Forget phones — Microsoft will bring a true PC to your pocket

Impacted by the transition of personal computing to smartphones and tablets like the iPad, the PC market declined sharply in recent years. The always-connected nature of our cell phones and the comfort associated with lounging around the house with a tablet has left the desktop PC and cumbersome laptop form-factors as the infrequent go-tos for tedious or productivity-focused tasks. For everything else, small, connected mobile devices suffice.

Still, the fact that Microsoft was able to turn the Surface, a tablet that could also be a laptop, into a billion-dollar business and an industry-inspiring new PC category speaks to a demand for the power of Windows on a context-conforming mobile form factor. The 2-in-1 PC category grew (and is predicted to continue growing) while other PC segments continued to fall.

Furthermore, the smartphone as an always-connected pocketable device has become our primary personal computer.

Still, it's evident that the rectangular slab form factor and the limits of the two primary mobile OSes, iOS and Android, require users to use another device for certain productivity tasks. With a Windows PC install base exceeding a billion, 500 million of which run Windows 10, most smartphone users also use Windows PCs. I believe Microsoft's mobile strategy will lean on its PC strengths and the power of Windows 10 to bring a unique Windows PC to our pockets.

A PC for (almost) every purpose

Microsoft has applied its PC strength to creating a range of aspirational PC form factors that fit specific needs. Surface Pro is the tablet that can replace a laptop. Surface Book is a powerful laptop that is also a digital clipboard. Surface Hub is a business focused interactive display. Surface Laptop "redefines" that category and Surface Studio is an all-in-one PC and digital drafting table.

The absence of a phone from Microsoft's hardware lineup leaves a glaring gap in Microsoft's pocketable mobile personal computing strategy. The popularity of smartphones and that form-factors primary use for activities such as web surfing, messaging, gaming and other non-phone uses highlight its slant toward PC-like usage.

Every smartphone is a mobile device, but not every mobile device is a smartphone.

Microsoft's attempts to fill this pocketable personal computing space with a traditional rectangular-slab smartphone have consistently failed. Positioning a phone opposite iPhone and Android phones does not play to Microsoft's PC strengths, nor does history suggest such a strategy would ever succeed.

For Microsoft to succeed in the mobile space it must forgo the smartphone space. Direct competition with the iPhone and Android phones is suicide.

What Microsoft's mobile device needs to be

Microsoft's mobile device must be capable of the non-phone specific personal computing uses that dominate pocketable personal computing. It must also capitalize on the strengths of Windows PCs since many users still default to them for certain productivity tasks.

Thus, via Continuum, this device must be capable of becoming a full desktop when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard or HP Lap Dock-like peripheral.

PCs still have a place.

Like the always-connected full Windows-on-ARM cellular PCs coming this year, this device must also have a constant cellular connection and run Windows 10. Telephony must be one of the functions, though not a leading function, among the many the OS and various apps will provide.

This PC would fill the pocketable mobile gap in Microsoft's PC lineup. It would be capable of phone calls, but neither technically nor positionally would it be a smartphone.

This seven-inch PC is NOT a Surface phone

We recently reviewed the seven-inch GPD Pocket Windows 10 PC.

GPD Pocket

This device has a traditional clamshell form-factor and the standard Windows 10 UI. It does not, however, benefit from an innovative or pioneering design, nor an adaptable UI to optimize mobile use. This device does not represent what I believe Microsoft is building as a full PC targeting the mobile space. The GDP Pocket boasts the power of Windows 10 on a pocketable form factor but lacks the physical and software modifications to make it the context-conforming, mobile, telephony-enabled device we envision.

Even if Windows Mobile succeeded, Microsoft would have pursued a post-smartphone strategy

I believe Microsoft's vision of full Windows on a pocketable PC will, via hardware design and software, be optimized for mobility.

Microsoft's vision has always been to bring the full power of Windows to all form factors. By ending Windows 10 Mobile, an underpowered Windows variant, and adopting full Windows on ARM optimized for all form factors, Microsoft may finally realize that vision.

Form shifting hardware

Though there are no guarantees, patents suggest Microsoft's ultimate mobile device will have a foldable design.

We can only speculate but this suggests a phablet-sized configuration when folded and a small tablet form factor when unfolded. Add the ability to connect wired or wirelessly to monitor, mouse and keyboard or HP Lap Dock-like peripheral, and you have a single device that can be a phone, tablet, desktop and laptop.

Andromeda, the next step in the evolution of Windows, is touted as an OS that conforms to all devices form factors.

I believe Microsoft's broader vision for Andromeda is an OS that conforms to the various contexts of a single form-shifting device. Microsoft's long-term vision includes a single device that users carry that becomes virtually every device they'll need. A full-powered context-conforming OS is foundational to that vision.

CShell, Microsoft's adaptable UI.

In conclusion ...

We're not sure what Microsoft has planned. But I believe that it will be a full telephony-enabled pocket Windows PC optimized for mobility. It won't simply be a little PC like the GDP Pocket. It will be Microsoft's moving its successful PC strategy to our pockets via a modernized form factor, pen support and context-conforming UI tailored for the mobile space. It will, I believe, be adaptable to any context (tablet, laptop, phone) and via Continuum be the desktop many users still demand.

Will the rumored Surface phone be a reimagined Surface Mini?

Will it succeed? Maybe. But, regardless, Microsoft has to start (over) somewhere.

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! Not everyone will want a full PC like the GDP Pocket, but a device with a form factor and UI optimized for mobility and that could also be desktop or laptop via Continuum, as well as an always-connected tablet when unfolded or phone when folded might appeal to a larger audience. Sure there remains the app gap (which Microsoft needs to aggressively address), but the enterprise, certain occupations and many prosumers might find this type of ultramobile PC useful. So what are your thoughts? LET'S TALK!!!.
  • Very nice concept image. The leather-like cover makes the thing a little limiting to my taste (portability / shape shifting usability), but to see something tangible is refreshing, even if it's not official.
  • Isn't that the courier?
  • The courier in different size's could be the device we need. I was a big fan of the concept and disappointed it didn't come to anything.
  • Well, it's not technically "tangible", unless you're saying it figuratively.
  • The Galaxy S8 is already a full PC in a phone.  And it has developer support. Windows, even on desktop, is a legacy platform.
  • Right..... Your GS8 was designed on a Windows PC.. Lol. Come on, man😂😂😂
  • The best S8 can do in the continuum stage just a chromebook.
  • There are way more current apps available for "Chromebook" (i.e., Android) than Windows.  There are about 4 million total PC apps.  Many of those were written decades ago and haven't been updated in ages.  Of those that are bieng updated, virtually all of them are "legacy" applications that were already around years ago and are in mostly mainatance mode (Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.) while we wait for mobile/cloud versions to take over.  The Play store has been around less than 10 years which means that, by definition, these are mostly newer apps.  And there's three million and counting. Outside of the enterprise, Windows is basically kaput.
  • Try to do what I can do in AutoCAD or Illustrator or 4k Video editing on your stupid Galaxy S8.  :-)  It's a nice phone with a continuum-like experience, but is not an authentic fully powered pc by any means.
  • Of course you can't "do AutoCAD" on a phone.  But that's because it has phone hardware, not because it runs Android. A Surface Phone won't fix that problem.  It'll be Windows, but it'll be on phone hardware optimized for, ya know, phones. Android running on a big hunk of Intel could certainly "do AutoCAD" if Autodesk wanted to port it.  Android is Linux, and Linux is far and away the most capable OS on the planet.  If there was serious interest in it, I would bet the folk behind WINE could get it running in a few weeks. On the other hand, if you want to run AutoCAD using your phone (but not on it), you can do that quite well right now by, for example, connecting to an Azure desktop instance using the excellent Microsoft Remote Desktop app on the S8 and a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (no Dex required).
  • I'd love to have a phone that can do AutoCAD, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.  I was saying phones are still phones, they won't be as powerful as work rigs for quite some time.  When they get to that point, work rigs will be obsolete.  I know I can do pretty much everything with my phone, but would I want to due to battery limits & network limits as well as the limits of speed over that network?  No.  My phone is just enough for a Word document once in a while with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
  • i would HATE to do autocad on a phone screen....why would you?
  • This would be more true if more apps actually were built for Dex. They’re not though. You can do a lot with Dex but it won’t completely replace a PC anytime soon. Dex is the better vision of a PC/phone crossover IMO but it’s only that right now... a vision. We’ll have to see what the S9 brings to the table and if Samsung ventures out into the desktop space more aggressively.
  • If Samsung limits the Dex to their own flagship phones, it won't get anywhere.  It should be made available to every Android device with enough horsepower to run it, then it might have a chance to succeed. As a dev, I wouldn't make an app that runs only on the S8 when it is in Dex mode...
  • Today's flagship is tomorrows midrange is low end after that.  And Samsung alone sells more phones (about 85 million a quarter) than the entire PC industry sells PCs (about 70 million a quarter).  So, no, even if it is just Samsung, it's still bigger than Windows. And beyond that, most of these apps are just regular Android apps that also work in Dex. But even ignoring Dex, the S8 is a more capable "desktop PC" in screen mirroring mode than a Windows 10M device running Continuum is.  It has side-by-side apps, true multitasking, and tons of apps. I have both an L950 and an S8, and when hooked up to a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and projected via Miracast to my livingroom PC, the S8 offers a much superior experience (and that's not Dex).
  • That would be just a few million more users than windows phone....and we all know how apps went for that!
  • Like I said the other day WITH MUCH CONFIDENCE... The Surface brand has been a success for Microsoft.
  • Agreed 100% rodney.  The entire surface line is awesome.  I really just don't know if they can pull success out of their ass with mobile surface or not.  
  • They can't. And the reason is because any mobile Surface they make will not be able to interface with a car via Continuum. That alone is enough to keep me away.
  • I think they already have something that can connected to cars, even with cortana essist. You may check the "Build 2017" by Microsoft.
  • Its no where near what the other two have with apple car play and google auto.  NO WHERE NEAR.....
  • Why would I want my mobile Surface or other mobile device to interface with my car?  Except for the obvious hands-free bluetooth phone connection?
  • to control music, internet radio, navigation and more.  why would you NOT want this?
  • Yes, agreed. The surface name is related to premium products. MS maintain to build more high quality surface product that other oem will follow with less expensive and less quality ones.
  • "context-conforming UI tailored for the mobile space" they can't make the onscreen keyboard work properly...
  • Lol... Yeah, as much as you troll, you're right.. The keyboard in WP8.0 was magnificent. Something kinda happened to it in 8.1, but it was still way better than anything WM10 has ever had.. It can't predict ****.. And, the keyboard in W10 sucks hard as well... I hope that seriously becomes an area of focus as MS gets back into mobile..
  • I too noticed the dramatic drop of quality in W10M keyboard.  WP8 and 8.1 were magnificient, personally I didn't notice drop between 8 and 8.1.  Back then it learned as you typed and remembered my frequent corrections and started doing them by itself... that's all gone in W10M. But it is still a better onscreen keyboard than I've seen on Android and iOS, maybe not for auto-correct, but for layout and bahavior, like the blue dot for cursor movement and the switch back to alpha layout after typing the apostrophe.
  • I can agree with that... Windows 10 keyboard needs work.
  • If it were the same architecture as my PCs, and I could run anything from existing 64 bit drivers to games, Steam, etc (with performance being my only limitation) THEN I would switch. Anything would be possible, software wise. No worries about limited app availability. Shouldn't this be possible by now?
  • We gotta keep in mind how fast technology advances.. If a version 1 Surface Phone can barely run your favorite game, but can run it, them imagine how well that game will run on version 3?.... I'm serious, I'm more excited about a version 3,4, or 5, than version 1. Version 1 will most likely be a VERY GOOD proof of concept, with much room for improvement. We've seen this in the past with many other products.
  • The KEY is whether MS can make the rumored foldable screen work and work well.  A pocket display is critically important to the 'always connected' pocketable PC.  Contenuum is just an option for running desktop mode when an external monitor is available.
  • Version one will not be perfect. We shouldn't expect it to be... If version 1 has a foldable screen you can bet your grandmas shotgun the crease on version 3 will be drastically improved in many ways.
  • Yup, after getting stung with B1 and B2 build issues (not to mention 360) I will not buy a launch day device from MS again.
  • Lol
  • I hope they come out a normal phone woth full windows instead, the foldable device might be too risky.
  • You don't think a normal phone is too risky?
  • Another thing, Jason.... When you said "Direct competition with the iPhone and Android phones is suicide.""..... All I can hear is K-RS1 singing "Suicide, It's a suicide, budibaba. Suicide, It's a suicide".. 😂😂😂
  • One more thing!!!.. Seriously, this time..
    If we are expecting for this Phablet size device to unfold into a tablet size device, should we expect to be able to run in desktop mode when unfolded, requiring no extra screens?..
    Now, I'm not asking what MS's plans are, rather your best guess.
    Also, I think it should've been mentioned in your article, that there is no guarantee that MS will get the form factor just right on the first try. There will definitely be tons of feedback evolving version 2 even further, and it could be version 3-4 or even 5, before MS hits the ultimate design.. Heck, it might not even be MS who pins that magical form factor first. It could be Apple, Google, Samsung, Lenovo, who knows? The recipe for the future might not come along until well into next decade.. MS just has the upper hand with the OS. But, because of this, MS must come fast with a refined (or reimaged, if necessary) version 2, and keep coming quick until they get it right. Man, same thing with the Surface Pro 3. Those first few devices came quick with the revisions until perfection. Long story short, I doubt if version 1 will be that public ground breaking, world changing device. But, if MS works fast they could get there first (with the best device), which I think is important.
  • My guess is, if there's such a device in Panoys office RIGHT NOW! It will be running Windows 10 S compiled for ARM. That's why the surprise launch of Windows 10 S last quarter + the surprise launch of WoA in 4Q16. It will run desktop mode but restricted to UWP because those tend to use less battery. Except for maybe Office 365.
  • Maybe true, but there's a demonstration by Qualcomm that the full windows running on ARM is able to download and install ANY .exe files into the device. You may find it on YouTube.
  • Dude! I wrote about this last Dec.   But that was for a tablet/laptop device with better thermal envelop. Running x86 emulation on a thermally restricted, underclocked SD835 will not be as great an experience. Which is why I think Windows 10 S will be a better choice for a foldable Surface.
  • It might ship with 10 S, but hopefully like for Surface Laptop an upgrade to full Windows on ARM will be possible, if not it's dead before it's born.
  • Nah, I don't think so. Would you run Photoshop on mobile? Or AutoCAD? No. Only reason you'd want x86 emulation is due to Chrome isn't it? Will the new device be better off with (Full) Chrome with extensions? Arguable. Because Chrome with lots of extension will eat thru RAM and battery. Do you want a phone that runs down in 2 hours? Yah I know Chrome uses less battery now, but it's still a RAM hog.   
  • Yes, that's the entire point. Lol
  • You mean it would be restricted to the Windows Store. Not every app in the store is a UWP app. Any software that was brought to the Windows Store using the desktop bridge (centennial) uses just as much battery power as it would if had been downloaded and installed from the web. No difference.
  • Good point! Like Xbox One, those bridged apps will likely NOT be available for a Win10S on Arm.
  • It's not using W10S... There are no apps in the store. Can't believe we're still talking about this.
  • W10S is not the context conforming OS that this modular device needs. I don't see what W10S has to do with anything.
  • Win 10 S for better Battery life & Security. Yah I know Win 10 S on x86 don't give any advantages for battery life. There is "no apps" because UWP is still young. The whole point of a kick-ass device is to entice consumers to buy so more developer will bother to use the IOS Bridge to port their apps over.  
  • Another Surface phone article?
  • Very limited market at best. 
  • Even if Microsoft pulls out something phenomenal, Apple or Google will come out with the same thing a handful of months later, before people realize what Microsoft has, and just keep going Apple or Google while leaving Microsoft in the dust
  • That's cause Ms marketing team is composed by two monkeys and a parrot.
  • I thought that the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team's (MSFT) marketing team was composed of one monkey and two parrots! Hey Jason - I've asked a number of times to no avail but what is the business case for going to this?  Where do folks think the momentum will come from for this to be successful?  Is the Enterprise clammoring for this and dealing with data plans?  I really don't believe that the consumer would trust the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team to support and follow through on a consumer device. Ignore as you will.  What you say may be dead on but why would folks move in this direction.  Lots of great technology has been developed but failed.  Google Glass was probably one of those potentially transformational technologies but it failed.  Your last article seemed to point in that direction but why would that or the form factor that you are espousing in this one work. Please look deeper into why this might be successful.  I don't see the compelling reasons to move people off their current devices.
  • 😂😂😂😂😂
  • and that parrot has a drinking problem.
  • Cut them some slack, they also double as the W10M coding team. Plus they don't even have opposable thumbs.
  • Who's the parrot?  Nadella?
  • Microsoft has revamped their marketing team let's hope these people do a better job.
  • Unless its a full Windows OS. OSX on a handheld device is a long shot. Chromebook, we have the C I think which flopped.
  • OMG.   OSX on a hand held?  hell it's garbage on a full computer....I can just imagine how terrible that experience would be.  
  • Just as fast as Google brought Android apps to Chromebooks, right? The thing is - Samsung, Apple and LG might be able to come up with hardware quite quickly but coming up with software will take Apple years, LG can't do it and Samsung will do ******, good enough job in several months.
  • Yes, because when Apple does not get on stage and talk sh*t and present half baked bs like Microsoft, just to try to be first at something because they missed the mobile boat and are pathetic and desperate, that automatically means that for example for the last 5 years Apple has not developed internally touch friendly version of OS X and cannot blow in a second. I don't know if you are aware but Apple does not talk sh*t and unfinished work. When they are absolutely ready with something, they go on stage and present an actual running product, that was secretly developed for years - iPhone, iPad, Watch, HomePod, etc..
  • "Apple does not talk sh*t and unfinished work. When they are absolutely ready with something, they go on stage and present an actual running product, that was secretly developed for years - iPhone, iPad, Watch, HomePod, etc."... What? iPhone did not have Copy/Paste, Apps/AppStore, Fingerprint Scanner, Optical Stabilization when it came out, Still has crap Multitasking. iMaps surely was a finished work, right? Apple TV came out as very crappy service! iMessage never was ready! Siri has never been ready, yet! What about Podcast, Tips, Find Friends, iRadio, iWorks, etc.? Were all of those 'absolutely ready'?
  • You know who reinvents categories? Apple does. iPhone changed the world, no matter i did not have Copy/Paste, etc.. Do you feel the world has changed even a little bit after any of the Surfaces, even the prototype HoloLens? Serious question.
  • Microsoft is not a hardware company and their hardware endevours are a relatively new thing so comparing those to Apple are childish; same comparison can be made other way about how many times have Apple reinvented software category. Still, Surface has definitely changed the world. Now is the first time in last decade that Windows laptops are better than Macbooks and it's all thanks to Surface. If you look around public places, tech events, universities you will see that premium laptops are no longer only Macbook Airs and Pros and it's a significant change.
  • IPad Pro. Serious reply. MacBook Touch bar, for another.
  • Touchbar?  VOMIT....that is terrible,  a hokey hackjob because they are to "proud" to build a full touchscreen macbook and admit they were WRONG.   Ipad pro is a solution to a problem that never existed really.  It's still just an ipad.  NOTHING MORE.  
  • Yeah, that was my point in response reomw just above. MS/Surface forced Apple to come out with two very uncharacteristic hack jobs. These are precisely the types of "spaghetti flung against the wall" that Steve Jobs kept from seeing the light of day.
  • Agreed.  Steve really was the heart and soul of apple.  The top brass there now have NO vision etc.  That being said,  jobs would not have made the iphone bigger than the 4, and would still not have created touchscreen macbooks and imacs either.  So....DUNNO.   Either way,  the touchbar is a hack job.
  • Good point. until the next big thing arrives. Most presumably from a Chinese company..... the iPad is same concept as an iPhone - bigger screen. So after 7 years or so they are still milking the same cow. Very succesfully indeed but still the same cow  
  • That's a big problem that I must agree with... And, that's ONLY Microsofts fault.
  • Don't forget to mention they will deliver outside US at least 6 months later.
  • I'm pretty sure Microsoft won't bother if Apple and Google will come up with mobile pcs with Windows.
  • Google can't make AutoCAD work on Android. Google can't make Photoshop work on Android. Google can't make real (not toy) Microsoft Office work on Android. While Apple is in a better position regarding this, even Apple can't do everything, and definetely not in a month or even a year regarding things like this.
  • Then it means that what MS produced was not enough advanced or disruptive. After Apple introduced the iPhone, 3 or 4 years passed until Android devices could really catch up with iPhone hardware AND software. And they "only" had to copy.
  • Maybe not, you can see how Google and Apple failed to compete with full windows with their Chrome OS and Mac OS. Windows is the leader in dekstop computer.
    Android and IOS has their limitation, and will never be as powerful as a Full wondows.
    But time will tell, howa thw market response to full windows mobile pc.
  • Microsoft can forget my money !!
    Until Satya will remain there, I won't trust in just ANYTHING the ll do any more.
  • Without a Store, even a PC sized phone can't succeed
  • If it's full windows then they have the win32 platform to back them up.
  • What relevant consumer apps are available for Win32? Legacy apps aren't the answer.
  • Win32 is for static computing...NOT MOBILE computing.   Here in lies the problem.  APPS are developed to doing things while mobile...meaning on the move.   Not I have this computer that is small and I can carry it around....but I cannot do anything on it while i am mobile and doing things.   Simple.  Why not just carrying a pc stick with you.  Thats the exact same thing as continuum.   DUMB Concept.
  • You will be left without writing material way before 2018..... A lot of pan in the sky with this editorials, man
  • Oh there's plenty to write about😉
  • Don't worry dude, he'll have plenty of writing material since the only thing he does is rehash the same article over and over again.
  • " We can only speculate but this suggests a phablet-sized configuration when folded and a small tablet form factor when unfolded." If the most recent Lenovo concept is any indication, it will be a while before we see something like this.
  • I don't like the Lenovo concept. Too filmsy. 2 screens are better, like Asus Taichi.
  • Taichi was bullsh!t and got overshadowed by 2 in 1/convertibles devices.
  • Taichi was "BS" because the battery life is horrible and it was super heavy due to extra batteries. However, it was a TabletPC and pushed the technology further than others, which is why I mentioned it.   Many of the lessons learnt enabled Surface and other 2-in-1. CPU speed finally caught up, LCD used less power and the switch to eMMC and SSD provided the biggest boost TabletPCs needed to become usable and light as iPads.   Anyway, I prefer a dual OLED display to a bendable OLED single display. That's my point.
  • No, we are going to have smartglasses, at least according to you last week....
  • hahah. in the face!
  • Ippon! Would give you an upvote but the Android app won't let me. We Android people have to live with an inferior Windows Central app. How about that.
  • Then go read and comment on lagdroid articles instead of trolling here, oh wait, your grandmother has you on restriction in the basement, NM.
  • You're stuck in 2013 if you still say lagdroid.
  • You're stuck in 2015 if you're still an Android fanatic.. Windows fans are looking to the future with new ways of doing things... All Android has to offer is a GS9, GS10, GS11, GS12, better camera, better camera, better camera, better camera.... Talk about being stuck in the past🙄🙄🙄🙄
  • Stuck in the past? Windows isn't the past?! Where is the logic there?!
  • Go see a psychiatrist. You have some serious mental issues.
    It's just a phone.
  • Lol.
  • So do us windows users.   I just use the website.  
  • If you'd ever used that terrible W10M app you wouldn't say that. I think the Android app works great, but I don't really care about up or down votes.
  • Yes, apart from that the Android app works great. I'm on Android since two weeks, before always Windows phones/apps.
  • I had switched to Android two weeks ago when my carrier offered a free upgrade.  Put my SIM card back in my Lumia 950xl earlier this week, I just can't stand not having Live Tiles...
  • After a few days I realized how good the life tiles on Windows mobile are. It's really a class above Android and iOS, imo. I was so used to them and now I experience the difference. If the rest of the Windows ecosystem had the same quality it would have been a hit. That said, I'm used to the Android icons by now and it works fine for me. Lots of updates, lots of apps, Google now in Dutch is great etc. So perfectly happy with my new Moto g5, great value for the money.
  • Of course an Android hater would upvote even an irrelevant comment just to make themselves feel better because of their fear a full on Windows (not toy droid) mobile device is coming. Right
  • He's taking about what the future might hold .. That article in no way suggest that's what MS is currently working on for market.. This comment is irrelevant... SMDH
  • Interesting you chose a picture of the Courier concept for the lead.  I've long though, and said so here in WC several times, that a workable portable form would be the Courier, with mobile data and with a detachable/dockable small handset.  Also somewhat amazing the Courier happened, what, 8-9 years ago?
  • Some of the patents Microsoft filed for a foldable device are reminiscent of the Courier. I don't think MS has completely abandoned that concept.
  • Jason, now you are disclosing  :-) MS will not like it  :-)
  • If it is too big to also be used as a phone, it will fail.  I already laugh out loud and point at people running around talking to their "serving trays".
  • I want a phone in size Lumia 800 with flagship specs. Miss this tiny smartphone.
  • I want a 1020 refresh with the same camera,  top internals with massive storage and ram,  with a REAL app store on it.  PLEASE MS  DO IT!
  • YES!  This!  I have a 950, but my 1020 is still my daily driver.
  • Im using a ip6s as my daily driver....I miss the 1020 hardware GREATLY.  BUT....the fact that MS ditched it in the 10 update,  plus the total lack of apps drove me away.  The 1020 is the BEST designed mobile device...EVER!   
  • The camera on that RED Android phone looks insane. If that thing isn't just vaporware and you feel like dropping $1500 or however much it's supposed to be.
  • What's too big to be used as a phone? Have you seen the device that's being developed? If so, can you show it to the rest of us?
    Rhetorical question....
  • Anything bigger than the 1020 / iphone "REGULAR" not plus is too big to be used as a phone.  the nexus 6, 1520 etc are all TOO BIG.
  • It's really a matter of preference and personal taste rather than an objective truth regarding what's too big for phone use. I've been using a Lumia 1520 for three years and prefer the size. I even feel the Lumia 950 XL a step down in size I didn't prefer. There are also regional preferences. The Chinese market (a very large market at that) prefers larger devices, particularly since the primary use is more PC-like usage, web surfing, messaging etc. The success of the larger iPhones and Samsung devices (and larger devices from other OEMs) suggest that the market is very accepting of devices much larger than the 4.7" 1020 and regular iPhone since most phablets now are around 5.5" and larger.😉
  • I agree and they do sell well,  just looks wankish with this huge brick sized device to your head as a phone.  I much prefer the 1020 / 4.7" as a phone. 
  • this is becoming pathetic!
  • Why?
  • I can't believe you are still writing these kind of stuff. I mean even Bill Gates wouldn't be that optimistic. "Microsoft has a bigger plan", "This time, this is it","Continiuum will be the future". For a couple of years, every article you have wrote was about future, about "big plan" and nearly none of them actually happened. So, no sir, microsoft's strategy wont hit our pockets, come back to real world please.
  • I am wondering why Daniel Rubino has still not fired this guy. He writes only imaginary essays here and plain bs. The worst part is his articles are always highlighted and click bait which disgusts me... Starting to hate this site already. is way more unbiased and accurate. Even is cooler
  • Then by all means go to those sites, NO ONE FORCED you to read this article, hopefully school starts up soon for a bunch of you and you can troll somewhere else.
  • @Hoppman Idiot!
  • Had enough of that smoking Hoppman?
  • he gets the clicks
  • But he still gets a lot of reading and clicks... it's good for the ads on the site.  If we keep being dragged in by his click-bait articles, then he will keep on pushing them :-)
  • Yeah, then go... WC was better before without y'all. Just saying.
  • Hi reomw. I appreciate your reading noneetheless. Thank you😉
  • Hi estolada actually please revisit my work. Most of it is an analysis of the big picture and long-term plan which would not have happened in the matter of months, or quarters but years. And with what looks to be Microsoft replacing W10M with Andromeda OS, true Windows, on a mobile form factor, and investments in full Windows on ARM, and even recent statements of a mobile device that is not a typical phone, my analysis seems to be playing out more or less as predicted.😉 Sure things can change, the McLaren was cancelled at the eleventh hour. But I feel my analsysis of what MS is doing is a good analysis. It's not a guarantee of success, just a statement of what I believe their plan is😉
  • Here is the problem with full Windows on ARM. Currently, in order to run it, you will need the top Snapdragon processor, which limits you to "flagship" type of phones. For this to be successful, the concept needs to reach all the way down to the $50-200 phone market. The closest thing to it now is the NuVision 8" Win10 tablet for ~$80. That would be a starting point for the low end; adding a GSM LTE radio to that type of device would suffice. Or something even more shocking, adding a GSM LTE radio to the Fire range of tablets.  As much as I follow tech, my financial situation limits me to a now 4-year W10 lap/desk top computer and low-end Android smartphones. 
  • If it's a Surface product, it will be high-end.  But then other OEMs will start making similar devices at better prices.  The high-end Snapdragon processor will drop in price as new better high-end Snapdragon comes out. It's always the case in tech, new things costs alot, but price go down afterwards.
  • Have you completed lost it? Lol.
    It's bound to be a Surface device.. Everyone already has discussed that it will probably top the $1,000 price point. What in the world?🤔🤔🤔
  • Then why the EFF are you still reading them, doesn't that mean you don't have much of a life, go read about apple or lagdroid and be happy.
  • I want to believe that this will be some great device that will turn everything around. But how much could you actually do with a "pocketable pc"? -it still wont run intensive tasks (video editing) on the go.
    -wont play cpu/gpu graphically intese games on the go.
    -wont run full windows programs at full speed (an updated Continuum MAY fix this, but only when docked) So what would be so game changing about it? Honest question, not trying to hate.
  •  is the video MS released of WoA on an snapdragon 820.  Since then, they've said it'll require an 835 for proper emulation. I'm pretty confident that it's gotten better than the initial demo.  In the video, they show off a game, but it's not exactly an intensive one.  If would be nice if they pushed it out the same time as the XBox One X so they could leverage a demo of "Watch us use the power of our XBox One X GPU by using game streaming to our Surface Courier". Honestly, what would be game changing(to me) would be calling the device the "Surface One".  This device would have no screen at all.  It would be the absolute smallest CPU/Memory/Storage/WiFi/Cell unit with a capacitor pack on it.  The Surface One would then be dockable to a phone, tablet, all-in-one, hololens, vr headset, and desktop accessories.  For phone and tablet form factors, the accessory would contain the battery.  The idea behing the capacitor is as soon as you pull it from it's host device, it has enough juice to do a suspend.  As soon as you slap it into another accesory, it wakes up.  Rather than having a "docking station" type accessory, you've got the "Desktop" accessory that allows GPUs for heavy gaming. Surface One would bring "personal" back to "Personal Computing".  Your Surface One is your personal computer for all occasions and it's on you at all times. Heck, while dreaming, go super fancy where the phone accessory can be wirelessly tethered to the Surface One.  That way if you've got your Surface One in something else and your within x feet, you can take phone calls.  The phone accessory notifies you when you are getting out of range so you can "place on hold" while you grab your Surface One out of whatever it's attached to and mount it in your phone accessory to get going. *sigh* Dreams.  I honestly don't see it happening though, but it does follow the whole "everything on server", "everything local" cycle that seems to happen. We're still in the cloud forward push, but we'll eventually cycle back around.  The Surface One concept would be the end result of "giving you everything on you" with the migration pattern of "always connected".
  • What would the point of this be? What does this accomplish that hasn't already been accomplished by the cloud. All my data is already on any PC I log into. This idea is stuck in 2005.
  • Contiunuum (the ability for apps to adapt to different display sizes) has nothing to do with performance. In terms of running at "full speed" Continuum has no role to play it that. MS has claimed that W10oA will run x86 based software at near native speeds, meaning it will run as it would if that same piece of x86 software had been compiled for ARM. This is likely marketing BS, but the best guess currently postiulates that x86 software will eventually run at near native speeds after having been launched a few times on W10oA, as with each launch more and more of its x86 code is translated to ARM which then no longer requires emulation (albeit low quality ARM code, hence "near native speads" rather than "at natives speeds"). The result is that you eventually have all x86 software installed twice on your system, once in the original x86 form and once as an ARM copy that is created on the fly. Anyway, to you question... Excluding some big reveal that we as of yet know nothing about, W10oA will not turn much around at all. At least not in the consumer space, which is what most hear are focused on. W10oA will come with all the administrative, complexity and security downsides that desktops traditionally come with (MS will not limit app availability to the store as they did with W10S). Most consumers already have a laptop somewhere in their homes, which they only ever need for the "more serious" work, which already meets most or all of their mobility requirements (moving from couch, to table, to office). That's why for most people, W10oA will be entierely unexiting. Most will prefer the laptop form factor with a decent sized screen already built in. However, there is certainly a niche market where this could be very useful. For road warriors who already pack a lot of equipment, or people with multiple offices which now maintain multiple computer setups at various locations, this could be a very interesting device. However, those are more likely to be people in professional roles than people lounging around at home looking for cat pics. To MS fans still hoping this will somehow make MS relevant again in mobile, on a mass market scale, I say forget it... It could, over years, and assuming it does find a solid footing in the niche it is designed for, lead to a more populated app store that also includes more UWP apps that run on small displays. That is important for MS' long term viability, but it won't translate to consumer success, at least not in the near term.  
  • Why won't it?
  • Why will it? The only thing ARM brings is maybe slightly better battery life at the expense of performance. Maybe in several years ARM performance will be worthwhile, but won't Windows be totally irrelevant by then?
  • i need this device... smart phone and surface in one device... pocket PC or any name... just ability to run x86 apps  
  • Whatever.
  • It won't change the fact that Windows 10 store desktop doesn't have apps.
    This is why Mobile suffered.
    Windows 10 is the problem, not Mobile.
  • My Surface 3 is almost perfect.. In my pocket it belongs....
  • Get larger pockets.
  • That's an option, but it has no telephony 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
  • Trade it for an LTE version? ha ha.  You would be set then.
  • .
  • Weren't you claiming some time ago that AI will replace the apps and the actual phones will be pointless ?
  • No. I said that bots would replace apps (not all apps) and that smartphones as the iterative, annual updated rectangular slabs would were "dead", in the sense that they are reaching a dead end point where the tasks they are capable of in relation to personal computing on a mobile platform are reaching thier limits. Whereas an ultramobile PC running a full OS full Windows based on UWP, and Continuum enables Microsoft's solution to bring the power a PC with Continuum, to a mobile platform while retaining the benefits of a mobile UI and form factor.
  • Hey Jason. Reading the response to your articles I have a request, how about an article that clears up the confusion on WOA and continuum and x86 emulation and the other stuff people seem to be confused about... so we can stop having the same fights. 
  • The issue is no one knows for sure the answers to those topics you mentioned...
  • Right. Samsung's flagships are selling at unprecedented numbers. The hype surrounding Apple's upcoming iPhone releases (if they ever get production figured out) is more than substantial. But phones are at a dead end and a couple of failed concepts, UWP & continuum, are going to suddenly set the world on fire when Microsoft relaunches their mobile line yet again... That's more than a little ridiculous.
  • Microsoft doesn't have to start somewhere or anywhere. The hardware is ready, it's just the software and windows fit and finish that is lagging behind. A simple reorganization of the roadmap to push fit and finish, and windows 10 and mobile would be in a different place. That's what I'm seeing. In it would have looked and be wonderful.
  • How is the hardware anywhere close to ready? It took them 2 years to design & release a thin & light laptop. Another 12-18 months at least and the 1st generation product will likely be sub-par...
  • I can't speak for the surface laptop, but the surface pro is a mature hardware device. Owning a Surface a pro, for me the trend of the last 5 years is still a lack of fit and finish of the windows software. The device is fine.
  • I am hard core windows phone fan, still have 950XL and will have it until it dies or no longer works. I will get whatever Microsoft comes out with as long as I will be able to put it in my back pocket of my jeans....
  • Wow! You have a serious problem, brother.
  • But you dont(?)
  • I have many many problems. Fortunately obsession with anything bearing a microsoft logo is not one of them.
  • No offense Ismar, wish you well!
  • Hey don't laugh.  I too am a big fan of my 950xl.  Two weeks ago had a free phone upgrade at my carrier so picked up one of the top Android of the day (LG G6).  Just two days ago after two weeks on Android I moved my SIM card back to my 950xl... I just can't get the hang of Android (and don't even mention iOS to me).
  • Still using my 950 with much luck.. App situation sucks, but as a smartphone it's working very nicely.
  • Smartphone?  you mean feature phone right?  Ha ha...Apps make phones smart...not the lack of them!  I kid,  I kid!
  • Bet on continuum.... Yeah.... I'll pass.
  • How many articles can you spin from the same speculation?  MS fail on mobile have no one to blame but themself, that's the fact.  MS does not have a app store that can depends on, that's the fact.  Mobile don't have the resources to run productive(or game) x86 programs, that's the fact.  7" is not exactly pocketable, as a guy you should know better. 
  • Depending on what your definition of "productive" is.
  • Adobe?  Autocad?  large excel?  VS? 
  • Other than Visual Studio, these are heavy workload apps. But the category "productive" spans wider IMO.
  • In this case how this "one size fit all" mobile PC with phone function replace a work PC?  It will run into the same issues that x3 run into. 
  • I agree with you... Nobody will ever cook food with this electricity crap! An open flame is what will always be used.. And, don't even get me started on that microwave foolishness... Are they nutz? They're gonna blow us all up!
  • Rodney...Are you a MAN?  FIRE IS THE BEST FOR COOKING HANDS DOWN!....BBQ/SMOKING/GAS RANGES!   All fire...All the best...Agree with microwaves!  that stuff is for college students warming up pizza leftovers!
  • There is something we need to know. Something we need to remember. Full windows OS does not have any real competition. Let's say one must die, which one should it be: Full windows or MacOS? Full windows or iOS? Full windows or Android? Full windows or Chrome OS?. None of the mentioned OS can beat the Windows OS almost 80% of the world relies on for serious things, I'm not talking about playing Temple Run.  If Microsoft itself does not know the strength of their own creation then I'm sorry for us.  But seriously if Microsoft can provide an adaptive UI to Full Windows that is optimized for desktop, tablet and phone but still keep all the features and capabilities of the windows we love then there is no reason the Surface Phone or whatever will not succeed. It will even beat up the competition if the performance and battery life are good enough
  • this is getting too funny for me 
  • Another month another article like this. I understand the need, however even if this materialises I can't see it taking off. What will you be able to to on those that you can't on an iPhone or Android now? Does anyone actually want it? Even if they don't realise they want it, can Microsoft's pisspoor marketing actually create that want? Hell no.
  • "Surface Book is a powerful laptop that is also a digital clipboard."
    I like how Microsoft and its paid journalists like all Windows Central team and fanboys don't stop trying to convice the general audience in made up words like "digital clipboard", "mixed reality" etc., when this is just a tablet. Microsoft desperately tries to distance itself from the successful competition by making its own thing, later to claim that it is the first at something (because they missed the mobile boat), no matter how pathetic they look. It's so pathetic.
  • Don't you have a circle jerk over at lagdroid central to join, maybe a peter pull at, that will make you feel better.
  • truth makes me feel better, but in some cases, with some people it hurts uh?
  • not even a tablet...tablet experience on windows is simply mediocre.
  • Or even non-existent.
  • You still don't understand the problem at all! The problem is not PC or phone. The problem is Windows as a platform, there are just too many things everyday that can only work on the phone or devices on other platforms. Even you have most powerful PC in you hand, you just can't do it. Those services only have phone app, and there's no web portal at all. If PC can solve most of real world problem today, I don't mind to take it with me everyday, no matter how large it is. A simple example, even at home, lost of smart devices don't have PC app / web portal to control it. Either you don't make your home smart, or you need to have some devices not running on Windows. That's the problem. Stop talking about PC or phone, you missed the real problem, the platform.
  • windowscentral is missing a lot of the real problems lately...
  • Microsoft is missing these problems. Windows Central is just too loyal and optimistic to the point of delusion. Microsoft's ecosystem is falling behind rapidly. The idea that legacy x86 software is still relevant and will be in 5 years just isn't a good argument. Microsoft can call it whatever they want, but it will be a phone first and unless it had a great phone experience, it won't matter.
  • Well, ill believe it when I see it. Ill promote it to my family if its supported 2 years. Former lumia icon worshipper. Lol. For now on to different trails. I do hope MS pulls the proverbial rabbit out their collective arse though. Loved my Icon.
  • pocket sized windows device that lets you message and voice call on a national carrier to other phones, that's it.
  • So pocket pc with Skype as a dialer, kind of like how skype already handles text and calling in windows 10 mobile? ☺ 
  • Wow, lots of negativity in the comments section today. Thanks for the optimism and foresight, Jason. Here's hoping MS does something drastic about their marketing efforts once the "beyond the curve" hardware unicorn finally releases or else it's doomed to fail like so many other previous consumer-focused products from them.
  • Optimism based on mindless speculation is like happiness from a bottle, it's fleeting and ultimately insubstantial. This is transparent corporate cheerleading, there's no substance or proof, and as for foresight? When was the last time he was right?
  • I believe a few years ago Microsoft said they researched and found that 6 inches is the maximum size for an ergonomic smartphone. I think 7 inches is a little too big. I'm not going to walk on the street talking to a 7 inches slab. Somebody might argue that I could use a Bluetooth headset for conversations and issue verbal commands to my pocketable PC. Still, I say that 7 inches is too big for my pockets. Regarding issuing verbal commands to Cortana I can say that right now Cortana doesn't respond well to non-native English speakers. A few days ago I was wearing my Bluetooth headset and I was trying to get Cortana on my Lumia 950XL to tell me the time. "Tell me the time" didn't work. "I'm sorry, I didn't understood you." was Cortana answer. Then I tried "What time it is?". Same answer. Then "Time please". Same answer. I tried to speak more slowly, to pronounce more clearly, no success. Now take into consideration that my phonebook contains only people with Romanian names. How am I going to command Cortana to initiate a phone call with a certain contact? One last thing about this pocketable PC: I would like to be able to run various applications on it when I'm on the move and the device is in its pocketable form factor. I don't want to have to go home to connect it to some dock so that I can check the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for example. What I'm saying is that I need applications that can run when I take the device out of my pocket on the street.
  • Cortana isn't that great with a lot of English speakers either.
  • I hope they include 3D and AR tech in camera, eye tracking, hand gestures and such. As intermediate device between phone and ar-glasses. Sooner the better. They should also go for -one app for all- like feature. I hope it comes soon, next year may be too late, to be first to introduce tech is also important so you get all attention.
  • It it so nice to read an article that focuses on the (re)birth of a Microsoft device what will supersede plain mobile instead of saying that [Microsoft] mobile is dead.
  • But it's just speculation, there is no evidence such a device is being built. I still view windows phone as dead.
  • Just my two cents...  Bill Gates just sold 64 million of his MSFT stock valued at $4.6 billion leaving him with just 1.3 percent of MSFT stock.  I wonder if he did that because he knows something that we don't.  Does he see the writing on the wall?  Even if MSFT is able to come out with a game changing device, it's going to be a very steep up hill climb to get any more market share in the mobile field.  They had a chance to remain in the mobile market with the Lumia brand, but now more and more people are switching to the competition.  IMHO their marketing department is the lousiest most incompetent department on the planet.  My Lumia Icon has started rebooting itself constantly since the last update, and when it finally gives up the ghost, that's going to be the end of my support of MSFT.  Way to go MSFT with your so called WAAS; I prefer WAAD Windows as a Disservice.  
  • MS is done for! Nadella is burying it to the ground...on this short term he made some more money, but on the long term MS lost a lot from customers: confidence! Trust in your products is more important than money, and MS lost a lot! Who on earth trusts this company full of liars anymore? besides fanboys?
  • We will see, but if they don't put all the radios in it for ALL carriers, it won't even have a chance.
  • Even if they do have all the radios it won't help. If they can't sell them on one carrier, how will adding more carriers help? It will just more wasted effort. It won't sell on 4 carriers instead of 1. Apple, Samsung, LG and others proved themselves by selling exclusively on one carrier. They showed they have good products that the carriers should support. Microsoft has done the opposite. They have proven that their products are not in demand and don't deserve wide carrier support.
  • I am not convinced the fabled all in one miracle device will ever be successful. It will be a good niche device for folks who travel. I for one, am completely satisfied with the many devices I own (phone, tablet, workstation, gaming rig) and the cloud that keeps them all perfectly synced.
  • I travel and the last thing I would want is a Microsoft phone and a laptop shell or whatever. Travel apps are not supported and there is no reason for my phone to power my PC. That is an answer looking for a problem. There is no need for it.
  • indeed it would be a niche, travelling executives and evetually we 'll have rugged WoA devices replacing the PDA's handhelds etc i.e. devices running on windows mobile currently.
  • I wonder for how many more years we MS fanboys can fan the flames to keep this myth alive. After 2 years of W10, there is precisely nothing on the MS stable block radar, nothing. It's hard to believe a device would come out in time for the coming Christmas market so there are absolutely no embers to waste time blowing over. There's no sign of ARM, though if there were, you'd have to ask why a big firm like Intel couldn't have brought out some revolutionary life-saving mobile chip. MS is the next IBM, a business only service orientated company. It's time for us to accept it. Period. 
  • Sincere question... how many people need a full pc in their pocket? How many would prefer it to a smartphone? 
    I'm not a tech person. I only know how I use this stuff - everything revolves around my desktop as a writer. My phone is primarily used for communication. I have zero need to take what is available to me on my desktop and cart it around, and I can already do that anyway.  That's me. How about everyone else? How would you use it? 
  • Well you can ask yourself why somebody right now gets a 800$ iPhone or Samsung..what is the real need except communication(mail,Viber facebook) that a 200$ phone can't do..oh I see its the camera or an apple icon.. Well I d love to see real x64 or x32 apps running on my pocket pc phone...but what can I say I m just a tech guy :)
  • I want APPS.  Unitl microsoft can deliver the apps I have on my iphone,  I won't be back.
  • The vast majority of people don't. Commenters on this site aren't really representative of the public at large. Just going by comments you'd believe it's expected that this magic device will be launching Soon™, be perfect on the first iteration, achieve widespread mainstream success, catapult Microsoft ahead of Android and iOS in mobile device market share, etc... Honestly, it's just kind of silly.
  • Dreamland.....
  • Ahh yes, another episode of "Fantasy Island".....
  • [deleted. My html editing attempt fail.]
  • All the apps (store apps, win32 apps, etc.) should run in continuum mode on Surface Fold...
  • WOA + CShell + Android Bridge + Sexy High Powered hardware + great camera, I will ditch my Android phone in a heartbeat and come back.  Do it MS, just Do it already. 
  • Add in a dishwasher & teleportation and I'm in too.
  • So you can have a mediocre phone experience that gives you a mediocre PC experience? What is the point?
  • I think this could be successful if they stay committed like with Xbox and Surface and not like Microsoft Band and Zune. Also they truly need to bring all their teams together on this like you mentioned in a previous opinion piece. I think there are plenty of people looking for that one device to rule them all. Fingers crossed Microsoft can deliver.
  • This doesn't address the issue with Microsoft which are apps. Most people don't need to run Photoshop and AutoCAD on the streets, they are demanding apps like Snapchat and YouTube which still aren't available on Windows PCs. They should bring back Project Astoria to allow Android apps on PCs or ultra mobile PCs. Developers are lazy and don't want to code for a new platform nevermind one which has no marketshare. I will still have to carry around an Android or iOS phone to do the things everyone else does when not at the office.  
  • It's because there's not enough hardware that software selection in WinMo is reducing in numbers. Also, from WP7 to Win10Mo, it's a reset which angers developers, as you've mentioned. A new mobile device should JUST run Windows 10, be it ARM or x86.
  • Well Surface Fold is supposed to be a mini powerfull pc, and -BTW- has telephony feature as well. If the Surface Fold is going to cost $1000 to $1500, I would then like to see custom made orders as follows which would justify for the higher costs and gives you what you need versus what is being sold to you! ROM and RAM different capacities or the combination of two USB-c 3.1, Thunderbolt or mini display out MicroSD card slot, single/dual sim Mini-hdmi port to connect to big screen without the Display Dock. Basically, built-in signal switching of MS display dock inside. A mini remote control that pops up the body would be nice as well. This would be in addition to the stylus pen. Or, stylus pen could accommodate some remote control funtionalities. Also the device should have configurable internal infarared sensors (receivers) for mouse and keyboard wireless connection so you won't need a separate dock
  • So they want to bring back what we had in the year 2000 with pocket pc's????
    And once again abandon them, bring out windows mobile, then yet again, windows 10 mobile...... and we just start all over again??? Smh
  • They have no clue about phone size devices and how to ride the storm. Never had, except for the days when Nokia engineers were working at MS and actually had a clue about what a smartphone is.
  • Firstly, we need kickass hardware with loads of gimmicks, YES gimmicks. Consumers love gimmicks so there's something to show off. Surface Pen support, foldable screen (not using flexible OLED), Windows Hello and other blah blah to hype the consumer market. It needs 2 batteries, yes 2 (3000mah x2) on either fold so battery can last a day. Resolution needs to be 2560x2880 total. DPI must be high so a Lumia 950 size when folded is fine.   However, to keep the package thin, we may to sacrifice Qi-charging. And the camera will have to be on the inside fold. When folded, the whole phone will be at least 15mm thick!
  • It's just to late for Microsoft on the mobile front. People are use to tapping on an app not using a computer without apps when it comes to a phone. Not that I like it but it just seems to be the way it is. I've swithched from being a long time happy Windows Phone user to an Android and I just don't have faith in Microsoft on the mobile front. It would really take a lot and I mean a LOT for me to come back and I would not even consider it till Microsoft's proven itself for 2 years. 
  • Unless MS finally figures out Marketing 101 this will be another rinse and repeat
  • Methinks Windows central knows something that we dont and they keep posting these things to get the hype going.
  • I would say half that comment is correct.
  • they do know that Ms is doing nothing and yet they have to keep the readership going on.
  • Jason, it seems you and other fanboys here continue to fail to understand how pocket devices need to be TODAY, not in the next 10 years. Such a device needs to be usefull on the go FIRST! meaning APPS that are touch friendly, mobile apps. Can it be a full underpowered PC when connected to a dock? ok with that for those that would use it (considering the monumental FAIL of the current continuum, and even Samsung's Dex, who on earth would preffer to always look for a monitor and peripherals instead of having a decent ultrabook with him), but a pocket device IS a SMARTPHONE FIRST! How delusional can you be thinking anyone would ditch their Android or Iphone to have a pocket device with a totally mediocre non touch optimized UI and with NO APPS that can be used on the go?? Besides of course some fanboys that would eat any crap that comes out of Nadella & Co... A business man having his morning coffee down at the hotel won't waste time looking for a monitor, mouse and keyboard just to use a simply useless continuum crap! when an ultrabook is way easier to use: take it out, open it and done! Sometimes I do believe people saying that part of the guilt in the continuous massive failures of MS goes to the delusional fanboys that were/are not capable of slapping MS in the face when needed! You keep talking about mythical products that very few would buy...because hardly any one trusts MS these days after their never ending crap, lies and ZERO commitment to customers...Look at HP X3. Besides some fans that simply burned their money for nothing, who bought that over expensive crap? Alcatel as well. Acer as well. As long as MS continues to lie and deliver mediocre quality and services, no pocket device, no matter who makes it, will ever succeed!
  • Hi mmgn thanks for the question. I address your concerns and those others have echoed in great detail in an earlier piece that I link below. First I fully understand the challenges the current lack of apps presents. I also realize that no one can make anyone do anything. Microsoft can't make developers make apps. So the question is in this situation where relatively few developers are making Windows apps, what does Microsoft do in relation to a need for a mobile device in the market. Now the reality is that with the chicken-egg scenario in full effect Microsoft can only control one side of the equation, and that is attempt to put a device in the market that will appeal to even if just a niche group, with an attempt to grow in the long run. Now a careful read of this and other pieces will reveal that I never claim users will ditch their iPhones and Android phones for this device. Also, I believe I've exceedingly clear in this and other pieces that the UI would be touch friendly. In response and anticipation of the "non-touch-friendly" assumption you present I dedicated an entire section in this piece where I contrast the seven-inch GDP Pocket, which doesn't have a mobile optimized UI to what I'm proposing. Again I understand the challenges the app gap poses, as well as other challenges you don't mention. I identify those four major challenges and address them in great detail in the link below. Here is an opening expert from that article, after which I address each bulleted point in the article. Please read the piece as I will not be reposting that info here. Excerpt from How Microsoft can ensure Surface "phone" success: "If nothing else Microsoft has been very clear and consistent with its cryptic messaging that the company is "committed to mobile," not smartphones. Thus, the ultimate-mobile-device strategy must be broader than simply plopping a new device into a preexisting market segment. Here are four things I feel Microsoft's ultimate-mobile-device strategy must address, either directly or indirectly, as the company positions itself for success in the mobile space: Getting mobile hardware into consumers hands. Differentiating between the smartphone and mobile space. Winning OEM partners to a new device category. Closing the app gap and garnering developer support. These aren't trivial challenges, but I believe (and hope) that Microsoft's leadership and engineers are working on an ultimate-mobile-device strategy (not just a device) that takes these variables into account." Now please read the details of how Microsoft can address each of those challenges:
  • Jason, MS has been exactly going in opposite direction, just see how it neglects UWP for IOS and androids, Linkedin Skype etc, there are enogh examples, if MS was indeed targetting what you propose, you would definitely see some effort atleast on software side, but it hasnt happened, so probably time to stop these speculations and fantasies, may be comeback when you have something more concrete. you may call you thoughts the big picture but you cannot explain the real actions by MS that contradict what u say.
  • Its time to move on from the Pocket PC/ UMPC (Ultra-Mobile PC) concept.  At best, its an answer to a question, no one is asking.  Tasks that 
  • The pocket pc or umpc (Ultra mobile PC) is a dead concept.  Many PC tasks have been moved to smartphones and tablets.  Laptops and Desktops are mostly relegated to handing performance crucial tasks.  Any surface phone will be a performance compromise for such tasks, and will be dead in the water.  At best it works as a compimentary device, from which it won't be as compact as a smartphone nor as powerful as the owners laptop;  again, dead in the water.   We should pray Microsoft isn't trying to perfect the Pocket PC.  Its an answer to a question no one is asking.  OIf anyone is curious about Pocket PCs in their heyday,  look up the Samsung Q1 or Sony Vaio UX280P.
  • THey HAVE to start talking about this stuff, other companies will beat them tot he punch if they wait much longer
  • Assuming there is something to beat them to. If anyone else thinks this is a good strategy, they are already working on it. Microsoft needed this with the release of W10 and they needed it to be good then. It is quickly becoming too late and they still seem to be years away with this supposed project.
  • Dream on. Here again is yet another "press release" describing some future product that we all know isn't going to happen. It isn't even being developed. This is no different than the promises made with Windows Phone 7. I recall video of how my phone would track my flights, determine my location check traffic and determine if I would make my flight. I got my first Windows Phone based on that alone.  Not only was that not true, that wasn't something being developed. I haven't respected Joe Belfiore since that time. But I soldered on and still soldier on. But the consumer side is becoming a supermarket rag. Big headlines, but the story is pure fantasy.   
  • Didn't Joe Belfiore say full Windows wasn't coming to phones? He said they said they have Windows mobile for the phone experience. That doesn't fit with this vision. It sounds like Microsoft is now going in another direction.
  • Hi bleached you're right. What I'm proposing is not full Windows on phone. It is a PC. Perhaps this excerpt from an earlier piece will help: "Making PCs pocketable, not cramming full Windows on phones It's important to understand that this facet of what I believe was Microsoft's original mobile plan was not a redundancy. There was no attempt to bring full Windows to "phones." Microsoft had Windows 10 Mobile for phones. Full Windows on ARM is not an attempt to bring full Windows to phone. It is, however, an attempt to optimize Windows on cellular-connected hardware to a point where PCs could be moved into smaller mobile form factors with the addition of telephony. Unique PC form factors, on pocketable devices with Continuum and context-conforming CShell I believe has long been Microsoft's goal. Skype sets a precedence for making phone calls on PCs. I know it's challenging for some readers to visualize the difference between this and bringing full Windows to a phone. The simplest way to put it is to consider the starting point. Microsoft's not starting with a smartphone and cramming a PC OS onto it and calling it a PC. It's starting with a PC, optimizing it for ARM and cellular connectivity and giving it a form-factor that is pocketable while adding phone attributes such as telephony, and acknowledging it as what it is, a PC. This analysis is consistent with Joe Belfiore's statement that full Windows on ARM is for PC's and not phones. The device I'm describing is a PC." Hi bleached you're right. What I'm proposing is not full Windows on phone. It is a PC. Perhaps this excerpt from an earlier piece will help: "Making PCs pocketable, not cramming full Windows on phones It's important to understand that this facet of what I believe was Microsoft's original mobile plan was not a redundancy. There was no attempt to bring full Windows to "phones." Microsoft had Windows 10 Mobile for phones. Full Windows on ARM is not an attempt to bring full Windows to phone. It is, however, an attempt to optimize Windows on cellular-connected hardware to a point where PCs could be moved into smaller mobile form factors with the addition of telephony. Unique PC form factors, on pocketable devices with Continuum and context-conforming CShell I believe has long been Microsoft's goal. Skype sets a precedence for making phone calls on PCs. I know it's challenging for some readers to visualize the difference between this and bringing full Windows to a phone. The simplest way to put it is to consider the starting point. Microsoft's not starting with a smartphone and cramming a PC OS onto it and calling it a PC. It's starting with a PC, optimizing it for ARM and cellular connectivity and giving it a form-factor that is pocketable while adding phone attributes such as telephony, and acknowledging it as what it is, a PC. This analysis is consistent with Joe Belfiore's statement that full Windows on ARM is for PC's and not phones. The device I'm describing is a PC."
  • To be honest, I am about to move to a different platform. Not because of apps nor because I don't like the WM software in general. I still think it would be a better plaform, if, they would work out the bugs. Apps taking forever to open, poor wifi and bluetooth connections, random reboots and other problems. It is too unstable. On another note, these speculative articals on the future of Microsoft in the mobile space are getting tiresome. Give us some real facts with only an occasional "what if" post.   
  • Yeah, at a cost few people will be willong to pay.
  • Folks all of this would have been mute if developers had given windows smartphones the Apps they put on Android and Apple iphones. for the last 2 years I have felt Microsoft should make a mini tablet smart phone PC hybrid that would run UWP apps and regular windows10 PC store Apps including the new "Centennial Apps which are modified Win32 x86 desktop PC Programs that people can get from the Windows 10 PC store. This device wont be as popular as a smart phone but will be able to run MILLIONS OF DESKTOP PC PROGRAMS making this device very very useful even though it's bigger than a smart phone. I would buy one. 
  • a Microsoft insider says an Andromeda device may not come to market til 2019. I worry that by 2019 many curent  Microsoft smart phone users may have moved on to buy Apple iphones and Android smart phones. folks an Andromeda Surface smart phone or Mini Tablet smart phone hybrid device would have to be pretty nice for people to come back to Windows smart phones. microsof I hope steps up their efforts and brings out a nice device by mid 2018 at the latest
  • I also listened this time line...I hope in something for 2018, but I think that in the best case we can see some dual boot smartphone based on android devices...
  • One must reflect this is as close to a 'fake news' column as you can get. Vapour.
  • I think a killer feature (currently missing in Windows 10 Mobile) is a proper clipboard that's able to copy text and media from anywhere to anywhere.  The current clipboard in W10M has constraints that aren't present on the desktop (such as copying an image from a web page to a Facebook reply), which keeps it from being a true desktop replacement.