What is Microsoft's intelligent edge and how does it affect mobile?

Microsoft's growing investments in cloud computing and a recent reorg reflecting those investments are sure to bring greater attention to Microsoft's intelligent edge and mobile strategy.

To understand the intelligent edge, however, we must have a basic grasp of the intelligent cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Heads in the cloud

Cloud computing is using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet, rather than a local server or personal computer, to store, manage, and process data. Simply put the Internet, or cloud has enabled computing that is no longer limited to a local hard drive but allows access to data and services that exist on other internet-connected devices.

Microsoft's OneDrive, OneNote, the online versions of Office, Google's productivity suite, Apple's iCloud and DropBox are examples of cloud-based products and services.

From a business perspective cloud offerings include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

  • IaaS companies rent IT infrastructure such as servers, operating systems or networks on a pay-as-you-go basis, from a cloud provider like Microsoft.
  • PaaS is ideal for web or mobile app developers who need an on-demand environment to develop, test, deliver and manage their software. The cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure.
  • SaaS is a means of providing software on-demand, over the Internet and is usually subscription based. The cloud provider manages upgrades, security and the underlying infrastructure. Users use Internet-connected devices like smartphones, PCs or tablets to access this software.

In conjunction with the cloud, the IoT is important to understanding edge computing. IoT is the interconnected array of computing devices, objects, and machines with unique identifiers that are capable of transferring data over a network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. These devices include wearables, connected cars, smart home appliances and more. As devices which are closest to the user, they exist at the cloud's edge.

What is the Intelligent Edge?

The intelligent edge is the process where data is analyzed and aggregated at a point close to where it is captured in a network.

Sam George of Microsoft's Azure IoT Team demonstrated (in video above) how logic for analysis of factory equipment that usually occurs in the cloud could be moved to a connected device onsite, on the cloud's edge.

This IoT Edge solution reduced latency associated with the transfer of data between the cloud and device.

During an April 2017, investors call Nadella shared his edge computing vision and alluded to its even more profound applications.

Everyone's talking about the cloud; the most interesting part is the edge of the cloud. Whether it's IoT… auto industry… retail, essentially compute is going where the data gets generated… which is the edge.[A] lot of what we have done with IoT is create an IoT edge... the ability to run a neural network at the edge, doing inferences at the edge is exciting.

Nadella said companies will eventually modernize their workloads by utilizing Microsoft's intelligent edge. He admits this is a long view that will endure a lot of market volatility as the industry transitions to increased edge computing:

It will also be modernized to live on the edge of the cloud. That's a multiyear and a generational transformation. Quarter to quarter, there will be all kinds of volatility. But… we have a very clear worldview of what is it that we want to get done.

Data, computational power and AI on the edge

Nadella stated at Build 2017: "We're moving from what is today's mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge." A user's experiences are being distributed across all devices. Within this context the multi-device experience now needs platform capabilities, he explained.

As more devices permeate our environment and become increasingly connected, more data is being generated at that clouds edge. Nadella gave an example of connected cars generating hundreds of gigabytes of data.

This amassing of data draws computational power to the edge enabling AI to process information and inferences to be made that were previously relegated to the cloud. Thus, an intelligent edge.

Intelligent surveillance, watching from the edge

Whereas George's demo showed the lower extreme of the intelligent edge, Microsoft's AI-driven surveillance tech demonstrates the higher extreme.

Using standard cameras such as those already in workplaces, hospitals, schools and communities Microsoft's AI enhanced surveillance solution can recognize people, places, things, actions and environmental conditions. In an initial deployment as a safety measure in workplaces and hospitals, it can also act proactively to convey information to appropriate personnel based on what it "sees."

AI-infused Internet-connected cameras that benefit from rich data collection, computational power, and powerful AI is just one example of an intelligent edge.

Dystopian abuse of Microsoft's powerful AI-driven surveillance tech is all but inevitable

Nadella envisions a world permeated with a diverse array IoT devices in homes, businesses, and communities that will comprise an intelligent edge. Microsoft's cloud investments are an attempt to position it for success in this coming shift to an ambient computing environment.

Smartphones on the edge

Like IoT and other cloud-connected devices smartphones are part of the intelligent edge. They also utilize various sensors to absorb a range of information about the environment they're in and the people who carry them. Limited AI and digital assistants use that data in conjunction with the cloud for various functions on behalf of users.

Like other devices that comprise the intelligent edge, the amount of data smartphones will be able to process will only increase with time. With this increase in data will come the resultant increase in computational power Nadella referred to, and the increased role and capacity of AI on mobile devices.

Microsoft's cloud strategy is positioning the company to provide not only the cloud backend for cross-platform products and services such as apps but also a cross-platform intelligent edge.

Microsoft demonstrated (above) the company's incorporation of iPhones, Windows, and Android phones as part of the Microsoft Graph (opens in new tab) with Cortana functioning as a cross-platform UI and a Windows 10 PC as a hub. This strategy allows users to begin tasks on their smartphone of choice and with the support of the Microsoft Graph and Cortana continue that task on a PC and vice versa.

Microsoft's strategy is an attempt to move as much of the industries products, services, apps and more to its intelligent cloud platform, Azure. It's also building out its intelligent edge by extending cloud-based services to an increasing array of devices like smartphones and incorporating them into a broad and encompassing strategy where they will exist on the edge of Microsoft's cloud.

The ultimate mobile and intelligent edge device

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft positions what Nadella calls an ultimate mobile device, or ultramobile Surface PC to take advantage of the cloud and intelligent edge infrastructure it is building. One would think Microsoft capable of (and strategically inclined to) building hardware and software that would work synergistically and uniquely with its evolving cloud and intelligent edge platform.

Without getting into a debate over semantics, what we call smartphones are more computers than they are phones. With defining and sought after specs such as processor speeds, storage capacities, RAM and more, descriptions of and selling points for smartphones are congruous with those of PCs. With phone calls ranking below web surfing, social media activity, messaging and more, mobile device usage is also more analogous with PC than phone usage. Smartphones are indeed computers that perform an array of functions via apps of which telephony (phone) is simply another function among millions.

With celluar PCs and selling mobile data through the Windows Store, Microsoft is showing signs of recognizing the dominant role of data on mobile devices and may be building a platform to bypass carriers and offer voice calls over the internet. Google with its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Project FI is doing just that. Microsoft which already has the internet voice and video calling asset of Skype may follow a similar strategy.

Living on the edge

I imagine Microsoft's long-term intelligent cloud and intelligent edge strategy, which Nadella concedes is generational (meaning it will take time) includes internet or cloud-connected cross-platform mobile devices where telephony is provided via data over the cloud.

When one views smartphones as the cloud-connected computers they are, the potential Surface phone as a Windows on ARM ultramobile PC, the evolution of cloud-connected tech and Microsoft's unrelenting cloud investments Microsoft's long play comes into view.

An intelligent edge that includes not only billions of IoT devices but also potentially hundreds of millions or billions of cross-platform mobile devices supported by Microsoft's graph, AI, and Cortana is Microsoft's goal. If Nadella honors his "best on Windows" promise Microsoft's ultimate mobile device just may have an edge.

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!!! Microsoft's cloud strategy is both broad an deep and incorporates it's mobile ambitions. The real future of the cloud ☁ seems to be in the intelligent edge. As Nadella noted, the amount of data and consequently computational power inherent in the edge creates "ad hoc data centers." For edge of the cloud devices to move from simply functioning as input devices to being capable of complex computation and AI, is a big advance and opens ones imagination to the possibilities inherent to cloud connected personal computing devices as time moves on. What are your thoughts? LET'S TALK!!!
  • Amazing..you bring more effort to your articles than MSFT to the mobile industry.
  • Damn... RIcardoo, you summed it up real good. JW does a load of homework on his articles, refreshing, educative and and enlightening.
  • And ultimately going nowhere. They are fantastical at best. Nothing he has written about has shown to be true at all. Microsoft has no mobile ambitions. The recent re-org to concentrate on business and cloud marketing proves that. They didn't re-org around mobile marketing. There is no way to spin it. Jason certainly tries though!
  • Hi bleached I never said that the reorg was was "around" mobile It did point out that that re-org is focused on Microsoft's cloud ambitions to be the intelligent platform for as much of the industries cloud-based activities as possible. I also brought to the forefront Microsoft ambitions with the edge of the cloud infrastructure and the computational power and role of AI that will allow across a range of billions of IoT devices that Microsoft wants to power via its edge of the cloud. Smartphones are part of that edge, and MS demonstration with the incorporation of iOS, Android and Windows phones as part of Microsoft's Graph and Cortana as a UI to continue activity with the support of the cloud across devices (on the edge) shows us where MS is headed and what it is shooting for. Now, success isn't a guarantee, but a plan is in play nonetheless. Now, if Nadella's ultimate mobile device comes to fruition and Nadella's "best on Windows" promise supports it, it ideally will benefit from MS cloud and edge of the cloud infrastructure in a way iOS and android supported devices will not, in conjunction with other differentiators' the device may have as we have discussed in other articles. Again, I am not claiming that the strategy will succeed, there are many forces at play. I'm simply presented the strategy as I see it.
  • The "best on Windows" comment was from a year ago and in that time they have not made good on it. The best Microsoft experience is not on Windows Mobile. Even today they launched new iPhone only app! It they were serious about Windows, that app would be available there first. Microsoft is the king of unmet promises. It is tough to take anything they say seriously, especially something they said a year ago. You are building your argument on very shaky ground. They have not been building there service to be best on Windows. Actually, they have put minimal effort into UWP. Certainly not the effort one would expect from manufacturer of the platform. It is not time for talk. That window closed years ago. It is time for action. So far, Microsoft's actions don't support your fantasy. Get back to us when Microsoft actually takes some action in your direction.
  • Hi bleached and imo78 look at this article from its focal point, "What is Microsoft's intelligent edge, and how does it affect mobile?" Now, since the edge of the cloud is the focus of this piece and you ask for me to get back to you when they take action in that direction...I'm back😉 Microsoft's recent reorg is action in that direction, the incorporation of iOS, Android, IPhone in Microsoft's graph is a action in that direction, Microsoft's investments in IoT are actions in that direction, the millions thier pouring into cloud are actions in that direction, Microsoft's AI enhanced edge of the cloud camera tech is an action in that section, etc. Now if you look at what type of devices exist at the edge of the cloud, (the pics in the piece are helpful) smartphones, mobile devices, games systems(Xbox) and billions of IoT devices fit that. Microsoft has made observable actions to bring a these host of devices to its edge. Now, I don't know the future, which makes me just as human as all of you. So, Nadella said this year he's still doing phones, but not like other phones. This device that he said this year he's doing will logically fit the companies edge strategy just as current mobile devices do. We'll see how things pan out. But I think the proponderance of evidence points to an an attempt at this strategy though it's success, like most things, may not be guaranteed.
  • Jason but bleached is right. Jason What you speaking about may be true. Your way of thinking may work, but ms doesn't seem to be going that way. It's all "fantastical" as bleached so eloquently put it. Think about it, in terms of mobile you and this site have been saying ms thinking ahead of the curve. So tell me, what curve? I feel like we have been using this term for so long that way past that that curve. I sometimes enjoy reading your articles as it stimulates my mind but ultimately nothing of ms comes from it. In terms of mobile we below 1%. We have not had a major phone release this year. WM is laggy. Support sucks. App support sucks. App availability sucks. WP is not, and has not been supported in a really long time. ALL of these issues and more that I just mentioned are true today (if not worse now) are true 3/4 years ago.   In mobile, ms is going backwards. There is no edge, no curve. It's just a fantastical article.
  • Ha, you used bleached and eloquent in the same sentence! The twain shall never meet.
  • Umm.. I hope I'm using this correctly: This article is LITERALLY about MSFT mobile effort 😜
  • Thanks so much Ricardo!😎
  • I am going to say this again... You bring the art and science of what "Be Informed" is all about to the forefront with all your articles I have ever read. Little pieces are coming together to potentially bring to fruition what MSFT is striving for, when they said We will not partake anymore on ME TOO Mobile phone but that they will usher in a new defining category, your articles which I have been previledged to read takes those here and there MSFT annoucements that are pieces of that puzzle which you have broken down and enlighten reader like me on what those pieces were designed to do in the overall scheme of things. I read your articles on the following: CShell, WIndows on ARM, True UWA, Scaling, Power of Cloud, IoT and this one Edge Computing. You sure know how to do your homework, please continue refreshing readers like me, not because there is a predictor that all this will come to fruition for MSFT, but because there is truly a logical plan being systemacally executed by MSFT and someone like you can see it in MSFT maze of announcements and demonstartions and make it easier for readers like me to understand and digest.
  • Look it's naive to say MS will usher in the next big thing AND be successful with it. In reality they may come up with a brilliant new take on the smartphone, but people.wont suddenly jump ship from iPhone. People are invested heavily in that. Those people will certainly buy Apples version a year or two down the line to replace the iPhone they already love.
  • Millions of people were invested in blackberry especially in the enterprise sectors before iPhone showed up, they dumped blackberry for android and iPhone. The key is putting together that package that address the need in a timely fashion and not be late to the party. It is called disruption and yes, any device partake in that disruption will be dumped very fast. Apple earlier criticized 2 in 1 as joke, criticized phablets as abominations, see how they quickly adopted to that change before they get dumped, they now sell 2 in 1 plus pencil and their Plus size phones outsell their mini plus size phones because there is no more 4inch screen size iPhone after iPhone 5C and 5S. If MSFT One Os to rule them all (devices, form factors) succeeds, it can spell real problem for Apple and not that much pain for Google.
  • You really think Microsoft has a device that can disrupt the mobile market like the iPhone did in 2007? Maybe they can, but they really haven't shown any indication such a device is coming. Maybe it is coming, but it doesn't run Windows. That would explain their luke warm support for UWP.
  • We already had smart phones that could play music and run apps...the iPhone didn't sell well because of it's features it's because of the story Steve jobs sold to people more than anything else - Microsoft don't have a good track record in that area. As much as many of us here appreciate the technical accomplishment of what MS do, the general public don't respond to that.
  • I agree with you on this point.   The fortunate thing for Google is that they have already started work on building one OS. It is the bridging of apps between Android and Chrome OS.
  • Thank you asoyemi, I really appreciate that. And I'm glad you get so much from my work. Thank you again🙂!!!
  • "the amount of data smartphones will be able to process will only increase with time." But people keep telling us we'll be using mobile computers instead of phones soon....phones as we know them will go away but I don't think the next big thing is another device you have to carry and interact with. I don't want to have an app for everything, I don't want to have to ask for information by tapping on a screen - I want a future device to anticipate my needs and give me the information just before I decide I need it. That's the way things are going but all the digital assistants are still way behind on this side of things - Cortana was supposed to be more like this but progression has slowed to a crawl
  • A fantasy well written. Bravo! I don't believe Nadella anymore. He's making empty promises like a BOSS. He's the modern Pinocchio, man. Just look at the chin. 
  • Not if there isn't an actually phone-like device.  I don't care what we call these things.  It's a play on words that actually means NOTHING.  What we're talking about is the FORM.  What can I carry in a normal POCKET.  I already go nearly everywhere with my backpack, which contains my Surface Pro 3, a dock for the Lumia 950 I use for testing W10M and Continuum, as well as any other adapters/chargers/cables I may need.  But when I'm out and about purely for entertainment/relaxation and don't have my backpack, I have my phone.  I'm not about to try to to carry something like that big, ugly, horribly-shaped THING posted elsewhere as the notional device Microsoft might be developing.  There's only so much you can do with a smartphone/cellular PC/whatever FORM that makes it useful to carry along.  If Microsoft isn't going to make something along those lines, all the rest of this is just a joke, and we might as well accept that the smartphone/cellular PC/whatever form as part of Microsoft's "Intelligent Edge" (another madeup term that means nothing) will be completely made up by Android and iPhones.
  • 👍
  • Nevermind.
  • I know what you mean about form factor.  I recently replaced my wife's HTC 4G Radar with an Alcatel Idol 4s.  She was ready to go back to her Radar because the 4s is just too big for her.  She wants something smaller.  Personally I don't understand the rush to move back to the 80's to the biggest cell phone one can carry.  One thing that they could or should be working on is a battery that can last up to two weeks on one charge.  :)  Now that would be special. 
  • More buzzwords, to move the goalposts yet again, little action. Only now the excuse is built in from the start (generational) but does anyone really think Microsoft won't move on to another "great idea" when this one doesn't take off overnight?
  • This is all fine and well but people care about the apps. Without Snapchat, Tinder, this thing is DOA.
  • Try 6Tin for Tinder. Snapchat never :P - Instagram overtakes it.
  • I honestly think you missed the article more than a mile Kindly see what Just_Me wrote below and by George, he on the other hand, gets the article "Feels like 1970 again with main frames and remote terminals everywhere."
  • Apparently a human being with that green face need no Snapchat.
  • Feels like 1970 again with main frames and remote terminals everywhere.
  • "If Nadella honors his "best on Windows" promise Microsoft's ultimate mobile device just may have an edge."
    MS has moved on from this and they have made it very clear.
  • Jason, what do mobile phones have to do with Microsoft?
  • All I want is a 5 inch phone that runs Windows.
  • Said almost no one.
  • I am bailing on windows again all togther....ditching 0ffice 365 in favor of 2 tb of icloud storage for marginally more.  Apples 'office suite' works great.   and does everything I need.  I don't need to be tied to the sinking ship any longer.   
  • It’s just the centralized vs distributed computing pendulum.   Having centralized cloud is already stale so we need "intelligent edge" now.  Centralized mainframes, distributed windows, centralized web, distributed smart phones, centralized cloud, and distributed IOT.  Microsoft may have upset mainframes, but people have gotten even with the web and smart phones.
  • So Nutella says it is going to be a long drawn out plan that will see a ton of market volatility. Every project he has kill ed, he had used the exact same reasons for kill them. So either he is full of *****t or talking out of his a**. You pick.
  • I pick both. And I have a lot more I could say about this man, his intentions, and what he has done but it would be better if I didn't. 10 years from now when people are writing books about the fall of MS. He will be on the cover. I honestly wish the guy would shut the hell up. And I wish the press would stop covering him and putting his picture on every article that has to do with MS. He is the man who will end up being responsible for the death of this company. He has zero credibility, deserves less than zero respect and hasn't earned the right to be covered the way he is. CEO or not, when you suck, when you abandon consumers, when you go back on your word and when you talk out of both sides of your mouth to try and avoid the truth, you earn nothing.
  • Yepppp
  • Nadella wasn't in charge when Microsoft lost the platform wars. That was all Balmer. He set Microsoft's failure into motion, Nadella is just trying to salvage what he can.  “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.” Balmer didn't take the iPhone serious. He caused Microsoft's current woes. Nadella just inherited them.
  • Noooope
  • You think Nadella should continue down the same path that Balmer proved a failure? I don't know that Nadella is doing the right thing, but at least he is going in a new direction. I have my doubts, but he is in a tough place. Balmer not building a replacement for Windows as soon as iPhone was revealed was a mistake. They are too far behind now. It could take a decade to get back into the fight.
  • That's correct, but Nadella continues to deliver pathetic quality, continues to lie to users and has zero commitment to anything else than their pockets. Every company has the goal to make money, but every other company has also the goal to deliver good quality, to respect customers and to respect their commitments to deliver on time and in a working state. MS has done nothing but delivering broken stuff, killed products, fired engineers to use free guinea pigs for testing, and lied over and over again. So yeah, while Ballmer started the fall, Nadella makes a very good point of continuing it.
  • Yeah, I see that. He is in a tough place now. Windows is too old and they have nothing to replace it. What can they do that won't take a decade?
  • Could someone please explain?What's the intelligence behind "timeline"? It's just requesting/receiving files and links. I don't see the intelligence in there!
  • Great Article i have the same feeling about the edge
  • If only Microsoft had as much vision as Jason...
  • Oh microsoft is not delusional
  • Nope...they are just STOOPID!
  • Microsoft... mobile... intelligence? Those are three words I don't normally think of as going together.
  • I think a lot of people miss the point Microsoft is aiming for. They will not make a mobile phone, that's the last thing we use our apples and droids for. We use them for news, Snapchat :-) , FB, banking etc. etc. Imagine a technology that didn't rely on who made the device, who's apps store you used but using the cloud it could emulate and run any app or operating system. MS already have a Linux app, mmm wonder where thats going?? Oh and the added benefit of Cloud communication whithout the need for a carrier 2 year contract. Imagine if we all used Skype or Whatsapp etc.  for making calls (I think some of us already do this?)  what would the carriers offer? with the new e-sims, calls and data all rolled up into a cloud service, carriers would not be able to tie us into lengthy contracts, so the device and the air time would be completely separate.  Add the power of AI and Edge computing, if your device does not connect to this environment you will more likely soon become a Blackberry!
  • It's amazing how "one-tracked" minded people can be. What the writer, Jason, is talking about is overall strategy and how this strategy helps in getting the layman to understand MSFTs seeming shenanigans. Microsoft is not a hardware company. The suffix "soft" in its name sort of gives this away. Like with any company, they will stray out of their comfort zone to try other things but their core business is their bread and butter. I would argue, as I have many a time, that MSFT was "forced" into non-traditional hardware areas, which were the preserve of their OEMs, simply because they became fed-up of the antics of these very same OEMs. Hasn't anyone noticed how the quality, style, performance and technical abilities of OEM PCs, whether 2-in-1s or tablets have improved of late? And if one cared to look, you will notice that this change begun with the introduction of the Surface line of products. And don't even get me started on the subject of trackpads! MSFT has demonstrated that it WILL, if need be, step in with reference products. Now, to the article. Jason is merely tying in everything we have learnt, seen and been told of by MSFT, and how the greater strategy will eventually tie in a whole bunch of technologies and equipment, and yes, including "mobile phones" or "smartphones", if you prefer! Phones, in whatever flavour, have never been MSFT's core business, and I will suggest, never will be. Software and IT services are and if equipment, in whatever form or shape, will help sell those, then MSFT will do whatever it can to help, including building reference models. Merely using the argument of what has been going on over the last few years in Windows/MSFT mobile to debunk the strategy is nonsense. Remember, mobile telephony adoption and penetration rates are the quickest growing in any developing country, never mind in the developed world. People have become increasingly mobile and in this day of instant information dispersal, no one worth his salt can afford to be "out of the loop". If we can see this trend, why would anyone presume that MSFT cannot? Any business person, or employee, will tell you that information is the key to their success. This would pre-suppose that such a person must have some form of access to information, be it a computer or a smartphone. Whatever the device, if we accept that the world has become incredibly mobile, then we must also arrive at the conclusion that the device of choice will be a mobile device, and this does not necessarily mean, a Windows based mobile device. However, if MSFTs strategy is to be believed, then it wouldn't really matter because behind that device will be Microsoft's data platform, and that's where the money is. I have used MSFT products for as long as I can remember, and currently own an SP4, and Lumia 950, and hell, even my MacBook Air dual boots into Windows 10, and so I claim full membership of the Microsoft "Hurt Club". That said, it does not make me bitter or jaded enough to be able not to see through the business strategy. Indeed, if the strategy was wrong, and not yielding results, then someone please explain why MSFT posts year on year growth, and share price is riding high (at the moment, anyway)? Clearly, cleverer people than us like what MSFT is doing, and more importantly, their shareholder do! So........everyone take a chill pill, let Jason educate us, as a competent Tech Journalist is wont to do, and let's criticise objectively, rather than myopically, passionately (or in some cases, bitterly)!
  • I totally agree Spindlebox, Jason is only trying to put together the jigsaw pieces as they appear. Most folks only see a big shinny mobile phone but if they stepped back from the picture they would see a whole new world coming. I too am a big MS user, SP4, Lumia 1520 Win10M, Surface dock and twin 27" monitors as my desktop. To be honest I only use the mobile when I'm out and about, I'll do most of my serious computer work on my SP4 either attached or detached from the dock. I guess folks who say they can do everything on their mobile device don't have an alternative on a larger device that is seamlessly connected to their mobile. Take Outlook and Onenote as typical instances where I can create on my mobile, add information from my SP4 then add more via the web on any PC. Could any other ecosystem do this? Not as far as I know, and all of this is down to the back end Cloud infrastructure. Imagine all apps working this way, I think MS have already realised this but as Jason and Satya said, "It will take time to build". People forget, to stay ahead in this game you do not show everyone the Jigsaw picture to start with or they will all start to copy. Release a bit at a time then slowly bring the whole picture into focus when you have most of the bits in place and you’re ahead of the competition. We've had some big clues over the past year or so, HoloLens as an interface instead of screens, Win10 on ARM, withdrawal from the Phone market (net required anymore), MS apps on Apple and Android (what other reason other than getting people used to cloud based apps) and e-sims to name only a few. What's the next step, mobile devices that could support iOS, Android or Win10? Choose your operating system when you purchase or change at any time. Great topic, I'm in for the long game.  
  • Spindlebox and Peter thanks for the support😎! Much appreciated🙂
  • You are most welcome, Jason. Do keep up the good work. Perhaps it might even generate some intelligent conversation here!
  • Well put, Peter. 
  • The Windows Central "8.1" app is working like shet. Given that it is made for WP 8.1, and that OS is already dead...is this app dead too? Comments are not loaded, flying dots running forever.
  • Same for me
  • Windows Central Windows Mobile 10 app runs no better.
  • Microsoft failed patheticaly in the phone section...and will continue to fail.bunch of liars
  • This is why I like MS, it is future proof and not only consumer focussed. In my job I do alot of interfacing and alternative networks on all sort of technology. future networks that are partially intelligent on there own and only communicate to higher levels when needed is the edge there talking about. Digital city projects and broadband radio networks with sensors who are the gathering information in the real world and only send messages to (mobile) devices when there is a need for human interaction. In the end with one W10 core it won't matter what type of device your holding. For now we have to maintain the backwards compatibility i gues, but the future is right behind the corner with this foundation