones market share this low. They will do what is cheaper for them. For what you want to succeed Windows mobile has to become more relevant. But right now Windows users are not in position to demand anything. Heck, we don't even know whether we'll exist in few years or not.😂
  • why make for phone? there a lot of desktop, notebook and 2-in-1 plus VR/AR
  • They can handle win32 quite well, even in tablet mode. Making a UWP app would be a great thing for a 2in1 device user, but not necessary. That's why I always say Windows 10 tablets and 2in1 devices are way better and more useful thing than an Android tablet. Compared to them Android tablets are a waste of money. I just think that at least a little bit of phones is necessary for UWP to be accepted. It's really a pity that we don't even have several Windows phones globally available.
  • For tablet maybe but not for phone..
  • Yes, but with almost no new Windows phones out there, and completely no new globally available phones, who cares... Sadly.☹
  • Except that the whole point of UWP is that it allows the same app to run on desktop, laptop, 2-in-1, phone, XBox, Hololens. ​It also is more secure due to its sandboxing, does not carry the legacy baggage of Win32. So a UWP can be run on a phone without the developer having to do that much other than create views for the small screen size everything else would stay the same.    
  • Except the fact that out can run only on Windows 10 PC's. Basically, a developer would choose between older versions of Windows on one side which make more than 50% of all PC's, and HoloLens, Xbox, and Windows 10 phones on other side. There are so few Windows 10 phones in use, it is questionable how many people would use their app on Xbox (that would depend on the nature of the app), and HoloLens is basically still in development. Right now, Microsoft has to make sure that people can buy Windows 10 phones.
  • @garisa; That is result of Microsoft themselves giving up on a growing market though small at the start but had a pretty good support staff they got from Nokia of which would allowed it to keep going with wp and by the time their grand scheme get into play would have had a market to appeal to. I believe it was more philosophical in that decision to drop mobile because of it's progressive movement yet the grand scheme's basic fundamentals would have allowed Microsoft to first catch up and then keep pace with this momentum and help propel Windows Mobile into the market as well as enterprise.
  • Providing win32 support would kill Windows Mobile and the useless Metro app paradigm. If phones ran win32 apps why would a developer spend the resources to develop software for Continuum? That approach was famously tried by Black Berry to prop up the failing (but great) PlayBook. Look at the market share of their services now.
  • I agree with that. Only Microsoft is killing it on their own by not giving us any new phones. I hope that's about to change soon. They have driven away some developers already by not caring about mobile enough. It will be harder to get them back later, than if they just didn't leave this phone gap. If Microsoft is going to want them back. I'm just having less faith in Microsoft lately. They have a great product, but they are ruining it.
  • @Jumping Junipers; No not at all because of the two segments of the market; consumers and enterprise both of which a developer can target and given the large range of OEMs that support Windows is good for the developers. I am hoping with the upcoming Snapdragon#, Microsoft will be willing to provide as much support to mobile as the desktop and seem to have put themselves in the position to do so...
  • Running Win32 apps is a must for the business and enterprise users.  The important thing is it got to have a FOLDABLE screen.  When it is unfolded, it becomes a 8"-9" tablet which has sufficient screen real estate to run W10 UWP apps, Win32 apps and web apps.  You basically carry a PC display in your pocket at all time.  The app shortage problem will be lessened over time since the UWP, Win32 and web apps are continuely growing with the expansion of W10 user base.  The phone apps are much less robust than using web apps on tablet screen.  You don't have to find and wait for phone apps anymore.  My credit union will never release a WP app, but it has a super nice web app.  So I can use that on an unfolded tablet instead - happily.  This will apply to all other services we can't find in the Store.  Personally, I could live with a W10M device as long as it has a foldable screen also.  But it is not good enough to appeal the enterprise users whom the Surface phone (cellular PC?) is targeting.
  • Even though I have a android phone I still go the web page on many places even though there is an existing app which I guess is crazy but that's me. I hoping and patiently waiting for a Windows Mobile device and would have no trouble with a foldable device....
  • 100% agree, I too run a small business and even the UWP apps compared to the full fat win32 are a show stopper.  Besides there is no ecosystem in Windows 10 Mobile anymore, it seems to be crumbling.  Im getting an iPhone until MS can deliver a mobile device that I can use to get work done, I salivate at the thought of HSBC banking app tbh.
  • Absolutely correct. However I think Composable shell on the Cloud SKU with win32 through the Store would be the only option because regular Win32 programs on a mobile Surface device would 1. deteriorate performance 2. affect battery life 3. be insecure. Product name, just Microsoft Surface.      
  • I agree 100%.  The job I previously held uses almost exclusively Win32 applications.  In fact, when I left the place a year ago, they had no plans of upgrading to Windows 10 on PC's.  I was among a handful of people who created and built some Win32 applications using vba and sql.  It takes a long time to get all the bugs out, especially while trying to do a primary job too; I was a Design Engineer for ball and roller bearings, not a programmer (I learned some programming while on the job).  My point is, when the company does go to Windows 10, which it may have done already, I can't see it switching over it's mobile devices (which last I knew were iPhones) to a Win 10 Mobile device if a full Windows 10 device, which runs Win32 apps, is abailable.  Hell, I don't even know if they would give up there precious iPhones for that matter.  But if they did and wanted the ability to run some programs on the phone as well as PC, then Win32 would have to be there. Now as far as personal use, I would say we don't need Win32 apps on our phones.  For example, who would be out somewhere and think to themselves, I need to create this solid model in SolidWorks, now and whip out there phone to do it?  Not me, for one the screen would be way too small.  For another, I'm not carrying around a large monitor to hook up to.  This is just one example (I'm a Design Engineer, remember) but there would be countless other programs and such that one can only effectively perform on a PC or laptop, not a 5" +/- screen. - RW
  • Personally, I believe Win32 on a phone is overkill. A mobile phone to me, has to fluid, spunky and easy to use, none of which will happen with win32. The world is moving beyond win32 the same way it moved beyond horse and buggy. The reason most of us go to the mobile phone instead a windows 10 tablet for instance, is that it is quicker. In fact we can access most of what we need through a mobile device, hence the success of IOS and AOS. UWP is the way to go, Windows RT was the right way at the wrong time. Don't get me wrong I love using my SP3, but it is not the best tablet experience.
  • Well said. Enterprise is the defining factor. Maybe they need two versions of the phone. One for enterprise and another for consumers. Then again maybe not. Brand confusion awaits.
  • Any consumer version must substitute Android app capability for Win32, otherwise, it's a waste of time as the consumer market has settled on iOS and Android. Since you aren't going to get iOS, Android runs on x86 and ARM, so there you go.
  • I agree with AcentAE86..  I am also a one man show and have many years of accounting on a program running WIN32.  There are a number of other WIN32 prgrams I run well.  The time and effort to fand and tranferr the infomraiton in these programs is time consutming and as we all know "TIME" is money.  We don't have the resouses to go and replace these software products either. 
  • Completely agree. It's probably more for enterprise but the idea of having one device that you can take in your pocket, have access to all the apps you need to get your work done and then when in the office simply dock to user as you would a PC seems like the way to go. For that reason full Windows 10 with support for Win32 apps makes perfect sense. Perhaps there should be two versions.... One Full Windows 10 for enterprise the other more like Windows mobile but with full support for universal apps.
  • Agreed but don't you think if Mobile runs win32 it will be a negative ad for Surface or 2 in 1 segment which MS currently using to recover the windows  business and user base?
  • Right, if they are going for consumer - Win32 is bloatware. But even for enterprise - they might be losing that game...
  • I disagree. I think with any software, app or win32, to have available at my finger tips is better than nothing. Some apps or software is still win32 based, which may or may not run in a mobile device, but if that project Microsoft has to convert win32 to UWP is good for mobile devices, wouldn't that be better than waiting for developers to build UWP? Which may never happen.
  • I completely agree.. WHY NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF HAVING BOTH!... Reality check, Zack B. There are no UWP apps, and there won't be in the foreseeable future.. You're delusional if you think going the route that has failed time, after time, will miraculously work because MS "gives it a new coat of paint"🤣.. No, we need something the other platforms DON'T HAVE!... "Give it to the world"🤣🤣. Get real, Zack... Show people a Surface "phone" that's as powerful as their PC, can run Xbox games, and Blustacks, so they can use Snapchat (lol), and they might raise a brow. Anything less and you're wasting your time.... In a market ruled 99% by iDroid you think MS doesn't need to innovative🤣🤣🤣.... With all due respect, Zack Bowen is super delusional...... Where's Jason when you need him.
  • Oh comd on Jason's no better. I think Zac was trying to pull of a Jason here. Just confuse the readers with baseless claims n keep the readers hooked up
  • Lol. We do get a lot of sensationalized information here. Mainly about how great MS is..
  • full W10 on mobile wont solve the problem itself. Mainstream users will continue to use Android/iOS because they are SIMPLE systems. Go to a ramdom guy on the street and ask him about UWP/32/64bit SW or converting A to B. He wont know what are you talking about because non tech people doesnt care about things like this. All they want are popular app and TOP notch mobile phone as seen in the commercials x86 support is for tech guys, not for masses
  • Couldn't agree more.
  • Commercials? Microsoft doesn't know what those are. ;)
  • Don't forget....on Full win10 you can use DuOS and have android!
  • Good god, no. That's running a virtual machine inside an OS. Do you really think most people want to do that over just buying an Android phone that has more features anyway?
  • It is the ONLY way a windows device will get apps.....I am long gone from windows for mobile since its terrible.   Just saying if they want ANY chance of ANY has to be able to run some type of app system.  That is the ONLY way forward.  I agree that its not ideal.  But it's something.   Anyone arguing apps are not important has their head in the sand or up their ass.
  • Give me software over apps anyday! I hardly use apps and I don't need many apart from the stock apps such as call, text, settings, etc. By the way, I'd love for it to run full Windows.
  • Apps are software
  • So microsoftwinpho,  you use your phone exactly like you use your computer.  because,  as it sits right now,  SOFTWARE cannot do what mobile apps can do.   Its a simple fact.  I have all the real software on my notebook and desktop.  I do not NEED it on my phone.   I need my phone to do thing while mobile which full software and web pins simply cannot do. 
  • Oh Apps are dying n bots will take over :P
  • It isn't for the masses... YET. There was a time when the idea of having a home PC was relegated to nerds.
  • Yes but Microsoft isn't a company for mainstream consumers, they're a company for creative people, and if we are asking that a phone should run Win32 programs, then it should, this will mean paying less for electricity bills and benefits of greater mobility for workers.
  • i think MatroUI is what Microsoft should abandon, i have so many friends who are still complaining about those bix box looking UI. I know we 1% still like it but i am just talking about 99% who is not willing to adopt this UI. Phone screen is just too small for Matro and make it more clustered. Windows 7, 8, 8.1 mobile were fail, never really reached even 15% market shares. Personally I liked windows 10 because you can hide the live tiles under start manu. 
  • Why? To make the US just a bunch of icons? People are getting used to it and starting to love it faster and faster as touchscreen windows devices become more and more common. Personally, if they killed the tile UI, I'd hate them. And I hated the tiles when Windows 8 was a thing, because I didn't understand it, until I bought a 535 and finally switched from android... Btw, the design language isn't called metro for years now... It's MDL2 😂
  • I have been using windows OS since HTC HD2, and have used numerous windows phone since then. You wont believe, once at&t rep asked me if i work for Microsoft" :p. Probably i would be the happiest if windows phone becomes hit, but something is wrong. People are just not willing to adopt and they wont until their mentality towards Modern UI changes. To me desktops are like landline phone, secure but almost dying. Microsoft betting big on Continum is not going to work. Why would i connect my phone with a monitor when i can just use my surface/laptop anywhere i want? It's goot to have but not necessary deature. They have to bring something new and per it's new UI, new start. 
  • I'm with you on this one. Microsoft should do something about the 950 line.
  • Its whats is going to eventually happen, so now is a good time to start.
  • It just might be according to specific agencies.
  • Without win32 there is absolutely no point in bringing out a Surface Phone. Having a full windows experience is all that MS has to bring to mobile and I'm sure they know it. Even then they need to start using android apps so that they will actually have apps. UWP does pretty much nothing to solve the problem. 
  • Most definitely yes. By default I would have the Only Run Store Apps on to keep it secure; but for all intents and purposes CShell and the new updates to the start menu in the Creators' Update can make tablet mode into a Phone mode. Windows 10 is just so much more feature complete and refined than Windows 10 Mobile that it makes sense to run it on high end phones even if Win32 is done via emulation. Until there is a significant closure in the app gap, Win32 in continuum is still the ultimate productivity on the go.
    I understand that the future is not Win32 based, but realistically it will be around indefinitely in some form. The DoD still has systems that only run on DOS for example. I agree they shouldn't market it as a phone though. Windows 10 Mobile should continue to exist on low end devices to take advantage of the halo effect of UWP app creation as full Windows 10 continues to gain traction; but for a high-end/professional device like the Surface Phone, full Windows 10 should be included.
  • then again the question is the same who will buy it? Why would you buy a surface phone if you can buy a Surface book/studio or just a random tablet? You wont be creating your app on the train with a surface phone, you wont be working on a project in CAD while on surface phone i dont see a reason for a device like this. Its a rebooted version of pocket pcs but in a world with tablets, ultrabooks, 2in1 devices. Right now i see it as ... unnecessary ... maybe powerful commercials will change the future but Microsoft alone not
  • Win32 doesn't necessarily mean Visual Studio or CAD. I for instance would use it because my job requires specific security and smartcard certificates to be installed (and they only work as Win32) in order to access my work email, open specific network folders, sign documents, and a myriad of other things. And even ignoring Win32, Windows 10 as an OS is better organized, has a superior UX, performs more smoothly, is much more stable, and has more features like OneDrive folder syncing to local storage, better driver support, pen and ink support, a better Xbox app, etc.
  • And how far will that take Microsoft?  How many times must it be said.  The MAJORITY of people buying phones DON'T want a business phone.  They don't even want a phone that mentions Windows because it sounds like work.  They want a COOL phone to play apps.  If Microsoft plans is to stay irrelavent and have less than 5% of users they should ABSOLUTELY make only business type phones.  Great, good times for the handful of those who wants that.  But the same people who wants that type of phone will be the first to complain the price is too high.  SMH.
  • That alone won't take Microsoft very far, but as part of their larger strategy it could be very successful. If the Surface Phone is real it's going to be high end and should run full Windows 10 on ARM; lower end phones should run Windows 10 Cloud. The app situation will hopefully close as CShell rolls out and continues to benefit from UWP apps built for PCs and Tablets then scale well to the phones.
  • 950XL was supposed to save the whole platform what happened? The same will happen to Surface phone.
  • Where are you getting that from? Whoever said the 950/XL was supposed to save anything??? Where, and Who?
  • MS was thinking about scrapping that series before they got released from what I heard. MS had given up on WinMo by that point. 
  • MS needs to just give in and make sandboxed android apps a first class supported thing on Windows. I think apps are not a battleground anyone needs to die on at this point. They are really important but not the beginning and end of a platform. MS might want to cozy up to Amazon for the app store and move on to more important issues that might help them accomplish things. The whole app thing was decided a couple of years ago for good and MS needs to move on.
  • All this talk is waste of time MS has given up on mobile. They will not target consumers anymore. Surface phone if at it surfaces will be targeted at a niche group just like surface studio
  • That's not only these apps. You have also apps such as Kodi (former XBMC) and other continental app now available in the store that works great with touch device. You also have other apps that just sync your photo with your DSLR or do other tasks automatically and you almost never have to interact with the UI, you also have Windows services from third parties that runs in the background for different purposes. Of course the main reasons here is to target enterprise users but at the end it will be beneficial for everyone because enterprise users are also consumers. As others reported if they come with a 3 in 1 device that works then it's easier and cheaper than anything else on the market.
  • It would end up blreplacin people's home AIO PCs. They'll just have a docking station and take their PC with them. When on-the-go, it works largely like a phone and you can access the more complex stuff if you're more tech savvy. But for regular people, it's a phone until they plug it in. Then it's their PC.
  • I DONT want to carry a 15" labtop Surface blah blah every were I go.
  • What? Why?
  • So instead you'd rather pack a keyboard, mouse, display dock and monitor? Or a dumb terminal shaped exactly like a laptop?
  • By reading the article looks like the author doesn't know:
    1. What CShell means
    2. What is the real power of Windows. Yes, it is the ability to run 'real' software. He call it 'old'. Laughable comment. In my view Surface phone should come in two flavours:
    1. Full Windows for enterprise
    2. Mobile (should be called Light) for consumer.
  • Win32 is old. There is not a single, mainstream Win32 program that is exclusive to Windows. It is all niche professional software that is best used with a decent PC and large screv
  • Where's Notepad++, Auto Hotkey, the full OneNote/Visio 2016, etc. for Mac OS? Or millions of users ain't "mainstream" enough for you?
  • None of those are mainstream programs. They are the definition of niche professional software. Consumers are not looking for them, they will not drive phone sales. 
  • Really? In my industry... Revit Civil 3d Solid works etc...
  • Do you not know what niche professional software means? Anyways, are you going to buy a phone in order to run 3D software?! No, you will have a workstation for that. It most certainly won't drive phone sales.
  • The only way is running apks
  • What is the difference between APKs and Win32?
  • APKs - Android application PacKages
  • Thanks. I probably could have looked it up, but to keep the conversation going...
  • Did you mean philosophically what's the difference because running either means admitting defeat? My argument would be that while running Win32 is still not as nice as native UWP it piggybacks off of Windows previous success and makes it more enterprise friendly, whereas Android apps would just further incentivize devs to continue ignoring UWP in favor of developing android apps that can be run on Windows and Android phones.
  • Nope, I thought APK was something for Windows. I hear a lot of these abbreviations at work, like SDK, SKU, APK, GUI, and some others. I didn't think it was am Android only thing.
  • While I don't like apps there are certain things that does not run on browser. CCTV camera monitoring is one example. I can not monitor my "or any make model" CCTV on Windows mobile. I have had a windows phone or PDA since 2002 and love the mobile OS . But this one disadvantage is making me consider Nokia. Hate android but need to be able to monitor my home security.
  • This is exactly why MS needs to run Android apps. It's over and nothing MS does will make people fill the store with apps that are native or bridged apps. No one is going to do that. If they just built in the ability to run android apps then all of the app gap issues are gone. (I'm simplifying the crap out of this)
  • @final _fantasy781; Thanks. I dislike when comments just write abbreviations out of the blue and not defining them. 
  • I think you have a great point Zac. It would be a bit too clunky for my liking. Windows 10 Mobile with CShell rolling out sounds like an ideal balance.
  • I think people are also concerned with the UX aspect benefits full W10 may bring to a phone form factor, like the fast app switching via the edge swipe gesture, or the possibility of sticking a taskbar at the bottom of the screen where W10 Mobile is now lacking in how quickly it allows you to jump between Apps, not to mention the lack of snap modes (though this likely wont appear as its landscape only, whereas on Android its Landscape and Portrait)
  • No doubt
  • Surface phone should rub android apps to minimize the app gap
  • Rub them all day...
  • Without this will be a nice empty shell. No apps to fill it. Unfortunately. I'm on this race sice htchd2 and I don't see it getting better
  • I hear you, brother. Rub it through the night and race and sice it all morning.
  • Vicks vapor rub should do the trick...
  • Tired of hearing about the surface phone and Microsoft hasn't said anything about it. These rumors have been going on for about 4-5 yrs now
  • This.
  • Also notice how Windows Central keeps pushing the date forwards. "We strongly believe the Surface Phone will come out early 2017" was the tune last year. Now they've already begun saying 2018, and on one podcast I even heard 2019. It's almost as if the Surface Phone is their go-to click-bait when news run dry.
  • Agreed, but honestly what else is there to discuss about this platform? No new hardware, no major features coming for mobile, etc. Aside from the weekly/bi-weekly 'another app discontinued' update -not a lot of happenings.
  • I read on another site there will be new hardware this year.  But it won't be the Surface Phone, because that is delayed until late 2018 or 2019.  Who knows.  Maybe Microsoft will surprise us all and have something ready in October.  Doubtful, but who knows... the year is still young.  :)
  • Surface Knob 2??? 😃
  • Surface Vaporware 1
  • It's just a way to keep people visiting the windows phone specialized websites. If Microsoft wanted really to create a killer phone, they won't at first place have "retrenched" because it will just make things harder for the launch of this eventual new device with a smaller user and dev base.
  • yep
  • Swap out "Surface Phone" and replace it with "future Windows phone devices" then.
  • I'd like a setting in the app where I could replace it with "Cheez Whiz". Articles and comments please 😄
  • Just make Windows 10 Mobile Surface Phone like a Samsung Note with smaller/thinner Surface Pen but better than a Note. That's all I want, basically a Note like Surface Phone but better and also running some of Windows 10 with Continuum making it run the full Windows 10. That's my take.
  • With Windows 10 [mobile] it probably would be better.
  • why would you put W10M on Note? Just to loose 98% of all your APP??  
  • Why would you "loose" 98%? The other 2% aren't as tight?
  • Full Windows 10 for ARM for me. The Surface Phone is going to be an aspirational device with heavy specs and needs to show off what can be done on a mobile device. There will be plenty of room for OEM's to release a low cost Windows 10 Mobile if they so choose. The only question is- will Microsoft want to support Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 on ARM. Equally - I hope WOA will look the same on the mobile device as Windows 10 mobile does now. It's only when in Continuum mode that it looks like 'real' Windows 10. I suspect the answer will be - Windows 10 on ARM and Windows 10 Cloud on ARM (disable the Win32 emulation) for lower cost phones. Windows 10 mobile (as it stands today) will vanish to be replaced with Windows 10 Cloud on ARM (COA). This would reduce development cost as WOA would be a superset of COA so lower specced devices wouldn't have to cope with emulating Win32 but everything else comes from same development branch. To all intents and purposes - COA would look the same as WOA which will look the same as Windows 10 Mobile today.
  • I'm for full Windows 10 too.  Continuum showing me the full Windows 10 desktop with all its capabilities, but putting to sleep all that when not in Continuum and you wouldn't consume much more power than the current Windows 10 Mobile. Also, having full Windows on ARM opens up to the future possibility that phones come with power efficient Intel/AMD chips for full x86/x64 and run the real x86/x64 version, also optimized to put to sleep all desktop/Win32 stuff when in Phone Mode. Also, this will let store apps currently not available for Mobile to run on the phone and reduce development for apps as only Desktop is needed and a desktop store app wouldn't need to explicitely support Continuum to run in it.  (Thinking right now of Citrix Receiver for which the Mobile version doesn't support Continuum and it's probably the only scenario I would want to use Citrix on a phone).
  • @vzzbuckz
    This ^
    If it ever eventuates
  • I'm happy with windows 10 mobile and I would like to see it stay that way really, just as long as microsoft don't go down the android root in the future I'm even more happy
  • What Surface Phone?
  • A Surface Phone with Facebook apps that dont properly scale to small screens and without WhatsApp ... That would be a killer phone! The best thing that could happen to Windows Phones 😀
  • Well that's a good point...a phone without WhatsApp - a big step "forward".
  • The answer would be both - I have been using remote desktop on my 950XL via continuum to connect to work computer and as a result I no longer need ot carry a full laptop while traveling so as long as I have access to a decent monitor - Having a full PC in your pocket is no longer a dream! All depends on your use case, this setup works brilliantly for me!
  • That means your work computer is always on? Can you enlighten me more, this will really be useful to me.
  • Yes. Work pcs tend to be on at all times but I've been doing the same thing since Surface RT came out so long ago with my home pc. There's ways to have power on over Ethernet with the right hardware. I built my PC with relatively low power consumption in mind (i3, gtx 960) and with Windows pro, enable remote desktop over the internet and I just keep it on (unless I expect not to need it).
  • Thanks for the info man, just tried and for some reason the app keeps telling me my password is wrong. This is the same outlook account use on my pc, I have a 2-step verification, can that be the problem?....although I tried the authenticator code to no avail.
  • Try teamviewer, I think their Windows store app is uwp. Note that one your pc you should install the full win32 version of teamviewer.
  • Not necessarily, PC can be offline and ethernet port with wake-on-lan enabled brings it to life remotely. There is no limit, a continuum enabled phone is all you need to do proper work, you can have a server farm at work doing the heavy lifting for any processor intensive work.
  • It should be able to run bluestacks or applications like it so we can run Android apps. If MS does not let Android apps run on this device is some way it will be doomed. We need apps, that's the bottom line.
  • Using an emulator to run full Windows to run an emulator to run Android apps... If only there was some device out there that ran android apps natively.
  • That's why I always have a small Android tablet around with me... :-)
  • Yeah but how long will you keep that up. Eventually you'll just stick with the tablet.
  • I use a kindle fire for my android needs :)
  • If only you could see past your sarcasm to see my point. No apps = DOA. so obvious.
  • Imagine that all apps available on iOS/Android are magically available on W10M overnight. What incentive is there for the 99.8% of the market using those OS's to switch? I agree the lack of apps on this platform is a detriment, but the battle for market share or mind share or whatever you want to call it was lost a long time ago.
  • I shouldn't have to explain this to you. If you have all the apps the only thing left is hardware and a stable capable OS. Then the eye candy and advertising would do the rest. Don't forget we are talking about the "Surface Phone" so hopefully MS actually does advertise this. But not including more apps from Android is doing the same thing but expecting different results. If an ignorant consumer finds a Windows based phone attractive and desides to buy and it has all the apps/games they could want what other thing would they complain about? Simpler things like call quality or battery life etc. Stuff they'd likely put up with. But let apps be missing and they'll jump ship the next chance they get an never come back. Only a few will stay as we see today.
  • So what would be your prediction on the amount of market share that MS could realistically grab if your app scenario came to be? With apps and a full out multimillion dollar advertising campaign I could see the market share going from 0.2 to as high as 0.8, maybe 0.9... The word delusional is too strong, but WP fans who think this platform is an app store away from success are kidding themselves.
  • Notice I never made any predictions like that. All I'm saying is to do nothing new would equal no change in mind and market share. If you we want to see a blip on monitor, any type of turn around, or positive change we can't continue on the current path of no apps. If adding all the apps doesn't change anything, remaining app-less will for sure not change anything. You gotta do something different. WP fans have said over and over we don't need those apps we're good. Now look at where we are. Granted thats not the only reason but it is a big reason. We may not be an app store away from success but we are an app store away from death.
  • Fair points, but I think we're a at least a couple years too late on that front. If you remember there was serious discussion at MS about android apps running on W10M during development. Some of the earlier builds even let you sideload android apps. For whatever reason MS didn't go that route & I don't see them changing that anytime soon (if ever). Every move theyve made in the past several years has decreased market share and OEM device partners. Android apps didn't save Blackberry, sadly the same would likely be true for Microsoft.
  • That didn't work for blackberry
  • Cshell may come as landscape mode in windows mobile
  • This is sort of like discussing which Steak is the best in a room full of vegetarians. Folks if there are little to no apps... what is the point of discussing? You absolutly have to have banks, coupons, stores, local news, local businesses, and other apps avaiable to get folks on the platform.   
  • Exactly why they are now focused on the corporate world and not consumer.
    If a surface phone does ever eventuate and does become successful for the corporate world, a consumer based model could theoretically follow, though highly unlikely.
    Once bitten, twice shy
  • Which ever OS provides the best user experience and best battery life.
  • were back again praying that developers make universal apps. Sorry at least with win32 we could get the benefits if all the win32 programs out there. Developers aren't making uwp now and I don't think that's gonna change.
  • Kind of my initial thought. If Windows 10 mobile users can get win32 on their phone, there goes the app gap issue.
  • I would like windows mobile to stay, but desktop uwp apps are being released and updated at a much better rate than mobile. Even if a developer can target mobile with a small amount of additional coding, they're not doing it now. As of now, full windows 10 installs are increasing and continue to do so, Windows mobile is decreasing and will continue to do so.
  • ^ This ^ Windows 10 has more and better apps. Windows 10 Mobile apps are going away. You can't even get Sling TV on Mobile.
  • I think developers may be reserving the right. If Windows 10 goes somewhere then they can easily plug the mobile parts in. If not- they won't - exactly as Microsoft intended.
  • What would a "full" Windows environment mean to battery life on a mobile device such as a phone? I would like full Windows just to be able install specific drivers for specific needs, such as USB Audio Class 2 support.
  • I will go with your idea of light Surface devices. And I agree that Windows 10 Mobile should run on those devices. Because, running full Windows 10 on a compact device could hinder performance, specially on low-end devices (although the chances of having a low-end Surface phone are low). Having Win32 on a mobile-like device however might lure many new users into the ecosystem. It will be a win-win situation only if Microsoft doesn't screw with presenting the Surface Phone to the world. Fingers crossed.
  • My vote for mobile. I have a Surface Pro 4 tablet. They both have their roles and work well as what they are. Need Hello, Continuum, power, disk space and an ability to pretend to be a PC in very specific instances. I do not need the full windows experience on a mobile device - too much baggage.
  • If it happens it will mean the end of support for current Windows 10 mobile devices. Not entirely, but updates will get less and less feature rich until they are gone and Microsoft focuses only on Surface phone. Cuz high end devices 950&XL won't be able to support that OS update. If you ask me, that's a self leg shoot!
  • Can updates get less feature rich? Have you seen Creator Update? Obviously Windows Mobile is being deprecated.
  • If it's going to be targeted at enterprise customers then yes of course it should run Win32 applications at the very least while in continuum mode on an external display.  Not doing so would make it basically useless as you're going to have a very hard time convincing enterprises to move their LOB apps to UWP.
  • Absolutely Yes.  All the non believers out there say the same thing, "Windows doesn't have any apps"  With Win 10 running on a mobile devise like you are proposing, it will completely turn the market upside down.  However it needs to be done correctly, make sure you market this new innovation so that people know what it is capable of doing.  Without the marketing, like apple, how do you expect it to sell.  I have been a windows mobile user for over a decade now, I still have a Windows mobile 95 unit, that I can turn on and still works great.  I am an IT architect and having the potential to carry my PC in my pocket and be able to not have to carry a laptop around is HUGE.  The ability to have Win 10 on a handheld device that also works as a phone is a TREMENDOUS idea, just sell it right and you will be successful.  I plan on getting one as soon as possible, as I need to replace my 1520 which is getting old. 
  • So if it's Windows 10 without Win32 support, then aren't we back to Windows RT like on the original Surfaces? Everybody hated that, hence the Surface Pro...
  • Surface Phone Pro, yes. Then have the Surface Phone run Windows 10 Mobile
  • I honestly couldn't care less which OS it has as long as I can use different email signatures like I can in Outlook 2016 Desktop.  I don't care which OS it has as long as I can access my business bank accounts easily using an App.  And herein lies a BIG problem for Windows 10 Mobile...the Apps are thin on the ground and disappearing at an increasing rate of knots.  Keeping Windows 10 Mobile on a flagship is utterly pointless without the ecosystem, its suicide.
  • I wish Panos Panay will see.and read this. This is what I also want.
  • The challenge is that, as of today, Win32 is still the dominant reason for using Windows 10. Without Win32 apps/support, I could as well switch to iOS or Android and it makes little or no difference at all in my daily productivity. The real 'power' of Windows as an OS right now is in Win32 - all those powerful 'programs' that make mobile 'apps' look like jokes. A web browser can replace many UWP functions we currently have (especially with edge having ebook support and all) - of course there are exceptions. I think the Surface Phone should be able to emulate Win32. Even if it's 'slow' it's still there and you can use it when you are in those critical situations..
  • Windows mobile needs an edge. It needs something to stand out from its competition, and the competition is fierce. Android is doing its own continuum, so why would i choose windows over android if it does the same thing? It needs to run PC programs to stand out
  • performance and stability is a huge reason i left w10m. it is not a joy to use it stutter lags hiccups flat out resets. its awful. they must bring back the smooth buttery feel of wp8.1 and no longer use everyone as bug testers. microsoft must qc w10mobile themselves to an acceptable userability rating. when i use an iphone. everything is so snappy smooth and fast, it works fantastic. the home screen is stale but i deal with it as the phone is a tank it just works. i no longer get that with w10m. ill be at the gym and bump the phone by accident and itll reset, furious my music is gone. ill switch apps and wait and watch while it does so. ill load the facebook app and do other things while it loads. i can go on and on how junky the experience it is no matter how much they polish the ui its the ux that is awful
  • I wouldn't buy it if it ran Windows 10 Mobile. It's a buggy piece of crap which is far behind every other mobile OS in just about every regard, save for UI which I prefer on W10M. Half the point of Surface Phone, for me, is that it allows me to do things which can't be done on other mobile devices, and it shrinks the gap between the experience between PC and phone.
  • What's missing between Windows 10 mobile and other OSs? What part is the worse? What is so buggy about mobile you don't like? Such a massive claim, there has to be something substantial between them all.
  • That's sort of like asking me to present the evidence for evolution. It's too wide a subject for a post. You likely already know the answers to your own questions, and you only asked them in spite of my post since it disagreed with the popular concencus on this site that Windows 10 Mobile is the Holy grail. I like Windows 10 on a phone, otherwise I wouldn't be using the Lumia 950 XL. But it is and always has been a buggy affair. Phone will spontaneously die or restart, battery will display as 20% and then the phone will suddenly die, Windows Hello hardly ever works, the camera makes the phone hot, plenty of apps are frequently slow or unresponsive (including Microsoft's own), Edge is still slow as heck, and so on. It also lacks features to distinguish it in any meaningful way from Android and iOS. Having full Windows 10 on a phone, with a responsive UI, would change everything. Windows 10 is a lot more stable than W10M, has plenty more features, and contains a ton of programs that are useful to professionals.
  • A new battery will change your problems...i know it didn't make sense to me either but it worked...
  • 1.) Assuming that the Surface Phone ever even exists. At this point, we don't know if it's even something MS is thinking about. The only indications of a Surface Phone are 3+ years of rumors, conjecture, and fake news. 2.) Who cares? What is running full desktop Windows on a phone going to accomplish? You're proposing to address the deficiencies in the Windows mobile platform by introducing a solution that does nothing to fix them. What sense does that make? Putting full desktop W10 on a phone is like these articles you guys always run where somebody installs Windows '95 on a toaster. Cool party trick, but otherwise, who cares? Nobody is buying PCs anymore anyways, so how is miniaturizing a device that nobody wants going to change the mobile landscape? What am I missing? I'd buy a Surface Phone, but the number of us who really want or need something like this is small. And of course, this is a theoretical discussion, because the Surface Phone does not and probably will not ever exist.
  • You are mistaken big time if you think PC's aren't selling. Maybe not like they were 5 years ago, buy still selling over 70 million a year. That's big time!
  • I love Windows 10 mobile, it works fine and in continuum is working well with my Elite X3, I hope they will implement Cshell, so we can have a real Windows 10 experience in our pocket.
  • Sure, only if they can implement it right.  So far, I have no idea how they can do that.  If they do that, I'd switch phones that day.
  • We must have the option to run Win 32. The problem with Windows Phone adoption is the lack of apps (lack of developer support) . This problem will not solve itself. You need to attract users and then app developers will come. Even if Win 32 is only important to a small segment, that segment is larger than the current user base. As it gets shown to people and Microsoft continues to support it as a business phone, those users will begin to demand apps be developed to support their work flow when they are not docked. This is how you get into the mobile space at this point.
  •   If Windows is going to stand any chance of returning to prominence in the mobile market, it'll be because MS finds a way to effectively shoehorning full Windows 10 into the smaller form factor with few or no issues. Give people a full pc experience in a smartphone form factor, and they might just have created a new device category that'll beat all the rest, particularly if they can also manage to make the display size variable, and thus solve the issue of different display size for different functions... Surface Phone = a mini pc running full Windows that can be adjusted in size according to need.
  • Calling it all W10 leads to confusion among mainstream consumers. You say they need to emphasize that it is UWP-only. Isn't that what the "Mobile" moniker is for in the first place? So, you want there to be YET ANOTHER rebranding, showing a continued lack of stability for the platform. Do I want a clunky OS? Of course not, but when Win32 offers the only path to software support, I'll take that over pitiful support on every level. W10M got shafted with RS1, with RS2 supposed to focus on mobile. Now, mobile is again told to wait. I REALLY don't want to keep committing to a platform that has spent more time getting delayed than getting major improvements (not that I can with no announced phone for 2017 right now). This is for a device we were told by this site was due around now, only to now hear it's a ways off. Who cares what the name of something with no proven future gets called? Brands matter, but not when there is no product or consumer faith. Right now, it is meaningless, because the horrendous planning and execution for the past 3 years (since acquiring Nokia) has been a disaster that leaves me more irritated at the company with each move. What is the sell here? I just got "here is why Win32 might not be perfect," with little analysis of why it is on the table in the first place. What is the advantage of sticking to W10M? We don't know how Win32 will perform, so that take is a guess. Security might be better, but part of that is due to poor support, which is why some want Win32. I'm not seeing where keeping W10M actually offers something GOOD for the consumer.
  • What a masterpiece of an article...Loved every bit of it
  • All depends on if CShell really works ie its fast and fluid.
    If when in phone mode, you essentially can't tell you're running full Win10 and suddenly you switch to the full experience when in continuum mode I'm all for that.
    On top of that, it'll also depends on any compromises made. I doubt losing say 25% battery life as the price to be paid will find many of us enthused and there could be far more compromises in there.
    Time will tell ( not Soon).
  • I would guess it'll be a standard mobile smart phone and when connected to Continum it'll be a full fledged PC.
  • i dont know too much about the Win32 arguemnt etc but the idea of phone that runs full windows 10 when connected to a monitor/TV works for me. I would love aps there that work full when connected and not linked via a remote desktop type thing. I also love the idea of the following using the same big screen option to scale up when at work: Microsoft Surface Mini (8/9'') & Microsoft Surface Pocket (6'')  
  • "Win32 is old, and on ARM processors it will be emulated, meaning performance will likely be a little worse (or maybe a lot worse) than if it ran natively."
    But what do you MEAN?!?!?! They've already demonstrated full Windows 10 running natively on an ARM Snapdragon 835 running full classic photoshop without a problem.
  • You are aware that in that demo, the Win32 apps they showcase were being emulated right? They were not running natively.
  • This is true, but even if it's being emulated, if X86 Win32 apps like photoshop "run perfectly" on even an 820 as they described, why wouldn't you want that capability thrown in as an option to being used when the phone is docked? Even IF they're wrong and there's some hiccup here and there, the 835 is only going to make it better, and you would definitely always limit the Win32 apps to only running while the phone is docked, or at least make it a hidden setting somewhere for advanced users if they really need it.
    Also, holy cow, someone from Windows Central replied to me, this is a big day. :D
  • I think Microsoft should have the Surface "PRO" smart phone run Windows 10 mobile OS with the option to run full Windows 10 with the NEW x86 Emulation software that was demonstrated using on a  Qualccom ARMS CPU that is used in the HP Elite X3. Everytime a person would want to run full Windows 10 on a Surface Pro smart phone they would  activate this function by touch a tile.otherwise the Surface Pro smart phone just runs it's. Windows 10 modile operating system . to sell more Windows smartphones folks would have to see that it is more than a smart phone because it could be a PC too with the new "windows on ARMS CPU X86 emulation software"best used in it's "Continum mode" on a large screen monitor
  • I don't think there is new x86 emulation software, it is a subsystem that exists for ages already. What is new is OneCore on 64-bit ARM.
  • First let Microsoft build it ... if ever happens!
  • The should use maybe a Windows 10 Cloud Version that lets you run win32 natively, and they should get rid of some stuff like control Panel, WM Player, and all those old Windows programs to make it more light, also they should make a New File Explorer that has a UI with a perfect Balance between Touch and Mouse & Keyboard
  • Who cares so long as it runs Android Apps Windows RT failed BTW, same goes for Windows 10 Mobile etc    
  • What's the point in buying a windows phone?
  • In reply to Jules, we wouldn't need to support Android apps if the developers released their product as a simple HTML5 web page or similar.  If they relesed their product as a web page the whole arguement about apps would disappear.
  • Seems like an awful lot of analysis goes into a piece of hardware that is entirely the product of our collective imagination. 
  • The phone should be able to work with a Remote Desktop and Remote Apps efficiently using the special terminal app (UWP, not Win32). Perhaps, such an app could interact with remote UWP apps even better than with Win32 apps, using lower network bandwidth. I don't like the idea of burden a phone with full outdated Win32 infrastructure. If somebody wants to play Doom 4 or work with Visual Studio on a phone, the unfoldable display with a compact keyboard and some innovative pointing device would be the best option. The corresponding apps can be executed remotely, maybe from a cloud. As for the Continuous mode, I think, it has no future. A small laptop looks more preferable in comparison with all those equipment required for the Continuous mode.
  • It should run full Windows 10 with an UI similar to W10M but that can change when connected to a larger display to resemble the desktop UI.
  • It really all depends. In developing parts of the world where a user may have to choose between having a phone or a PC, full Windows makes a lot of sense. For other parts of the world, probably not so much. It really comes down to where the market is when we see this mythical phone. If the apps are there in the store, go for the mobile OS. If not, perhaps the full Windows approach is right. But then perhaps they do something like they originally did with the Surface: Have a Pro and RT line. It's just that the hardware and accessories would need to be there then to differentiate it all. And that's the thing. The OS is only one part of the equation. Depending on what Microsoft does with the hardware or other features could really dictate this discussion.
  • The mobile version has proven to be a poor seller. Why would they stick with that? My dream device would be a Surface Pro that I can stick in my pocket which is what the Surface rumors have suggested. I'd have all my data in one place and always with me. W32 apps aren't going anywhere in the near future, so this would be a must for a single-device senerio. And it wouldn't be any less secure than a Surface Pro.
  • When I first read the title I thought aside from the extra power drain, would it really be so bad? But valid points were made. And on the subject of Win32: 64-bit has been around for a very long time now (in computer terms), so it makes no sense to me why manufacturers continue to build 32-bit equipment and software vendors continue to target x86.It's like the race has already started, but your jockey is still getting the horse from the stables. It makes no sense to me.
  • I really respect your opinion, but in mine, the world is not ready for a w32app death. If you look around, everybody is working on a windows pc. Windows is still  at least in 90% of pcs at business market. When someone asks for w32 or x64 apps on whe phone, is becouse we use these apps everyday. Of course, I am a developer (ms family .NET) and dont even think in try to run visual studio on a phone, but I am sure I am not the only kind of professional that demand w32 apps at work.
  • Good point, remote desktop is the future in my opinion. But is still very expensive to keep an Entire machine in the cloud... Meybe Remote Apps? Never tried them
  • For a start all these rumors will further slow down the sales of current devices like the elite x3 ( I am one of those who were considering buying one instead of a note 8). Now they come up with the full Windows thing ( which won't be compatible with current devices once again). I don't care what it runs as long as there is continuity.
  • Developers will not be coming to W10M, no matter how hard you try. They tried that with 7.5, 7.8, 8.1, iOS bridge, UWP. Clearly, developers are not interested in UWP or W10M. UWP was supposed to be the saving grace, instead we got some really heavy devs leaving us in the dust. Yes, we can argue that many of those devs made apps that nobody used, but how long will that excuse work? Eventually we will lose all first-party devs.
  • Zac what you are suggesting is that the Surface Phone should be a phone that turns into Windows RT When plugged to a monitor. It sounds awful. Anything that can't run Win32 apps is not really windows to the public, no matter how you name it.  You can already see every tech news title for the reveal "the Surface phone is here, but it won't run photoshop" "Microsoft revealed the surface phone, but you can only use apps from the Store". All the titles will have a BUT in it unless it's the real deal. and it's the same BUT that made Windows RT fail. HP had to create a whole cloud service for their phone to solve this issue. Microsoft created Windows on ARM so it can evetually solve this issue as well. If you ask someone who barely gets along with computers to name you windows programs they will name Win32 apps. Specially Chrome. Anything that can't run it is not Windows.  If the future of computing is using your phone as an adaptable piece of hardware that can turn into your desktop/laptop then Microsoft need to take the first step into that future without compromises. Only the people in this website care about continuum as it is right now, and the only reason we care is because we see the potential of it giving a full windows experience in the future. If the day comes and the reveal is that the surface phone can turn into Windows RT, then it is dead on arrival. Luckily, I believe microsoft already know this, and the Surface Phone will be Windows on ARM.
  •  w10 moblie as pure phone than w10 in contunuum
  • If it uses Windows 10 it should ONLY have tablet mode!  And if that insn't the case, then give me a Windows Mobile device.
  • Running full W10 applications on a small screen? Not for me, but of course YMMV.
  • Simple answer is yes! I want a device in between my Surface Pro 4 and my HP Elite X3 that can do everything my phone and Surface can do. I don't care if it's 7 inches either.
  • A phone is a phone, and mention it's ARM, Not a X86 platform, security Will be in place no matter the platform especially if it's a phone.........
  • As a CIO I want to be able to go on vacation and not take a computer, but have access to everything I need, should I need it. That includes business apps, developer environments, network tools, vpn, etc.
  • Is it really a vacation at that point?  
  • To me it sounds that too many are stuck in a legacy paradigm and haven't picked up the modularity that Windows has since Windows NT. Where is OneCore in this discussion? Also we are no longer talking about phone or pc, but about a whole range of device types.
    Also, as far as I understand, the current Windows 10 Mobile is 32-bit and cannot address more than about 3 GB of RAM. It is becoming as legacy as Win32 is for a while already. The distinction between full Windows or Windows Mobile will fade away completely with the port of OneCore 64-bit to ARM. Note that Win32 is just a subsystem on Win64 for a long time already. So what's the buzz?
    From a Windows architecture perspective any conversation about "mobile", "full", "lightweight" and so on is a non-issue.
  • It has to, Windows Phone failed. The Unified Windows Platform is its best chance to have a rebirth and behave like a first class citizen in this new Windows 10 ecosystem.
  • What is considered mobile anyways? Our laptops and tablets are mobile, should we remove win32 from them? I don't care if it's UWP, Win32, WinRT whatever. I want a device that bends to my needs and not the other way around. If the Surface Phone doesn't run full Windows 10, I will official end my love affair with Windows Phone and possible Windows development all together as that device running a limited mobile OS would deliver little to no value over all the Android and iOS devices that I'm pressured to use every day because of lack of Windows support. When all you guys where talking about how Microsoft had an App Gap, you all missed the fact that the App gap was caused by the developer gap which was caused by Microsoft not offerring free cross platform tools to build mobile apps when the boom started. The fact that they have figured out how to run full Windows on ARM is the only thing that excites me now when it comes to Microsoft mobile. It may very well be too late for them on the OS front anyways and fading into the back to power the cloud computing of the future might very well be the only successful path they have.  
  • I would Consider it however, The Surface Line is geared for the Premium Consumer, not the average guy/gal who wishes to save money. I'm not sure The fabled Surface Phone would be at a consumer conscious price point. This and the fact First Gen. devices usually come with too many hiccups
  • It should be seamless experience between mobile and desktop/laptop. Just a phone is dead on arrival, regardless of the software. A candy bar form factor will not work. Another "me too" has been tried, all failed. It has to be a phone that can also be a tablet, and not just a phablet. WOA makes the most sense. Longer battery life, lte, Wi-Fi, gps, bt, but can run w32 in tablet/Surface pro like mode with optional keyboard. on mobile form, it uses uwp and telephony stuff. Need certain apps? Run blue stacks or something similar. Get users first, then developers will follow. Chicken and the egg thing. But you have to start somewhere. A super cool mobile device with w32 ability will attract both consumers and enterprise.
  • I doubt W32 will attract consumers, especially if they have to sacrifice mobile apps and performance to get it.
  • It's not about win32. It's about features. Microsoft should make sure that each device running Windows 10 should be full featured without any limitations. That is what attracted consumers to Windows 10 tablets and that's what might attract consumers to Windows smartphones.
  • Both. Call it a 'Surface Mobile', build it with a foldable screen that can go from traditional phone mode to tablet PC mode, with two and three screen models. 
  • You made an excellent point Zac:
    "But don't call it a phone — call it Surface Pocket, or Surface Go, something to separate it from the iPhone or Samsung Galaxys."
  • It didn't matter what they call it, it will be considered a phone if it is even even close to the same form and function. Microsoft avoiding the "phone" word will not make a difference.
  • The war for private use is already lost against android and ios. Don't you realize that?? Private Pc will become less and less marketshare, the only way to revive at least business area, is to put full win32 on a mobile phone and let people bring their work everywere. All the rest is lost
  • I have to disagree. One thing that would make me jump to this mythical Surface phone is Win32 support. I don't expect to run games with the Win32 but I do have some business apps which would be amazing to carry that with me instead of lugging around laptops. At work, I would just connect my phone to the dock and run full laptop mode. In fact, yesterday, I almost jumped and backed that Indiegogo product that made 7" laptop that run full Windows 10. Then I was thinking.... if Surface phone eventually comes out that means I have this similar version with built-in phone ... I have no need of this tiny UMPC 7" laptop anymore. So, the wait continues.....
  • A good story with a mindset of the day after tomorrow like Microsoft's. As long as UWP is only a niche product it would be wise to have something to leverage this; we live today, we have to stick to the things we have today and to abandon them when time is due. This new device would not be a phone, you do not want it be called a phone but you argue as if it will be a phone with the mindset of a phone user. I think Nintendo is nearer to Microsoft than you as their Nintendo Switch is both a fully fledged mobile device and a home console like the device Microsoft has envisioned so far.
  • Windows Phone, blah, blah, vapourware as we used to call it, pie in the sky, fiction.   Sorry disgruntled Windows Phone (remember those) fan, have to go to Android soon.
  • Why? My 950xl still kills on internet speed and camera quality, nothing comes close so no need to change really.
  • ignorance is bliss
  • What do you plan to do if it breaks? Took my 950 back to the MS store when it died last month for a replacement and they don't sell them anymore. Got a full refund check though, so that was nice.
  • Full windows 10 please. Just do a mobile rescale when its not docked. I want it to be a full PC when combined with a monitor and keyboard. Specs of phones will continue to rise, including battery technology so performance is a non-factor as we progress forward.
  • It would have to run full windows....The only way it would be useful as a mobile device,  since you can put DuOS on it and run android.  
  • Maybe. We don't know enough about it. W32 might be limited to store apps and they probably won't work in the mobile shell.
  • I can't wait for that Surface phone. And I will buy it running Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile. Nevermind!
    Just love Windows phone. This HP Elite X3 it's quite nice, in fact.
  • If the Surface Phone ran Windows 10 on Arm and emulated x86 applications it wouldn't be such a bad thing. Most legacy x86 applications were designed to run back in the days of Windows XP. Mobile processors today even with emulation can easily outpace the processors of years ago. Unless you are talking about running something such as Photoshop, in most cases you should get a good experience.
  • Regular Win32 apps? No. Project Centennial apps? Yes.
  • You do realize centennial apps start off as Win32 until changed and only if changed right?
  • Through project Centennial, they are packed asa appx packages, are installed/updated/uninstalled through WIndows Store, no files/registers are left behind after uninstalling, and they run in a sandboxed environment. That's what I want from my apps and the Win32 apps can't provide that, but through Project Centennial they can.
  • Yes yes yes yes yes.....x10000000......... A trillion times. Surface tablets are already leading the way, a surface phone running full win 10 woukd be a killer device. Bring it on....
  • whats more maddening is if microsoft just stayed the course and continued to push windows phone/mobile. the us would have stayed at 3% maybe even jumped up even more. and europe could have retained its 10% and latin america was doing quite well too. but no satya shut it all down. like really? there use to be commercials pushing windows phones. there use be a choice in which handset to buy. there was always new windows phone buzz and now nothing. there was no reason to shut down the windows phone business, so what if it was 3% that was a lot of people and we were happy we loved our handsets. even now i use cortana on my iphone. i asked siri pull up the city of nights lyrics, she had no idea what i was talking about, i fired up cortana and she promptly brought them up. mobile is also where its at and someone fire satya please
  • When used as a phone, it should look and behave like Windows Mobile. But when docked in Continuum mode, it should turn into full desktop Windows 10. That's what I always wanted.
  • You still don't want to understand that the Surface Phone is the carrot on the stick to keep you coming here ? Microsoft never spoke about it. All what we have is rumors from obscure sources and supposition of an eventual annoucement or launch date that is postponed for years now. A company like Microsoft didn't say a word about any new hardware device and clearly stated that they failed in smartphone market, while crowdfunding compains about new windows 10 devices that matches the surface phone description, delivered some working prototypes. So open your eyes and stop lying to yourselves.
  • One idea I've considered for "Surface Phone" is a smartband that works with all phones, but can unfold to work as a smartphone. Think about Samsung's Gear S3 running Tizen and Tizen apps with a cellular radio, but now imagine a similar type of device running Windows 10 and having the ability to bend into the shape of a smartphone. You can sell the product to all smartphone owners, but also sell the device as a standalone smartphone similar to what Samsung is doing now with Tizen on it's smartwatch. What if a big Microsoft Band 3 is "Surface Phone." It works with your phone or it replaces your phone similar to Samsung Gear S3. It could also have IR and control your Xbox and TV. It can function as your Bluetooth mouse for your PC and charge itself while being used on a wireless charging mousepad. Imagine a hardware design similar to the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse but a $700 version with a bendable touch screen. It's your smartwatch, your smartphone, your Continuum PC, your wireless charging Bluetooth mouse, and your Xbox/TV remote. You can be an Android/iOS/Windows user but the device itself runs Windows apps and Cortana.
  • Windows 10 Lite, for pocket-sized devices? We'd have: Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Cloud Windows 10 on ARM Windows 10 Cloud on ARM / Windows 10 Lite / Windows 10 Mobile with CShell Is it me, or do these feel like too many SKUs?
  • Agreed, too many SKUs. Scroll down for my thoughts on the matter. Customers don't care about windows on arm. They just want their apps to run.
  • plus the ones you forgot;
    Windows 10 Enterprise for corporate deployment
    Windows 10 for Education that has the adverts pulled from it
    Windows 10 N which is for the EU and has certain media stuff pulled out ... One windows lol
  • I think it's better too bring full windows to a surface phone device, because then you get windows ink, and win32, I would love to be able to dock my phone and run full Adobe apps and not bring my laptop. It better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. I can think of so many scenarios where full win on arm is better than w10mobile
  • Amen!
  • Maybe it shouldn't be called Windows at all. Ever think of that? It hasn't exactly worked in the past and this doesn't seem any different.
  • Definitely not if they're targeting consumers. They'll pick up viruses left and right on their phone and that's the last thing you want them to go through. Windows Phones will be known as virus magnets to them after that.
  • Consumers will come eventually. The real trick is not loosing businesses and schools that own 75% of the Windows devices. Every year it gets harder and harder to justify buying windows equipment when chromebooks, chromeboxes, and iPads are 'good enough' and often cheaper and easier to use... and now they run Office just fine, so why use a PC?
  •   youLet's do crazy, why not the best of both worlds? You wouldn't rule out Win32 or Win10 mobile adepts. I agree that it would be "challenging" if not almost impossible by today's standards but hey. A lot of the business as usual things weren't possible either a few years ago. The surface phone is probably still an idea the way things are going lately at Microsoft so there might be time to think about it, work the problem reduced to one question, how to merge X86 with ARM? You'll be thinking that only someone who doesn't know anything about it can come with such an idea but is it really impossible? Another question could be, does a windows phone have to seamless with pc's? Apple is also taking it's time to develope a seamless experience between iPhones and MacBooks and is also facing issues to make this true all the way. Are we, consumers, waiting for such an experience?
  • [quote]Win32 is old, and on ARM processors it will be emulated, meaning performance will likely be a little worse (or maybe a lot worse) than if it ran natively.[/quote] Please stop this nonsense! It is not Win32 to be emulated on ARM processors but the apps, which are using Win32 and are compiled for x86. Win32 will run natively on ARM processors and if the Win32 apps are compiled for ARM they will run native too. Get it in your head, Win32 (e.g. the subsystem) and an app using Win32 are two different things (and can be compiled differently) Win32 (the subsystem) will always run native on ARM. it is important to distinguish, because if Win32 would have to be emulated on ARM devices as well, the performance would go down the drain.
  • Dealing with the concept of UWP only Mobile OS relative to "WinRT" is the same issue, the same mindshare. The moment you collapse or omit features but call it the same OS across all devices, then you fragment the OS and the mindshare. Even with Cshell, Is this 5" device running Win10 capable of running all apps or is that 5" device only capable of UWP apps? How do you even sell that to a customer? Names are powerful. Multiple vendors need to call a class of devices something and that name and class imply what It's capable of. When dell says "2-in-1 featuring Windows 10" you know it's a highly portable, detachable device that runs any Windows app. But when you say "5-inch device featuring Windows 10" and omit the ability to run win32 apps, you screw up the brand image and create confusion. The brand being sold has to be clear. The OS has to transcend device class in the same way Home, Pro, and Enterprise presently does. I wouldn't be surprised if there were only "Windows", "Windows Pro", and "Windows Enterprise" in the future. Windows would, by default, only run store apps (including centennial apps) with an adaptive interface (Cshell). But be able to allow win32 side loading in settings as is possible today. That concept seems much more plausible, complete with branding, mindshare, capability, and transcend hardware categories.
  • If I was Microsoft I would attack the mobile market from every angle over the next decade with convergence products. "The smartwatch that replaces your smartphone." "The tablet that replaces your smartphone." "The smartglasses that replace your smartphone." The products all work with your current hardware or replace your current hardware. They need to coopt and disrupt the mobile industry the way they did the tablet industry. Just focus on power, convergence, and design. Like with Surface Pro just offer more power and versatility than the competition. If Microsoft is serious about being focused on professional and enterprise with Surface brand then the ability for a device to run every random proprietary Win32 app becomes a major asset that no other platform can compete with. When a device like HoloLens comes to market for example you should be able to plug it into a dock and use it like a desktop PC while you're charging it. Maybe the dock even has discrete graphics similar to Surface Book. They should give all Microsoft products full versatility to also function as a desktop PC. Whether it's natively, emulation, or via Continuum the Windows desktop should be supported to the maximum extent possible.
  •   I disagree. I think full Windows on a small pocketable device, that has phone functionality, is the only way MS is going to have any impact on that market segment. UWP is not going to be the savior for some time. The apps being developed at this point cannot hold a candle to current x86 applications, like Visio, Photoshop, Project, Corel, and numerous others. I won't say they couldn't, they just don't yet. The apps being built are liteweight, single function apps to be used largely in a mobile scenario. Few are using the Starbucks apps on their desktops. Porting the bigger applications isn't a big priority. Why would Adobe invest in re-writing Photoshop completely in UWP for desktop users, as opposed to continuing to upgrade the x86 app. The latter works just fine. The certainly aren't looking to capture the Windows Phone market. You said "The future of mobile doesn't rely on Win32.." That's true, but UWP isn't saving Windows Mobile. You said,  "many would describe Windows 10 as a much heavier, and maybe even a less-secure OS compared to Windows 10 Mobile." While that is how many would describe it, I'm not sure that is entirely accurute. They are the same code base so the security should be comparable, with the caveate of course of where you get your apps. That's true today on any OS, mobile or otherwise. As far as heavier, maybe, but does it matter at this point. MS has demostrated running Photoshop (the beast) on WOA with what appeared to perfectly acceptable performance. I'd be more impressed if they demo'd Chrome, but lets not over inflate the expectation. In any case, it would appear that ther performance can be as acceptable as any lower end device. This is not a workstation or gamming rig, just a way to get things done. You said, "For consumers, the only real difference between full Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile is that full Windows 10 is heavier and has Win32 support.​"  No, for consumers is that Windows 10 Mobile doesn't run/support the things they can get on iOS and Android. Does full Windows 10 fix that? No, but it helps. It also adds things that they can't get on iOS and Android. Full Office, including Visio, Project, Access, Photoshop...etc. You said,"But don't call it a phone — call it Surface Pocket, or Surface Go.......Microsoft should be clear that it's a lightweight version of Windows, for UWP apps only, and release it to the world." Yea, that is what Windows RT was. It didn'ty fly. I found it perfectly acceptable as an iPad replacement, but I didn't expect to run anything but store apps. The average person will still be saddled with the enormous disparity between what is available on Androisd an iOS and in WP/UWP. Calling it something else, anything that implies Windows is not going to change that. (We can debate the app gap, but my daily phone is a Lumia 950XL. I can't get my bank app, my grocery store app, my insurance app, and on and on. It's not the big app of the day apps that people rely on, it is the apps for their local activities that are different for every locale that only exist in iOS and Android that are killing adoption) You said, "My point here is nobody really wants Win32 on a phone. We're living in a mobile world, where apps themselves are slowly dying." Did you write this article on a phone while mobile? People still use desktops everyday, with desktop apps. The desktop I use has 4G of RAM and a 128G SSD. My phone has 4G of RAM and a 128G SD card. What's the difference? Screen, keyboard, mouse, and the apps the OS supports. No, I don't want to run x86 apps on my phone while mobile, but why does that mean I don't want to take advantage of the hardware and software of that pocketable device when I am 'fixed', if I could. Incidentally that doesn't even require 'Continuum' if I were running full Windows 10. That OS inherently has the ability to connect a keyboard, mouse, second screen (mirrored or extended), wired network, printers, etc. I can do essentially that today with an HP stream 7. Why not with a 6" or 5.5" device.  You said, "The win32 apps would only work in Continuum mode and would normally be hidden in phone mode."  Why would theyI hide win32 apps? They wouldn't be exceptionally user friendly, sure, but with full Win 10 we aren't talking about Continuum really, it is just a normal second screen. Who decides at what screen size you can't run x86 apps? 6", 7", 8"? So, from my point of view, why not put full Windows on a small portable device that supports cell voice, SMS, and data, if that is possible, and it seems it very shortly will be. I think the potential performance concerns are going to be minimal, but the advantages over what is possible in Windows Mobile right now is huge.      
  • Win32 is only niche, professional software these days. Professionals aren't interested in using phone hardware. They have work stations and high end laptops. Win32 is not the future, especially for consumers. Surface "phone" will go nowhere with this strategy.
  • I agree that future devices should run W10 Mobile. Win32 support is good and all, but people forget that most apps that we use today are mobile only, like WhatsApp, Telegram, Bank apps and all the old WP 8.1 apps. A Surface phone with full W10 on it wouldn't run these basic apps, at that point who would care about Win32? It would be a disaster.
  • It is insane that you can run all Windows Mobile apps in the developer emulator on PC yet Microsoft refuses to make these apps available to Windows 10 PC users in the app store. It would probably take them a couple of days to make all the apps you're talking about installable and functional on the Windows 10 desktop. Certainly every PC has the power to run these apps. There is no excuse other than Microsoft's stubbornness/laziness.
  • I believe the foldable screen that unfolds into a squarish display for tablet-like use is a very good idea. In terms of which apps can run on it, I believe the strength that Windows has in the market is the large number of Win32 apps. Once people are emulating their favorite Win32 apps they may demand a better experience from the developer of those apps in the form of a UWP. Give people the freedom to emulate anything they want. On a separate note I think Microsoft should release a tool so that users can convert their apps from any platform into uwp's for their personal use.
  • Also interesting if the Surface Phone will run Windows Phone 8 apps (including Silverlight ones) otherwise no Waze, Moovit, WhatsUp and so on
  • If MS is to make a dent in mobile with a can-do-it-all device it needs to shed all traces of the Windows 10 Mobile legacy. Running UWP only IS W10M legacy. There is no real difference to the users when the shell and rhetorics is changed if from the usability point of view nothing changes. If the phone can run Win32 (even for an interim time to really move to UWP) then the game is being changed. Than we can really talk about real Windows in a phone form factor. That's how people will perceive it.
  • Well this is true  but the real  true is that Microsoft don't give a chance to Lumia 10.,i have this phone and i'm enjoying a lot we need more support.  there's a lot of concept  on youtube:​ 
  • I was hoping Windows 10 Cloud would be Windows 10 Mobile with CShell to grow the user base (even if for the PC form factor) and increase Windows 10 Mobile's priority on Microsoft's to do list.  Full Windows 10 on a phone would scare me: could you imagine getting a blue screen of death when trying to make an emergency call?
  • I feel windows mobile would work better, but with windows on ARM maybe we can get full desktop apps with continuum.
  • #L0n3N1nja ​ how i see being done w10 mobile for phone than full windows 10 in continuum​ for win32 support
  • Continuum
  • Here's my need list to run my phone as my work computer - File Explorer - real one, something that I can UNC to network shares and remote computers Skype for Business - desperately needs an update... it's sad to see that it doesn't work well on MS's own mobile platform Dual Screen Support from Continuum - I need 2 monitors at a time for my work(right now I have the benefit of 3 with my Surface Pro 4 hooked up to a dock and 2x24" monitors) AD utilities - I need a way of working on active directory directly from my phone. The SysAdmin app is supposed to give that functionality, but I can't get it to work :( Notepad++ competitor - Serris HTML Editor comes close, but I need to the extra functions that notepad++ has like watching a file to see if it's updated and reloading, and persistent data WinSCP competitor - I think the FTP clients that exist are okay, except the part that you can't edit a file and save it and it automatically upload back to the server. It's kind of annoying to save it locally, then move it back and forth This list was longer than I thought it would be lol
    In summary- I want better Desktop features to come to mobile and then I can work from my phone full time no issue.
  • All of that, plus Chrome.
    Not really for the web browser, but for the app environment, especially as they add Android apps to Chrome devices, and eventually to Chrome itself.
  • I can't agree with the author here as I think it misses the point of wha,t in my opinion, Microsoft is aiming for to protect their existence.  In the future, and probably not very distant, ARM processors are going to be powerful enough to run Win32/UWP or pretty much anything short of Photoshop, CAD, 3D rendering, and AAA games.  When that occurs, there will likely be a transition to ARM for more than just phone and 10" or smaller tablets, with all computers short of gaming or heavy production workstation class systems going ARM, especially in the laptop space.  If Microsoft isn't ready to roll with Windows on ARM with the full desktop experience then something will fill the gap and they lose.  That this evolution allows Microsoft to envision a single ARM processor in a pocketable form factor that is powerful enough to go full desktop and replace 2 or 3 devices (HP's current experiment, perhaps a little early) is bonus and allows them to manage a single ARM code base for Windows.  This may also mean the end of BYOM at companies as they can replace the BYOM administration and PC admin with a single, low cost device they can completely control that serves all the business functions (Microsoft's enterprise play).  I could see a lockout of Win32 apps without some sort of touch optimizations on very small screens, but why otherwise limit choice?  Where UWP has to prove itself is demonstrating it can fully replace Win32 and run apps faster than whatever software or hardware x86 emulation MS and Qualcomm are working on.
  • This is sort of like discussing what kind of saddle you prefer when you ride your unicorn. The Surface phone should, first and foremost, exist.
  • This.
    Right now, we do not have any windows phones, so...
  • The first iteration of the Surface phone should be the option of both full and mobile. The pro model can have full windows while the nonpro is windows 10 mobile. This will offer a chance for the market to dictate which direction Microsoft to go. If anything this will prevent windows phone users from being left out once again due to a change in strategy.
  • I don't know, I think full windows 10 would be great for the Surface Mobile/GO. Not only because it would make it vastly different from everything in the market(except maybe the Ubuntu phone? I don't remember what they're doing with it.) but it would be included in the Windows 10 Full OS Marketshare and not on the mobile. Allowing Microsoft to spin it into something that could attract more users to their system, specially because the whole App gap that everyone likes to bring up would be offset by WIn32 apps(of course they need to make some sort of tutorial on what Win32 apps would actually run well and is they could be run on your device screen or in continuum, which both being the best way to go).
  • I think we are all dreaming windows on mobile is an illusion.
    Look at market now . Im a windows phone fan maybe the biggest in the world😀 im using a lumia 950xl but im really suspicious about microsoft strategy about the mobile platform. No new device no app et even if they r app they r slow or incomplete .
  • I strongly disagree, here is why: You're not thinking of this practically. Why would someone buy this device?
    People won't be willing to add another device to their collection when it isn't smaller and it does less.
    People won't be willing to replace their laptop/tablet with a small device that does less; if they're carying two devices around anyways then one will be in a bag, so the size of a laptop isn't an issue.
    People won't be willing to replace their phone with a winphone, as the market has already shown. The only option left is for MS to create a device that can replace both phone and laptop.
    ...and that means they need to support everything your laptop does and everything your phone does. and since devs aren't willing to make UWP apps, they have to support win32. Once the device becomes popular, people will demand that devs create UWP apps so that they can be used in phone-mode... but you need to put the horse before the cart. You're worried about performance of win32 apps... but I think this is an opportunity to sell docking stations. Surface book can gain computational power when attached to its keyboard base. There are a few win10 laptops that have performance enhancing docking stations. There isn't any reason why the same concept can't be extended to the phone. TLDR
    This needs to be able to replace both your phone and your laptop, so it needs to be able to do everything your phone and laptop do. The only way MS can achieve this with the current 3rd party UWP dev support is to have a transitional period where win32 is supported.
  • I strongly agree with u. i wonder why still people can say we need store apps we dont need win32 apps where wm10 is dead with store apps for 10 years. make no sense to me. we need win32 apps support in wm10. if not, devs are not interested to make apps for that dead platform neither they will.
  • They should just keep the Win32 for desktops. As a programmer I notice the push for UWP. So why put effort in making phones run Win32 if it's slowly being replaced by UWP equivalents? Windows 10 Mobile is good and stable and they should not compromise that by trying to push in some extra's that nobody is going to use.
  • I agree that it perhaps should not be called phone or mobile. Surface Pocket? Probably not Surface Go, since "Go" is also a computer language of Google. Or maybe that doesn't matter. Personally, I'd like to see full Win 10 on it, and not Win 10 Mobile. Why? There are some applications that can be run, which are kind of independent of a window experience. One example could be running, e.g., Python in a shell/command window -- as a "cheap" calculator (provided that the emulator mode supports NymPy, etc.). The choice also depends on the screen. If the screen is foldable and folds out to, say a 7 inch phablet, full Win 10 is even more interesting. Name? What about Surface PocketBook? (Kind a tiny Surface Book) Or if it is conceived as partially a front-end for IoT and, home applications, etc. -- what about Surface iotaBook or Surface iBook (where i is pronounced as iota = small)?
  • One thing that could be is that Google would not be able to recognize if it's a phone or PC if a phone was running full Windows 10. Windows 10 is Windows 10 no matter what the screen size. So any apps you could run on your computer you could run on your phone. It just might not be practical on a small screen, hence the need to hook up to a bigger screen. You may have over looked that not only will a phone become a computer but a computer will become a phone. Will I even need a phone if I can just Bluetooth calls from my laptop to my wrist/ears? Will I need laptop if I can just Bluetooth my phone to a tablet that is just a screen and a huge battery run by my phone, which cn also be charged by the big battery in my 12 inch screen and keyboard? Think of a package that has a phone, a screen with a keyboard that only has a huge battery in it and won't work without the phone/computer hooked up. I now have a choice. Do I bring the bigger screen or can I leave at home and use another? It just means more options.Call it Windows Chameleon. Like a chameleon changes color, Windows changes size.
  • surface phone really exists in real world???? Are you sure???? Is there any witness???
  • i dont really see the point of havinf a full os on a mobile phone, im not gona use office or even photoshop on a 5-6 inch screen.  personally windows needs a mobile phone, one with the app gap closed and one with wireless payments up and working out of the box otherwise any phone is a waste of time.  even i have left windows mobile for a s7 edge and even im using other software like play or gmail because to be frank grove is terrible on android, never mind it cant read my sd card but no google voice control sucks too..  I have paypal, here maps, myfitnesspal, santander uk app, vodaphone app, a much better facebook experience and a you tube app that always works, unlike metro tube that prety much became a mess in 2016.  Forget mobile phones runing full os, just make a great phone which the 950 and 950 xl were not..
  • Not much of a point to it if it can't be a full desktop replacement. Maybe not full Win 10, but it should at least be able to run 32bit programs. Maybe Win 10 Cloud, since that's already optimized for ARM?
  • Nope, we need x86 support on Windows Phone. Perhaps not 'full Windows', but we do need x86 application emulation. The future of computing is that we have 1 personal device (our smartphone... or whatever the smartphone evolves into), a sea of interfaces for that device, and an ocean of servers and services that the device can tap into. But we will only have 1 primary device that will be on our person, and will always be connected. It will be for communication, storing the keys to our content, and also running some applications. Apple is gearing up it's ARM development for an eventual replacement of OSX devices. It won't be right away, but eventually we will see iOS laptops and desktops from Apple. It will happen as soon as the apps are there and the CPUs are powerful enough. I give it 3-5 years. Google is merging Chrome and Android. It isn't clear if it will be called Chrome or Android (or perhaps it will be called different things on different devices), but the 2 will become one, and will interact with apps depending on the types of display and input you have available. We are already seeing it with Android apps on Chrome, and the merge will only continue. they too have an app ecosystem that can do this quite effectively. This leaves Windows and Windows Phone. They share a core OS and UI scheme, but the big thing is that Windows has lots of useful applications that simply require a laptop or a desktop that fewer and fewer people are using, and Windows Phone is a great UI but with no useful applications. Traditional laptops are going away, and there is no stopping that. Desktops will never go away entirely... but they will become more and more server-like, and be primarily for development and production environments rather than home computing and gaming. If MS does not bring x86 support to the phone, then it is not their phone market that will suffer, it is the Windows market that is going to go away. People will adapt and move on, and leave both platforms for devices that have the hardware and software that they want. Now, that may not be all bad (personally I think it would suck, but I am sure I would survive). Office alone can keep MS in business as a company. Their hosting services are huge and in a few years will be fighting with AWS for the #1 spot. Microsoft itself as a company will be just fine and will only grow. The big question is if Windows will be a part of that future. From where I sit it looks like they can either add x86 app support to Windows Phone and be the only mobile platform with an 'open' app ecosystem (which is how Windows won the desktop so many years ago), or they ride Windows out for the next 5-10 years and plan to sunset the platform entirely, or use it as a patent generating branch of their business like Windows Phone had been for most of its life. Personally, I hope that they bring x86 support to Windows Phone. It may be through WoA, or maybe they just add an x86 emulation layer to WP, but something has to happen or it all goes away.
  • I think that MS has already "lost" when it comes to a dedicated mobile OS. They threw in the towel at least a year or two ago. Now they are just biding their time. The mobile OS is beyond recoverable now market-wise. They need something very different. The first iteration of full Windows on a phone might be clunky due to processor power, but you have to start somewhere. Start with just Enterprise and set performance expectations clearly ahead of time. There will always be new applications that make it seem like x86 emulation is bad, but no apllication developer will even take that into consideration if there isn't hardware they have to worry about. Can all of this be done with apps? Well, porbably most. But part of it is about ease of workflow as opposed to having a work around. In a few years, having your main PC in your pocket will be the norm. The real questions is if MS wants to be part of that future or if they want to be in the dustbin of history.
  • I read the article, and left a logical argument as to why Zac is wrong... then I read all the other comments with 100 other explanations why Zac is wrong. Zac needs to build a better case in a followup article I think. lol
  • Don't they have an app for that?
  • Im sure as hell that MS does'nt! 
  • If it can be capable to run x64 it will open a new window minimize the gap between mobile and desktop apps on a single device. Intel created a new 8core atom for mobile phones and we will soon AMD Ryzen ultra mobile chips on the market that will be nativery x86 and x64 apps natively.  I already have a GDP WIN and it is fantastic to have in your pocket a full 64bit windows system for work and gaming.    They could make a special version of mobile os that is isolated on the mobile part  not to be vulnerable το windows desktop virused. It will be a super device and you will see that will win their position in ultra mobile devices.
  • Like the Surface tablets, I think we will need a pro version and a non-pro version. 
  • I want to see full Win 10. I don't want to think about anything when going from phone to standalone PC or from phone to a Continum-like arrangement. If a pocket PC game machine can handle full Win 10, why not a MS Surface phone?
  • The author may not want win32 apps on their phone, and think they're dated and old..... But I would want them on mine and being able to run Photoshop on the go when I plug into a bigger screen would be more than worth it. If the author doesn't want Win32 apps, they don't need to install them.... They don't need to buy this device. We already tried the W10M with the old way of doing apps and it hasn't work for MS in terms of consumer interest. There is a huge amount of interest with a mobile device running full W10 and I cannot agree with the opinions of the author.
  • I don't think that full Windows on a phone is a good idea. Security is the first issue. We need a decent secure OS now that BB10 is gone. There is no known malware for Windows 10 Mobile and that is why the few of us who are left love it. Second, have you ever tried to use Windows on a 7 inch tablet? It's not fun and I would absolutely hate it on anything smaller. I think that we will likely get some RT-like phones and tablets that run universal apps only. MS is most likely going to focus on corporate clients since that is where the money is. Devices like that would be so easy for the IT department to lock down. Of course this is just more speculation on my part but it seems like a logical way to go.
  • I want Win32 on Surface Phone. In addition to the more obvious uses of Win32 software, I'm retired and have my own hobby that I would love to be able to run on my Windows phone; namely, run IBM System/360 mainframe with DOS using the Hercules emulator. Run my S/360 now for COBOL programming on my HP Spectre convertible and also on a NUC, both Windows 10. Would be cool also run on Surface handset.
  • If Surface phone is going to run full windows 10 that means they should not kill the Lumia brand. Because the current Windows phones won't get updates. In fact, this move is what will distinguish Surface phone from these current windows. So that means it should be separate. They should come up with a group that will be committed to Surface phone. Then they should carry on with the lumia brand. If Microsoft will make this move then killing the Lumia Brand is not the solution because of the Surface phone runningfull windows 10.
  • @Zak Yes, supporting Win32 definately has its drawbacks. You're right. Unforuntately, you are also wrong on a lot of things here, and it somewhat exemplifies WCentral's lack of technical understanding: ---
    "Win32 is old, and on ARM processors it will be emulated" Old? Yes. Emulated on ARM? Wrong! With Windows on ARM, none of the OS will be emulated. The OS will be compiled for ARM (just like Windows RT was). It will run natively. Win32 is just a set of DLLs that ships with the OS, and will also be compiled for ARM. The only things that will require emulation are the x86 software pakcates that are installed seperately, although even that could become native sooner or later. For example, I suspect we will get MS Office for ARM from the outset, so even that would run natively (again, as it already did on Windows RT). ---
    "and maybe even a less-secure OS compared to Windows 10 Mobile" There is no "maybe" here. With apps being compartmentalized and there being no way to cercumvent it, having no direct access to the OSes file system, and for a dozon other reasons, W10M is objectively far more secure than full W10. Anybody working in the IT security field will confirm that. ---
    "For consumers, the only real difference between full Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile is that full Windows 10 is heavier and has Win32 support" You're right, but you gloss over what that really means. Many readers will not realize that "no Win32 support" means "no support for millions of Windows desktop software titles". Saying that's "the only real difference" is like saying the only real difference between a car and a plane is that one can fly  :-/ The overwhelming majority of Windows software will not run without Win32, even if they are packaged for release through the Windows Store via MS' Desktop Bridge tool. Those software titles are the only reason people still buy Windows PCs. Without Win32 there is, for the time being, no reason to buy Windows. ---
    "The future of mobile doesn't rely on Win32" Well, that's kind of obvious considering the Win32 API barely supports touch input and has absolutely no mechanisms that would facilitate low power computing (use however much power you want was the philosophy Win32 was designed around). More importantly, Win32 isn't the future of anything. MS has bet the house on UWP. However, compatibility with Win32 software is the path to that UWP future. Without that there likely is no future for Windows at all. I completely agree with you that a pure UWP device would be a far better proposition for 90% of consumers, but for the time being it lacks the ecosystem to make it viable. IMHO MS should not release any W10M (pure UWP) device until the UWP ecosystem is viable on it's own. Until then: keep polishing the mobile experience keep encouraging developers to deliver software through the Windows Store using the desktop bridge. Although that will do absolutely nothing to get rid of Win32 dependencies and get us into a pure UWP era, it will at least get consumers used to using the Windows Store.
  • Zac bowden, im depressed after reading ur article, never thought u will write something like this :( but thanks for saying win32 is part of microsoft mobile. "My point here is nobody really wants Win32 on a phone". so r we using windows 10 PC store apps only? can u use your windows 10 without win32 apps, just only store apps? but u can use windows 10 100% without store apps. if microsoft banned all the win32 apps there is no more windows 10 or windows in the world. more than 7 years gone windows mobile is a failure with modern apps. no need those appx. xap. uwp crap. tablet was just a tablet., but now tablets are full windows 10 & faster than desktop. They are very demandable now. why? only store apps? NO!!! WIN32 APPS. NEED FULL WINDOWS 10 ON MOBILE. No more BS!!  
  • Sorry to disagree, but Zac is right. Why is good a Win32 app, old for 10 years, almost unusable on 5" touchscreen? And Continuum is not the answer, Continuum is more like a nice to have feature, than a critical one. If you have a monitor to connect your phone, then probably you have a computer too, and the performance is not comparable. Microsoft must to invest more in UWP, and desktop is the key to bring developers. This is the reason why they concentrate more on desktop than mobile.
  • @Marius *cringe* absolutely nobody is saying that Win32 software would be usable on a 5" device. In the article Zac specifically mentioned that the ability to use Win32 software would be limited to the times when the 5" device is hooked up to a larger monitor. Then, and only then, does Win32 software running on a phone make sense.
  • @a5cent
    They have to invest too much for a small scenario. You need a monitor, a Dock and an ultra high end phone, and even then the performance will be awful. Microsoft didn't manage in 2 years to make Win10M as fast and stable as WP8.1. Emulation will be even worse.
  • "They have to invest too much for a small scenario." I assume that by "they" you mean customers. As MS has been saying for two years, they don't intend for the average Joe to purchase such a setup. It's for corporations, where the cost isn't as much of a factor. Futhermore, MS already makes most of their money from corporations, so I wouldn't say that's "too small of a scenario" to be sustainable. t's already working more than well enough for most of their other products. Far more importantly, none of what you've mentioned changes the fact that using Win32 desktop software (which doesn't have and generally will not support touch input) would be practically unusable on a 5" screen with your finger. The obstacles you've mentioned are nothing compared to that. Win32 desktop software will run on a smartphone with full W10, but you won't be able to interact with it on a 5" screen.
  • Actually I was referring to Microsoft. If they will target only enterprise market, then Win32 will makes sense on mobile, but will not be the key of success. I don't see people using Android or iOS for personal use and a Windows phone for enterprise activities. Enterprise market is smaller then consumer market, people who will actually use Win32 apps from their phone (connected on a monitor) is even smaller. And even if Microsoft is bringing Win32 apps on mobile, devs must convert their apps for Windows Store, but right now almost no one is doing that.
    I hope they'll find a solution for mobile market, but it's hard, they lost the train with Nokia, they don't have any big OEMs, most apps from store are outdated and designed for WP8.1, market share is almost 0, only a community of enthusiasts.
    I hope Microsoft read this topic because here are many good ideas and great feedback.
  • @Marius Ehm... no. MS isn't "bringing" Win32 apps to mobile, nor do devs have to convert their apps for the Windows Store. The Desktop bridge isn't required for any of this. You've completely misunderstood how this will work. Think of this simply as full Windows running on a very portable PC with an integrated 5" display. When used as a phone, you'll interact with it through the same UI we currently have on W10M. When hooked up to a monitor you'll be able to install any Win32 software you want on it, through the store or from anywhere else. Stop thinking of this as being a phone! People will still carry around their Apple or Android devices, but this will replace people's work supplied laptops or desktops (either with a Lap Dock or stationary monitors at various work sites). For a phone they will be expensive, but for a laptop or desktop replacement they will be cheap. Getting back to your investment issue: MS doesn't have to invest much to achieve any of this. MS are pretty much already there.
  • Right now, this is just a dream scenario for Windows fans. We won't see this thing in next 3-4 years, because full W10 has no "phone mode" and it has too much Win32 code - it's too heavy for a phone (pocket pc or whatever). First, they must develop the phone mode, and that's much harder than the tablet mode. In tablet mode, they made only small changes to have all components bigger and a new start menu, but on phone, they have to change the concept, there will be no desktop, no taskbar and many other things. They can not simply put the W10M interface in phone mode, because that interface is developed on a different OS. I think they try to find a solution with CShell, which helps to transform Windows to a modular operating system, but that requires years of development. In five years, they managed to find a solution for start menu, brought the action center, settings app and UWP (and all the necessary APIs), but otherwise, it is the same operating system. Next steps towards a unified system are even more complicated, for example file explorer, they have to come up with a modern version that makes everything it does the old version, and it is extremely difficult given that in five years they still have work to replace completely the old Control Panel. They will be able to do all this, but it takes time.   When it comes to replacing laptops / desktops, this is already happening in the consumer market, more consumers have no need for a computer to do usual stuff, but in the enterprise market, this will not happen in the coming years. Enterprise market adapts to new technologies more difficult, they simply do not invest in everything that pops up. That's the reason why it is so hard for Microsoft to kill the older versions of Windows.   PC is mature and does not need to be changed within two years, and that's a huge advantage for the enterprise market. I do not see a company who buy phones (pocket pcs) just because the current hardware is no longer supported for the following OS versions. We must not look at few managers or small business as an enterprise market, because all they need is the usual stuff (email, skype, browser, etc.), and they already have that; enterprise market has many serious applications that require more processing power (and I do not mean Photoshop, because that's already on another level). For a phone to replace a laptop / desktop, the hardware must reach a certain maturity and be more reliable. And we can't stop thinking at this Surface Phone as being a phone, because firstly, it has to be a phone. That's why everyone loves them, because you can do many activities without being required to sit at a desk. You think after we'll have Win32 applications on the phone, we will stay longer in front of a monitor, I do not.   And finally, the price, which you got it wrong. Let's suppose a Surface Phone will cost around $1,000, the same as the iPhone and Samsung, and this is a common price for a smartphone, but for a laptop is a high price. You find laptop with Intel i5 at about $500, and performance can not be compared. Enterprise market is not interested in beauty, but on price and performance.   So, they are not as close as we think.
  • "Right now, this is just a dream scenario for Windows fans. We won't see this thing in next 3-4 years, because full W10 has no "phone mode" and it has too much Win32 code - it's too heavy for a phone (pocket pc or whatever). First, they must develop the phone mode, and that's much harder than the tablet mode." Again. No. What you're saying isn't coming for the next three to four years will be released next year (after having been initially planned for 2017). We've already seen live demos of various Win32 based titles (including Photoshop) running on a phone sized device under emulation. In contrast to the demo which made it look like Photoshop ran great, I suspect it will leave much to be desired. However, I think it's a very safe bet to assume the average Win32 LOB package will run just fine. That's all "full Windows" on a phone sized device must achieve. It will. Furthermore, W10M's and W10's UIs were in fact developed for the exact same OS, so IMHO you've got that exactly backwards. Both run ontop of the exact same Windows Core. MS could bring W10M's UI over to W10 (without that requireing a huge investment) and have it presented on the integrated 5" display while having the traditional Windows desktop be displayed on external displays. That is definately not a huge deal. I agree that CShell is a much larger issue. However, I don't think that is in any way relevant to this discussion. At least for the time being CShell will only be accessible on W10M. It won't be available on W10 at all, which is exactly what we are discussing here: W10 on phone sized devices. As for everything else, we'll have to agree to disagree. Wait for the second half of 2018 and you'll see.
  • I like this conversation is very constructive. Maybe we'll see this Surface Phone in 2018, but Microsoft has to dedicate the next update for mobile, and not for Win10M, but for Win10 to be prepared for small screens. I would love to have win32 apps on my phone, but only if performance is a good one. Demos are designed to look the best, Win10M works on Lumia x20, but finally Microsoft has canceled due to performance (just an example where Microsoft may cancel something that said it will deliver). This whole interface thing is more delicate and perhaps too technical for us. As I know, the interface is represented by Windows Shell, W10 and W10M have different Shells, and here comes CShell I think, to have a single interface that adapts after screen size and device type. As I believe, CShell will target W10, not the current version of W10M. As soon as CShell will be ready, will replace the Shell from W10M and we get the same OS, but without support for Win32 (and it will remain for normal smartphones). The only difference between W10 and W10M will remain the support for Win32 apps, and Surface Phone probably will have this component for Win32. But who knows...
  • I don't think CShell is too technical for us. I've developed Windows and Linux software for a long time. Although I never worked for Microsoft, I have worked closely with many of their employees over the years. Based on what you've written so far, I think you are also more than competent enough to understand software layering, APIs and UI technology. Anyway, IMHO our main problem with CShell is just that there isn't yet much information available. Furthermore, everything we do "know" could very well still change before it's released, so we can't really be sure of anything. With that being said, WCentral has also noted that CShell will initially only be accessible on W10M:
    We're told that the Composable Shell will begin showing up over the next few major Windows 10 updates, for Mobile, then Desktop, and eventually Xbox too
    source I've heard the same from MS employees. Of course you are right that CShell will eventually target every version of Windows, including W10, but I'm definately not expecting anything universally functional across all form factors until long after the first phone sized computer running full W10 is released. That's why, for the time being, I don't consider it relevant to this topic. We can safely ignore it. Which brings me back to my original point: The first version of a phone sized computer running full Windows will have something similar to the W10M start screen "strapped on top". This could very well be the limited-to-phone-sized-dispays-version-of-cshell. Maybe something else. I don't know. Either way, that start screen is what people will use when they interact directly with the device via its integrated display. The standard W10 desktop will only be accessible when the device is hooked up to a larger external display. Assuming MS stays their current  course, I think that prediction is a rather safe bet at this point. I'l leave it at that. Thanks for the discussion Marius.
  • let me ask u question like this, if ur windows 10 PC only can run windows 10 store apps (no win32 apps), will u use it? old doesnt matter, 90% of games and apps are still running on win32 format. if MS dont bring win32 support in wm10, it was dead for 10 years and it will be dead for more 10 years. on the other hand, Devs are not interested to make apps or convert apps to dead restricted platform where win32 is open and easy. as a proof to that, windows store is empty in windows 10 pc where win32 apps running the whole world with win32. <3 i personally dont like win32 apps, i prefer modern apps but things are running in different way. Apple and Google have triple store apps then MS and they are not succes in the PC world. if MS banned or removed win32 apps from PC, then we can call windows as a dead platform like wm10. i wonder how u people still can say we dont need win32 apps, we need store apps where wm10 is dead with store apps for 10 years. make no sense to me.  Who runs the world? win32 runs the world <3 XD 
  • I never said that Microsoft should give up on Win32 applications, probably it will not happen in the next 20 years. It's completely absurd. Win32 apps represents the entire Windows right now when it comes to big screens (tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.). They have a problem when it comes to touch. They do not have touch applications! They must invest more in UWP, must develop MDL2 into a design language with a much more complex components. They can not expect someone to develop large applications using just a hamburger menu and a bottom bar (not that design language would be the only problem). All Windows touch devices are successful just by the simple fact that supports Win32 applications. As the screen is smaller, the devices are less successful. Microsoft must somehow overcome this barrier and attract developers for Windows Store.
  • do u know tablets were just like a wm10? it had just a store apps. but now, it runs full windows and it is success.   can u specify which win32 apps is not working with touch? i can use all win32 apps by touch such as steam,office 365,onedrive,onenote,any game,chrome and many more win32 apps from my surface book by touching on screen.
  • If it works technically, it does not mean that the experience is a good one. Try using Photoshop on an 8" tablet,  using only touch. Win32 apps are usable on 10"+ screens, because buttons and other graphical components are already bigger, but on smaller screens is a pain.
  • if it is good with 10" + screen, they will make it work on less than 10". why pain? it is not a big deal they are working on it to make it perfect. but it will work technially as u said. yes we need that technically work after some months it will work perfectly. all apps comes with bugs, after few months it runs smoothly. not a big deal. i dont know why people are saying NO to win32? make no sense.
  • You are missing one important thing, Microsoft can't do anything about win32 apps on touchscreen. It's an old technology, that wasn't developed for touch, it's not a responsive design. It works as it is, but it doesn't adapt by your screen size (or window size on desktop). For example in web technology, win32 apps are exactly like an old web site without responsive design, when you have to zoom in to click a button.
  • If they can work their win32 apps like modern apps? It's not impossible for them. They will do that, if they can't then windows 10 phone is dead for more 10 years.
  • @kaukab khan Nowhere did Zac say that Win32 is part of Windows 10 Mobile. Because it is not... or more precisely, only a very small subset of Win32 is contained in W10M.
  • he said that on last line of his article. 
  • At this point, UWP for desktop is not a success, not even close.
    I don't think that UWP apps should be installed only from Windows Store (ignoring dev mode, because that is not for masses)...probably, there are devs that don't want to loose money through Windows Store. Secondly, maybe Microsoft should have try to bring UWP apps to Windows 7, somehow, emulation or other techniques - this would increase the market for UWP and then, MAYBE devs will choose this technology. UWP should be a success on desktop and after that we will see devs on mobile too (probably). There is no developer who will invest in two versions of the same app (Win32 and UWP) for one ecosystem (Windows)...they will always choose Win32 because of a bigger market. Windows 7 is a big problem for Windows 10 and is here to stay, more than XP. After 2 years of UWP, we don't have not even on big developer who has invested in this technology. We have no big UWP app to see what this technology is capable of and this is not a good sign.
  • Mother of all topics in the windows community. Let's face it we don't want to have another Lumia 950 experience. New phone needs to make all phone users of all OS sit up and collectively say "wow I didn't know Microsoft make phones? I want one". App developers need to say "I have to get my App on that phone"I wonder if MSFT keep sending the Surface Phone team back to the drawing board hence delaying production with articles like this and the differing opinions windows enthusiasts have. Will this surface phone be the phone that decides if MSFT stays in the mobile market or leaves permanently? So many questions to ponder lol.
  • I am afraid that we will not see the day when developers will say that 😃.
  • As a business owner, the ability to plug in my mobile and have full blown windows with win32 apps would be amazing and not having to carry around a laptop. Microsoft could literally takeover the business and enterprise market in one swoop with this ability.
  • It should run ... Android apps!
  • I think Microsoft promised iOS Bridge to bring iOS apps to Windows without re-compiling source code, so if that succeeds then there's no need to run Android apps, but on the otherside if iOS Bridge fails, then I wouldn't mind if Microsoft can make an Android fork like Amazon did with Fire OS and let consumers install Android apps on Microsoft hardware through a propietary appstore that doesn't depend on Google Play services.
  • iOS Bridge is a desperate solution, it is better than nothing, but when it comes to performance it's almost a fail. If you compare Facebook, Messenger, Instagram (apps brought through iOS Bridge) with Twitter (an UWP app) - the difference is huge.
  • Thanks for the info, I thought iOS bridge was going to enable near native performance but if that isn't hapening with this bridge, then I think its time to drop the ball on bridges and start thinking in an Android fork, which is what I think can save Microsoft from being extinct in mobile space with less than 0.1% of marketshare.
  • Facebook didn't use this bridge to write the apps for Windows. They used their own OSmeta tool 😉
  • Facebook for desktop is made with their own tools, but mobile version is just ported from iOS.
    Anyway, both of them are slow.
  • Um, the iOS bridge tool already failed. It was announced like 18 months ago, near zero usage followed.
  • If iOS Bridge succeeds, then I'm OK having a Surface Phone without Windows 10 full desktop functionality to replace my Sony Xperia M4 Aqua midrange device, but if it still cannot run apps like Snapchat, Youtube, Musixmatch, Panecal, YT Kids, Unified Remote, etc. I'll just ask for full windows 10 funtionality so I can use my phone as a secondary PC, but if none of these 2 gets built, then its goodbye to Microsoft hardware.
  • Win32 is a nonstarter on W10M. It should be relegated to traditional legacy form factors., IMO.
  • I hope they go full windows so the browser could be better and support flash. Possibly alternate browser. Sites like sirius xm and MLB.TV don't work with the lame mobil browser.
  • It seems as though MS is declaring not Windows Phone, but Windows 10 Mobile dead. Why in the world abandon the platform that was at 10% or more in many markets, letting it die on the vine? It was even besting iPhone in some markets. I get that this is supposedly going some place else. But embracing Mobile and not phones is counter intuitive. Although I have switched to Android, it is more out of necessity than desire. My 950 still bests most hardware out there, even after a year. And the drubbing it took from fans was nearly criminal. It is light, thin, and with MicroSD, removable battery (which has saved my life at times), still one of the very best cameras with stellar OIS, dedicated camera button, it still trounces much of what passes for "great" phones. Paired with Band 2, it was a fantastic notifications system/fitness platform. They won't have solved any of their problems by putting Win32 apps on the phone, and believing that Enterprise will embrace this platform when most are already brining iPhone and Android to the office is typical of MS short-sightedness. Don't get me wrong. MS is innovating. But they will likely prove once more, that while they have the best ideas, it will be Google, Apple or Amazon that are actually able to monetize that innovation and bring it to the masses.
  • They concentrate too much to innovate, but forget to deliver the product. Every time when they inovate something, they reset everything. Android or iOS may look boring, but after 10 years they still deliver an os that makes billions of people happy enough. In 10 years, Microsoft killed 3 different mobile OSs.
  • Maybe those billions of people just don't know what they are missing.
  • Maybe they know EXACTLY what they are missing....NOTHING.  
  • Steve Jobs said nobody wants a big phone!
  • Windows 10 Mobile will carry the load for me. I hope Microsoft will get some Windows phones...yes, Windows phones out and out sooner rather than later. I like the concept of cellular pc, ultimate device, etc. But it's still a phone and if the attempts to make it a "phablet" win over the idea of a phone, I don't see the benefit. I would just contnue to carry a Windows tablet & tether to my phone's hot spot. I want a phone, that runs Windows 10 Mobile in a 4.5" - 5..5" size that is durable, waterproof and tough. I want a phone that's comfortable to hold, to talk on and comfortable to carry in your pocket. Certainly, make bigger sizes for those who want them. But I want a phone. Bigger issue: if we want Windows phones, we're wasting time blogging. We need to be calling carriers, talking to the RIGHT folks and let them know that there are people who really want a Windows phone, or some kind of Windows device in their lineup. Talking to customer service reps is not effective. You need to talk to upper management.  And you can reach some high level folks. I've had decent success recently. If we really desire to see this ecosystem grow, we'd better get a strong message to the right folks at these carriers and do it soon. If only gsm carriers carry Windows phones, Microsoft will continue to miss a huge potential market. I've been with a carrier for over 20 years. They have absolutely refused to carry a Windows phone. But I did soften their stand when I told them that I would cancel service if they didn't at least give serious consideration to those of us who like the platform. I also got their attention when I shared a letter to the editor of my local paper that I wrote about Windows phones and talked market share, their superiority over droid & iOS, etc. If you want to win this battle to keep the ecosystem alive, don't be afraid to let it be known what you want.  And don't depend on someone else to do it. I think it's an absolute disgrace for a company to flat out refuse to listen to customer requests for products. I don't like the "I know what you need to buy better than you do" attitude. And that's what some of them have.....    
  • I know I may get laughed off the internet for saying this, but.... Why not just stick with Windows 8.1? It was a fully featured, AWESOME mobile OS. It just needed Apps. You can try Windows 10 mobile, but you still won't have any apps, and that OS is still very much incomplete and buggy. I wouldn't buy one.
  • I want full feature surface phone with all device driver, continuum, lap dock compatible, or surface pro compatible. USB-C dock/hub to regular USB so I can plug in anything and everything just like laptop. Win32 program is a must so I can install on mini SD card up to 4 TB and install all my program in there such as putty, unity, allen Bradley, pro worx, notepad plus, win compare, google earth, and all surface pro pen compatible on a surface pro or phone equipped by NFC, Bluetooth, continuum whatever else.
  • Just to have the option to run win32 apps would be cool.
  • For sure, full Windows 10... or Windows Cloud.
  • Full OS FTW. GObig..or go home.
  • I don't know too many people who own surface devices simply because of the price. Surface phones will only attract techies & enterprise phone users and loyal Windows Mobile users, I love my 950xl perfect size, brilliant os, even with the sad app store. A friend of a friend used my 950xl for the 1st time and bought himself a 950 the following day. Unless the new phone changes the whole game with design, hardware & max appeal for developers & luddites' expect minimal impact on the mobile scene.
  • Zac, good article. However, I am missing a point here. From your opinion, I don't see how different of an approach are you seeking from what MS is already doing. Windows 10 with CShell running on a smaller devices supporting LTE and calling. is no different then Win10 Mobile witth Continuum support. For them to really stand out from the crowd and have a true unique device, in my opinion, they do need to bring in full blown Win10 on phones with Win32 support, and when in Continuum mode, it can run Win32 apps. Phones are powerful enough to run Win32 apps, not necessarily Photoshops and Video editor tools, but there are loads of softwares that can take advantage of this. Mind you, emulation v1 maybe crappy, but it will get better over time.
  • There is a big difference between the two versions, in fact W10M is a different os. Win10 with CShell it might by too heavy for a mobile device with no interface for small screens.
  • After 2.5 years since launch, Windows Store still lacks quality apps.  I am really quite disappointed on the efforts made by MS. When Windows 10 was launched in Oct 2015, I expected there will be at least some flagship, quality apps after 6-12 months. Even Office UWP apps have not improved so much in these two years - they still lack many useful features which are only available in the desktop version. I think the fierce competition just does not allow MS to be so inefficient.  
  • Simple, it will run windows 10 cloud on ARM
  • There's Raspberry Pi3 with Windows 10 IoT then there can be windows 10 mobile running Win32 programs and not simply mobile apps. These days windows programs are still win32 and only a few is win64 because most PCs, laptops, tablets and netbooks are 32bits base. Soon, Lumia will be as powerful as a pc, That's ARM Qualcomm snapdragon 1.59 ghz that can run photoshop. We all know apps are the main point what makes android certainly get to the same level as iPhone. If Lumia can be a computer can have win32 programs + Windows stores apps + Windows xbox controller playable games HDMI connected + Xbox one sync play on the monitor. The thing is it might be 5" small but it always can provide a 10" attachable or slide in touch screen. That can be a tablet pc with Microsoft Office and full blown 25fps game machine.
  • I stopped reading here....➡""" But don't call it a phone — call it Surface Pocket, or Surface Go, something to separate it from the iPhone or Samsung Galaxys. """
  • As I've said before, the Surface Phone cannot possibly live up to the hype that has been surrounding it given that it quite literally does not exist yet.
  • It should really run the real Windows 10 with the Windows 10M interface!
  • That is a real problem for them, they don't have a mobile interface for windows 10. Win10M is just WP8.1 with an improved interface.
  • Win32 should be a part of mobile vision.
  • I haven't heard any information about Microsoft releasing a Surface Phone or any phone for that matter.
  • Full windows, so I can install Bluestacks and use the apps I really need.
  • Yes. Otherwise ill move to Android for phones. Have a foldable screen that goes to 10". Comes with a Nontendo DS size pen for full desktop use. Then a 5" screen on the front of the phone for finger use and quick messaging, Facebook posts etc.
  • Surface Phone if in anyways has a similarity to Lumia it will be doomed for sure Microsoft should release a hardware / software which doesnot resemble any failure products in the past IMO,  A surface phone should be a "micro surface pro" a detachable dual screen phone or just put a cellular component in Holo lens and make it smaller like google glass   Microsoft has no purpose or need to create another Lumia like device
  • Nadella says he want ios.
  • I think It should run full Windows 10 for ARM with Mobile Shell. It would be so awesome, having all this win32 programs available in your pocket.
  • You all still miss the real problem which isn't what to run, but how good is what you give to the users! In 2 (near 3) years of development Cortana still stop and lack as hell. she ins't interactive her learning abilities is absent she can't chat with user at the end she is just an application of Speech Recognition connected to Bing Windows 10 still lack of application and 3d parties application and the one present, still have problems: on my Lumia 950 XL Facebook app is slow to start, didn't have a lot of option (post on group, or pages management) and to have some basic functions I've to use a Beta release which is unstableest! Map sistem is ridicolous compared to the GoogleMap wihch have a constantly updated StreetView, I guess instead fight with Google, maybe paying for google services will mede WP Userse more happy and satisfied. Btw, the worst of the worst still Cortana and the abilities to use the phone without the hand, the most of time he can't recognize the command, which are clearly scripted, which I expect that she *read* what I say and the meaning of that.
    Try to ask to Google Allo what is CIA; and then try to ask him if he is connected to it.  What you do, are 2 answare, which are connected each other, he is able to undrestand it, Cortana would open BING 2 times which is RIDICOLOUS for an Artificial Intelligence (or a supposed one). Actually my respect for Microsoft is at the same level of our Italian Politicians, 'casue booth still do a bunch of promises, but after years nothing change >.<
  • Go back and learn to speak the English first, or go into Cortana's settings and ask her to speaka bad English like you.
  • I think if microsoft did a proper advertisment campaign thei could get more developers to make UWP out of thier win32 software. Allsow if Microsoft realy wanted to I am pretty sure they could help small buisnesses convert there win32 to UWP. And by making great hardware running only UWP that might persuade buisnesses to make UWP. Allsow Microsoft should make full featured office for UWP, and what about full featured Edge. If that where to happen at least my company could change ower to UWP only. Why isent Office a full featured UWP yet? I cant help feeling Microsoft is half-assing there UWP efforts.
  • I'm with you on not actually wanting win32 on my phone. But UWP only on tablets or even laptops? Haven't we been there? Hadn't the Surface and Surface 2 greatly failed because of that? The Surface Pro line on the other hand is a great succes andconvinced other manufacturers to do similar things, and that's because they are real PCs with win32. Microsoft steped back from UWP only tablets when they made the Surface 3 x86. And that is logical in my eyes. What's the benefit of a UWP tablet over Android or IPads? THey both offer way more apps (and don't say the app gap doesn't really exist, it is real). But having a real PC in my tablet is why I love my Surface Pro 3.
  • I don't think we will see in near future tablets or laptops only with UWP. In theory, this technology sounds great, but in reality is useless right now. Certainly we will see tablets and laptops with Win10 ARM with support for Win32, but for mobile (Surface Phone), full Win10 is not ready for small screens and W10M is not enough. And this makes me think that we won't get Surface Phone this year, not without an OS tested by windows insiders.
  • And what exactly do we understand CShell to be? The article hails it as a great/best solution that covers all (the author's) needs, but falls short on explaining what CShell embodies. (or refer to an article explaining it, because quick searches show little result)
  • CShell let's full Windows 10 adapt to any screen size.
  • Let release two versions then. Light version perfect for consumers. Full version for rest of us. 😀
  • I get that MS is slowly moving away from win32 and towards UWP with the very very long-view ultimate goal of eventually moving away from win32 completely in favor of an entirely UWP Windows, enabling leaner, cleaner, lighter builds of Windows to run more efficiently AND SECURELY on hardware across the full spectrum of potential form-factors. And I'm even on-board with that - ONCE UWP IS STRONG ENOUGH. Which it's not yet. So I think for premier, high-powered, full-featured flagship devices, be they ARM or X86, I think full Windows and the accompanying win32 support is a must. I think Win10Mobile in the ARM space, and Win10Cloud in the X86 space should be reserved for the cheaper, less powerful budget devices as low-cost alternatives. However, the budget skus would also serve the latent benefit of also being a terrific barometer of how well UWP is progressing on its slow, tedious climb towards world domination. Now, how does any of that relate to the "Surface Phone" and why do I think it's so imperative that it's running full Windows rather than Windows 10 Mobile? Because the Surface Phone is less supposed to be the ultimate "Phone" and more supposed to be the ultimate portable Windows device.....that also just so happens to be able to make and take calls / SMS. The "phone" part of the Surface Phone is just a tiny part of the whole of what this device will be and will do - so much so that to even utter the line "you don't need win32 on a phone" completely misses the point of the Surface Phone, and evidences a mindset stuck in the old "smartphone" paradigm of the iPhone, or [insert Android phone of choice here], or the pre-Continuum, and even to some extent post-Continuum Lumia phones - the very thing the Surface Phone is being designed to break us out of, and push us beyond. Of course we don't be need win32 on our phones. But what about at our desks? ESPECIALLY in the enterprise environment that the Surface will likely be primarily targeted towards initially, or even towards a consumer for whom the Surface could be billed as the holistic product that replaces BOTH your phone AND your computer. And while I get that the ultra casual consumer may not need win32, and while I get that the high end gamer or graphic designer or what have you wouldn't be satisfied by the performance anyway, win32 or no (unless we start talking active docks) for the vast majority of consumers, they still need win32, but don't necessarily need a ton of horsepower - I believe a full Win10 equipped Surface Phone would be PERFECT for this group! UWP isn't ready to meet the needs of the masses standing on its own yet. Now, I'm a believer, I really am. I believe it will get there - and it will be glorious. But it's not there yet. Arguably, it's not even close. And if we push it on people too prematurely, then we're just going to end up with yet another Windows RT scenario and/or the general sentiment towards the Surface Phone of yet another half-measure by Microsoft mobile, and the balloons of excitement for the Surface and maybe even hope for Microsoft's mobile ambitions altogether may deflate. Also, even though it takes only a very small effort for a developer to make a Win10 UWA work on Win10M, it still takes that work, it's not automatic. And as we've seen, a great many of the app makers are deeming it not worth their time to take even those quick simple steps to make it happen, and have been neglecting Win10M. So with UWP being too thin for prime time even on the desktop, it's even thinner yet, and a lot less whole on Mobile - and that's what we're going to put on the breakthrough "everything" device that's supposed to change everything - or else? That's madness! I understand that the whole idea would be to use the Surface Phone as a vehicle to get developers to see the value in Win10M and start pouring onto the platform. But I think that rather than the Surface phone causing developers to see the value in 10M, I worry that it'd cause way too many consumers, and particularly, enterprise people to not see the value in the Surface, and what incentive would the developers have then? No, I say let's get a device out that completely upsets the apple cart (no pun intended), get people and developers excited about that, and then work our way downward from there to future lesser "Surface-lite" phones running win10M and solve the problem that way! Look, I get why they keep pushing this thing back. They want to make sure it's ready for prime time. They want to make sure it's perfect. As they should. In a sense, the whole world may well be riding on the shoulders of getting this one right. And I say Amen and Amen! Make this one count, boys! Which is why I feel that full Windows is not only ideal, but imperative! Now, in closing, active docks: consider the possibilities of docking mechanisms which provide extra power to the phone, making high end gaming and/or graphic/audio design a possibility. If we want to go REALLY wild, imagine even a dock that basically turns your Surface Phone into a Surface Studio! Imagine also a dock with a "D:\" drive. You don't need win32 while carrying this thing around in your pocket, but you do need it at your desk. So just have most of your win32 stuff installed on the drive in the dock and it's problem solved. The best of both worlds! This thing has the potential to totally change the world! To do in 2018 precisely what the iPhone did in 2007. Let's not screw it up now, Microsoft! For my 2017 phone upgrade, it's going to be between the iPhone and the Pixel (maaaaaaaaybe a Galaxy, but probably not). However, my explicit hope is that come my 2019 phone upgrade, that I'm getting something that says "Microsoft" on it! Make this Surface Phone be something that I can spend 2018 drooling over! Please! Cheers!
  • Give me the tablet, phone, device from Westworld with a cool version of Windows 10 and all the apps known to man and waaalaaa success. (Dream scenario)
  • All 4 million of them? You will have the longest start screen in the world. Take you 20 minutes to get through half of it.
  • Nice!
  • When I hear full W10 on phones with CShell, I image the OS will be identical to W10M when used strictly as a phone, but with Continuum being a full blown PC when Miracasted (via 30 Hz) or with a display dock as 60 Hz.
  • That would make Windows Mobiles the most productive pocket devices. I will be the first in line to buy it.
  • We don't need no stinkin' Surface Phone!
  • Like we need stupid comments.
  • Then stop posting. What Nadella has done to Windows Phone the last two years is beyond stupid.
  • Honestly, I don't really care about Surface pfone, oe whatever..MS has got to put more effort in the f*cking mobile department, and do something about the app ecosystem..and improve the quality of apps too..join Google for Google apps, do whatever necessary..seriously..
  • Folks it's been 16 to 17 months since Microsoft debut the 950/950XL Flagship windows 10 mobile smart phones. People wont be serious about buying a Windows smart phone if Microsoft wont step up to the plate and make a version of their own Windows 10 mobile smart phone. The Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 are due out soon. I think that Microsoft will also debut a new product the "Surface Laptop #1" when they debut it will be a traditional laptop computer for those who do not want a Surface Book 2- two in one device and wlll cost less to buy. Folks hopefully the new "Surface" smart phones will debut also. As you know Microsoft devices developer VP Mr Panos did not like the fact info leaked out about the Lumia 950 & 950 XL so they have increased their security so people donot know what and when Microsoft will bring any new Product to the market place.The "Surface Windows 10 mobile smart phones may yet debut sooner than people think.  
  • I hope you are right.  I have to be a Verizon customer because of location and we have not had a descent new phone option in years.  What the Sufrace Phone mainly needs to run is all the mobile providers.  A great phone that is not supported by your vendor is irrelevant, as has been proven by previous rounds of Win Phone.  Verizon, AT&T, etc all need to have it available or there will be no sales, again.  MSFT makes great hardware and software and they have no clue how to market any of it.
  • I think Windows 10 Mobile is perfect in the fact that it describes a range products and not just an individual product. Because of Microsoft's extensive partner base which can manufacture various products of many types and designs this is an appropriation given that each OEM will give their individual products their own naming.
  • MS should get away from the "phone" moniker. They should also honor and embrace the wonderful heritage of their evolving UI from Zune... ..."Don't settle for yet another phone... Introducing the Surface Zone from Microsoft. Communication defined."
  • If they can get developers to support the store and push the most popular Win32 programs trough the Windows 10 Store I don't see any problems! The Surface Pocket PC should probably, just as Windows 10 Cloud, run only store apps.
  • I am in favor of win32 because of one big reason; SAP. If I get to run SAP on my phone, even if in Continuum only mode, I wouldn't have to carry around a laptop everywhere. I have a small Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, that I currently use with the phone. Win32 will make it a full on computer for my usage.
  • You know what's the best plan? Just throw that whole ****** win10m to the garbage can and use all that extra juicy resources to work on fixing stupid bugs and glitches on Windows 10, and make Windows 10 look much better than the current below kindergarten level UI design.
  • do you guys want the monumental failure of Pocket PC and Photon's DOA to repeat itself? although this onecore thing is real, a phone should be first and foremost, a phone.
  • No mater what they come up with. Just keep the windows mobile. I don't want to shift to android or ios.
    Still windows mobile is one of the best OS. Need more premium devices some thing metal body. Higher spec. And a min of 24mp cam back and 12mp front
    Hope next surface phones will have user experience
  • Business's still need win32. Maybe not socialites.
  • What the Sufrace Phone mainly needs to run is all the mobile providers.  A great phone that is not supported by your vendor is irrelevant, as has been proven by previous rounds of Win Phone.  Verizon, AT&T, etc all need to have it available or there will be no sales, again.  MSFT makes great hardware and software and they have no clue how to market any of it.
  • Microsoft should have had a phone running full Windows 2 years ago and they would have owned the smartphone world. Now not only is it too late, if they come out with another Windows Mobile phone, even the last 3 owners still using a Windows phone will jump ship. It would be a ridiculous mistake, but par for the course for Microsoft.
  • I think Microsoft should have both. One for high end devices, enterprise, and just the plane old Windows 10 Mobile for mid to low range devices. Just make the high end cheaper than iPhones. Which shouldn't be hard since iPhone are way over priced and over rated.
  • I like this comment but at the same time we don't want the same thing to happen as the Surface, not running full Windows confused people so Microsoft would need to advertise this well so people don't make the mistake of thinking they are getting full Windows 10 on the cheap device and feeling ripped off after purchase.
  • That there going to be a Surface Phone? I will worry about it when it comes out. And no matter what it has, I will probably buy it....
  • This begs all kinds of questions. For example what is a phone? What is a tablet? What is a PC? If the Microsoft strategy is UWP then why run win32 at all? If this is some kind of Pocket PC then surely it's really an enterprise market device taking on the HP Eltie X3? Is such a thing a mass market device or narrowly focussed on business? In a BYOD world what is the business case for an extra device when users already have their iphone or android device with them? Win32 is like back to 2002 and an iPaq like device. Although it was Windows CE it was also recognisably Windows desktop for the people that really need a small format device to look like Windows. This is going back 15 years and presenting Windows on a handheld. However this time the market is vastly different. Of course for Microsoft's mobile device this would be reboot number 4. Will potential customers think Microsoft will support this product for more than a couple of years? What incentive has a developer got to use UWP if his Win32 app runs fine? This may perversely dig a 6 foot ditch for UWP. HP can sell the Elite X3. I can see a market for this but I think Microsoft need to do two things. 1. Decide if UWP is their main focus on mobile. 2. Decide that they want to be first party suppliers. Right now, if you have a Lumia, whatever it's merits. Microsoft is making few (if any) encouraging noises to people wanting to spend money on a mobile product. Worse stil, if they release a "Surface Go", will anyone buy such a device from a company that shows no passion to have a first party mobile ecosystem. Passion and commitment is needed as much as a hardware product.
  • . We're living in a mobile world, where apps themselves are slowly dying... Maybe that way, developers will take UWP more seriously, and as a result, more apps will show up in the Store.
    So, in one sentence you say apps are dying, few lines later you hope for developers to bring in more apps? Which of the two?
  • I don't really care, all i want is a "mini" version with 4,7" or less.
  • Will there ever be a Surface phone, and will it matter, when we all have switched to Android or iOS? Said with other words, will Microsoft be able to make a phone that is so good that most people switch again, this time from Android/iOS to Windows?  
  • Totally agree will takes years for people to leave iOS or android, even for a full pc phone and why would they w10m store hasn't got a huge choice of apps,
    I've been trying out android on a cheap android phone and using more than my 950 even tho it lags, some lag is still better than no app at all lol
  • Personaly I belivie that the surface phone should run android on microsoft launcher. Take arrow launcher and make the feeling even more like the windows phone concept with tiles instead of icons. At least all microsoft apps should be able to have active tiles and there could be an open interface for other app developers to use if they want to add an active tile.
  • I have a feeling what you said is Microsofts backup plan in mobile. All the apps they have and the arrow launcher, if this next big thing fails I could see this coming to light.
  • Yes. Surface Phone should have full Windows OS. They should have done that in the beginning. MS should have also created their own CPU and GPU for mobile and implants also.
  • I want e.g. BBC web site to see my phone as a pc so I can install their download tool for offline playback. Not possible on Windows mobile phone
  • Personally, I think it's going to provide a very ****** user experience running x86 apps on a phone. But since devs aren't making software for windows mobile, it might be the only option.
  • I agree with you. For UWP to take over Microsoft really needs to push, help, do whatever it takes to get devs to make apps.
  • Anything less than the full Windows 10 on ARM, and it's dead on arrival, just like the Surface RT. Heck, it wouldn't even be worthy of the Surface brand IMO, 'cause it'll merely be just a rebranded Lumia 950/950XL with minor spec bumps. It better match or exceed this concept to be worthy of the Surface brand:
  • +1, this is a no brainer - we've been there and done that with the half baked mobile OS.  It is time to move on so Microsoft can differentiate its mobile direction from Googapple.  Re-badging the Lumia line as Surface with no under the hood changes would be an expensive mistake.
  • Disagree windows 8 RT is what mobile needs or should be, as a tablet not full pc RT was great this is when the app store had apps mind, i pretty much was able to do everything I needed much more than an ipad
  • The question of Surface 'Phone' OS choice (Mobile v Full) should logicially depend on the design of the actual hardware and also on how well win32 on ARM emu actually proves to work in practice! For example, if the hardware is a double or triple hinged "folding" ARM phone screen then CSHELL could present "tiles" when folded and Desktop when unfolded, so full OS would be appropriate. Arguably there is no role left for win 10 mobile unless we stick with current phone design of single 5.x" screens because as we get more display real estate on phones then win 10 mobile will simply become part of CSHELL for full windows 10 on arm. Full Win 10 (combining Mobile and Win32 via CSHELL and windows on ARM) is crucial to the success of Surface Phone because win32 is the only current way to fully nulify the app gap and it nulifies it brilliantly by including the vast win32 software collection plus running Android emulators too, if you need to. Over time more and more Unversal Windows Apps will be developed but it it will take decades until win32 is no longer needed, therefore win 32 is needed on Surface Phone but since win32 is too clunky on current phone hardware this is why Surface Phone needs to be innovative hardware (specifically more screen real estate). Perhaps the better question is therefore, 'How to run win32 apps successfully on phone hardware' and the folding or hinged ARM display seems like the most interesting and most likely answer for the new Surface Phone.
  • The sooner we get rid of win32 applications the better.
  • I've always said the only difference between a tablet and a smartphone is screen size.  The defining point seems to be between 5" and 6". Under it is a smartphone, over and it is a tablet.  So changing the name from Surface Phone to something else such as Surface Go as you suggested is a good start. let's drop the phone name and agree that the phone is no longer hardware but simply an app. Your point about Win32 is also a very interesting one.  You started the discussion by asking if we want Windows 10 Pro on our Surface "Phone", however it seems the discussion soon became do we want Win32 suppport on our Windows "Phone".?  The answer is that some will and some will not so the best appoach in my view is that Win32 support becomes an optional feature on Win 10 that the user can activate or deqactivate as required.  Or perhaps it becomes an option available to OEMs.  Certainly making it an option on all Windows devices, including PCs, makes sense as this will help drive software into the 21st century. Finally in response to your comment "We're living in a mobile world, where apps themselves are slowly dying", I'd like to say that since I figured out a properly written web page, designed for a small screen will do exactly the same as a dedicated app I have stopped complaining about the lack of Windows apps and started complaining about the poor quality of mobile web pages.  Time for dev teams to step up their efforts to make their web pages as app like as possible,  One thing you can do to help here is to write a piece on this subject and give instruvctions on how best to create a shortcut link on your Windows Phone so that it gives all the appearance of being an app.
  • We have to look at the big picture. W10M is dead already, and MS will not be producing new hardware for it. Putting full Windows 10 on a phone is like Windows Mobile 6.5 all over again. W10 isn't finger friendly, nor are many of its apps. Heck W10's tablet mode is a huge step backward from W8. Much of the hype for the original iPhone/iPad was it's finger friendly OS. This hype started the "Post PC" fallacy. Ultimately, it'll simply be another reboot, forcing MS to re-invest in app development and hardware, which MS failed to show real commitment for in the past, so don't count on it happening this time. Nadella said, they are waiting for the next big thing in mobile and they will jump on board at the start. Windows 10 on a phone isn't the next big thing, so there will be no surface phone anytime soon.
  • Windows 10 Mobile but with an advanced "Windows 10 on ARM" based Continuum mode.
  • If by having full windows 10, it means ONLY the ability to run win32 apps, then it is going to disappoint even some of us hardened followers of Windows phones. On the other hand, if the 'surface phone' really has only an improved version of continuum, then it will be even more disappointing.
    Microsoft has a track record of only losing market shares, when it comes to mobiles. It has come down from over 70% to less than 0.3% in less than ten years. We all know, what 0.3% actually means. Any lower, and even windows central won't bother talking about windows on phones. And if software-wise the only improvement in surface phone is a better continuum experience or ONLY the ability to run win32 apps, then it is doomed already.
  • C#, Azure dev guy. Love Windows 10 Mobile. Can't wait until Microsoft unleashes their immense resources and focus on the phone thingy. 
  • I actually like the idea of Windows on ARM running on Surface Phone, with Win32 support. Not really from a consumers point of view, but from Business side this makes a lot of sense. You carry a real computer in your pocket, which on the go can be used as a Phone, and when docked, a full features UWP/Win32 apps. Which business customer wouldn't want such an option? Surprisingly, I wrote a similar article on LinkedIn: Else, I don't see real benefit of Windows on ARM.
  • I do not agree with you. Microsoft needs to reveal new piece of hardware with something new as a big upgrade and Windows 10 Cloud is exactly what he needs. But my opinion is that he also needs to reveal some classic phone, because Windows 10 Mobile is gradually dying and Microsoft needs to reverse this trend and the 3rd party producers cannot do that. Without mobile version the Windows 10 plattform and UWP idea do not have sense. So I expect bigger 6' Surface phone with Win10Cloud for business purposes and 5' cheaper Surface phone based on Win10M with Continuum for end users.
  • Android on the front screen (to sell it), folding out to become a full Windows 10 tablet?
  • Hello everybody at WindowsCentral. This might be my last post here in a long time. My phone is dying (hardware) and I need a new one. I was trying to wait for another year, but it is not possible now. I will switch to Android, because I have no other option now.
    ​I want to thank WindowsCentral and the people here, because both the articles and the comments were always useful and entertaining.
    ​See you in the Future!    
  • How about both via two separate devices since they are two separate markets?
  • It would be very nice to have a real pocket PC.
  • They should do something with the dock, eg: an expandable mobile telephony behaving like the Surface Book. As the habit of MS for legacy support, win32 applications ain't going down. I would like to have an LTE-enabled Surface Mini with a dock supplying extra storage, RAM & GPU. Then, offer a lapdock that functions like the Asus PadFone. Lastly, find a way to effectively throttle down the CPU during W10M "mode."
  • Win 10 mobile is DEAD people, accept it. This is a poinltess discussion. MS whether you like it or not is moving to a one OS eco system.
  • The annoyance with this article is that Windows 10 Mobile is already just a shell on top of Windows 10. It's just a totally custom one rather than the dream model. The awesome part about moving to the unified model is that the different shells can then be used via remote desktop, regardless of your device. By the time that the Surface Phone comes out (assuming it ever does), it would be a foolish mistake if it did not run Windows 10 with the Mobile layer on top of it. This does not change anything about the sandbox or other mechanics in play with the mobile OS: those are still going through the same kernel as Windows 10 Mobile. It's just a different view on top of it.
  • The first step in fixing any problem is acknowledging the problem. This whole "I want less features, 'cause I personally need them" way of thinking will lead WP nowhere but the grave.
    Consumer market is lost, nobody develops UWP apps for Windows Mobile, because the ability to run apps on all windows devices is not convincing enough. If you want to make a phone app meant for phones you won't care if it'll run on desktops or not, because you're targeting phones (that have market share)!
      Going full enterprise is the only solution and Enterprise needs Win32, especially IE11 and Network Drive support. Win32 is not going anywhere for the next 10 years minimum. Developers, IT admins, Artists and PC Gamers all rely on Win32. Having some dumbed-down version of Office is not proof that Win32 is going away. A fully-featured UWP Visual Studio would be. A UWP bios patcher would be. Until then UWP is just a basic API that can hardly do anything and even less so for the enterprise. Lack of Win32 almost killed the Surface brand and only going Full-Windows and Killing Windows RT saved it. The same needs to be done with Windows Mobile.
  • If they can pull off the innovation they did with the Surface and apply that to the Surface Phone, you would have a clear winner. Period. The Surface absolutley destroys all things 'tablet' focused, I would argue that the Surface is in its own superior category, even out performing the Mac books and most non-gaming pc laptops. Apps? Who needs apps? Most apps are a distraction and time wasters at best. 'Oh noes...I needs my Candy Crush or Angry Birds' /sarc
  • apps & personlized
  • I might be wrong, but I think win32 should come to Mobile, if you are right about UWP being the only future it's not going to do much harm if they can also do win32, give people an option to turn it off if they want more security. Point is people think they want win32 even if they don't. Heck I think they should also let it run Android apps where viable. The most important thing is that people buy Windows Mobile capable hardware, if enough people have the devices, developers will make UWP apps and your UWP only future can go ahead anyway if that's what people want.
  • The word is that Surface Phone is going to use Intel chip! Additionally, why not both? A versoin of Surface Phone with full Windows 10 and another with Windwos 10 Mobile, or one phone with option to install either full Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile!
  • As someone who has had HTC Tilt, Motorola Q, Samsung Focus, HTC Titan, Lumia 900, Lumia 1020, and finally Samsung Galaxy S6, the answer to what OS is easy.  It should be Android.  Without apps, a Surface Phone is pointless.  Every reboot of their phone OS has been a massive failure and without apps, calling it a "smart phone" is laughable, it is nothing more than an expensive feature phone. ​I'm not just anti-Microsoft guy.  I have the Surface Pro 4 and love it.  I like Windows 10, but I hate the "Windows" name.  It is tarnished and has been for years.  For goodness sake, change the name to something new.  People, in general, have a negative perception about Windows and perception is reality.      
  • Doesn't matter, both are too buggy and it won't sell.
  • I know some people will agree with this statement: I'm glad this is a serious debate. I was hoping for a future for the surface phone to run on an x64 architecture instead of ARM. I have to re-read this to fully wrap my head around it.
  • Last week a colleague bought a sim card for his tablet as a back up phone for his S7 while the S7 went in for a replacement screen.  IMO using a full Windows device is inevitable, the only thing holding it back is the confidence that a pipeline of phone-sized devices brings consumers.  Windows has always been about backwards compatibility.  Developing custom applications is expensive and the value Windows brings is support for a wide range of hardware and backwards compatibility which allows application investment to be economical.  Continuum can't fulfil its potential unless it supports legacy Windows applications.  Responsive UWP is fine on small form factor devices but if its hooked to a full sized monitor then everything you would expect of a laptop/desktop should be available.  The biggest impediment to this vision of the future is Intel's non-competitive product line for the mobile market, see
  • "We're living in a mobile world, where apps themselves are slowly dying." Huh?  You're saying desktops and applications that run on them are slowly dying?  If that's the case, you are incorrect. Applications for development, graphics, video, audio and more (creation) are what make mobile device consumption applications even possible. People develop on desktops and laptops with a full-featured OS;s with full network connectivity, etc. Producing and creating is all done this way. Mobile is very good for some forms of consumption. However, on the other end of the scale, it's all more powerful machines when it comes to creation and that's not dying.
  • I don't believe in full windows 10 on a phone , screen too small , too much hardware resources needed , price of the phone. Sure , some people would spend 1000 bucks on a phone, but not that many . Better to come up with more options on the 950 like 64 or 128 gig of phone storage , metal casing and so on
  • Samsung is coming agressive with this, and apple just announced a similar feature for the iPhone to be dock and use as a should start to worry
  • Many businesses still rely heavily on win32 apps, so Microsoft bringing this to the Surface phone could be the game changer that Microsoft needs. Imagine having a dual sim device that could be used for work and personal use. You would only need to carry one device in your pocket. When you get to work you simply dock your phone and start working. No need to carry a laptop and two phones. Plus if Microsoft's mobile market share increases, more companies will start developing their apps for the Windows Store. I hope Microsoft do bring this to a revolutionary Surface phone device that takes off like the other Surface devices. I feel like Microsoft needs to hurry up with it though. If they take another two years to release this device it may be another case of too little too late.
  • So if you look at Windows 10 ruuning on a 7inch tablet you can see the possibilities for a full fat windows phone.The way the screen defaults to a full screen start menu in portait mode for example.  I invision a surface phone to be a Windows S, ARM powered device with an advanced version of contiuum powering its desktop capabilities. As a stand alone device the phone runs in a portrait mode but when connected to a desktop dock or just via the connect app it powers a full windows experience.  Many of the features you see emerging in Win10 are essential to it. The new control panel, the action centre improvements, even the addition of eSims and hotspotting. There are clear signs that the OS is being made mobile ready. They just need a good piece of hardware that will tempt commercial users