Microsoft and the duo user Part IV: Microsoft's targeting consumers with Continuum

As we've seen in Parts I through III of this series Microsoft's duo user business philosophy is at the core of all that the firm does. In Part I we saw that the company's duo user approach is paving a path for Redmond's return to the consumer smartphone space. This return will presumably be in the form of an ecosystem supported ultra-mobile PC. In Part II we talked about Microsoft's duo user platform of tools and services being positioned for consumers while also targeting the enterprise, thus having a duo appeal.

Microsoft's duo user strategy is in all the firm does.

In Part III we saw how Microsoft is working to maintain its historic position with Windows as a de facto platform for personal and professional productivity. Microsoft intends to accomplish this by bringing the Unified Windows 10 Platform and the company's infrastructure of partnerships to the variety of personal computing devices we use today. That is, beyond the desktop PC where the firm enjoyed decades-long dominance of personal computing before the age of the Internet, the smartphone and other personal computing platforms.

Microsoft's duo user approach is the means by which the firm provides a professional and personal computing ecosystem that serves the total individual. By way of a large software and services ecosystem and context-sensitive devices unified by a single Windows 10 platform, Microsoft is seeking to meet modern professional and personal computing needs. Satya Nadella said it this way{.nofollow}:

We will think of every user as a potential "dual user" – people who will use technology for their work or school and also deeply use it in their personal digital life.

Microsoft's software and services also, as we know, have great cross-platform appeal and reach. However, there are unique benefits inherent within the Windows ecosystem that can only be experienced on Windows 10 devices. Continuum, Microsoft's Windows feature that allows the OS and apps to conform to the context of Windows 10 hardware based on a user's needs, is Microsoft's key differentiator. And contrary to popular opinion the business sector is not Microsoft's sole target for Continuum.

Continuum is aimed at businesses and consumers.

Redmond is positioning Continuum, as it is its entire ecosystem, for the duo user, users with professional and personal productivity needs. Frankly speaking, that's pretty much all of us. So believe it or not, though it's still early in the game, Microsoft is building out Continuum for you.

Thinking outside of the enterprise box

Microsoft built Windows 10 to be a far-reaching OS designed for a range of devices with the goal of being the ideal platform for personal and professional productivity. As such it carries with it a range of inherent features that equip the system toward that end. More to the point, Windows is the means by which Microsoft delivers its key differentiator, Continuum, to hardware.

Continuum provides users with the ability to transition hardware such as 2-in-1s and "phones" between personal and professional scenarios. Currently, no other platform offers in scope and depth what Microsoft does with Continuum on phone. Nadella articulated it this way: "I'm not trying to be another phone guy with the other person's rules. What is unique about our phones is this Continuum feature."

What is unique about our phones is this Continuum feature.

Many users and readers have negatively commented on Continuum at this very early stage in its implementation. Microsoft, however, sees it as an evolving and major factor in how it will deliver on its dual user personal computing goals in the very near future. Nadella expressed:

If anything, we will want to continue to build that capability out…Just like how with Surface we were able to create a category. Three years ago most people would have said, "What is a two-in-one?" And now even Apple has a two-in-one. And so three years from now, I hope that people will look and say, "Oh wow, that's right, this is a phone that can also be a PC."

Nadella's statement above makes very clear that Continuum-powered phones, like the Surface, are meant to be a category creating device that appeals to the masses, not just the enterprise. Nadella furthers this point, by sharing how he sees emerging markets, (that will ideally be targeted by Microsoft partners), as an ideal target for Continuum enabled phones.

Take emerging markets. India for sure is a mobile-first country. But I don't think it will be a mobile-only country for all time. An emerging market will have more computing in their lives, not less computing, as there is more GDP and there is more need. As they grow, they will also want computers that grow from their phone. What's the most logical thing? I would claim it's a Continuum phone, which means that it can have other forms of input beyond touch.

With Microsoft's withdrawal from emerging markets like India and Brazil, the attainment of this goal will rest heavily on the participation of Redmond's manufacturing partners. Still, it makes clear the assertion that Microsoft has not lost sight of consumers. Continuum is both a professional, and in Microsoft's view of where personal computing is headed, consumer-facing Windows 10 feature.

Continuum's path to the mainstream


logo (Image credit: Microsoft)

Admittedly we may be a couple of years away from a practical wide-spread and mainstream implementation of the necessary infrastructure to sustain Continuum. That said, a keen eye, a little vision and a bit of creative imagination may help those people who are stuck on the "Continuum just isn't practical" hump, to see a bit further than "Continuum" today. Imagination and innovation, after all, is what brought us the breakthrough technological advances many of us take for granted today.

Continuum is a professional and consumer facing Windows 10 feature.

If we look closely we can see, even in developed regions, the elements of the infrastructure necessary to support Continuum coming into play. With the Connect feature coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Continuum enabled "phones" will be able to connect to any Windows 10 desktop PC, laptop or 2-in-1 and I imagine even, as a wearable Windows 10 PC, HoloLens.

Moreover, Microsoft will be introducing a new Windows 10 living room-destined Surface All-in-One into the mix. Additionally, the Surface Hub at a cost from $8,999 to $21,999 has even seen above expected demand.

This range of Windows 10 devices and the goal of moving the bulk of the 1.5 billion PC install base to Windows 10, unveils an evolving ecosystem of Windows 10 PCs (of varying forms and diverse locations) as potential "dumb" terminals for a Continuum-enabled phone.

Dumb terminals everywhere

Using your "phone" as a secure PC, connected to any Windows 10 PC anywhere, reveals a practical and efficient infrastructure for this much maligned Windows 10 Mobile feature.

Connect allows Continuum-enabled phones to use Windows 10 PCs as secure dumb terminals.

Many skeptics have voiced what they perceived to be physical limitations of Continuum by stressing, sometimes sarcastically, a requirement to carry a monitor, keyboard and mouse in order to benefit from the feature. With Microsoft's goal of turning nearly one billion Windows PCs in library's, homes, businesses, schools, hotels, everywhere, into "dumb terminals" for Windows "phones" through Connect, a much broader, pervasive and practical strategy emerges.

I can envision users using Continuum on a friends living-room-positioned Surface All-in-One, or Surface-like 2-in-1, or in a library, school or at a "touch down" space in a business office and more. Joe Belfiore shared this vision (opens in new tab) of Continuum:

With Continuum for phones we believe any screen can be your PC. Imagine that your company has a touchdown space where anyone can connect their tablet, or their phone, to keyboards mice and screens and then use their apps with their data and the full power of a keyboard and mouse, or imagine you're on vacation and your hotel room can become a theater where you connect your phone to the screen, you let your kids watch a movie, while you use the second screen to catch up on your email. Imagine the effect this can have on mobile-first countries, where individuals could be as productive with the phone that they're buying if they can't buy a full PC.

Of course, this more "ambient" infrastructure of Windows 10 PCs with Connect, touchdown spaces in company locations and monitors in diverse locations is also complemented by the direct packaging of peripherals, by the likes of traditional PC manufacturers who are embracing Windows phone. HP's packaging of the Lap Dock for the Elite x3 and the inclusion of a keyboard and mouse with Acer's Jade Primo help to support the Continuum experience.

Secure is as secure does

There are many scenarios where a desktop experience is preferable to that of a smartphone's. However, users are often reluctant to input their credentials such as passwords on a public PC or someone else's computer.

A continuum enabled phone which allows a secure connection to a Windows 10 PC while keeping the session in the trusted environment of the user's phone is the solution to such a scenario. Microsoft's Liz Threlkeld demonstrates this point at BUILD 2016 as seen beginning at the 6:34 mark in the video below:.

Moreover, though much our digital information is in the Cloud, many users keep files and documents on their smartphones as well. And of course certain apps on the smartphone may contain unique or personal information accessible only through that app. Carrying sensitive information in these "pocket PCs," we call phones is becoming the norm. Accessing and manipulating it in the less than ideal 5-inch, finger-navigated context of the cell phone is also a "less than efficient" common occurrence. Sometimes a desktop is simply better. This scenario where data is local to the device but a desktop experience is preferable is also an example where Continuum is useful. Of course, a secure connection to a Windows 10 PC via Connect, is of little comfort if the "phone" itself is not secure.

Windows 10 Mobile is designed for security.

As our smartphones have become the primary portal to our personal and sensitive digital experiences security is becoming more of a central theme. With virus concerns on Android phones and compromised iCloud accounts the smartphone using population has a growing awareness and concern for mobile security. Windows 10 Mobile is designed for security. Microsoft's attention to and growing reputation in security due in part to its enterprise-focused mobile efforts are equipping the Windows 10 Mobile platform with the necessary protections that the duo user will and does demand. Chris Capossela said it this way:

We know business customers want a very, very secure phone that's incredibly good at calendar management, at e-mail, at productivity, and Skype for Business, et cetera…

Microsoft is aware that the smartphone-as-a-hub for personal computing phenomenon has created a greater need for mobile security. A careful review of the company's communications regarding the firm's goals for enterprise customers reveals Microsoft's acknowledgment that consumers also want highly secure phones:

We'll continue to adapt Windows 10 for small screens. We'll continue to invest in key areas – security, management, and Continuum capabilities – that we know are important to commercial accounts and to consumers who want greater productivity.

It is important to note here that Microsoft's vision for productivity "goes well beyond documents, spreadsheets and slides", Per Nadella. He continues with:

We will reinvent productivity for people who are swimming in a growing sea of devices, apps, data and social networks. We will build the solutions that address the productivity needs of groups and entire organizations as well as individuals by putting them at the center of their computing experiences. We will shift the meaning of productivity beyond solely producing something to include empowering people with new insights.

It is evident from the above statements that Microsoft is targeting both businesses and consumers with a secure, Continuum-powered mobile experience in line with its duo user philosophy for professional and personal productivity.

Path to success

As we shared in part one, Microsoft's path back to the smartphone consumer will be a slow, methodic trek through the enterprise, the broader Windows 10 ecosystem and manufacturing partners. The trek through the enterprise will, in my estimation, help the company build a strategically favorable reputation for security as it executes its duo user strategy. As consumer's digital experiences continue their mobile evolution, a platform "known for security" (such as the position Blackberry once occupied) may give Microsoft's Continuum-powered devices greater mass appeal.

Naturally, as the infrastructure, ecosystem and technology mature, Continuum-enabled first-party and partner "phones" that can become a PC, may hold great appeal to the duo user. These devices will be supported by Microsoft's respected ecosystem of software, services and the collective weight and synergy of the Windows 10 platform.

Microsoft's OEM partners are key to bringing Continuum-powered phones to the masses.

Furthermore, as a platform company, Microsoft's Bot Framework, a platform play for the next generation of intelligent apps and Windows as an app development platform with Xamarin may be the answer to the app problem, that is likely on your minds. Moreover, with Microsoft's withdrawal from various markets and their execution of the Surface strategy partnerships, a forte for the company in the PC space, are increasingly critical.

We've heard repeatedly in recent months that Microsoft has given up on the consumer and has retreated to the enterprise. This assertion is only superficially true as first-party phone hardware is not currently, during retrenchment, being aggressively marketed to consumers. The software that is at the core of Microsoft's duo-user approach and the full range of Windows 10, however, is designed for and continually evolving toward the duo -professional and personal - user.

The range of hardware designed to complement that software core and to inspire OEM partners, including phone, is doing the same. Additionally, whereas Microsoft has, during its retrenchment, focused phone hardware toward the enterprise and Windows fans, manufacturing partners are in no wise bound by those constraints.

This can work

As we see Microsoft's duo user strategy for Continuum unfolding, we can't help but envision possible marketing opportunities Redmond or partners may embrace for Continuum-enabled "phones." As I have consistently asserted I believe that Microsoft will be positioning the anticipated "Surface Phone" as an ultra-mobile PC positioned on the third tier of the Surface line. As the Surface Book is a laptop and digital clipboard and the Surface is a tablet and a laptop, the Surface phone will be an ink-focused digital notepad, that can become your PC via Continuum and replace your tablet.

Each of these devices, as seen in the Surface's success in inspiring an industry embrace of 2-in-1s, is meant to be aspirational. As such I can envision OEM partners, including traditional PC partners, embracing this "new type of PC" and marketing it to various sectors based on the OEMs strengths. Students on shoe-string budgets who need a PC and a phone may be a targeted demographic for a Continuum powered "phone" or "ultramobile PC", for instance.

Also since Continuum is a platform-wide feature of Windows 10, third-party accessory support, can also be expected. Continuum hubs to help connect Windows phones to a monitor or laptop-like docks, akin to HP's Elite x3's peripheral can be anticipated accessories to build the support infrastructure for Continuum.

Is there competition?

Of course, Microsoft is not the only game in town. An Android-based Kickstarter solution called Superbook uses an app to connect an Android smartphone to a mobile laptop-like shell, not unlike HP's Lap Dock to provide a smartphone powered desktop experience. The individual heading this endeavor is an ex-Google employee who reports that Google rejected the idea.

This solution is app based and is not a core attribute of the Android OS like Continuum is to Windows. Nor is the phone able to connect wirelessly or run independently as a second screen when connected.

Finally, the device is limited to connecting to the provided dock, whereas a Windows phone can connect to monitors, proprietary and third-party docks and with the Anniversary Update any Windows 10 PC. Enough said.

Well actually no. At last check, the Superbook Kickstarter campaign had raised $706,129. This figure is well over the $50,000 goal. Somebody wants this to happen. And given that Android is the dominant mobile personal computing platform who knows where this, or a similar solution may lead.

This point leads us briefly to Google. Mountain View has recently brought Android apps to Chromebooks. Is a Continuum-like solution in the works? Food for thought.

Wrap Up

For those of you who are still doubting that Microsoft is targeting both the enterprise and consumers with Continuum due to its current and very early implementation and the limited support infrastructure you may see, consider this:

When a child begins learning math in kindergarten and elementary school it is with the anticipation that by the end of 12th grade they will have learned calculous, trigonometry and algebra. An objective observer does not look at that child who may be struggling with basic addition and proclaim that the long-term goal of learning more complex math is out of reach.

The child is just beginning and the basis is just being laid. The same is true of the infrastructure for a Continuum powered "phone." The foundation of a world permeated with Windows 10 "dumb terminals" is upon us. Partners who will include peripherals with their Windows 10 phones are here and third party accessory support, such as the NexDock lapdock, is within view.

This is only the beginning.

It is clear that the duo user professional and consumer strategy Microsoft applies to other aspects of its business is applied to Continuum. Microsoft is targeting consumers, not just enterprise with this Windows 10 platform feature. That said, I'm sure many industry watchers are eager to see what type of first-party Continuum-powered "phone" Microsoft will launch in 2017.

Will the combination of strong software and hardware synergy in a category-defining new "Surface Phone" (ultra-mobile PC) with the support of Microsoft's OEM partners and "Surface phone-inspired" devices help Microsoft gain much-needed market share and developer support? Will Microsoft's duo-user approach pan out? Let's hear your thoughts?

And if you've missed any part of this series what are you waiting for? Catch up here!:

Jason Ward

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!

  • Thanks for reading folks!!! Continuum is without a doubt a core differentiator within Windows devices. The practicality of the platform feature in regards to phone has been frequently debated. I believe Microsoft is aiming this feature to the masses. The foundation is simply being laid now. Once Windows 10 PCs with Connect reach a high enough numbers, "dumb terminals" everywhere will make the prosects of a Continuum enabled phone easier sell. So what are your thoughts? LET'S TALK!!!
  • Continuum is a nice feature for those using a Windows phone. However I don't see in a near future lot of people using it (yet) because of the limited functionality ( you can't run a full software like Photoshop). maybe with the rumored surface phone things Will change a bit if the phone actually Will be capable of that
  • I wouldn't judge the functionality on Photoshop or other niche products. For programmers (like me) and 3d/2d graphics it's still not powerful enough, but most PC users could do fine with the continuum experience and it can only get better. And for photoshop and visualstuido and the like you can always use virtualization (like most enterprises do nowadays).
  • I agree with you. I use it every day and it runs smoothly for me. I was pointing the fact why people around me would not use it. It's nice to read comments from optimistics about windows mobile!
  • I'm not sure Photoshop, if you include the Elements variant, is niche. Niche would be Final Draft for writing screenplays that I'd love to have on my phone for review and with continuum to write anywhere.
  • Niche is any product that is used by less than 1% pc owners to me :)
  • That's fair. I wonder between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements though, if they might get an upgrade. I'm certain that Final Draft will always be niche. :/
  • Well i dont know if continiuum will run .exe apps but MS is laiding more support on the bridge to just bring desktop apps to the store with the nice things store has for all of us like auto update and no registry being left as they claim!!
  • Virtualization is not the answer, we want to run full Windows 10 on our phones or else we can also use an Android or iOS device to connect to windows on the server side using virtualization.  VmWare View, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC apps already does this just fine for Android and iOS.  If the purpose is to get more marketshare, virtualization is not the answer.
  • It's part of the answer. An hybrid solution for now till technology is ready for a full PC in your pocket. Now it's half in your pocket and half virtual.
  • I asked the HP guy that did the x3 AMA last week about Continuum/virtualization/photoshop or other heavy program, he said he won't try it.
  • As u elaborated the fact one billion target ! When seen from the perspective as explained that you can connect wherever whenever !! That's really something amazing if seen from that perspective but hidden to we people cause we seek out immediate happening events !! Microsoft backing off , lack of line currently we point out that they are withdrawing but they are taking the bigger route !! Revamping the PC line , unifying it and making way for winphones instead of boasting and thrwing in cheap devices by own as microsoft is software company and nadelaa wants it to be :)
  • A lot of people aren't prosumers, so I don't think it'll be as much of an issue as you're making it out to be as far as mass adoption.
  • Or, more likely, they'll develop a better version for Android or just plain abandon it altogether citing "poor uptake."
  • Looks like you get up earlier then DJCBS, Adams, Scuba Dog and the other ass hats...
  • Pot, meet kettle.
  • huh?
  • Please by all means call me an ass hat to my face.  That would be entertainment.  
  • Let me know where you are... Ill head on over...
  • Your smart,  should should be able to figure it out...
  • Considering how much MS is on its own OS it is obvious you are wrong.
  • Sure they will appreciate your support. Try and look past the doom and gloom. Oh hang on, you must be an OS emo. Oh, hang on again, emo's get depressed about everything, can't place you there either....
  • Great article. I can see how Continuum will change the corporate landscape - it just needs the app support to do so. We often discuss and want a Surface Phone that will run x86 applications and despite hardware limitations that make that possibility difficult, I believe that will be the hardware that will have corporate adoption. Even now, I'm integrating Continuum with my day-to-day work and it works fairly well. When my office adopts mobile hardware and actually try to help integrate it, efficency will be increased and hardware costs will go down. Looking forward to it.
  • I'm straight to the point.
    Will Older Lumia(535,545,640 etc.) users use Continuum on their phone?
  • Ain't gonna happen. Hardware cant handle it.
  • Alas!
    I'm not willing to buy a new phone.
  • The Snapdragon 200 inside the 535 can't even handle the process of making a video into slowmo (or maybe it is a software problem, but I guess you know what I'm saying). So enabling continuum on it would be a horrible experience. Other than that, it also lacks a USB-C port, that is essential for continuum, because USB 2.0 just isn't fast enough. Don't get me wrong, the 535 is an awesome low end phone for its price, and I love mine as well, but it just simply wasn't made for continuum.
  • Thanks ! I appreciate.
    That's why i wrote Alas!
  • This is where Microsoft is missing the point: users don't care if Continuum works very bad on their phones, they still want to use it on 535, 635, etc. Just like games run in frames on slower PCs. We still play latest games on old hardware even though they run e poorly. But not allowing to do what the users want, it's something that makes Microsoft to fail over and over again. With their old windows you could do whatever the hell you wanted to do with it; now, you can't even disable the updates ffs. This is why android succeded, because it was an open OS. Apple has a closed ecosystem, but they make sure that everything they have, it's great and others don't have and want it.
  • That's it!
    Then what will the non-Continuum users do with this.
    Not all of old Lumia users willing to buy expensive 950 or Continuum compatible phone in future. At least iPhone strategy is a very good till 6. And they added new feature step by step. (But they are getting more expensive)
  • You don't need the port with Miracast.
  • The 535 doesn't even have Miracast :D
  • You get my point.
  • Btw our Superbook works with Windows tablets too ;). You guys just covered it this morning:
  • That's awesome that it works with Surface as well.
  • Hi Andrew. Yep I saw that. Glad you joined the discussion!:-)
  • Actually, they're not. Exhibit A: Verizon Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't understand your Verizon statement. They may be the the largest carrier in the USA but they are not worldwide. The way I see it, MS appears to be using the Apple lead in to the market. The iPhone 1 was only on AT&T and not on Verizon either and they blew up. The Andriod G1 was originally on T-Mobile in the USA exclusively. I don't think Verizon is a risk taking company which is why they don't want to support Windows 10 Mobile phones at the moment. I would bet however, they will come around when they are the last ones to the party. Sprint in the USA is not a Windows company either, however SoftBank/Lenovo who owns them st put out a Windows 10 Mobile phone with the SoftBank name on it for their network.If I am correct this phone also has continuum built-in. I think world domination maybe better than US donmination (more profitable). Just an observation. Who knows I could be worng in my sight of what is happening in this mobile space.
  • Indeed, you are wrong!
  • Most specifically, Nadella's quote near beginning of the article: "We will think every user..." Now you can parse that two ways: Future Perfect tense meaning it will happen sometime - but it certainly isn't happening in those areas where Verizon is the only carrier, or prevalent carrier.
    - Or -
    Imperative meaning it is happening presently, which it certainly isn't for the same reason. Regarding Verizon: Certainly they are irrelevant outside the US. But it's an identity statement Microsoft is making: We don't care for a large segment of users in one of our most affluent markets. You know, users and purchasers that can afford the Continuum equipment, and have a lot of use cases to utilize it and expand it. Sometimes in business, you have to do things you might not like, or that don't make immediate sense - but you have to do them to prove to yourself and others (your customers and competitors) that you can do it. Until you do, you haven't shown or done anything. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So rather than just use the PC itself you are supposed to project your phone's limited capabilities to it instead? Sounds like a winning feature indeed..... /s
  • @theefman As I point out in the piece, and as I'm sure most people can attest by experience, people are not always comfortable sharing thier credentials on a public or someone else's PC. By using Continuum on the phone, the experience remains I'm the phones environment and is simply projected to the PC, no credentials shared. And to Continuum on phone is only a year old, current capabilities will improve. As one who watches tech, I'm sure you have seen exponential growth in technology, in a short time, which far exceeds its initial implementation. Please revisit my closing analogy of the child in elementary school. Thanks for reading!
  • I think those days are number by the likes of 2 factor security. Trust me Security will be far better before continuum is. Also, if I am not mistaken the one app that would have help continuum day one is remote desktop, yet we had to wait three months to get a version that support continuum and it is today still labelled preview. MS must think that the consumers flock to Google because they like their beta services.
  • Hey I'm a 'McIntosh' too. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I use it quite a bit. I, unlike the shouty brigade and those with far too much of a wait between 'private' time, appreciate that this is in its infancy. I also hazard a guess that that was the reason the 950 / 950xl exist. Over the past few months, I have attended several meetings and used the feature without a hitch. Then again, rather than bad mouth it, I sat and learnt my way around it. I use it in the office as well. It saves me having to move one of my booking staff off of their work station. I have the dock and monitor set up ready to go. A damn site cheaper than another PC. I like it, it works for me, and based on comments from fellow attendees' at meetings, they seem to be monitoring its development closely. Next week, myself and some of the others I have had meetings with are having an HP presentation, including the elite. Hopefully, that device in full flow should help to quash any doubts they may have.
  • Yeah, other than that, my PC and my phone is kinda my "digital home". I know how it works, I know where everything is, and I'm already logged in to all the services I use. So if I can carry that "digital home" with myself everywhere I go, in the form as little as a 5 inch smartphone, and can connect to anything anywhere, so my PC is there, is much more convenient than using someone else's PC, logging in to everything again, searching where the things I need are, and browsing the web in an InPrivate window, maybe in a browser that I don't even use and know. And that's why I'm looking forward to continuum. I like this mobility of experience thing so much :D
    Btw, MS should make an ad campaign with the motto "Windows 10, your home anywhere" or something like that, featuring Windows phones, tablets, laptops, 2in1s, PCs and everything in between :D That would be amazing :D
  • why wouldnt ppl use a pc stick
  • This is the problem. Having a super-portable PC is awesome, but WinTel really blew it by not working hard to push AMD64 into a phone.  If you really could just have a docking station at work and second one at home, that'd be a nice feature for a lot of people. But as it stands, if you're going to be stuck in an ARM world, you might as well use Android.  It can also project to screens and work with a keyboard and mouse...and it has apps.
  • No you are not supposed to, but you can, many houses and offices have PCs but do not have continuum ready equipment so it's a great possibility. I understand you are well known troll but at least you should try harder.
  • Lol!! Beat me to the punch. I am amazed at how some of these trolls make it through the day without being seriously injured through their own ignorance and lack of awareness
  • You can project it to anything. Most new TV's have Miracast capabilities.
  • The issue is that smart TVs don't have a keyboard and mouse.  The article is imagining a world where PCs will act as Miracast receivers (which is a nice feature coming Aug. 2 to many devices, I believe).  However, since the world is going "cloud" you generally don't need your "local" device so if you are already sitting at a PC you might as well just hop onto a browser and head over to OneDrive to do your work.  I do this all the time, and it's a fantastic convenience, but it doesn't require Continuum. If I need local power (say to do some custom software programming or data analysis, etc.) then my phone isn't the right tool for the job. I have definitely enjoyed having Miracast abilities on my L950 and in a nearby smart TV.  But beyond using it to show photos/videos to my family and, occasionally, to stream a movie from Amazon Prime, it really has little application because there is no keyboard present and no apps available. Plainly put: If there is a keyboard somewhere, there is almost certainly already a computer there, too, and then, what's the point of Continuum when you can just use the computer?  To me, it really is hard to imagine this taking off anytime in the foreseeable future without AMD64...and we know that isn't happening.
  • You won't always want or be able to install an app or a game on that pc and if you do, you may have to start the game all over again and in the end, uninstall it. Imagine if you would only want to play for 5 min?
  • I am not arguing that there aren't niche uses.  As I said, I myself have occasionally been glad of Continuum.  But this article seems to suggest that it is a feature to build an ecosystem around, and I just don't see that happening in any remotely near-term frame.  Compared to the number of smartphone users, which in the near-ish future will be approximately "everyone" in the developed world, this will remain a feature of miniscule importance. MS knows this as well as anyone.
  • How many times a week do you insert your pen in another person's pc? Why do you do it? Is that a niche too?
  • The point you make about a smartphone's "power is a bit moot because a lot of consumer get by just fine nowadays with a smartphone as their only computer.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with these articles.. While I love the article for the information it provides, I hate the fact that trolls will awaken to spew their needless, "I hate Windows, Windows Phone is dead" crap... Jason, keep writing them as you see fit and try and ignore the "normal" ass hats that will appear in 3...2...1... Thanks for the info!
  • You're a tad late. The ass hats get up early in the morning and already here. Coming to WC article comments is their daily motivation and livelihood. While I'm not a fan of Android - what with the security, viral, fragmentation issues, I don't bother going to Android Central just to talk smack. Who has time for that? They do, apparently.
  • Who are these ass hats you speak of?
  • These trolls are just insecure about their OS choice. They'll find the time to post nonsensical negative comments about an OS that's supposed to be dead, and an OS that they don't care about. Is it a way to boost up their ego? I can never understand the inferiority complex of these people.
  • Hey there, thanks very much for writing an awesome post regarding continuum. I love this feature on my Lumia 950 XL. I constantly use it and as an insider I've seen it grow (like when I couldn't wake my phone using my physical keyboard; now, I can press the built in power button and type my pin on the keyboard without touching my phone) and the potential is huge. I enjoy its convenience, like when I only took my phone and a small Bluetooth keyboard and Miracast adapter on a trip. Can't wait to see what else will be introduced as well as increasing my already substantial UWP list.
  • All I know is I was skeptical about its first implementation. With anniversry update continuum has improved incredibly. It now works smooth and fast even via BT. Yesterday I watched a 1080p movie with the VLC app over BT on my television with no hiccups while using whats app and the like, I was really surprised about how much they improved it (and "only" with a snapdragon 808). Future looks bright for this technology.
  • I read three paragraphs. Continuum isn't for me. When I need to work I use my laptop. When I want to socialize or communicate my phone. Presentation - projector. Why would I be using Continuum again??? Can someone give me a tl;dr please? PS: Not interested in forking out another $100 for a novelty item to hook my phone up to a big screen.
  • I think it has its niche right now... certainly NOT for everyone... I have two customers that do a lot of sales presentations that invested in it so they do not have to use a laptop. It took a lot to make it "work" not from the continuum side, but getting things set for document access, etc... they are sales people.. :) Do they keep a laptop with them, YEP! One thing they do say, and again, sales, is that the customers they go to on site, are "wow'd" by it, and in the sales world, that's huge...
  • Hi @spazzmeister Thanks for a desire to participate. Perhaps if you read the remaining paragraphs you may find the answer you're looking for. Perhaps not. But the best type of question, I have learned in my 40+ years of living is an informed question. :-) So seeing that you're commenting on the article, the approach that best equips you for contributing to the discussion on this piece and which reflects best on you as a participant would be first to read it, then come on back and let's have a discourse!:-) Thanks for the question! :-)
  • You could always try Continuum out with any Miracast enabled TV/Monitor. Don't necessarily need the dock, but it is more convenient. How it will work for you is a personal thing and your work routine - I've found ways that it helps me, but you do need to think about for your case. What do you do and what applications do you find yourself using most often? Those are some of the questions to start figuring it out. It's not quite easy to figure out what Continuum can do for you because it's a new paradigm that will take time before everyone has an a-ha moment, much like the smartphones when they first came out.
  • Your PS shows you didn't read the article. If you can't read the whole article and have already declared that It's not for youth, why would anyone bother trying to convince you.?
  • I can invite you to come to my house and I can even lend you my pcs BUT I won't let you install any apps or games. You can bring your pcs with you OR you can use your own apps/games/data with continuum!
  • Nice article.  I agree with you that continuum is where we are heading.  More and more people depend on their smartphones for all of their computing tasks.  Some people don't even bother upgrading their $500 desktop but religiously pay for a new $800 smartphone every year.  Being able to use the smartphone to power a computer further negates the need to upgrade that rarely-used $500 desktop.  The time will come when that desktop finally conks out and the consumer simply decides not to replace it, because the phone does everything he/she needs. I also suspect that the average consumer has already plopped more money into buying mobile apps from various app stores than actually buying programs for that rarely-used computer. 
  • I disagree. For as long as your continuum CANNOT READ x86, it will not replace a PC. NOT EVER....."The time will come when that desktop finally conks out and the consumer simply decides not to replace it, because the phone does everything he/she needs" And that time is not now, because continuum cannot replace your PC. So its quite simple to microsoft or who ever wants a Pocket PC system : Make a smartphone that can do everything a PC can do.  
  • You are forgetting one important thing. Consumers love Windows RT. /s
  • A lot of people did.
  • Jason, One point Microsoft are missing (again) is that we don't ALL live in the U.S. What do I mean? I'm a French, and on mobile, I siwtch between FR-fr, EN-gb and FI. Great on mobile. On PC, ditto. But with continuum, if you try using several languages *with the same physical keyboard*, you'll understand the pain. On PC, you can set language and keyboard layout independently. For instance "English (UK), French layout". That's great, I can use my azerty keyboard to write in English, enjoying English autocorrection or suggestion. With continuum (and more broadly, when using a BT keyboard on WP/W10M, continuum or not), the OS considers that your physical layout follows the language. So when I switch to English to respond to a Tweet, the OS expects my keyboard to be a QWERTY one. That's stupid. I type on the A key, I get a Q, etc. Ranting? Maybe, I'm French and that's part of our core business. But speaking of business, or even just consumers having international friends, that keyboard pain is a REAL blocker. I don't want to keep my keyboard to French to use the azerty layout (while teaching english terms to the French dictionary). I've reported this so many times in the Hub, in French and English, but hey, how many continuum users are we, and how many non English speakers (or writers) are we?   Note that what I'm describing applies to Germany Finland, Switzerland, etc., and this, only in Europe.   I do hope that RS2 will be focused on mobile AND continuum, to iron these kind of "details" which look like details but are indeed showstoppers.
  • I think *Soon* applies. Multi-language input didn't initially work well on my SP2 or Win10Mobile, and now do. Would believe Continuum will continue to improve also and support beyond English (US).
  • Well articulated; shame that Microsoft doesn't seem to be listening!
  • TLDR; version anyone?
  • Click-bait text or writer is just very high, thinking Continuum is future.
  • Hi @630xxl Please look up the definition of click-bait. This title and article by new means fit.:-) Also, no one knows the future, including myself. What I have done however is present supported analysis of the strategy of a firm in relation to a key differentiator within one of thier products. An appropriate response to a well articulated, data supported piece would be a rebuttal of similar caliber. Using a word "click-bait" that doesn't apply or making personal attacks while offering no intelligent rebuttal doesn't adequately communicate an opposing position. Thank you for a desire to participate. Please, if you have an opposing view, articulate it with a well supported rebuttal.:-)
  • Features “Coming Soon” from Microsoft. Handsets “Coming Soon” from someone, Apps “Coming Soon” at the absolute end of a developers list behind iOS, Android, and Web experience. These are the world’s best pretend products.
  • "Many skeptics have voiced what they perceived to be physical limitations of Continuum by stressing, sometimes sarcastically, a requirement to carry a monitor, keyboard and mouse in order to benefit from the feature."   You should learn to differentiate perception from fact, Jason. Continuum HAS physical limitations of ALL sorts. Let's see some of them: 1 - Yes, the need to access a monitor, keyboard and mouse is the first one. You CAN'T deny that. You dream (and this is a dream) of a World filled with dumb terminals containing those three things that people can go to and connect their phones to. Well, I also dream with holidays in space. It's technically possible to do, but doesn't mean it will happen anytime soon. With the difference that while spending a holiday in space will cost me, having a bunch of dumb terminals would cost the owners of that space they'd be at. And you know who isn't going to spend that amount of money on those terminals? Exactly.   2 - Windows 10 Mobile IS DEAD. I know you still refuse to accept this simple reality and went into a lengthy diatribe to paint a fantasical world in which it isn't. But the fact is, it is. Microsoft may continue to push updates to it but without developers, it's going nowhere. And developers aren't coming to W10M (quite the contrary). If the future of Continuum is Windows 10 Mobile, then Continuum too is absolutely dead.   3 - A "Surface Phone" that doesn't run full blown Windows 10 and x86 programs (in other words, a "Surface Phone" running W10M) is DOA. It will have as much of a future as Windows RT. If you want to sell consumers the idea of having a portable PC that they can connect with those dream "terminals everywhere" people will expect to be able to do the same things they could do with the simplest of 2-in-1 tablets at least. Problem is, phone hardware IS CURRENTLY LIMITED. And of course, with Intel killing its mobile chips, ever more than ever. Until those difficulties are surpassed and technology evolves to the point of managing to have a full blown PC inside the small package of a phone, Continuum will continue to go nowhere. SPECIALLY in the consumer front.   It's you Jason (as representative of a few WP fans I should say, so don't take it as a personal attack) who are blinded by your faith in something that doesn't exist. And that shows by calling "unbelievers" to all those of us who simply see things realisticly, as they are. In Portugal we have a famous myth regarding our King Sebastian. King Sebastian, 18 at the time, was killed in Morroco in a battle against the Moorish Kings, battle which was called "The Battle of the Three Kings" (because all 3 Kings died in it). However, because his body was never found, the myth was created that one day, King Sebastian would return in a misty morning to save Portugal from its enemies (namely, the Kings of Spain, who took the throne after his death since he left no heir). You remind me of the people who (even today) believe in the return of King Sebastian just because there's mist. Just because Windows 10 (the mist) exists, it doesn't mean Windows Phone/10 Mobile (King Sebastian) will return from the dead to save Microsoft's mobile efforts from Android and iOS (its enemies). You can try to rationalise it with "ifs" as much as you like, of course. Just like people still rationalise with the absence of the King's body. King Sebastian has been dead for 438 years this 4th of August. Windows Phone/10 Mobile has been dead for at least the same about of days.
  • 1.) I agree that continuum needs to fix the hardware problem. The laptop dock is one solution but you are still limited by the implementation of continuum at this point. 1 screen at a time, not that many apps are yet out to justify it. The only justification would be the lap dock/phone combo is more cost effective for you than a phone and separate laptop. Maybe once continuum is enhanced it may be more likely for consumers. But right now I just don't see it and I use continuum a lot. Even with all the new apps supporting it, I still get frustrated at having only 1 window at a time. Slow mouse with no sensitivity options, etc..
    This is a better solution for enterprises who can have keyboard/mice/monitors at employees desks and take advantage of using in-house software with solutions like HP provides through cloud virtualization. 2.) I keep thinking w10m is just not going to make it. But I've been super surprised by all the applications constantly coming out. Games/applications, some even mobile only not just Desktop/mobile combos. So it makes me wonder why developers are investing considering the market share is much lower now than it ever was, on top of that w10m market share is even lower given that most phones weren't updated. So devs must see a future in this whole concept. Honestly there's more good apps out now then there have been when windows 8/8.1 was around. So I'm happy with my 950xl but I'm not naïve to think that it will all of a sudden become a huge thing. I can only watch things unfold. I have an iphone 6 I sometimes use, but I'm not at a point where I can't have my 950xl be my daily driver. So I'm sticking around because it meets my needs. I don't buy stuff for what may come, but what's currently available. 3.) Surface phone doesn't have to be an x86 chip. Another solution to this could be working with someone like Qualcomm to provide instruction sets that will let you emulate x86 without losing too much performance.
    Honestly though, the only thing that could save MS is if they designed a phone that is also a powerful gaming machine. Think running triple A titles through continuum and even on phone with some case that can turn into a gamepad. Games are the biggest thing in mobile. Games are huge on PC. Heck people buy portable gaming units like Nintendo 3ds just for the gaming. Now imagine it also was a phone. So honestly that's the only thing I think would help MS drive up market share rather rapidly.
  • Nothing running Windows 10M will gain them market share. Continuum is pointless and will quickly be commandeered by Android if it ever catches on. Google already has a desktop mode hidden in Android with resizeable windows. It would not take much to flip it on. It is dumb anyways when PC hardware is so cheap. Windows RT isn't the future. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows rt has nothing to do with windows 10. Windows 10 is technically what you consider rt with backwards compatibility for win32 api. The goal is to scrap it. But keep windows the same as always by allowing uwp apps to be distributed the same way w32 is. It's just a move to a more secure/different/more capable api, but the same windows. Phone can also use other sources than the store. That's how I was running skype before they released it. People just associate windows with one architecture. Windows 10 blurs the line by being device agnostic and the uwp api allows for this to happen. Eventually most apps will be moved over to uwp. Nothing will change for the end user. Whether they get their app from the store or online doesn't matter. So you're arguing against the uwp api, not just Windows mobile.
  • Continuum is Windows RT, don't kid yourself. Actually, it is worse than RT because you don't get an actual Windows 10 desktop and cannot run more than one app at a time. It is a gimped Windows RT. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • How long does W10M have to be around before you stop saying it's dead?
  • Phones running Symbian and WM6 are still around. So are phones running BB10. Being around doesn't make them alive ;)
  • @DJCBS - I just read your comment "In Portugal..." PLEASE tell me you are not Portuguese... PLEASE... I am too and it would ruin my entire day knowing we have something like that in common... NOOOOOO!!!!! :P
  • There's an excellent solution. You can always leave the country. We're not forcing you to stay ;)
  • ​​You don't need dumb terminals to run continuum, you can do it with a perfectly regular laptop and already there's billions of them everywhere in the world. You can't compare a surface phone with winrt because winrt didn't had as much apps as windows 10 has and implied developping apps exclusively for them, unlike UWP apps that can run everywhere. As you know, Portugal end up being saved anyways. If our savior has to be something called windows 11, so be it.
  • Again - If I have a "perfectly regular laptop" with me what use is Continuum? Why not just use the freaking laptop?
  • I can invite you to come to my house and I can even lend you my pcs BUT I won't let you install any apps or games. You can bring your pcs with you OR you can use your own apps/games/data with continuum!
  • Or I can just log into my Windows account and all my apps will sync. Or use private browsing for the very quick thing I need to do.
  • You can't use browser to work on your apps. Not all apps and games sync and even if they did, you still would have to get permissions to install them. Why complicate simple things like that? Why put your credentials on any other/public pc?
  • Why not? How often are you using public computers? Such a silly argument. It isn't going to drive Windows Mobile adoption. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @bleached It's not for public pcs only. It is for any other pcs you use, including you sisters/GF/friend pcs. It's like using a pen in someone else's pc. There's a reason you do that and it's not that niche.  
  • @Lord Method Man because us Natella and microsoft fans cannot argue with logic sometimes!
  • As others have said, connecting a phone with a perfectly regular laptop makes absolutely no sense. It's like buying a 4K TV and connecting a media player to it through VGA. UWP *can* run everywhere IF the developers decide so. But they will still need to make some changes to allow for mobile support on the app. Developers who aim their apps at Windows 10, will need good reason to put in the extra work for them to work on mobile.   And Portugal wasn't saved. Portugal saved itself by throwing Spaniard members of government from balconies and through a bloodbath. Yes, Windows 10 on phones can theoretically be saved as I soon as Windows 10 Mobile is thrown out the window.
  • Does it make absolutely no sense if I don't want my data on another person's pc? Wouldn't you lend me your work pc (with all your data and court cases) if I'd only be able to acess a "remote desktop app" connected to my phone? Obviously otherwise you wouldn't let me install any app or game, right?
  • I agree with you on 1 point and disagree in another Agreed Surface Phone needs to run x64 software and full Windows 10 desktop OS to be the next big thing. This phone needs to have a Intel Core M CPU with 4.5 Watt TDP so phone doesn't overheat.  Disagreed Windows Mobile 10 is Dead. I don't think so, iOS Bridge is in good shape, thanks to Swift, ResearchKit, CareKit and WebKit which are Apple open source tools that Microsoft can implement for their own platform. 
  • Wow, what delisuional fanboy. a 4W core m procesor in a smartphone is MADNESS. That phone would need a fan!
  • It seems to me that the make-or-break bet placed on the iOS porting tools hasn't been bearing that many fruits. For every app that has been ported, you see others dropping support. The problem of WP/10M isn't so much the tools. That was really never the BIG problem of the platform. It has always been the lack of market share. Even if Microsoft had went ahead with Android apk's on W10M for developers to put the apps into the Windows Store they would need a good motive. So far, we haven't seen a mass adoption of Windows apps, even if we think only of Windows 10 PCs/laptops. The bridges won't resurrect W10M. Because there's no breaking the endelss circle: no users -> no apps -> no users -> no apps.
  • Yes, it looks like we're gonna have a propagandist pro-Microsoft article every day now, trying to wash our brains from MS failures. Na verdade, é mais provável o D. Sebastião regressar do nevoeiro do que alguma vez o W10Mobile conseguir tirar mercado ao Android...
  • 1. No Nokia is dead Yes they are going to release two New android phones but just like blackberry they won't sell and Nokia for the second time will have to exit the phone business or go bankrupt
    2. Stop being butt hurt by the fact that Microsoft is a better company and has never sold out like Nokia
    3. Keep being and ignorant troll and bashing windows 10 mobile nobody here cares and knows you have a grudge against Microsoft.
    4. Windows 10 will never die unlike Nokia.
    5. Don't it suck when someone talks **** about a product or company that you like but hey I went there with Nokia because I hate them and because maybe but I doubt it that it will shut you up from putting other choices down.
    6. I don't know what make you think you got the right to come on a Windows 10 site were real fans of the is hang out and bash on it we don't come to your lagdroid sites or you Nokia sites and bash on them cuz most of us ain't hate mongering trolls.
    7. Haters going to hate
  • Do you want to bet that if Nokia released new phones, in 1 year they will make more money than Microsoft did with Win10? Microsoft cares only about US market and now India because Nadella. When have you heard them focusing or saying something about Europe? Never. Europe does not exist for them. That's why they fail...
  • 1. I'm going to bet with you, here and now, that Nokia's upcoming Android phones will outsell Windows Phones faster than you can develop the Surface Phone. 2. LOL Whenever you wish to start presenting facts...any moment now...still this going to take long? By the way...I don't recall this being a competition between which is "the better company"? 3. Still waiting on your counter-arguments. I'm not growing any younger, could you hurry up? Or will I have to sit down while I wait? 4. And the Titanic will never sink. And the III Reich will last 1000 years. Any more ridiculous absolute statements? 5. After trying to understand what on Earth you wrote's what I have to say: your feelings about Nokia are totally irrelevant to me ;) I won't like Nokia more or less because of you. And I won't change my opinion on the state of Windows Phone - an opinion based on facts and numbers - just because you don't like Nokia. 6. Well, apart from this thing called freedom of speech and the fact that I've been here longer than're right. I have no right to be here, mein Führer. I'm sorry, mein Führer. 7. Yawn...still waiting for your counter-arguments.
  • Chinese garage brands already beat Microsoft by hundreds of millions more device sold, what do you think will happen when there is new phone with Nokia logo?
  • Fanboy flamesuit installed in 3....2....1......! Jason,  while I do enjoy your articles, however on the fanboy'ish side,  I have to correct your grammer,  its NON believers not UN Believers!  Just letting you know.  
  • grammar .....
  • WOW that's just funny...
  • stupid auto correct....defaulted to a name.  
  • If phones that support continuum were a little cheaper this would be a fantastic option for some people... I have several family members that dont even have internet access at their house and use their phone for everything... having that always on data connection makes this interesting for people who dont need to do much on the pc side of things... if you could get a continuum enabled phone for $200 off contract this could be huge for some people... and sure you can get a chrome book for $150 and just use that but then you have to tether it to your phone to get web access... and some carriers charge more for tethering.  I really think this kind of thing is going to make TONS of sense in a year or two... more and more people are ditching cable... well... you still need an internet provider in your house to get netflix and such... a phone that docked with your TV would be pretty great... and yes... i know there are things like chrome cast and airplay that let you do "some" stuff like this... but having a full pc experience that continuum provides makes it so your phone can truely be your one device and one internet access plan! MS needs to get a reasonable priced device on T-Mobile (with their binge on service) and market the hell out of it... 
  • You can get a phone with external display, keyboard and mouse support for $200. Nexus 5x is about that price. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is there competition? Yes there is. Ubuntu + Unity 8 convergence. Just Google it and watch some demos of the latest Bq tablet. And it's not app based like the Android one, it's a full GNU/Linux environment that adapts accordingly to screen sizes and natural inputs. It has been in the plans since at least 2011, when Windows 8 wasn't even a thing. Despite the lack of manpower and billion$ to make it happen sooner, it's just a FYI that it exists. You know, the big C's from USA are not the only tech companies around doing innovation. Plus, it doesn't necessarily require dock and peripherals like Continuum.
  • Is it any wonder that W10M is suffering. Scenario: You are looking for a new phone. You do your research and appear here to find out the pluses and negatives. What sort of impression are you going to leave with? It seems the days of *proper* discussion and debate are well and truly over, and not just here. Someone takes the time and effort to write a news story, and all that happens is the trolling alarm goes off and another comment thread gets hijacked. Don't like it, there's the door. Don't let it hit you up the arse on the way out. Jeez.... Great articles Jason
  • Microsoft goggle fan boy alert here... Actually most of the comments if all are not trolling. But I guess for you comments are categorized into two: 1. MS is the best! 2. everyone else are trolls!
  • Ye hey!!!
  • When I first read about Continuum, my first reaction was that it was a brilliant idea.  Upon reflection, I've decided that it's a brilliant idea for ten or fifteen years ago, but not today. Back when the iPod and similar music players were the rage, people were captivated by the notion that they could carry their entire music collection with them wherever they went.  Now the idea seems quaint.  With ubiquitous data, that doesn't make as much sense anymore.  Now, someone hosts your music collection in the cloud for you, and you access it wherever you want on any device.  Or you subscribe to a service and get whatever music you want, whether it's in your collection or not.  Continuum makes the fundamental mistake of making one piece of hardware the center of the ecosystem.  The center of the ecosystem needs to be the cloud, and you access your cloud from any hardware you want, whether it's your phone, a PC, a tablet, a dumb terminal, etc.  And the hardware doesn't have to be restricted to a particular manufacturer. That's not to say that there aren't advantages to the Continuum idea.  Several are claimed, but it isn't always so clear cut: 1. Conceptual.  It's easy for the user to conceptualize having one piece of physical hardware that you plug into various docking stations.  But, over time, the cloud-centered paradigm will become just as intuitive. 2. Security.  There can be a security advantage to having your own physical hardware, rather than typing your username and password into a machine you don't own.  But, part of this is just perception.  As soon as you plug your Continuum device into a docking station you don't control, all bets are off security-wise.  The username/password issue can be mitigated by using single-use passwords or other similar schemes, which a phone might facilitate. 3. Cost.  The argument is sometimes made that putting the smarts in the phone saves money because you don't have to have essentially duplicate hardware in every device form factor, but can instead create dumb docking stations.  While this might sound good in theory, in practice there is little if any price savings to be gained by building docking stations instead of full blown computing devices.  The price of such full-blown devices are already cheap and getting cheaper all the time. 4. Offline capability.  What if you don't have data connectivity for whatever reason?  Then you're dead in the water if all you have is a cloud-connected device.  Not really.  Making the cloud the center of the experience doesn't mean you wouldn't cache data and apps on your devices and synch to the cloud when possible.  To the contrary, for various reasons you almost certainly would.
  • I agree with you (except point 4 because I'm not sure what you mean). But on Point 2, explain to me security? I dont even think security of username and password is relevent for continuum. And i dont get why Jason even mentions this? In recent times, when ever have you had to enter your username and password into a Public PC? point 2, If you in that highly unlikely situation do you have a spare monitor with you? also is the monitor that is somehow available compatible? 3. You have to make sure that you carry continuum dock with you at that time + accessories? I agree with your points tho, continnum seems like a good idea but its not clear cut  
  • Thanks. In point 4 I was addressing one common complaint of a cloud-centered model, where your data is stored in the cloud and you need internet connectivity to retrieve them, vs the Continuum model where your data is stored locally on the phone.  I was pointing out that even in the cloud-centered model you would still cache data on your device so you could work on it if you lose connectivity.  For example, you could still edit a locally-cached Word document, and it would be automatically synched to cloud storage later when internet connectivity is restored.  That sort of thing has been common for some time. On point 2, the author correctly pointed out that some people might be leery to type in their credentials on a machine that was not theirs, say at an internet cafe when you're logging into your web email, logging into company VPN, etc.  I was pointing out that even if you connect your Continuum device to a docking station (keyboard, mouse, monitor) in a hotel or internet cafe, there is still a security issue because that hardware can, for example, log your keystrokes to get your username and password.  Of course, there are workarounds to this vulnerability, such as single use passwords.
  • Continuum is so far from being used by the general public this feature doesn't really matter to consumers at all. Most ppl own a phone and a laptop and Microsoft is no in phones now at all (hyperbole) and they may continue to see their PC market share dip if Android users can get most of the functionality that they need on a Chromebook that also runs Android apps. MS may be delivering a superior product but that doesn't mean it will succeed. I gurantee that most users would be fine with a Chromebook. However, up to this point no one has really made a great chromebook because their marketshare hasn't dictated such a device. The situation is very much akin to Windows Mobile. All of those third party phones have also been busts with little support or push behind them. I just don't see how a long and arduous trip through the enterprise will bring MS back into the forefront of consumer computing. I want it to but I don't see it. It's not like Google and Apple will just be sitting on the sidelines will continuum is being developed. I will say that Apple seems farther away then Google in those regards but I think Apple is very comfortable sitting in the high-end PC segment for now. 
  • I think the strangest thing is Microsoft ignoring reality. The value proposition is for a budget user to get a phone for between $200 and $800 so they can almost sort of maybe do on continuum what they could 100% do on a $200 HP Stream 11 laptop... I hope my Hotel has a TV, oh I hope my friend has a laptop dock terminal, I hope my car has a screen and keyboard. Oh wait the problem is solved by a throwaway $200 laptop or heck a $90 chinese windows atom tablet. Turn on the calling functionality of Skype and you dont even need a phone, just a 4G radio for data onboard. It's more likely for the ****** X86 laptop to become your phone than it is for your phone to become your laptop.
  • They are using the same ass backwards logic for the HP Enterprise handset. Yeah sure it can replace an X86 laptop after the company pours millions into a desktop/app VDI infrastructure. After that your cost save is gone or you end up paying more. All while you piss employees off by giving them a boat anchor phone that runs none of the mobile apps they had on iOS or Android the day before.
  • That's a nice thought IMO. I think a $200 Netbook that runs full Windows 10 is still a much better option for emerging markets than a Continuum phone that can't run software that runs on Windows 10. Take for example the education market in India, in the next 15 years about 1 billion jobs will be lost but 1.5 billion jobs will be created, but this requires that people know much more knowledge than they do today. My daughter will probably get the Mathematics and Science level I received in College in highschool, and in college she will probably do what PhD researchers do today.  So more jobs will be created, but in exchange you will need to be a smarter student. Students will be smarter if they use Windows, not if they use ChromeOS or Windows Mobile 10 apps Just my 2 cents.
  • This. Microsoft has their heads so far up their rear ends and this site just keeps giving them lube. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hi @gunbust3r, with Windows AU as indicated in the piece, every Windows 10 PC becomes a "dumb terminal" for for a phone with Continuum. With a 1.5billion PC install base, hundreds of millions of which are on Windows 10 in less than a year, nearly a billion Windows 10 "dumb terminals" everywhere, a PC is now becomes a Continuum connection point. No, "I hope this or that" scenario, as most places, since 90% of homes or businesses where there is a PC, it runs Windows. Of course not everyone, everywhere will upgrade but with roughly 300M (I know the 350M number includes more than PCs) PCs on W10 in a year, that number will only continue to approach 1B as time goes on.
  • The entire puff peice revolves around the idea of a consumer showing up someplace and mooching off another device. It's like an edge case of an edge case scenario. The techinicaly savvy people who understand continuum already have a real computing device. They are not the crowd showing up at aunt sheila's house to piggy back on some old beat up encrusted 720p laptop that got a win 10 update. What's the other case? You trust a random terminal out in public? Enjoy the key logging there...
  • Trust Microsoft?? Are you kidding?? If I have to compare MS to any house in Game of Thrones, I would say its definitely House Freys, the one who kill their own guests.
  • I am interested to learn more about the "connect" feature, what exactly that do?  Plug the phone to the PC and the PC act as a display dock?  phone pop up as a windows?  Phone add as virt desktop?  Can the phone access to the PC processing power and storage?  Not interested if it as a dd, but if at least act as a virt desktop then we're talking.
  • "We know business customers want a very, very secure phone that's incredibly good at calendar management, at e-mail, at productivity, and Skype for Business, et cetera…" so how come skype for business is without doubt the worst Microsoft native app on W10M? Takes about a minute to load and then another thirty seconds to bring up contacts etc. Notifications don't work reliably, often messages do appear truncated in a notification but then don't appear in the app because of 'policy'. It's just awful. Also calendar UI in W10M is incredibly bad, difficult to read at a glance, hard to even see where 'today' is quickly.. There should be a two week quick view calendar option at the top of the notification centre below the quick actions and above the notifications.
  • Because MS wants windows 10 mobile to go away.  They don't want to fuss with it anymore.  NUTELLA ruined it,  and now wants to bury it.  I am truely sorry for all the fanboys that get butthurt with these comments,  sometimes the truth hurts.  
  • BTW, Let me know where we are "meeting" .. Im usually in two states (West and East) so Im sure we can work something out...
  • Unless you are Steve Adams the Basketball player... DUDE that would be AWESOME!! A Kiwi in the NBA is so cool... not many have made it...
  • You never know.....Maybe afterwards I will sign a jersey and ball for you!
  • The discipline is called calculus, mate. Not calculous.
  • Microsoft, make everything open and let the users/developers do crazy stuff with it and make money like in the old age. Not all people develop games/apps with the idea to get stupid rich. Just by letting us do anything with your tools, you'll gain more money. The problem with your business is that your business people don't know how to make money.
  • And what is limitng you now on that level? You have the Free visual studio community edition, build it to make apps, publish them for free and make money. Or sell it with your own generated keys through your own website, no skimming by Microsoft. So everything is still open and free to make apps and make money. You can implement continuum , and soon even launch your app to the XBox One. I say, MS has the most open cross platform free way to build and deliver apps. Proove me wrong :)
  • I will be the first to say that I switched back to Windows Phone and Microsoft because of the Continuum methodology. The idea of being productive no matter what device I'm on stuck with me. No other platform gives this ability, and after some more development and planning, I see this taking off into an amazing ecosystem. Main point: Go Microsoft!!
  • 1% of mobile users, mostly hipsters or diehard fans would be happy to use Continuum. Rest 99% dont care or why would I use inferior device instead of powerful pc/laptop for productivity. Nice click bait text.
  • Excellent article as usual Jason, I really enjoyed your "Smartphones are dead" series as well. I don't often comment on articles, but felt the need to after reading some of the disparaging comments made by those who seem unable to see beyond their own immediate need and use cases. You've done a great job of analysing and explaining how Microsoft's strategy might play out. I think what they're doing is strategically clever and I'm looking forward to seeing it come together in the next 3-5 years. Competition in any form from any source is a good thing for consumers and it's even better when the platforms (Apple, Android and MS) approach the solution in different ways. Thanks again for the awesome article!
  • Thanks @onemotedave. Looking at what the company is trying to do strategically, and methodically is difficult at times for consumers whose financial and emotional investment (people loved the Window Phone UI) has been perceived to have been betrayed by the company time and again. I'm a consumer of Windows Phones and loved the hubs, Me Tile, integrated messaging, the aesthetics of the photos hub with connections to apps and live feeds to FB, Rooms etc. I've shared my disappointments with the loss of some things in my Ode to Windows Phone 8 piece.
    I was also excited about the anticipated McLaren and even spoke with a someone in MS that year, months before its supposed release who was also excited about the device and how it was going to launch on multiple carriers. Ads we know that didn't pan out. So, like everyone here, I've been along for the tumultuous up and down ride, that still leaves me with some disappointments regarding W10M. So much that my second phone(I carry two) the 1020 is still on Windows Phone 8, because I like some thing about that in contrast to my main phone(as I shared in the afore mentioned piece), a 1520 which is running Windows 10 Mobile. I say that to say, I can empathize with some of the emotions of disappointment many people here may feel. But I'm also a big picture guy, with a very analytical mind, so I can distance myself from personal disappointments(while not denying they exist), step back, look at the big picture and see, what the company's strategy is, how they're executing it and what they expect the outcome to be - thenI write it. Unfortunately, some, not all, readers because of how they feel betrayed by MS, or disappointed with things that have been lost, allow thier emotions and anger to rule thier response to an analysis to a strategy, rather than responding in the same spirit in which it's presented.
    No company's perfect, and this is not a religion. It's a company and when it comes down to it, it's a "phone." A "phone." All the name calling, and pesonal attacks against one another over a difference of opinion about a "phone" is...well it's sad. Thanks for the support @onemotedave and folks let's just have good discussion here. That's what this is about. :-)
  • @Jason Ward Thanks for the response and once again, very insightful.  I'm a latecomer to windows phone and I guess I've missed a lot of what drives some of the comments here.  I've always been a windows guy, but had an iphone (work supplied) until buying an unlocked Lumia 640 for some overseas travel about a year ago.  I hopped on the windows 10 fast ring straight away to get a garmin app to pair with my watch and really don't know any different.  I'm a pair of "fresh eyes", unencumbered by the past. I honestly thought I'd put the sim back in my iphone when I got back from my travels...but I haven't and I doubt I ever will. Even though my phone doesn't support continuum, my "aha" moment was when I managed to get through a day at work (I'm a product manager for a software company) using the remote desktop preview on my phone paired to a mouse and keyboard and projecting the screen to a monitor with the MS wireless adaptor.  That's when it all suddenly made sense.  This was real, this was possible...and it was exciting. I haven't lived throught the tough years, the disappointments (WP 8.1 I barely knew thee).   Case and point,  I didn't even know about the McLaren until the WindowCentral podcast coverage... but damn dudes (religious or not) I can't help but think MS have got this strategy nailed.  @Jason Ward Your comments gave me a better understanding of why MS's current "ecosystem first" strategy is ******* off some of the invested users (and thanks for that) but as mentioned in the McLaren podcast, none of that would have really made a difference.  For MS to take a "mobile first" platform in the current environment simply wouldn't have worked.  To go head to head with apple or android in a "app-off" would have publicly humiliated Windows on a phone - retrench, retreat, formulate and execute is a wise move imo.  Create the ecosystem that simply makes the phone a tool to enable the user to continue doing what they do at work or play in a familiar UI.  I am a relatively new customer to the Windows phone ecosystem, I've been attracted to it after buying (and loving) a Surface pro 4.  I haven't experienced the disappoinment that has come before but I would encourage anyone that's still clinging to that past to take another look with fresh eyes.  I design software for a living and while Windows 10 (fast ring) has its foibles, it has attracted a new user to Windows on a mobile device.  As a side note, I would love to see the picture of the whiteboard where they sketched out their current 5 year roadmap:-) 
  • @onemotedave love to see that sketch too. :-) But I totally agree with you that the ecosystem first strategy is indeed the right strategy. First and foremost, because as I pointed out in part III Windows is Windows. As the ecosystem moves forward, all components move with it.
    Thanks again, for your comments and for your "fresh eyes" perspective!
  • .Quote "@onemotedave love to see that sketch too. :-)" There would have been a lot of arrows :-)  
  • Everyone here claiming there is a hardware problem for continuum must believe that the USB-C standard will fail. Because I believe it will not. And when most laptops, tablets and phones have USB-C ports every company can finally solve the flexible workspace problem they now have. Now they either standardize on a laptop model with a docking station for that laptop or they leave you with a bunch of cables to connect and a power outlet on the desk to plugin your adapter. The USB-C standard will solve this problem for all these companies by having a monitor that connects over USB-C and charges the devices while doing so. You can plugin your work laptop or 2 in 1 or tablet into those when at work. LG and Dell allready sell those. Now with this in mind it is not hard to see a future with office desks full of dumb terminals with monitors, keyboard, mouse and a singel USB-C cable all around. When you than visit such a company and just can plugin your phone into any of the empy flex desk stations to get some mails done, or update the presentation you will be giving its a reall feature. And every company I visit uses flex desk work spaces now days. For them all those losse wires are a pain, they will want to solve this.
  • USB-C docks with Displayport MST hubs dont even exist at this point. Many buisness are droping docks altogether and telling users to just deal with plugging in USB/Power/Displayport themselves by providing a few cheap monoprice cables. You only see a somewhat decent penetration of Dell docks becuse the thing has been the same for like 7 years. So in your plan a desk with USB-C dock might be handy for Continuum sometime in 2023.
  • there are tons of USB-C docks on amazon now, those have one USB-C port going to the device and any combination of HDMI, displayport, UTP, usb connectors. Like stated several monitors do this trick all build in right now. The wait is on the devices side, when more and more business laptops and tablets have the port the desks will follow. Just like you (and I) said they are sick of this flex desktop mess. And yes it will take some years, but thats the play here. Get ready for what happens in seceral years.    
  • Show me one USB-C dock with more than one Displayport connector... Or one that outputs on HDMI and Displayport at the same time.
  • Hi Jason, as to my understanding the connect feature requires a pc with miracast and I'm pretty sure there aren't many off those around. Just merely installing the anniversary update won't suffice. What's your take on that?
  • Any windows 10 with aniversary update that packs a WIFI adapter that is Miracast capable. But thats most of the last couple of years wifi adapters. But PC's without any WIFI are not capable I believe.
  • I have a one year old Intel NUC running the latest insider version and it is not supporting the Connect feature because it does not have miracast...