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Microsoft and the duo user Part III: Windows 10 is for everything you do

Many industry watchers take issue with the lack of explicit dialogue about the progress of Windows on mobile phone. To grasp Microsoft's advances in mobile, however, it is imperative that we evaluate the entire Windows 10 and Microsoft ecosystem strategy of which mobile is a single component. Things have changed. Simply put, Windows is Windows. So as the entire duo user-focused ecosystem matures and develops so does its mobile component toward that same duo user end.

With Windows as a service Microsoft is developing Windows 10, for everyone, for every personal computing device everywhere.

Windows is everywhere

If you're one of the 7 billion people on planet Earth, there's a good chance you've used Windows in some form. Microsoft's globe-hopping OS is part of virtually everything we do both professionally and personally. If you have a PC in your home, there's a 90% chance it runs Windows. The same applies if you use a PC at work. Many ATMs and other embedded devices run Windows. The OS is the underlying system, often unseen to us, that helps make much of the computing world go around.

Large enterprises, small businesses, home offices, and students around the world personal and professional needs are driven by Windows. That said, there's a rumbling in paradise. The advent of smartphone-driven personal computing is chipping away at Redmond's position, and rivals are offering alternatives. Android apps on Chromebooks are an example.

The ecosystems spawned by and constructed around popular mobile platforms like iOS and Android have their appeal to some users and industries. For example, many U.S. schools have chosen Google and Chromebooks, in spite of Microsoft's historical dominance of education. Moreover, the move of consumers' personal computing activity to smartphones has shifted developer's attention from the desktop to the small screen.

The UWP promises a true Windows everywhere experience.

As smartphones have become more powerful and taken on the [form and function of mini-tablets](http:// /smartphones-are-dead-part-i) their use in professional capacities, with developer support, has also increased. These shifts in the personal computing landscape have placed Microsoft and its Windows hegemony on the defensive in some areas. This challenge is no more clearly seen than on the mobile front.

Sadly, Microsoft's mobile efforts, have been a miss more often than a hit in recent years. The Universal Windows Platform, however, brings a unique duo user-focused approach to the field. It promises an authentic Windows everywhere experience from the development to the user experience level with a continuity of professional and personal digital experiences across devices and contexts.

And if we look closely, beyond the status quo and an [app model that has been outgrown](http:// /untold-app-gap-story-part-iv-apps-bots), we may see the makings of a coming hit.

Soul of the machine

Microsoft's ambitious personal computing goals see the firm constructing an unprecedented cohesive and comprehensive A to Z personal computing environment. The entire Microsoft ecosystem — from the intelligent cloud to Cortana, the common core and store to shared experiences across devices and Continuum, and the next frontier of bots and AI — reveal the company's all-encompassing approach to personal computing and the duo user. However, like a spirit without a body, all of Microsoft's software efforts would fall short without hardware optimized for the evolving platform that is receiving so much attention.

Microsoft is building devices optimized for it's ecosystem.

Thus, to complete its duo user approach, Redmond is painstakingly aligning a range of Windows 10 hardware optimized for the software and services of this growing platform. HoloLens, Surface, and phone devices, for instance, are designed to showcase, among other things, the breadth of Windows 10 and universal apps as well as Windows Holographic, Continuum for PC and Continuum for phone respectively. Terry Myerson shared the importance of this software and hardware synergy this way in a recent communication on Microsoft's mobile strategy:

We remain steadfast in our pursuit of innovation across our Windows devices and our services to create new and delightful experiences. Our best work for customers comes from our device, platform, and service combination.

This synergy of device, platform and services is essential not only for first-party devices but partner devices as well. Microsoft's decades of success serving the duo user has always been tied to its depth and breadth of partnerships. OEM partners have always been an intimate part of Redmond's strategy for personal computing. This dependency on partners has not changed. In fact, Microsoft has strategically pulled first-party phone hardware from certain markets and the Lumia-saturated low-end. Microsoft is betting on OEMs embracing the company's duo user platform of software and services and implementing them on Microsoft-inspired phone hardware positioned to fill this void.

All in this together

While we wait for this anticipated uptake in manufacturing partner support and a category-defining first-party phone, the Windows phone user base is taking a calculated hit. Windows phone enthusiasts have grown weary, and justifiably so, with Microsoft's slow trek back to the phone consumer as the company has once again reset itself and its near-term mobile ambitions. This time, however, they're not simply repositioning another mobile OS to rival competing mobile OSes. Microsoft is actually positioning the combined weight of an all-encompassing unified platform against the individual personal computing platforms of its rivals.

Microsoft isn't positioning just another mobile OS to compete with rivals.

Though still maturing, the goal of Windows 10 will see the continuity and unity of Windows 10 across form-factors bring the synergy of the ecosystem to each device the platform supports. With the Universal Windows Platform and one core across all platforms, Microsoft has achieved what no other company has.

The development of the platform that powers the range of Windows 10 devices must be viewed differently than one sees the development of a single mobile OS such as iOS or Android. This is also true of how we see how the company markets components of the platform. With the paradigm shift to a unified core, Microsoft's aggressive push of the platform carries with it the Windows 10 devices it supports. The platform, and all of the devices it supports is always evolving and moving forward together.

Different pace, same current

What often challenges our perception of this unprecedented unified ecosystem's evolution is that some devices and the OS on certain devices are at different stages in their development. This asynchronous development is compounded by the fact that certain devices and certain implementations of the OS are at varying positions in relation to their timelines regarding consumer and enterprise goals. This difference should not cloud our vision of the unified nature and goals of the platform, however. (Though admittedly there have been hiccups in the process.)

The Universal Platform and the devices it supports are moving forward together.

Despite the varying degrees of development of the components of the platform, the picture above gives an effective representation of the all-encompassing interconnected duo user ecosystem that Microsoft is developing. If Microsoft is successful with ultimately syncing the maturity of the OS across all devices and getting developers on board with making apps for all platforms, it will become clearer that Microsoft's mobile efforts do not rest in "Windows on phone" in the traditional sense.

In fact, it is clear that from the development to the user experience level, Windows 10's uniformity and synergy across devices potentially changes the game for each personal computing device upon which it is represented. Each Windows 10 device will benefit from the strengths of the others within the ecosystem.

Windows 10 is for personal computing beyond the desktop

Microsoft is going hard with Windows 10. Windows is already everywhere, But it's in so many more diverse forms — no longer are we talking about desktop PCs, but personal computers as holographic headsets like HoloLens, gaming consoles such as Xbox, 2-in-1 tablets like the Surface, smartphones and whatever the anticipated category-defining ultra-mobile PC the Surface Phone will be, are the new personal computers.

Windows has always been for everyone and for everything we do.

Windows has always been for everyone and for everything we do. In this current age of the mobility of experiences we are doing more personally and professionally on more types of devices. Microsoft is attempting to meet this challenge. The company's unified platform and supported category of devices is meant to ensure that Windows remains the OS for everyone, everywhere and for all that we do personally and professionally. However, the landscape is far more challenging than when desktop PCs ruled the space.

Microsoft recently revised a projection that the company would see one billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018. Redmond blamed the "focusing" of its hardware phone efforts for this shortfall. If Microsoft is to achieve its Windows everywhere goal Windows 10, the key to the UWP, must reach widespread adoption. At 350 million installs in less than a year, there's no denying that the numbers are impressive, even if not up to Microsoft's lofty expecations. But with the free upgrade coming to an end, the question is what will drive adoption of Windows 10 after the deadline. Windows 10 is, for most people, the primary direct portal into Microsoft's broader Windows ecosystem of devices and services.

Microsoft is positioning Windows for every personal computing environment.

Can Microsoft leverage its legacy and position its comprehensive Universal Windows Platform, category-defining Windows 10 devices and manufacturing partner relationships to win users to Windows? Time will tell. But that doesn't stop us from hashing it out? Sound off in comments and on Twitter and tell us what you think!

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

79 Comments
  • As always thanks for reading folks! Microsoft's unified view of the "person" allows them to target the duo user in each of us. Thier huge platform of software and services and established infrastructure and now a range of first-party devices really positions them to reach the enterprise and consumer. Will thier duo user core philosophy be executed to success? Time will tell. In the meantime LETS TALK!!!
  • Great article - I think it will work, the distinctions' between enterprise and consumer are slowly being washed away. Consumer want to get productive and want the best tools for that, making Microsoft a sure winner in the productivity field. Though it will take time, consumer space will be disrupted again,
  • Can we get a wallpaper version of the ninja cat, t-rex, etc. image?
  • Dude, THANK YOU...I'm constantly saying that but adding the extra for emphasis Windows is Windows is Windows. ;p
  • What's a "duo user?" Id like to know what you mean for sure. And.... Great article.
  • you should read Part II
  • Wonderfully written article even if the thesis is fantastical and mythical at best.
    ..
    I was reading some garbage on the Verge...OMG, the nauseating Apple fanboyism was so overpowering against android and windows...lets not act like that ourselves.
    ..
    EDIT: I was disappointed to not achieve 100 down votes yesterday. PLEASE down vote me to hell...or do we not have even 100 participants on WC?
  • As though its any different from the Microsoft fanboyism on this site.
  • That tis my point....
  • I like tacos
  • God, I'm hungry right now...
  • 100% agree.  
  • I see a lot of anti-Microsoft fanboys here, you CATFISH, vhyr, and every one of you who agree with each other in your little circle jerk.
  • Not as bad as the MASSIVE microshaft circle jerk here.....blind MS fanboys.  
  • that little circle jerk is probably one of the most vocal circle jerks I've known....blind MS haters
  • You're acting as though there are 100 Lumia owners in the world! XD Posted from my Note5
  • last count I think was 15.....
  • Just not 100 who give a spit about your post.
  • Who are you talking to? Please say its me for I have some ban worthy words for you.
  • Can't put 2 & 2 2gether?
  • Someone check on the Chode. I can't find him in the Burns Unit.
  • His retorts were about as witty as a 7th-grader being fed lines by his older sister.
  • I see...
  • It is in Antarctica.
  • This guy writes more about Windows 10 in a day than I did my total essay / thesis assignment load all through high school and college.
  • And still gets a C+, the plus is for effort, the C for content. Posted from my Note5
  • The difference is you had to use authoritative sources. His is mythical BS.
  • there is a difference between optimism and mythical, you dense
  • There's a difference between delusion and reality, u dens m8? Posted from my Note5
  • there is a difference between optimist foresight and delusion, you dense
  • Hi @sunstorming, the site IS named WINDOWS Central after all.:-) Still your exaggeration is extreme in that I write about Windows, Bots, Cortana, Phone, overall MS strategy etc. Thanks for visiting *Windows* Central! :-) See you next piece. Hint, it's not ABOUT Windows...though Windows will be mentioned throughout :-)
  • Another tale on how Microsoft will somehow "win" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They've been trying at mobile for 6 years now and no one will argue that they haven't failed miserably. Maybe its time to just watch and see what the market does instead of making fantastical predictions that so far have never been correct.
  • Like the Germans in 1945 (WW2) - were gonna win with this secret weapon...
  • With the difference that the Germans were actually closer to get the "secret weapon" (aka the atomic bomb) than Microsoft is of managing to make any dent at all in the mobile market.
  • Once again.  100% agree.  The germans were close...Microsoft is not in the same city let alone ball park!
  • Actually Germany was far into advanced research to use stealth fighters, and had plans to deploy them before the Allies launched Operation Overlord. If the German's had gotten the steath planes out beyond the testing stages then Britian would have been finished, and the long term plans was for a bigger version to be able to fly to New York to drop bombs, preferably the Atomic Bomb but anything would do.  Those planes and plans was captured during Operation Paperclip at the end of WW II and led to the advances in American stealth planes and those designs are direct descendents of the Horten 2-29. Just a bit of historical background, the Atomic Bomb had been set back years due to commando and partisan raids, notably the 12 Norwegians who put so much on the line to stop the German production of Heavy Water aka the Telemark heroes in '43. To be honest, the the threat of a German bomb is heavily blown out of proportion in regards to historical records by people's fear of it. Germany had far more dangerous weapons that proved effective such as the V series.
  • Blackberry has some nice security features, wen in Windows mobile? http://blogs.blackberry.com/2016/07/blackberrys-android-devices-such-as-...
  • HP X3 and Windows Phone/Mobile has had many of those features from day one. One of the reasons why it's so hard to root Windows devices is because of Secure Boot and all Wndows mobile devices have a TPM module, the same type of module found in commercial PCs that enables Bitlocker encryption and can be managed by MDM or AD software. Windows 10 is probably the most secure OS on the planet at present, it's not perfect but it's had years of battle hardening that few OS's have had by hackers, security researchers and so on. 
  • I think W10M uses fTPM that is provided by Snapdragon SoC.
  • Win or not, I'm using a 950xl that is awesome.... So I'll argue that they have succeeded in putting a good product out there.
  • Back in my day, we were fanatic about products, not corporations. Microsoft this Microsoft that, why should I care about Microsoft winning or losing unless their products provide any additional value for a consumer like me? Just because they're Microsoft. And??? This site is turning into Applesque-like propaganda. We must bow down to Microsoft because competition is evil and we are the good guys. I miss the WPCentral times.
  • MS just released another new app for iPhone. Microsoft Pix. Shows where their priorities are.
  • MS gives priority to chasing the profit rather than satisfying the deluded MS and WinMobile fanbase. SHOCKER!
  • wait.....what?? I see more Anti MS comments than I ever have before....you are reading too much into the positivity that some (myself included) feel for Microsoft products. 
  • Is it bad, that I trust in a company, that provided the best user experience on all of my devices? And is it bad, that I don't trust another, that lives from ad revenue, and its users personal data, and became big thanks to it? (For the weaker, the first is MS, and the second is google) And Apple products are just overpriced, and cost too much considering what they can do, so that's why I don't like them :D
  • "And Apple products are just overpriced, and cost too much considering what they can do, so that's why I don't like them :D "  Using this logic,  then the 50 dollar windows phones are overpriced too considering what they can do!  
  • Much more? :D
  • That's a very insightful comment. Google is cursed to be converted into a telecomm company (Cable based Internet services for ex.) and a Big content provider (like a TV channel with youtube). Google search monopoly needs to end and Google needs to start building better hardware if they want to compete with Microsoft.  99% of Google's revenue comes from companies paying Google for ad services, rest 1% comes from hardware, app sales, enterprise services. Microsoft on the other side has revenue coming from too many departements (software subscriptions from Office 365, cloud enterprise services, hardware, gaming, Skype and search services (Bing).  That's why I like Microsoft much more than Google.
  • Google search monopoly needs to end Dude, were you born in the 2000s? Microsoft had the biggest monopoly the tech industry has ever seen for the past 20 years and has a terrible track record of strangling competitors and locking down technologies to proprietary standards. If that's your reason to like Microsoft more than Google, I've got bad news for you. These corporations care about their profit, not you. They only care about you to the extent that keeping you satisfied makes them profit more or keep a marketshare, which is the whole point of my original comment and why I find these Microsoft propaganda WC articles pointless. I still cringe whenever I remember the one titled "Google wants our children".      
  • At least Microsoft doesn't live from my personal data. Google doesn't care about satisfying consumers, like me. They only care about satisfying the companies that pay them to advertise their products and services, and they're using the data collected from consumers to do so... Not a good method at all, if you ask me... :D
  • Yes it is bad that you trust ANY company, specially from the US, given latest scandals of the past couple years. Microsoft is implicated in providing backdoors for NSA to spy on individuals and European governments alike, they're hardly any more trustworthy than Google.
    At some point it looks like people stopped caring about discussing products, services, features and instead are much more concerned if XYZ company is better than another. These companies don't even need to invest so heavily in PR anymore, just have some tech blogs writing propaganda in exchange for web traffic and pageviews, brainwash the most gullible and then watch as the sheeple defend their corporative overlords. I thought this was exclusive to iFans, but the virus seens to be spreading.
  • Really? I mean, really bro??? If a company makes products and services that I use and love, and they satisfy my needs better than others, they're more likely to do this in the future as well, not like companies that just don't do so. And who cares about the NSA, or our government here in Hungary? They can watch me all day if they want to. My life is not that interesting at all, so I guess they'll get bored from it shortly :D But collecting data from me to throw ads in my face, is a fully different story... :D
  • I'm always amazed at the simplified opinions of complex technology some people share here. Love my 950XL and the entire Microsoft ecosystem. Yep, I'm a fangirl.
  • Look, the"Windows is Windows" argument doesn't hold because it doesn't irk if you reverse it. You cannot right now do what you need to do or can already do with other operating systems on mobile. If Windows were Windows, period, then that would apply backwards and imply that you can't do what you need on Windows. Mobile is different, and Windows isn't cutting it there right now. We lost too many of the unique features from WP8.
  • #makeMicrosoftGreatAgain :P
  • #WindowsPhonesMatter
  • First job in MakingMicrosoftGreatAgain,  is get rid of that asshat CEO.  number one.  and all of his lackys  too!
  • #BringBackBallmer
  •  
    What often challenges our perception of this unprecedented unified ecosystem's evolution is that some devices and the OS on certain devices are at different stages in their development.  This asynchronous development is compounded by the fact that certain devices and certain implementations of the OS are at varying positions in relation to their timelines regarding consumer and enterprise goals.  This difference should not cloud our vision of the unified nature and goals of the platform, however. (Though admittedly there have been hiccups in the process.)
    Why shouldn't this cloud our vision of the unified nature and goals of the platform?  The reality is that the experience isn't unified across the platform.  
  • Agreed. If I have am open tab in Edge on my PC, it should be open or a reminder of it on my phone or tablet.
  • This! IE on Windows 8.1 and WP 8.1 did that. Was a great feature. Maybe it comes back one day... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Seriously, it's definitely hard to see it as one platform after spending 5 minutes filling in web forms in Edge mobile.
  • It's true, i believe microsoft vision unified accross the platform are good, since windows 10 launched, more and more uwp come, and i use it in my both windows 10 pc and mobile, it was very cool, now my windows 10 pc felt like my phone or VV, because that UWP, i just wanna wait and see more uwp come, it will be awesome.
  • The vision is great, I hope AU brings it much closer.
  • Without a quality mobile option MS is screwed. Bottom line is that people want their devices to do everything they need and talk to one another. MS is coming from behind on both fronts and no one would be suprised when they essentially have <1% of the mobile market and their PC dominance continues to slide. macOS will continue to hold and might possibly increase but MS needs to be worried about Chrome OS with Android app integration. They really need to worry about that. Most ppl don't care about Windows at all and they will jump to Chrome OS because it is cheap, works better with their phone, and has ALL the apps THEY need. Windows could be relegated to professional work only.
  • The cloud makes devices integrated no matter the platform. That really isn't an issue anymore. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I think you'll find they do. TPM modules were introduced from wp8 onwards. It was part of MS' focus points for enterprise.
  • Forgot to mention that the developer experience goes beyond Windows to iOs and Android seamlessly with Xamarin. To continue with the cloud services plenty of apps need to do their thing, no-one is as comprehensive as the Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, including its Artificial Intelligence and Bot services.
    There will be a big shift of developer shops adopting this environment to target all of Windows, iOs and Android.
    To continue, as Windows (phone) lovers it may not make us happy, but the strategy to lure plenty iOS and Android users into the Microsoft ecosystem with premium apps is a sound one, as the next step is those users wanting a Windows Continuum device for all their computing needs.
  • From my perspective (as a developer of a Windows desktop application), a huge challenge here that I don't see talked about much is making UWP a complete and rich platform for desktop applications.  It's pretty lame as a desktop app framework is concerned.  It's not in the same zip code as WPF.  Microsoft Edge, the poster child of UWP apps, is very weak user-interface-wise on the desktop.  It's the reason I don't use Edge.  UWP will not succeed if it is least-common-denominator, and right now, that's exactly what it is.
  • That is a weak statement. I mean the Office Mobile apps are the poster childs for the UWP platform. There are many more including some high end games running within the UWP platform. Its boundires are strickter yes, and that you may miss from the WPF times. But from user perspective this was overdue, we needed to be able to trust that an application only does what I want it to do when I install it. So those boundries are the best thing that ever happend to the Windows platform. Those boundries is what is going to compell the enterprise to allow people to install apps on their work pc's instead of those locked down machines people have been forced to use (when the IT boys finally get this that is). I understand that in your job it would be nice if you could just take what you have and make it UWP compatible without to much change, and if your WPF uses a lot of neat tricks from the WIndows platform that those boundries do not allow any more I understand that it feels cumbersome to even start with this process. But in the long term its the same switch we had to make from the processor depended code to the independend version. At first it hurts but now every app that does not run on 32bit vs 64 bit is considered old junk. So that will happen with the UWP transition also.    
  • What I see here in the mobile platform war is the instant need of satisfaction. All comments that are anti Microsoft here are all focussed on the fact that the Windows 10 eco system is not done yet. These people feel that the transition must come overnight. So I think they wanted to hang on to Windows Mobile 6.5 for a couple of more years or to windows 7, and only when the entire system is done it should be launched and show the world the power in one blow that wipes away the competition. Its lacking any sense of reality. Its true in a sense that Apple and Google build these new and compelling OS's without transitions, you know that is because they had no previous user base to please. Microsoft wanted/needed to try to do this transition without hurting their users. Well I agree they failed on that part, but its a case of soft medicine makes stinking wounds (is that an expresion in English?), they should have bitten the bullet sooner. But it is simplistic to think they could have done it all sooner. The work to rebuild a platform from scratch without loosing backwards compatibility is staggering, it resembles building a new appartment building on the exact spot as on old one without trying to hinder the people that live there (in the old one), and I am not talking about remoddeling, a full rebuild from foundation to the roof. That is what Microsoft has been doing these past years. They are just the first of the big software companies that needed to do this, their portofolio of OS's was getting huge, even they did not have the man power to give each OS the attention it needed. That resulted in slow updates for Windows Mobile and later Windows Phone, the Windows embedded was way behind at that time. The biggest win for Google was the speed they were improving their OS with, people just loved that. And Windows Mobile was always behind, and again. Now once they have completed this transition (Xbox being the last of their seperated device families to being integrated, hopefully fully this summer) they can have a much more focussed development on improving and enhancing the Windows 10 platform. Now they are still stretched thin due to the integration effords. Even though the Windows Mobile platform is lacking a good user base at this time the speed of improvements is now impressive, this is since the integration onto the Windows 10 platform. It rivals the speed Google has, and that is without the full focus yet, since they are also still integrating, and without the focus on mobile itself. All the improvements we are seeing are inherited from the Windows 10 improvements in general. So our mobile phones are much, unlike Blackberry's before their switch to Android, being improvement upon with a speed that the Windows Mobile never had before. But this does not mean that the consumer will come back, also true. But that is why there is still love for the Windows platform on mobile phones even though there are points of attention still. And those commenters that just wish to cast me into the fanboy corner can do so. But I am fan of my platform because of the above, not because of hate for your platform. I do not go to Android sites are rant about Google or Android nor at Apple sites. I stick to my platform because of the strength that I see in it, and I do not mind being part of that transition, I am an old guy now (I realized that some days ago) and I have patience as long as I see the change happening, I would not have waited for this transtion to be completed without any in bet