Skip to main content

Why Microsoft's Continuum may succeed in putting a PC in your pocket, while Motorola's Atrix failed

But before the new mobile OS arrives the question many have is:

"What will differentiate the platform from iOS and Android?"

One answer according Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Joe Belfiore is,

"Continuum" for phone.

Critics argue that projecting the small screen of a phone to a larger display to mimic a desktop environment has been tried and has failed before. They offer the Motorola Atrix as an example. They've concluded that the factors that contributed to the failure of the Atrix will also lead to the eventual failure of Continuum. If Motorola's Atrix represented the full scope of Microsoft's position with this similar technology, I'd be a critic too. However, that is not the case. Allow me to project a bigger picture.

We will look at:

  • Technology
  • Industry Position
  • Timing

Technically Speaking

Let's first take a look at the technology. In a nutshell, both Microsoft and Motorola promised to combine the functionality of multiple devices within the context of one. With the added support of peripherals, both companies promised that their particular approaches could essentially turn your pocketable smartphone into a PC.

The Motorola Atrix was released four years ago in Q1 2011. The device ran Android 2.2 (Froyo) though the newer Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) had been available for approximately two months by the time the Atrix was released. We'll hit on that fragmentation bit in a bit.

Motorola's approach was simple. It was essentially a plug and play proposition. A user could plop his/her Atrix into a proprietary Motorola desktop ($129) or laptop ($499) dock and his/her phone screen and apps would display as larger versions of themselves on the new display. Unfortunately, there was no coding within the mobile apps to make them function more like desktop apps once on a larger screen.

They remained just phone apps, behaving as phone apps on a "non-phone" display. This particular dilemma is at the core of similar attempts at this one-device-for-all-scenarios solutions. The Asus Padphone suffers from the same fate. Microsoft's Continuum has a remedy for this.

At its core

To understand the differences between Microsoft's approach and that of its competitors, we must understand a fundamental aspect of Continuum. Continuum is not simply a feature that Microsoft is implementing on a single hardware device. As I shared in "Highs and Lows Part V: Continuum", it is an ideology governing how Microsoft is approaching the transient nature of modern computing. By way of a synergistic OS and hardware combination that can conform to a user's needs, Continuum is an ecosystem-wide platform solution that currently supports hybrid Windows devices and Windows 10 Mobile phones. The new category of devices that Nadella alluded to in his "7/10/14" memo may also benefit from Continuum.

So what is the remedy for the app dilemma faced by Microsoft's competitors? Universal apps of course. Microsoft's pioneering efforts to create a single OS core for all Windows devices has established a bridge that successfully conveys apps across form factors.

Though there is some code tweaking required to tailor apps for each form factor, the dream of coding once for all devices has been realized. Windows 10 empowers developers to code a single app that is optimized to work as users would expect with a mouse and keyboard (shortcuts and all) for the desktop environment. Plus it maintains the small touch environment of a phone.

Additionally Continuum enabled Windows phones can connect wirelessly to a keyboard and mouse, and with a Miracast set-up, to a larger display. Microsoft will also provide a hub currently dubbed the 'Munchkin' (unconfirmed $99 price) that will have numerous ports to facilitate a wired connection.

Because Continuum is a platform capability of Windows 10 rather than simply a device feature, Microsoft's OEM partners will be capable of creating similar hubs to accompany their Windows 10 phones. Acer's recently announced Jade Primo and hub are an example. The open competition among OEMs will help keep Continuum accessory costs in check. Unlike Motorola's expensive sole proprietor solution.

Moreover, Microsoft's solution allows for a smartphone to power two screens simultaneously. That means a parent can wirelessly project a video to a larger screen for junior while dad triages emails on his Windows phone. The Atrix was incapable of this.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella (Image credit: Windows Central)

Power position

The technology is just the first piece of this puzzle. The unique industry position of each of these firms is the second profoundly critical component.

First, Motorola as a single OEM (among many), simply using and contractually constrained by Google's version of Android, had little power over the OS beyond skinning it. They weren't even using the most recent version of the OS at the time. Thus, though Motorola created hardware designed with the flexibility to conform to various scenarios, they couldn't modify the OS to do the same. Android at its core was not designed to reshape to fit diverse form factors. Additionally, in 2011 the fragmentation that still plagues the Android platform upon which the Atrix was built was even more profound.

By contrast, Microsoft controls the Windows 10 operating system. As such the company has deliberately designed Continuum as a fundamental component of the OS. Any Windows 10 device (phone/tablet) with the proper hardware will, therefore, have the ability to use Continuum. Microsoft will also manufacture Continuum enabled hardware and has many OEM partners (and is courting others) who will do the same.

The sheer scope of Microsoft's position in the industry to promote and support Continuum through partnerships, first party device production and full control of the OS dwarves the minuscule impact Motorola's Atrix had on the industry four years ago.

Many of Microsoft's 1.5 billion PC users are upgrading to Windows 10 which at its core erases the barriers between the PC and the mobile versions of the OS. This decision is a powerful power play. With the support of OEM partners, Microsoft has the resources to bring Continuum to the broad base of Windows users. If that fails or succeeds is yet to be seen. The point here is that since Motorola's efforts to "converge" devices was not something built into the core of Android (as it is with Windows) their impact on the industry and its chances for success were negligible.

Additionally, the Atrix, which was only sold through ATT in the US (though available in other regions), had limited distribution. Now Microsoft is no stranger to limited carrier support. However, the fact that Continuum is a platform-wide capability that will have the benefit of multiple OEM partners, and the additional distribution channels of Microsoft retail ensures that Continuum enabled phones will be more widely distributed than the Atrix ever was.

Timing is everything

The Atrix failed for many reasons. The main reason? The world wasn't ready. When the Atrix launched in Q1 2011, we were about four years into the iPhone initiated a new age of smartphones. At that time, the market was dominated by devices under 5 inches. In late 2011, however, hints of a new age began to emerge. The "huge" 4.7" display of the HTC Titan and the even more "titanic" dimensions of the 5.3" Samsung Galaxy Note dominated headlines. These phones that were pushing the size envelope were also pushing the industry into its next chapter.

In the years that followed, a Samsung led charge provoked OEMs to produce ever larger phones that teased at the dimensions of small tablets. We now exist in an industry where the new norm is 5" plus phablets. Phablet being the word created to describe the combination of a phone + tablet our smartphones have become.

Take note, these larger devices are not just bigger phones existing in the same type of consumer space that was the reality from 2007 - 2011. During that time frame, consumers saw their devices as "phones" with added capabilities.

Steve Jobs' (who is credited with heralding in the age of the smartphone), 2007 introduction of the first iPhone, corroborates this notion.

"...an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator." - Jobs 2007

Devices under 5 inches, which were the norm for that period, fit well within a paradigm where users still saw greater use case scenarios for larger computing devices.

With the advent and widespread acceptance of powerful 5" – 6" phablets, computing activities previously reserved for PC's and tablets have now shifted comfortably to the smartphone. Phablet's are routinely used for web surfing, gaming, listening to music, watching videos, banking, emailing, chatting, video and picture editing and much more.

Take note that those computing activities were added to the things inherently baked into a mobile platform. Thus creating a merger of formally PC/tablet use case scenarios with the mobile environment of the phablets many of us now own. Computing is indeed increasingly mobile.

The industry has flowed organically into a place, a particular paradigm, where people are very comfortable using their smartphones/phablets as a composite device. It happened naturally. The pent up demand for the larger iPhones that saw record sales is additional evidence to this reality.

As smartphones continue to bear the load our tablets and PCs historically bore, they may continue this natural progression from our primary computing device toward our only computing device. Both the technological and human components of the industry are meeting at a crux where a convergence of computing modalities is becoming the accepted norm.

The time is right

The 4" Motorola Atrix did not exist in a consumer space that had evolved to the point of near single device dependency. A space where PC's and tablet sales are on the decline and smartphones are heavily relied upon for more advanced computing needs.

This is the space into which Microsoft has introduced Continuum, the Windows 10 OS, and the universal app platform. Microsoft is the only tech company to have designed an ecosystem platform that will support devices that are that all-in-one solution the industry seems to be headed. Consequently, Continuum achieves what Motorola's Atrix (and similar solutions) could not.

  • It benefits from a universal app platform where apps are optimized for both a phone and desktop environment.
  • It is a core component of the OS and ecosystem platform that OEM partners can take advantage of by building Windows 10 phones and peripherals.
  • Industries, businesses, and municipalities can be key partners in supporting the third party support infrastructure for Windows 10 devices (hubs/docking stations).

By contrast, the Atrix suffered from the following.

  • Phone apps that were not optimized for a larger display.
  • Motorola did not control the software platform essential to support the hardware.
  • Motorola was a single OEM offering a single device rather than a provider of a platform capable of supporting an industry.
  • Accessories required for the Atrix were proprietary and expensive.
  • The Atrix had limited distribution.

Wrap-up

Critics may be right. Continuum may fail. But if so it won't be for the same reasons the Atrix failed. Motorola's approach was that of a feature specific to a device that was part of a larger ecosystem.

Microsoft's approach is a platform play that will power a diversity of devices across an entire ecosystem.

As such, with OEM support, I see a possible future of airports, schools, offices, hotels, libraries, homes etc. equipped with hubs (and wireless accommodations) designed as Windows phone docking stations ready for Continuum. The world is ready.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in comments!

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!

288 Comments
  • Hey everyone! Thanks for reading this piece. As is often the case, if you read this by way of the smartphone app don't miss the included Sway! Also, don't forget to share this piece and Sway with others. Many people have wondered what advantage Continuum has over similar attempts at this "one-device" goal. I'm confident this answers many of the key questions. Of course this is a community and the strength of this venue is sharing thoughts, so once you're done "sharing" via social media sound off below. Let's talk!:-) SWAY:
    https://sway.com/vm9DCAwm4F5QO-sx
  • A crisp and well written article that really makes sense. Continuum would certainly give ms an edge over other os's for sure! But what would make me happy would be a new mobile build today!!
  • It's a weekend. They don't release builds on weekends.
  • Lol I share ur tots but sorry no builds on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, u should have known by now
  • tuesday i guess...although secode week of calender month
  • Continuum would certainly give ms an edge over other os's for sure!
    Wait, I thought Continuum wasn't necessary to run Edge on Windows 10. Doesn't Microsoft already have Edge? LOL! Sorry, couldn't resist!
  • Continuum isn't really making huge inroads with consumers.  They don't care, and while it can be useful to some business customers, Microsoft already monopolizes that part of the market so it isn't really going to be a game changer there, either. The article was well written but it is putting too many words to a pretty simple predicament.  Many people have a "why bother" attitude towards these devices. Universal Apps are also kind of terrible comapred to desktop apps.  You're better off hooking a cheaper notebook up to a TV via HDMI and using BT accessories than using a phone.  I don't expect that to change soon.
  • The article is amazing. Many answers for the questions I had in my mind....
  • @Pallav and Insane Warrior Thanks so much! I appreciate that! Please share. Others may find it equally as helpful! :-)
  • I still can't get one thing: how can continuum be helpful for me. I mean yes it's great, it's supported by universal apps, it works with every display, but... Ok, let's imagine a case where you're continuum-ready. You got a 5.7" Cityman, your TVs and displays support wireless displaying, you have an energy efficient PC (NUC by Intel or a custom-based with a low-energy Nvidia Maxwell card), an affordable Atom tablet (Core M maybe if you need it for working on the go, not just skyping on a coach) and maybe your old WinRT tablet. Xbox too if you'd like. In the office you have your PC, or your firm uses thin clients, or something. Presentation and meeting rooms have their dedicated devices so you just use OneDrive for business to show a presentation or something. Or it's BYOD so you just hdmi your display out from your tablet right to the screen. Fast, since it's x86, and ANY desktop app, since again it's x86, not ARM. So, my question is: where is the room for Continuum in this case? Who has a big display and needs to use it for something that he cannot do on a 5"+ phone but does not have a PC connected to or embedded in this display?
  • You have to watch the video. This will Ne huge for the people who don't have all those devices you just talked about. In that case for a few basic needs, this will be huge. Imagine only having the Lumia 950/950XL and a mouse and keyboard with nothing else(well a TV or monitor of course). This could be huge for students who mostly need a laptop for papers and basic Internet searches. This would effectively make their phones their main computing device running Word and being able to text or make calls in between. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You seem not to be sure of the sort of the students you are talking about, I'm afraid. I can't imagine a man that has a top phone and can't afford an x86 pc/laptop/tablet that's mostly even cheaper than 950 (assuming it's predicted price). Talking specially about students, when I used to be one with the wind in my pocket, I had no time for playing with that all. We needed specialized x86 software on fast machines provided by our university, and nothing less. ARM devices are still too slow for this even now. Even for browsing, nowadays, when pages often weight 2+ MB, and CSS on one page reaches 500Kb (!!!) sometimes. Average Windows Central news page loads for tens of seconds on my Lumia with a broadband connection.
    I mean, yes, Continuum is great and perspective, but timing is not accurate. ARM is slow (even atom is still rather slow), amount of apps is not enough, those who need it - the are few of them. Sorry for my language, English is not my native :)
  • It's OK you did fine and you're right I do not know about all the technical stuff. I am purely an above average, little less than nerd consumer. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how they implement it and how well it works. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Since I'm quite a fan of MS, sorry to know we just have to wait and see and do nothing. I still believe MS didn't prepare neither consumers nor industry enough for Continuum. Hope the press will do their part, but to be useful their articles must not leave people with questions "great thing, but who needs that?"
  • Well, as the article suggests this is something rather new so it's difficult to say exactly how it will play out. If Continuum does truly take off in a meaningful way it's like that the scenarios you describe (with individuals and locations having lots of different devices) will cease to exist altogether. I for one have a hard time thinking of a good use case for Continuum in my personal life, being that I already own a PC, tablet and Xbox in addition to my phone. However, had I been able to use my phone as a tablet/laptop for school before I purchased one that would've been an attractive prospect. I know that my company, and I would imagine many others, is often looking at ways to consolidate devices for people in the field so they don't have to go around lugging a tablet, phone and laptop. It wouldn't be terribly far fetched to imagine cash strapped schools, which are currently buying Chromebooks by the truckload, moving to a model where they simply provide screens with mice and keyboards for students to connect their phones to. As for the capabilities of ARM and lack of x86 app support... Well, I don't think that ARM is as far behind as you think. And if Microsoft has its way then x86 will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, there's little reason why an OEM couldn't make an x86-based phablet using Atom or even a future Core M release.
  • I don't know what you mean, web pages load just as fast on my Lumia 1520 as they do on my 3.8 GHz OCed 8 core x86 64 bit AMD FX-8120 with 16 GB DDR3 @ 2133 MHz, and 2 x GTX 980's in SLI running off a SSD for OS and a 4 TB storage drive. Me, yes, I'll always have a desktop for gaming. Mobile GPU's just don't cut it yet, but for web browsing, skype, facebook, youtube, etc. This continium will be huge. Why have a seperate tablet when you could just plug the phone into a larger touch screen (10-14"), or use it as a smart TV instead of buying those Roku like devices. The limitation here is what the OEM could imagine to build. Your phone could be your tablet, smart tv, desktop, all-in-one.
  • Dude cut back and simplify.
  • Nice write-up, keep it up
  • @mattoneandoriginal Thanks for the support! :-)
  • Ask the dude with the WP app to update the damn thing...embarrassing compared to Android's.
  • until they find a way to run win32 apps ... there is no hope 
  • There is a way, you need a x86 based mobile processor to run them, instead of the usual ARM based chips
  •   I would assume intel's release of Boxtron, 1st half 2016, will provide this capability.   Also note that Microsoft had to wait for Qualcomm to release new parts to allow running two videos simultaneously. I have woned several years why Intel has been so slow in being more competitive in mobile.   think it just comes down to unavoidable technoy problems.  Intel needed 14 nm to makets x86 work on mobile devices.  The quest now is will ARM be able to retain its competitve position once intel's boxtron chips hit mobile.  I would say yes given the power of the iOS ecosystem.  But if Intel's insistence that its' 14 nm technology is superior to TSMC over Smasung, then it is only ime before Intel releases a chip design that provides superior battery performance and computing power in the x86 ecosystem.
  • They already "found" a way and it's coming next year, though the focus will surely be on enterprise first. Other than enthusiasts, the general public isn't ready for Win32 apps on a phone, as this article describes the time is right however in my opinion the time is right for modern apps not for Win32 apps.
  • What do you mean with "They already "found" a way"... could you provide any source? I am really curious, thanks.
  • Continuum plus x86 or x64 processor. Again, I'm pretty sure this will be targetting enterprise at first same as HoloLens.
  • Oh and no, I don't have some inside source and I don't work for Microsoft. It's just obvious.
  • What it takes is a phone with an x86 processor. Then what they could do is make sure that win32 would only run when connected to an external display using keyboard and mouse. Now you have a "full" PC while at work and a mobile UI when on the road. This could be an option in the long run as it means that they could run the "full" and completely same Windows on both computers and mobile devices. It means Windows Mobile would go away and that all of its features would have been "snapped up" by big brother. I know, this is only one out of many possible scenarios.
  • None of you people understand about universal apps do you once Microsoft hits that I billion device Mar you will see and understand how powerfull the universal app platform can be you see the 1 billion there talking about is for all devices running win 10 from tablet to phone Xbox to hololens to pc and if they get 1 billion users of win 10 developers won't be able to ignore win 10 anymore and as a developer would you spend your money just to make a app for win 10 pcs or would you spend the same amount and develope for all 1 billion win 10 users. It's not hard to understand Microsoft is using there windows 10 pc userbase and there Xbox userbase to leverage with there tablet and phone uaerbase in other words there is only one user base that matters now windows 10 user base.
  • Yes, the future is Universal apps not Win32.
  • I'm sure some of us do understand idholland. The thing is, I think continuum is great, we need x86 capable phones to bring the uncompromising experience of a pc. The L950 is not expected to have multitasking of universal apps, this blows for anyone who considers themself a power user. Moreover the L950 seems to peddle a mighty similar brand of experience as Windows RT which which dominated by bay trail Intel win8.1 tablets. Don't drink the coolaid until we get the full win10 on the desktop user case. I'm still struggling to find overlap between my mobile and desktop usage cases and therefore can't justify limiting my desktop experience for the continuum cause. The Toshiba encore, dell venue pro etc came out about a year after windows rt, so I'm happy to wait until then before ditching my laptop.
  • Funny thing, I don't think this is for power users as their main computer. I wouldn't want it as my main computer, but it sure would be nice!
  • @Stui83. Why the heck would you want win32 code to run on phones? You can't have win32 code without malware. You will get both. Your better off with ARM and a dock that runs win32 code. As after all the key point is to run win32 apps when docked is it not?
    You're not going to be running any Win32 apps on a phone. It's not going to happen, pretty much all win32 apps are not touch friendly. The only benefit of a Intel soc in a phone is the incorporation of the realsense camera be it rear or a ffc. Beyond that ARM beats it in every single aspect especially in terms of power efficiency.
    Furthermore your better off getting one the maaaaany 7inch tablets that run full windows and using a dock. Plus Some of these tablets have full sd card slots and mini hdmi ports. Not to mention stylus support too.
  • Someone who gets it! Continuum as it is will be ok.  One of those things you get excited about, try one time in a trip maybe and decide you better bring your tablet/laptop in the next one.  
  • I thought wn32 apps will be packaged as Windows Store apps just like Everything else (Android, iOS)... Here a link... http://liliputing.com/2015/05/this-is-how-win32-apps-can-become-windows-...          
  • They found a way to run Win32 Apps on ARM...It was called Windows RT.
  • Very well written, I haven't tried sway yet so I will give it a go when I get home and see what it's all about! Thanks again for a great Saturday read!
  • @mbrdev Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • While Continuum is one of the most intriguing new abilities within Windows 10 Mobile, I honestly give it a 50/50 chance of fizzling out at this point. The idea is that smartphones already do what tablets once did/do, and as multi-core processors and multi-gig RAM infrastructures improve, we are on the cusp of phones that can do what laptops do. The only limitation being the interface, which Continuum addresses with larger screens, and full keyboard and mouse peripherals. One of the major issues is that where once individuals had only one computer, due to expense and lack of portable options, we now live in a world with many computers per person. An individual would have only a desktop, or possibly a laptop to themselves 10-15 years ago. In that world, a phone that could turn into a near-desktop computing experience would have made a huge impact. Today, however, many people have a desktop at home and/or work, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, a smart TV, and even smart watches. So the question is, what is the motivation to invest in all this extra hardware to transform your phone into an approximation of a device you likely already have? The instinct is to respond, "Well, you always have your phone with you, but you may not have your tablet/laptop/desktop with you." But Continuum relies on a purpose-built hub, keyboard, mouse, and most importantly, an available large display. Especially that last one is not something you are likely to have with you on the go. It is possible that wide adoption could mean that coffee houses and smart TVs begin to offer integrated Continuum hubs, but considering Windows Phone's niche status, I suspect that will not be happening any time soon (unless Continuum comes to iOS or Android, or Continuum supports standards such as Miracast, Chromecast, and AirPlay). I might add, if the portability issue is merely the data itself, that can largely be addressed with OneDrive cloud storage across platforms as necessary. Bigger than that issue (but intrinsically linked to it), is the question of application: What would I want to use Continuum for? As I said above, with the availability of tablets, laptops, and desktops, what would I want to do with Continuum that could not already be done, likely better, on one of these other devices? I am seriously asking you, what specific scenarios can you imagine for this new ability? Perhaps an office boardroom meeting with a hub already setup for presentations? Given that universal apps are in their infancy, there may be much more capability on the horizon, but for now we are primarily limited to MS Office apps that can run an approximation of a desktop interface when linked to a large screen. Personally, I'd first like to see a faster, sharper, real-time screen mirroring with audio that can stream from phone to computer display and smart TV for sharing your personal phone experience with others. Something like the just discontinued Nokia Beamer and PhotoBeamer apps--but better. Beyond that, the universal app selection, the standardization of the interface across other devices, adoption by business and industry, and recognition and acceptance by the public all remain as hurdles before Continuum's true potential can be realized. Here's hoping it survives long enough to have an impact.
  • Firstly, for enthusiasts it's just plain cool. Secondly, I really feel that enterprises will benefit a lot from Continuum. A lot of staff at my company (Around 6,000 employees total) could be given a continuum enabled device instead of a laptop and a phone and sometimes even a desktop too. Primarily I'm thinking of sales staff, they have laptops, docks at their desks, and phones. Think of what sales staff use, Microsoft office and the web, that's it. That's a lot of expensive hardware that can be replaced with a single device. Over the last few years my company has replaced blackberries with iPhones and even given put a fair few iPads, they have largely ignored Microsoft, even migrating development to Java and Oracle etc, however, since the release of Windows 10, they have started taking notice of Microsoft again and are open to discussion about Microsoft technology. When you have an employee that has a £3000 laptop, £700 phone, £500 tablet, £200 docking station and all they do is use Microsoft Office and browse the web (Salesforce), it's a smart business decision to swap all of that for a £500 phone and a £100 dock. Now in terms of carrying around a dock keyboard and mouse, I would love to see surface style tablet with a "slot" for the phone, i.e. It's just a big battery, touch screen and detachable keyboard. I don't think that would actually be released but maybe a similar set up where the phone just connects via USB so it can be used with any phone. I'm just a fan of things being made for each other so i would buy it if they released!
  • @Mbrdev. like you I also believe a dock that supports Win32 code and phone running arm would be the best of both worlds. Even a dock running a celeron cpu would be able to handle most tasks (except anything graphically intensive) as most people rarely work on more than two windows at a time.
  • I agree, other than some enterprise uses it's really not a big deal.  If OEMS flood the market with windows phones people will buy them, but will they use the feature, possibly.  I think a lot of college/university students who can't afford a laptop/PC may benefit from a device like that.  A lot of users don't even own PC's/laptops in the younger crowd so it may be of benefit to them if it was a full blown intel based phone.  I really wouldn't have much use for it. I think a cooler feature would be if windows 10 was able to borrow GPU from any other windows 10 machine such as a desktop with a powerful graphics card and render games to your phone. Also support xbox one controller etc.  Then you can take your phone to another room and play games on a tv and so on.   But really Microsoft should be thinking about how to make this feature popular and like apple partner with other companies.  They could partner with Starbucks and other coffee shops to bring miracast screens and bluetooth keyboards/mice for users so they don't have to bring their laptops to work.  Bring these to libraries, airports, bars, restaurants, all these places.  Take a hit and pay for it if you have to.  But the only way you will see change is if they take charge.  When you setup a pay system like apple pay, you don't just create the software to have a wallet and then expect others to adapt.  No you have to make partnerships, exactly what Apple does.   
  • @poopyfinger, it's doable they just need to extend the remote desktop app to support a gamepad and audio. Or alternatively incorporate it into the xbox app. Splashtop were able to do it on Android, so I see why not.
  • I 100 % agree with you. I think continuum will not be a success everyone hopes, just because people already have 2 many devices. I own a windows phone and a surface 3. And don't se a scenario in which i would use continuum. If I want a desktop experience I turn on my surface. And you surely can't operate in an business environment with an RT "clone" you need a full desktop experience. Phone won't succeed with continuum until they can't run full windows 10 desktop in continuum mode on phones. Nice try d'oh.
  • Funny this should be released at exactly the same time Intel announced low-power-consumption processors that can compete against ARM, isn't it.  X86/X64 phones are jusr around the corner.  About time too.
  • X86 phones have been available for years now. Microsoft just doesn't support them. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @eb110americana First, I would like to direct you to: "Additionally Continuum enabled Windows phones can connect wirelessly to a keyboard and mouse, and with a Miracast set-up, to a larger display." Second, I ask you how many times have you thought to yourself: "Shoot I need the 'X' program..." only to realize you left it on your other computer?  The whole idea behind Continuum is converging all the devices you may or may not use together... essentially having one device for all instances.  This is the idea behind the Surface line and Windows 10.  Think about it... a Surface Pro3 or Surface 3 tablet... is a desktop (add the dock) a laptop (add the keyboard) a tablet (don't add any other accessories) and runs full Windows programs.  The only thing it doesn't do is make calls... unless you count Skype.  If everyone loves the Surface (and a lot of people do.... just look at how many sell) then putting those capabilties into a phone form can't all be bad.....
  • Cloud supported continuum virtualization?... Make use of the old laptop with a reverse remote desktop environment :)
  • I could see a lot of uses of continuum.  Maybe schools will stop with their crazy use of Chromebooks that suck along with GoogleDocs.  This article is on point.  Let's be honest tablets are just a convenient form factor, but if I really need to surf the web or get work done you move to a laptop or desktop, but the tablet and phone interface is limiting.  Also Continuum supports miracast. Technically, you don't need hardware to have continuum work if you have a device that supports miracast - guess what the Xbox One support miracast.      
  • @theflew Hi thanks for adding to the discussion. You might like this Sway: Continuum in Education - https://sway.com/DyOdgyBh16SAO7Ma
  • The use of external Continuum hardware will be a very short-term requirement to bridge the gap until next year when flagship phones have the tech built in (although budget phones will need the external device for a few more years). Windows RT only had a 12 month shelf-life and this won't be any different...
  • Very well written article, was a great read.
  • @john20212 Thanks. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
  • Hey Jason I think Microsoft should now let people install .exe softwares even on their Windows phones (but restrict those apps from running on phone as it would be too terrible).Once connected to an external display via Continuum their phone would be a real PC than only running Universal app. And I think phones won't have much problems while running those .exe softwares because the phones these days are coming with specs very much similar to the low-end PCs and tabs. Don't you think if this is done then we will see Windows 10 powered phones being adopted more widely?? Posted via the Lenovo K900
  • @TheFFK786 That is the purpose behind creating universal apps. The idea is to create one application (a .exe) that runs on every Windows 10 device.   I joke and describe the continuum and universal apps part of Windows 10 as: "One OS to rule them all, one OS to find them,One OS to bring them all and in the Technological Age bind them."
  • Wile a great article and a great concept my fear is simple, they have neglected ease of use and core functionality of the smartphone in the process of making Continuum.
  • Thank you for the article.It was truly informative and concise. i took alot away from it.
  • @carolinajim Thanks so much. I'm glad you liked it and found it helpful. Please share with others! :-)
  • Article is very detailed and meticulous :) I like that (as opposed to usual carefree nature of internet, tv) - but it is a bit long winded at times, that I lost a plot, even though I tried - you need to get it a tad more succinct I think, just my thought.
  • I think that most people won't care about continuum - as a merging of their desktop and their phone.   What they may care about using it for the living room.  Why bother with a settop box - Chrome Cast works well in this usecase - and maybe continuum could too!
  • Can't wait to get my 950xl with Continuum, they both look amazing!!
  • Or a Surface phone. I'll be waiting with the 950 XL until I see some proof of the Surface phone :)
  • hay your avatar looks like Ninja Cat. Very Cool. Ninja Cat roles. I also can't wait for the 950XL.  
  • Love the Sway there, good job!
  • @n_tesla Thanks! :-)
  • I just hope this thing will be for usa first, certain markets later. Like cortana, surface, band etc
  • I remember reading on WC that Cityman would be available in Europe....not the US.
  • Keep in mind the USA mobile industry (not handsets) is still a decade behind Europe and Asia.
  • It won't since it doesn't need localization.
  • I'd like to see this work, but as of now I'm unsure.
    Personally I have very little use for it, phone when I'm mobile, PC when I'm not.
    I can see it being very good for business users who use mainly office programs, to be able to take the office and their work easily with them.
    But your regular home user, the majority owners? I don't know.
    However I look forward to being proved wrong.
  • I could see someone like my wife using this. Rarely has a need for a PC, sometimes you just need a bigger display and a kbm.
  • Yeah, a lot of people really don't need the processing power of a desktop or laptop.  They just need the desktop/laptop form factor as it provides more screen space and more effcient keyboard/mouse input.  This would work very well for them and it would simplify their lives since all of their stuff would be on one device. Also, students could benifit from this quite a bit.  So students, business users, some tech enthusiests (just because it's cool), and very light computer users.  That is actually a pretty huge market.
  • How would I as a student benefits from this? Carrying a screen, keyboard and a mouse seems less beneficial for me. I mean my laptop already has all those things. Don't get me wrong I like it but I don't see the huge markets you do. Also business users depends totally on the type of business.
  • It would mostly benefit you only if the place you are going already has a setup you could use for this, which is unlikely.
  • The colleges would it out takes off, but it depends on if more companies adopt the software as a service model. Labs for example would only need to provide displays and the hubs to dock the phones into instead of completed PC setups which are costly. Blackboard and others are already being used by colleges for remote testing and distanced learning. I could be way of here, but just a thought.
  • Why would they do that for the dozen people that will have Continuum phones and want to use it? Desktops are not expensive and anyone can use them, and they won't even have to tie up their phone to do it. The cloud makes this idea even more useless since your documents and data is easily accessible from anywhere thanks to the cloud. Microsoft is trying to answer a question that people stopped asking years ago. They are always behind the ball. This is a 2004 dream that is no longer relevant. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If you expand your thought beyound just desktop as case use, you will find it beneficial to you as a student with laptop. What I mean is imagine a dummy laptop with phone insert space as the docking station for continuum phone. it will ganner more creatitivity from lots of participating oem making it cost effective. Acer's announcement at ifa is a wonderful example where they plan to ship the phone with hub, keyboard etc making this feature ready to use. also remember there is foldable keyboard already in the market. these dummy laptops, 2 in 1s etc would be very light because they are simply dummy displays with embeded munchkin brain. 
  • That will be like a more advanced version of Asus Padfones.
  • You never see something for what It could be tomorrow only what is is today. Imagine a collage that just like the collage books requires a wp with continuum you could buy one right at the collages own bookstore. And it wouldn't cost no more then a book that they sell you for 3 hundred dollars now when students walk into a computer hall or there desk all there will be there is a monitor keyboard and mouse and a dock now each student could hook up there own phone to the dock turn it into there own pc and save all there work localy you will never have to worrie about other student messing stuff up on the pc u used before them. It would also be cheaper for collages to maintain that system since it's only monitors and keyboards and mouses so maybe they could give everyone a break on tuition. It could also work for work and business.
  • I've had some of the same thoughts. One niche I could see it filling is a true all-in-one solution for people on limited budgets. For example, if you're a college student, you could forgo getting both a laptop/desktop and a phone and just get a large Windows Phone with a keyboard, mouse, and maybe a monitor. It would most likely fulfill your needs both in and out of class. As a student, I've actually considered this myself instead of getting a new laptop.
  • @benjer3; I think that is where Intel's chips chime in over Arms with the limitation of having to be charged more frequently than the later but the ability to run the required programs a user require.  
  • A lot of people I have spoken to have said that until they release a full fledged intel computer as a phone continuum will not lure anyone.  Only certain apps will work apparently and no legacy or windowed apps.  I don't really care about continuum.  I have a super powerful pc, why would i want to lower it to some arm based chipset that is limited to what it can do?  And even if a surface phone came out, i'm not sure it may be worth the price tag if I already have a pc that is more powerful.  My pc connects to my TV as well, there's no advantages to having the surface phone. The only crowd it may draw in are those that don't have nice desktop pc's or laptops and may be due for an upgrade, but don't care about gaming or anything intensive.
  • That's cuz nobody even on here understands about the universal app platform once windows 10 hit 1 billion devices you will start to see developers develope for windows like never before the new apps will soon outway all the legacy software
  • No they won't. People don't use apps on Windows. Version 8.1 had hundreds of millions of users and it didn't drive the app store at all because everyone just uses the browser for access. They will need mobile sales if they want to drive developers to build apps. Mobile sales that are not coming. The 950 doesn't hold a candle to the GS6 or Note 5 let alone the iPhone 6S. With 2 Nexus phones coming and plenty of others like LG releasing new phones, Microsoft is too late releasing these devices as always. They will be completely over-shadowed, especially if the design is accurate in the leaks. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Which are the Nokia Lumias supporting continuum
  • None.
  • No existing hardware will support.
  • Oh... That sucks!
  • It does. They haven't explained exactly why, just saying that it needs new, specific hardware that is not in any device yet. Though I would like to see a possible 'lite' version that doesn't use both displays at once. I don't expect that to happen though.
  • So basically Miracast or Project my Screen (and those are already present, even if Miracast only in a few devices)
  • My guess is Continuum needs the new USB Type C for faster data transfer speed to run properly
  • The older devices simply arent powerful enough to run two screens etc. which is why even new hardware wont be capable except flagship devices with enough power.
  • There has been some light mentioning of perhaps supporting older devices, but nothing announced. I think it has something to do with wanting to drive the external display independently from the main one - in a different resolution. Many of the current devices support Miracast already, but I bet it has to be with the same resolution. This kind of beats the purpose. Hopefully they will figure something out.
  • I believe the reason why is the dual display capabilities.
  • I think industry adoption will be the key. I work for a big IT company we all have a 1000+€ laptop which is onyl used to connect to a docking station for the bigger screen and then to connect to a virtual machine on which the actual work is done. Then many employees have a business phone given to them. With continuum each employee could have a 600€ phone isntead of a 1400 laptop+phone and it would be much easier to bring it around when moving, it makes perfect sense.  
  • So packing around a keyboard, mouse, and monitor will be better than simply having a laptop?
  • If you read what he wrote, he explains that the laptops are mostly used as desktops via docking stations.  They are likely only used as laptops when checking email away from the worker's desk.  In that situation, a phone + desk workstation makes more sense than a laptop + desk workstation.  My company actually has a similar arrangement.  Although some of our workers would still need a laptop, a pretty good percentage would be better off with a phone + dock.
  • Thanks
  • Paulo & Cleavitt76
    One problem, a laptop is cheaper than a smartphone.
  • Not a ultra high end $1400 laptop, a high end phone is nearly $700-$800. Add $100-200 for continuum hardware and its still cheaper than a laptop. Then instead of the workers having laptops, they can have a workstation.
  • If you need an ultra high end laptop, the phone is not going to replace it.
  • People are going to own a phone either way.  The laptop for some people might become optional if their phone does everything they need.
  • Minus the mouse... Didn't i read the phone can act as a mouse
  • Well id bet your vpn wouldn't be supported for a start so right off the bat its not a solution to, such scenarios.
  • Giving them the equivalent of a Surface 3 for $499-599 would be more efficient as they can do more while costing them less. This also obviously depends on the company and what they expect of their employees. If they just need word, excel etc. and they usually also give their employees work phones then, it would make sense, as their work phone could function as their work device as well.
  • I really don't know what to ultimately think of Continuum. It's conceptually fantastic, but I take that concept to exist in an x86 world. Sticking to the Windows Store apps sorely limits functionality, especially when the iOS and Android compilers aren't going to be available at launch to close the ever-growing app gap. In an ARM-centric model, the only thing I can meaningfully think of to do with Continuum is edit Office documents. Paired with OneDrive, that could be quite the feature, but that really only works if you want to throw down the money for the dock and the mouse and keyboard (meaning close to $200). Unless there is a quick introduction of Astoria and Islandwood (neither has a release windows yet), I think Continuum's going to ultimately be somewhat ignored. Windows 10 just needs MORE for people to do so this feature can be justified, and that means apps to do things. I'd throw my phone onto a second display at work and fire up Trillian on my phone...if there were a Trillian app. As it stands, the only non-Office stuff I can think of doing is video consumption, like using a phone to bring Netflix into the living room for the whole family (rather than having to buy a smart TV or Blu-Ray player), or you could get some torrented videos and VLC on the phone for a similar effect. I'm just skeptical on how widely useful this feature will be. It's an awesome concept, but something that is far from a device-selling matter. Sadly, Microsoft went short-term and starter throwing most of its key features onto iOS and Android. They somewhat dug their own grave by crossing off things on a list of reasons to take Microsoft over Apple or Google (Cortana, Office, etc.). I'll have to see when I can find an excuse to use Continuum before I commit to a dock myself, but it might happen.
  • We'll go back to the Apps gap problem. I used an iPhone 5S for a whole year ending August 31, 2015. I had many productivity apps on it that (I imagine) if the iPhone had similar feature like continuum will be successful because of the available apps. Just my two cents.
  • This is why Microsoft is showing Apple and Android apps to be side loaded or giving developers the tools port their Apple/Android apps to windows 10.
  • The thing is porting app to Windows Phone has never been hard, nor has it been the problem. While I do like the new tools Microsoft has privided for porting my apps, most devolopers; including myself, are simply not intresting in supporting another platform. iOS and Andriod cover over 96% of the worldwide smartphone market, and their simply isnt enough of a ROI for devoloping for ether Blackberry or Windows Phone. Microsoft would need to find a way to make devoloping for WP more attractive for devolopers and devolopement tools is the first step. But devolopers wont suddently  stop ignoring Microsft platform for thngs like Universal apps and easier porting tools. Because most mobile devolopers are not intresting in making a desktop app, and porting app from other platforms was already relativity simple. 
  • think is atom phone is coming
  • The phone can be an Atom-based one, but if Microsoft locks it down so it doesn't run x86 applications, then the architecture won't matter, from a software support angle.
  • I would really love it if it succeeded. It's a powerful play and given the right support which MS seems ready to offer and if OEM embrace it then it's going to be a success, though clunky solutions won't do. They have to come up with exceptional hardware which will work seamlessly.
  • Nice article. You present some valid reasons why Continuum may succeed where others failed, however, I don't share the optimism regarding it doing anything for Windows Phone (or whatever you want to call it, really). I'll explain why I think so: "It benefits from a universal app platform where apps are optimized for both a phone and desktop environment." Yes, there's indeed an universal app platform in Windows 10. However, the existance of a Universal app platform becomes meaningless when there are no apps or subpar apps in that platform. And then you have Windows programms which aren't part of the Windows Store and I highly doubt will ever be (since it would only mean less revenue for the developers). Not to mention programms aren't apps and programms are what probably over 90% of the people run on Windows, not apps. And then you smash against the very basic problem that I think undermines Microsoft's entire strategy: the simple fact that the PC and mobile experience are radically different. When someone uses a PC, they intend to access a certain amount of features like having access to a large display, fast processors, large keyboards, good graphic cards, multi-Windows etc. In a word: power. A smartphone nowadays can only power that experience if you intend to go back to 2005-powered computing.  Then there's part of programms. PC programs are complex and often require storage and RAM capacity. No smartphone can currently offer that. And on the other side of the equation you have the mobile experience. The mobile apps that people like to use and that make and break platforms are 90% thought with mobile and mobile-only in mind. Things like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine etc are things that are not aimed at being used outside a mobile phone. While the prospect of having a phone with an Intel processor, 6GB or RAM, full blown Windows etc (let's call it a "Surface Phone") is appealing, it doesn't change the fact that you will keep needing a PC for real multitasking work and that you will still be missing the mobile experiences that you're meant to have on mobile. And then, even with that Surface Phone, you'd be left with the fact that Windows programs aren't designed for mobile (like apps aren't designed for desktop). What Microsoft is trying to do is merging two different worlds and experiences. And I highly doubt they'll succeed.   "Industries, businesses, and municipalities can be key partners in supporting the third party support infrastructure for Windows 10 devices (hubs/docking stations)." Yes, but that would require a level of funding and investment that would likely not be profitable. Mainly because of the motives above: people have already decided what mobile experience they want to have and it's not Windows. And as Windows Phone (or Windows 10 Mobile or whatever) will continue to lack the mobile experience, all those people in those industries and business will still use their Android/iOS phones. Thus making having a second Windows Phone just to connect to those infrastructures redundant. 
  • Mmmmm well I can think of about 70% of the people I know that would be perfectly fine with a PC from 2005 for what they do with their home PCs, so a smartphone+screen+Keyboard+mouse+dockingstation would be perfectly fine for them.
  • No, they would not. Try to put them in front of a 2005 PC and see if they would be fine with it. Humans get very quickly used to better things and very very hardly accept to go backwards. I highly doubt 70% of people you know would go against their own nature.
  • Well, given what a phone is vs. a traditional PC, the hardware level might be just fine. Probably the biggest reason people will be unhappy with a 2005 computer is slow load times. The flash storage of a phone (vs. a slow mechanical drive) is alleviated here. Though the CPU and GPU won't be pushing heavy tasks, you could probably sit your grandma in front of an Athlon II processor with an SSD and she would be OK.
     
  • Most people want a smooth experience and haven't a clue about speeds on CPU-clocks or anything. If universal apps are smooth, they will use continuum. 90% of all users just browse the web and use office anyways.
  • My Phone is much faster for surfing the web, modifying docs etc. You spoke of raw power. The power to do most of the task you performed in a 2005 pc at a 2015 user experience is already there. You wouldnt be gaming or other intensive stuff yeah but we are just a small percentage.
  • I completely disagree with you. I know people currently using a laptop, that was purchased in, or before, 2005 and they are having no problems with it. Many of those people, when they use more than one program, don't truly multitask as one should. They bring up a program, maximize it, do what they need, bring up another program and maximize it... so on and so fourth. People like this will have no issue using a phone that can only run one thing at a time, because that's essentially all they are doing now. Not to mention, a large majority of people just use their computer for small things, like email and facebook.
  • You make valid points about desktop use and power, but generally speaking, I think this is aimed more towards the business uses who are always on the go, so if they don't have their laptop at hand, they can just connect their phones and use the business apps they need for whatever purpose they need.  Whether it’s for a PowerPoint presentation, being able to make quick changes to your spreadsheets comfortably using a big screen or even if you are writing something on word ...all without the need of having to take your laptop with you.  -----------------------​ There are many times where I have short trips and I don’t really need my laptop but I take it with me in case I need it for similar tasks and if there was a way for me to do this without the need of my laptop, I’d be in and I’m guessing this is the crowd MS is trying to appeal continuum to.
  • "Not to mention programms aren't apps and programms are what probably over 90% of the people run on Windows, not apps" 90% of what people run on Windows is an email client, web browser, office stuff, and watching videos.  All of those things can be done with the built in universal apps.  People don't care if they are using apps or programs.  It's also a logic fail to point out that Windows has an "apps" shortage and then follow that with 90% of Windows usage is not apps so people must not want to use apps.  That is kind of a self fullfilling prophecy don't you think?
  • Add a wmware app and you have covered all the businness segment too :)
  • "90% of what people run on Windows is an email client, web browser, office stuff, and watching videos."   No. Those things people are doing on their phones with the exception of Office stuff. Nowadays when a person goes to a PC is because he/she needs the added power of the PC. They resort to the PC to do the things they can't do on their phones.   "It's also a logic fail to point out that Windows has an "apps" shortage and then follow that with 90% of Windows usage is not apps so people must not want to use apps.  That is kind of a self fullfilling prophecy don't you think?"   It's not because you didn't understood what I wrote. Windows has a shortage of apps that people want. Because those apps are mobile-focuses ones. Those apps will not show up even with a Universal app store because developers will still only look at the target market for them - phones - and see WP's 2.5% of marketshare. The ton of apps missing from the Windows Store can't be obtained by leveraging the PC power. That's the thing. The thing 90% of people use on Windows are programs not apps. Precisely because the apps they seek are mobile-experiences and the things they do on their PC are not. This misunderstanding of yours, I believe, comes from the misconception that you have about what people nowadays do on their PCs.
  • There is no misunderstanding.  I know what people do nowadays on their PCs.  People do those things briefly on thier phones, but I don't know anybody that would spend a couple hours researching something online on a phone if they could avoid it.  I don't know anybody that watches an entire movie on their phone unless they are stuck on a plane (even then most would prefer a tablet at least).  I don't know anybody that would try to respond to long and complex email topics from their phone.  None of those things require desktop processing power, but they do benefit from a larger screen and keyboard/mouse.  A phone is just too limited in screen space and input effeciency for those tasks, but all of those tasks would be easily doable on a phone with continuum.
  • Lol, I honestly don't think continuum will be a game changer. If Microsoft releases windows 10 mobile without official (and up to par with android and ios) popular apps, forget it, you are wasting your time. Continuum is nice, I admit but it's barely enough to swing the pendulum Microsoft's way. Get the top 200 apps/games from both ios and Android and watch w10m eat android/ios for breakfast. Continuum/cortana/live tiles are all added bonuses
  • Congratulations! You get the award for negative opinion!
  • LOL xD
  • I guess if we're handing out awards, you'll get the one for dismissive fanboy comment with no substance.
  • Sorry not trying to be negative, just being realistic. I have switched my almost all my family and friends to windows phone. Half of them agreed to switch cos either the apps they want, I showed them alternatives oe I promised them their apps will be here before year end. This is a reality Microsoft is facing and project astoria/islandwood hopefully will fix. The point I'm trying to make is, islandwood/astoria are more vital to the sustainance of this platform than continuum ever will.
  • But let's not forget that there are many desktop developers that can use the universal app as well and not just from the Apple/Android side of which Astoria/Island was develop to assist. Meaning Microsoft will still get a volume of universal apps out of it's own desktop community. This is all going to take a while to pan out and will be very interesting to watch. 
  • They are trying to do both things, let's see if they succeed in both.
  • You are 100% right, I am actually contemplating switching back to an Android phone. Android still got more features and Apps. Maybe if Microsoft introduces an x86 intel powered phone that I can use to run Visual Studio plugged onto a monitor like what I do with my 8 inch intel atom tablet then I might buy another Windows phone.
  • I have many uses for Continuum in the business. For one, I can turn my phone into a pc and then leverage rdp to gain access to my full computer at the office. And that's exciting for me.
  • And you can't do that today without your phone? I am having trouble seeing a scenario where this capability does not already exist. For example, you need to give a presentation at work and are in front of a projector that is already connected to a desktop or laptop. At least in my experience, in situations where large screens are provided, computers are already attached to them. It's easier to just use that computer instead of setting up my phone and connecting a mouse & keyboard to my phone, only to disconnect them all afterwards, especially if we are only talking about using remote desktop.
  • Your experience is completely different from mine. (IT employee)
  • It would be realy cool to see public docks but I don't see that coming. The marketshare of Windows on Phones is just way to low. I could imagine that some companies will do it but it depends on the kind of work the employees do. Right now I suffer from an excel spreadsheet that almost brings down my Core 2 Duo at work. I'm not exactly shure how a modern octacore ARM CPU competes against it but my spreadsheet in't all that complex and doesn't feature the amount of data that some guys out there use. Additionaly a lot of jobs don't just need standard software awailable as universal apps but special programs still just avalable as classical Windows apps. And even the Office apps still aren't near the desktop versions.
  • I have to believe that cloud computing plays a role in the Continuum experience so as to not be bound strictly to the limits of phone hardware, but even still that just makes this so much more of a niche feature.
  • Phones can power resolutions higher than QHD smoothly. Why wouldn't they be able to handle Windows, when the iPad is better than the Surface 3?
  • Anyone has any idea which all present Microsoft phones will support continuum? Any help is appreciated!
  • No current hardware supports it.
  • @Human No current Windows Phones will support Continuum. The feature requires new hardware. But upcoming devices from Microsoft and the Acer Jade Primo will support the feature! :-)
  • I hope you meant @Numan
  • Thanks for the information anyway! :)
  • Probably, I'm guessing he's typing on a touch device with an auto-correcting keyboard. Windows 10 Mobile's is quite aggressive. That, or he just went with the likely fact that as someone typing on this site, you're a human. It helps in avoiding remembering names.
  • '...remembering names...". Well said, Matey. And I agree with what Matey said to Matey before. :/
  • None
  • The potential is enormous, I remember thinking what's the point for me when the iPad was released on the world and now look howthe tablet has taken over, maybe continuum will create a new market in the same way.... Imagine in a few years time going into PCWorld and instead of rows of tower PCs there are bundles of continuum devices, say a screen, mouse keyboard and WM10 device(s) bundled together, or TVs with built in continuum support, just add a keyboard and mouse ,
    Microsoft has become exciting again!
  • My biggest desire for continuum is for travel. Take the 950XL, a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you have a reasonable travel PC. You can write notes, do some light photo editing, etc., all in a package that's not a theft magnet. I'm hoping that the browser on Windows 10 mobile will be up to the task. That will be the biggest issue
  • You'd still need a screen. Throw a Surface in your pocket and you got everything you need with you.
  • Well written
  • @SleepyTheDon Thanks man!
  • While it yet remains to be seen how this will play out, the article definitely articulates the potential strength of the OS and the feature. If the world isn't ready, then it will be waiting. In that case, however, we might see others trying to "introduce" an analog and maybe even receive credit for this innovation - because though the general idea may predate W10 - THIS IS AN INNOVATION over what ever came before. Microsoft needs to MARKET THE HELL out of this and other core features. Cheers and thanks again for the wrote up.
  • @RayWP7 Thanks for the support. And yes Microsoft needs to make sure that the world knows about the capabilities it is building into its ecosystem. Continuum needs to be vocally promoted and partnerships sought to ensure its success. They can do this while working hard to shore up weak areas. Such as their efforts with bringing Android, iOs and Win32 apps to the universal app platform. That of course is key. MS has a lot of work to do to ensure its mobile relevance. But their plan is amazing, ambitious and forward thinking. if successful it wont only bring them on par with the competition, it will put them ahead of the curve. :-)
  • Continuum is good presentation to display the OS capability but I don't see it going mainstream however you slice it. Let's say I go to conference in Florida, why would I use continuum and bring more adapter if I have my phone and laptop? Space is premium when traveling.
  • Well, do not bring your laptop then. As you said "Space is premium" and a laptop is taking way more space than a small little adapter to connect your phone to any bigger screen.
    I also strongly believe that if a Miracast enabled screen is present at your presentation location that you would not even need the adapter.
  • Yeah I think this person missed the point entirely.
  • What screen are you going to connect to? You are just assuming you will have one available wherever you are? Why not just carry a laptop. It is not like they are very expensive and your data/documents are easily available in the cloud. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The Atrix failed because turning your phone into a computer was nothing more than a novelty. With a $10 MHL(HDMI) adapter, just about any Android phone can be turned into a PC. I used to hook a keyboard/mouse and monitor up to my Galaxy Note II, it was neat to try, but only for a couple of days. 
  • As explained in this article, rather excellent, Android does not support the same scalability for apps as Windows 10 has build into their app design guidelines from the ground up. On Android apps are just expanded without exciting their touch layout and user guidance. On Windows 10 however the ago pa will actually scale correctly to screen size and properly support mouse and keyboard input. It will be a day and night difference.
  • Android properly supports mouse and keyboard as well, and I could even run two apps, or a browser and app side by side on my monitor. It was a cool novelty, but nothing more. I also had an Atrix HD that had an HDMI connector on the top of it. I enjoyed playing mobile games on my 50" television for a little while, but even that was just a novelty. I honestly believe that people here who are crediting Continuum as being game changer are in for a let down later on.
  • I strongly believe you missed the point I wanted to get across. As far as I know, doing HDMI connection to a Android phone just projects your phones screen to a larger monitor, but the apps do not properly adapt to that new environment but just look larger. This is totally different with Windows 10 as Apps are to be designed to work in different screen spaces and input It is impossible to compare these two experiences as they have a totally different core functionality behind them. While one is just mirrors your screen, the other is handling the other screen as a second monitor and you can do independent actions on both, like having your mails on the phone's screen and excel & word on the external (example!).
  • You assume people are going to build apps with this capability when Microsoft can't get developers to build apps at all. The biggest issue with Continuum is why? PCs are not expensive and your data is ubiquitous because of the cloud. Turning your phone into a crappy WindowsRT desktop isn't going to be a big draw. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That explanation referred to an old device that ran an old version of Android (2.2). Android only started supporting tablets with 3.0 but we're already up to 6.0 so we can't claim that lack of support for multiple screen sizes years ago is relevant now. Most of the additions made to XAML to support multiple screen sizes in Universal Windows Apps already existed in Android. I do think the Windows 10 implemenation is better but Android apps have been able to support multiple screen sizes in the same app package for a while. The hardware enabling the use of an external screen with a different resolution isn't new or exclusive to Microsoft either (it's all in the chipset really). The big difference is really Office. So many business users carry a laptop just for Office and not much else. They might use a tablet with an external keyboard but it's not really the same Office experience they're used to. With a Win10 Mobile phone it will be a very similar experience and would make sense for them. Of course, just before that catches on Microsoft would add support for the same thing with Android phones, because selling Office 365 to Android users is more important than helping WP catch on
  • I like the concept of universal apps, but how often will a developer actually use it? And how great an experience will it be using hardware currently available for phones on a large screen meant for desktops? Chances are if I have a larger screen to connect to, I also have a far more powerful device that is already connected to it. Certainly that more powerful device would offer a better experience and I would just use that instead. I really don't see the consumer space for this feature. I do applaud the ambition of this effort, though. I hope even if Continuum doesn't take off that MS learns valuable lessons and develops technical achievements they can apply elsewhere.
  • @randomuser37. First, it requires very little for a developer to use or create a universal app over a non-universal... so why not do the one?  That is MS's viewpoint I believe.   Second, the current hardware is not supported.  That is why they are going to include it in the new gen phones coming out soon (Hopefully!).   Third, most Windows phones have more power than an android or ios phone.  For example, My Lumia Icon has beefy specs and if compared to the same generation of Galaxy or iPhone was more powerful.  The new specs we have seen are projected for the Cityman and Talkman are even stronger.   So the chances that you have a more powerful device in a conference room compared to the new phones is not as great as you may think.
  • "very little" might not be all that little, basically the effort is not much different than it already was with WinRT8.1 apps.
  • well, it's easier in 10 with relative layout and the new adaptive triggers make it easy to change things based on size (or anything else really) in XAML, so technically it's not that hard but you still have to design an experience that makes sense on multiple form factors, and that still adds work. a lot of work
  • There are also things such as focus and mouseover handling that add extra work. It's not difficult, but it does indeed require more work, especially on the designing part, and often requires moving or adding features to make a wholesome desktop / big screen -experience.
  • It's not "very little" and for many apps makes no sense at all (apps that are built around a mobile experience have no reason to create a desktop app). I'm sure we'll see UWP apps but I suspect it will be the same as those already in the Windows Store. I just hope it draws banks back to the platform.  And btw, the specs for flagship WP devices are always behind Android.  Your Icon had the same specs when it was released as 4-5 month old Android devices (Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3) so the hardware wasn't more powerful than same generation Android devices. The new Cityman and Talkman will run snapdragon 810 and 808, my One+2 already has that 810. So when I get my Lumia 950 XL it won't be more powerful than my Android device
  • Well written !
    I have one question : Will continuum require the screen to have windows 10 OS on it ? , or just any wifi capable screen? Please anyone know answer !
  • Windows will run from the phone, which will output to the screen.
  • Umm, any screen that can connect to the hub is ok, so basically anything with a digital input like HDMI or DP, might need an adapter though. For MiraCast you need a screen capable of that. No need for W10 for screen.
  • Thanks very much guys , This is awesome !
  • @yahia..thanks for the support! and I see you've already gotten your answer thanks @ Richard and @Bloobed.
  • Great article. I plan to demo continuum to all of my team as soon as the devices are available.
  • I mentally support your plan! :)
  • @ebradley Thanks for the support! and Demo away!!!!! :-)
  • WindowsRT desktop! Awesome! That is definitely going to be a hit! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Airports, coffee shops, hotels. The possiblities are indeed wonderful, but these places will not even consider putting big screens in for this purpose until WinPho gets marketshare. I do think it is the type of functionality that business people will use once and then instantly see how useful it can be. The timing is kind of wrong if you ask me. If WinPho U.S. marketshare was in double digits, then the timing would have been much better. This may end up being the killer toy for us WinPho users and who knows maybe that will be enough to convince the masses, not for a while though. Hate always having to wait for tommorrow with WinPho, but I waited this long, and I'm happy enough to stick with it at this point. The coming Android apps will certainly bring a huge missing piece of the puzzle as well. JF Couldn't log in to this site using Edge fyi.. sigh...
  • @JimmyFal Thanks for the input! :-)
  • I just logged in with edge. Lumia 735 WPM 10. Flawless! As an IT pro I can tell you every colleague I talk to is very excited about continuum if for nothing else their budgets!
  • Another benefit of Continuum is that you aren't stuck with such a large investment in one phone.  In the Sway there is an Asus PhonePad.  With that thing you could buy the phone, tablet dock, keyboard, and a TV dock.  Then when you want to upgrade to a new phone, what do you do?  Throw all that stuff out and start over?  With Continuum it appears that you buy the hub that will work with any device. 
  • Too much elimination of good phone apps like all the Lumia apps going away
  • And when is the Newrelese for Microsoft lumia 535?i wait very long time!!!!im bored.
  • I think Continuum sounds great. It won't replace devices in the majority of modern households but it's still a useful feature to have. I don't think it will have any impact on W10M marketshare though, not initially anyway.
  • Up up up waaay up for that article :)
  • IDK. seems like another gimmick that may or may not catch on. If it does great, fine, if not, hey you gave it a shot, WTH.
  • Continiuum is one of the major reasons I am waiting for MS to announce their WIN10 flagships. When I currently go on travel I always have to bring my laptop with me as well in order to do some small projects for which I need fullyized Excel, Video cutting capabilitis as well as Photo editting posibillities. With Continuum and a properly beefy phone hardware I could probably leave my laptop at home and open up some more space in my luggage; given the hopes that there will also be developers creating proper photoedditing and video cutting universal apps.
  • I'd like a 4k 10.1" tablet which was just screen, battery which I could use with Continuum, keeping the Lumia in my pocket
    NB Build 10512 blows chunks
  • Continuum is not just about phones. Tablets and 2in1s already have it and they already can be docked and used as desktops. Win32 included. Now, phones will have the same feature, almost for free (it's more about software then hardware).
    I'm surprised Asus haven't already announced win pad phone. It would be a phone that can be docked to tablet/laptop or desktop.
  • the way windows central sees things!! You people are one of the best tech writers I've seen!
  • @abhishek Thanks for the support!:-) You guys are a great audience!
  • Two words why it will succeed: It's Windows.
  • I think you miss the biggest reason (or maybe it was too long a read...) Android 2.2 didn't even support tablets. Newer Android versions do and still this idea hasn't worked. Android developers can target multiple screen sizes just like universal apps can (Microsoft kinda copied their ideas like relative panel, screen size break points, effective pixels, etc.) so that's not really the reason either. It comes down to expectation and perception. People are used to running Windows on their desktops. Most would see no reason to run Android on a larger screen because what they do on that device doesn't require that. With Windows 10 the most used software,Office and web browsing, will look and work the same way. That could finally get people to use it as a PC
  • What should be one of the reason it doesn't have to fail.
  • I completely agree with this article. Looking forward for Microsoft's flagship hardware announcement. For that reason alone I'm holding off replacing my L1020 which is seriously impaired in this age of time.
  • It was really so long... and sense full... i'm crying right now Posted while running with the ninja cat
  • a fine article, with good points, historical facts and apt photo illustrations - good job!
  • @Qtweeder Thanks so much!
  • Timing will still be everything. Apps, hardware availability, easy to use, dev platforms. It's a wonderful thing if it works and I do hope it will. But Microsoft is already showing its cracks in this vision with no developer environment when this comes out. And to be fair, the universal app tools should have been out for a longer time then W10 it self before people can start putting in content.
  • I hope it work cz this feature is not for everyone . It go to business side more Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  •     So I am looking forward to try this. It sounds really interesting. I see as only part of the solution to the "problem" they are trying to solve. We really need something like Continuity as well to complete the puzzle. Continuum today is all about staying with the same device and have it scale and adapt. But the truth is we're still going to be moving between devices of different types and we need something that goes with us. We need devices to be aware of and complement each other. It needs to be the experience that follow me and adapts, whether it be on the same or different devices. THEN I would be in a "continuum". There is another and related issue which is: when you have more devices they will all make noise. Whenever I have a calendar reminder pop up, it does so on multiple devices. This is both nice and annoying. What I am suggesting could result in alerts and notifications from all devices popping up on all other devices (with the ability to act on them, ie. respond to sms from different device than phone or open the door at home as a response to the doorbell while at the office). This needs to be handled somehow. Perhaps by way of simply telling Cortana "Only give me notifications on my phone". Also the reverse is the case, as in try to put a number of different Windows 10 devices next to each other and say "hey Cortana" - they will all respond, if enabled. This seems silly. Only one of them should respond. We need it to be the one most suited for the situation... whichever one that is... Finally, let me just briefly touch on the dock. I like the idea. But why on Earth is it not a dock?? A cable that I plug in is not a true dock, IMHO. I can definitely see some advantages, such as being able to pick it up with the cable still attached. But still... Summing up, I like what I see, hope to see much more...
  • The thing you are describing is already here. We call it the cloud and it makes more sense these days than this 2004 dream Microsoft calls Continuum. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What happens to continuum when i get a phone call? Do i unplug and replug when im done and continue where i left of?
  • If you are using Miracast , then you dont have to unplug.. Just attend the call..
  • And if a cable is used just make sure it is long enough to pick up the phone to your ear. Continuum sees the external screen as a second screen space and, unlike on android where if you use a HDMI connector, does not mirror your home screen but enables you to do do independent actions on each screen. Presumably it will also be able to extend to more than just 1 external screen, if the phone's hardware is beefy enough.
  • The call is handled on your phone but what is displayed on the large screen is not effected.
  • The success of continuum relies considerably on Microsoft's ability to ship a first generation of phones that runs continuum lag-free and without giving the end user who has seen the matrketing materials the feeling that they have been sold short. If this doesn't happen, the reviews will all be about how it doensn't deliver on the promise rather than how promising the feature (and platform) are.
  • The reviews are going to ask why you would want to use your phone as a WindowsRT desktop when you already have a laptop or desktop. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Excellent write up Jason, I'd like to add a few things on why Motorola's Webtop experiment failed:
    1) Greed, they deliberately made the RAZR & BIONIC incompatible with the Atrix's accessories to sell more of them ... Plus, they priced the Lapdock $500! Five-Frickin-Hundreds! You can buy an actual mid range laptop for that kind of money .... Same with ASUS's tablet dock .... Not to mention, you needed a tethering plan for it.
    2) Lack of long term vision & halfassed effort ... On Froyo & Gingerbread, it supposedly had a unique "desktop interface" but once the RAZR got Ice-cream sandwich (The ATRIX never did btw) ... The Interface became the useless crappy tablet version of Android 4.0 ... And once Google bought them, they killed the thing.
    3) in typical Motorola fashion, they failed to capitalize on the concept & dropped the ball. I used to have the Atrix, it was a work horse, took all kinds of beating & it had a Fingerprint Scanner before it was cool dang it! Lol
  • Thanks @ IceDree. And thanks for the input. Appreciate the addition to the discussion. :-)
  • We dont want another Windows RT for phones in the name of Continuum. Windows 10 can truly become one operating system if x86 Intel Atom powered phones are developed. I want to run Visual Studio on a phone plugged into my monitor and not just a scaled down universal app like Word mobile or Excel Mobile. x86 phones would be a game changer and would definately be the only compelling reason for most to switch to a Windows phone. I am sure my Android die hards would definately switch after seeing me working in Visual studio on an X86 phone.
  • The next version of Office will be fully featured on phones escpecially if you extend your monitor through Continuum; regardless if it is ARM or x86 based
  • "Steve Jobs' (who is credited with heralding in the age of the smartphone)" That has to be a wind-up. Really? We had smartphones years before the iPhone came along. Literally years before. Symbian and WindowsCE/Windows Mobile were very well established by then.
  • "Remember kids, the iPhone preceded Nokia. Remember that." -the 'education' our future children will be exposed to
  • @markAllert and Artificially yours. Yes you are correct. Windows Mobile devices and Symbian devices did exist long before iPhone. I had the Cingular 2125, a Windows Mobile 5.0 cany bar shaped device. Ioved it! I had the full full batman movie and another movie whose name I can't recall on the 1 Gig memory card that I had in it! I surfed the web, took pictures, downloaded and used apps. I was part of the XDA community. Absolutely! Other devices preceded the iPhone. but they existed in the land of the Geeks and business folks. They weren't mainstream and no totally simple to use for the average consumer. So after the iPhone launched and became the device the 4 year kid and 95 year great grandmother could pick up and easily learn to navigate - smartphone became mainstreamed. Quickly mimicked by Samsung, smartphones soon became - THE type of cell phone most people carried in their pockets. the Razer and flip phones went the way of the Do Do and the powerful, hackable and VERY capable devices like the Cingular 2125, the HTC 8125, and 8925 which can still do some things the iPhone can't just never caught on. This is why many people credit Apple and it's leader at the time of heralding in the age of the smartphone. It wasn't until the simplisitic, app centric, touch friendly iPhone debuted that Android OEMs and Microsoft then offered simplistic, app centric touch friendly smartphones. Thanks for the input!
  • Steve Jobs is the Kanye West of technology.
  • I am not so sure the time will ever be right for continuum. With the cloud and ever cheaper devices, its more and more practical to have a phone, a tablet, laptop and a desktop and switch seamlessly between them at will. It seems much easier to me wake up my laptop or desktop rather than go through the hassle of connecting a phone into a monitor and peripherals.
  • Exactly. The reasons to do this are few and far between. This will not drive growth. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree.  It could happen.  Most people don't care abou Win32 applications.  businesses do. I think it would appeal to a  lot of people that they wont have to lug around a  laptop.  Simply use their phone
  • I am excited with the 950 XL. Then hopefully the Surface Phone is true, i will just upgrade again.
  • It will always have its place, but before we get too critical/fluffy lets give it time. 
  • And watch it gets released to android devices in the near future...
  • Why it won't work: Nobody required it, and many required features are simply not there. First class VPN support being the most pressing in corporate environments.
  • Which Windows Phone 8.x has and Windows 10 Mobile will have as well.
  • WP8.x and W10 VPN is incomplete, not covering half or even a third of a myriad of methods.
  • I thought I saw everything from BUILD but I don't remember seeing the actual Continuum demo with different scenarios. The fact that it's not just for business or productivity apps makes this an instant hit for me. I would probably use it just for the coolness factor alone. With running Netflix on the TV in my room while using my phone for whatever and I can move my PS3 back to my basement TV. The demo was pretty cool and wonderful article as well J. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Continuum is a "killer featue". It's what the world has been wating for all along
    but did not know yet. If you are a corporation or a freelance or any kind of professional
    you will not want to go without it once you tried it.  iOS and Android have a lot of gimmicks, 
    Windows 10 /w Continuum will have productivity. Once there will be some serious x86-driven W10 flagship devices on the market 
    and
    MS does manage to execute some popular gimmicky Android apps 
    using the original Android binaries
    why would you as a professional
    want to fumble around with an Android phone / tab
    if it is not for games. W10 /w Continuum is for professionals.
    Android and iOS will be for those
    who have some spare time left to waste.  
  • Professionals can afford a real laptop or desktop and a phone isn't powerful enough to get work done on. Not to mention the complication of having to use your phone as a desktop. Why? Your data is already ubiquitous through the cloud and it will be a pain to use your phone as an actual phone when it is also your desktop. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • A lot of the meh comments here come from a perspective of unlimited cash. Most of the commenters here would happily buy multiple cool devices including a $2k Surface Phone if it existed. However we're not representative of the market. Continuum saves money. Money talks for business. Why provide both laptop and phone for all staff when most wont need both? Many businesses already have banks of screens ready to go. I also think money talks at home too. Kids need computers at school and at home, somebody has to pay for them - either you or your taxes. Tell you what, I'll pay for the "computer" and the school just provides an old lcd etc. I'm sure it won't take long for someone to develop a laptop shaped continuum dock you can plug your phone into. Also casting to the TV is an option.
  • The problem is that if cost is the prohibiting factor, then there's still no reason to get excited now because its only for high end devices. I would imagine the Acer Jade Prime is suppose to be like $450. The Lumia 950 is suppose to be $650. It'll be a lot more interesting once it trickles down to lower price points.
  • My standard issue company laptop cost $1400. Most of my colleagues don't use any win32-exclusive apps. So exciting now. Unfortunately I still need win32, otherwise I was going to offer to trial going laptopless in exchange for a 100% BYOD subsidy
  • I got an i5/FullHD laptop for my daughter south of 400$.
  • Thanks for the limited cash perspective, but issuing 15.6" back breakers to travelling staff won't fly - literally.
  • It is more than that. Smartphones will become even more powerful over the coming years
    as they have in the past.   We'll see better memory like Intel/Micron's XPoint memory,
    more and cheaper FLASH-memory,
    we may see complete new CPU / GPU or systems architectures.
    And we will see who-knows-what (something we can't linearily predict from as of today). So Continuum is a longer term bet, it will pan out over the years. With the upoming new Lumia flagships
    Continuum will still be a geeky gimmick. But once technology progresses and we see some beefy x86 Surface phones on the market Continuum will start to become a killer feature you would not want to go without. And one day not to far away your new Windows Phone just will come w/ Continuum regardless and even you never really asked for it you'll appreciate that is available for you in case you might (unexpectedly) need it. ​   
  • @wpbazaar Thanks for the input. I actually included the idea of using Continuum enabled phones in Schools in a Sway I originally made for my article "Google Wants Our Children." Here's that Sway if you'd like to take a look : https://sway.com/DyOdgyBh16SAO7Ma Thanks again!
  • Samsung already has that pattent.
  • Motorola isn't a good reference. Motorola never got anything seriously right. They always reliably managed to stumble over their own feet 
    or did bake things only half and/or stopped on they way to whatever 
    (they probably did no really no where to go but did exactly that full steam ahead).  So, if Motorola failed, it does not really mean much.
    Motorola failed because they where Motorola.  ​
  • Yes, it's a great theory, now let's see in practice.
  • Wait until...next summer in north hemisphere...
    Not very cheerful with those great ideas, ideas... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's doomed to fail because Microsoft threw away/neglected what was great about Windows 8.1 in the process of making it.  But it will probably live on in some form after Windows Phone dies off or is relegated to emerging markets.
  • I'd like to see someone make an ultra-skinny battery-powered Miracast enabled 15" - 17" screen with pen support that could be powered by the W10M phone in my pocket. It would be 25% the thickness of a laptop and even thinner than a tablet since it doesn't need processor, RAM, etc.  That would totally kill the current tablet market since everyone already carres a phone.  Is there anybody out there?  
  • you do have a way of understanding it but it will need all of that and probably some
    sothat it will at least be able to tell you what's going on with the devices your controlling .. oh and with all that . it will probably lag alot is paired with more than three devices . that's just how I see it .. it might take up to four more years to figure it out .. hopefully I'm wrong . cuz I really wanna try it lol
  • isn't Miracast one-way?
  • Generally, but new Miracast technology works 2 way. You need special hardware though.
  • That means windows phone is going to work as a cpu ?
  • 8 years to realize the dream of the Palm Foleo...
  • Continuum is only on expensive smartphone though
  • What I'm wondering right now if Continuum can interact with my Windows 10 desktop. This is so if I have any pending or work-in-progress (ms docs, outlook, sms, etc..) on my phone can be continued on my laptop or PC. This is also so I can use Continuum side-by-side my laptop's Window instead of utilising the whole monitor.
  • Still just wishful thinking. MS has yet to proof that it will be more than just a niche gimmick... Posted via the Windows Central App for MS-DOS 6.22
  • Continuum should be on both of the forthcoming flagship MS phones, not just on 1 of them.
  • The only way that this can succeed is if MS markets this with punch lines like "why need a laptop or an tablet when your phone can do all of this" and there should be a flawless demo of this when they release these devices, not too hopeful, but I will wait and see
  • I like the idea of Continuum but I have some major concerns: The docking device (Munchkin, unconfirmed price USD 99) is NOT cheap​ Some people may find bringing an extra device inconvenient (plus keyboard & mouse if they don't want to use the smartphone touchscreen as keyboard & trackpad) Currently Windows Store lacks some really useful productivity apps.  Even the Office Mobile has many advanced functions not supported (I don't agree that average users don't need advanced functions.  In fact average users sometimes have to use some of the advanced functions.).  I would say that using WP Continuum offers only slightly better experience than using iPad Except running Office, there are many things we get used to do in a PC, e.g. file management, running apps as Windows instead of full-screen, etc - these are all (as far as we know) not supported in WP Continuum framework. We can already enjoy full PC experience with a cheap 8" Windows tablet, which costs as cheap as ~USD 200 and allows HDMI connection to a monitor.  It runs full Windows 10 desktop instead of Windows 10 Mobile.
  • It would be awesome if it could 1. Run x86 apps 2. Use the phone as a keyboard/touch pad and 3. The app store had a selection on par with Google/Apple. Although, I guess if it could run x86 apps, a bigger app store wouldn't be as important.
    I'd say it may be fine for enterprise who can develop apps, but without a major app selection or x86 support it won't fair well users in their 20-40's. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This was a nice article and I enjoyed reading it. One of the main points "Many of Microsoft's 1.5 billion PC users are upgrading to Windows 10 which at its core erases the barriers between the PC and the mobile versions of the OS. This decision is a powerful power play. With the support of OEM partners, Microsoft has the resources to bring Continuum to the broad base of Windows users. If that fails or succeeds is yet to be seen." defines why it's Windows 10 and not 9. For many of the older Oses, companies have tried to fit Windows especially on tablets and  forms of potable laptop types. Now Microsoft appears to have finally gotten to where companies could have the types of devices they want to give their workers especially those who work in the field. 
  • I have a chromebox 199e. I work on it and save everything to the cloud. I can continue working on the files on anything that has an internet connection and a browser. That's continuum. I don't carry anything on me except my phone. Nothing to plug in or connect. Hassle free. How will MS get normal people (not business users) to buy their continuum devices since that's what they need to get back into the race.
  • Timing.. That's why Nokia failed so many times.
  • The only major problem I can see Continuum having is the amount of memory phones use. While 4 GBs is still enough to do a lot of what people do every day it's not enough compared to what is being marketed. It will take some really informative commercials to show the public what can be done, and none of the crap Microsoft has been doing in the past, especially the idiotic dance they had when they released the Surface. That should have been saved for a later release.
  • BYOD coming to enterprise.
  • My only fear is the unifying the apps, it has so far led to them being dumbed down on the PC side of things and made useless. I don't use any unified apps on Windows Desktop because of this, everything I use offers way many more options, I want a more complex UI because I have a keyboard and mouse, not a small 5 inch screen and a finger.
  • Forget everything... The sway styled part was amazing... to the point that i wouldnt mind reading all Windows Central that way. I LOVE IT!
  • It's cool tech no doubt, but it's not going to matter: the Lumia 950 devices will come and go without making a ripple in the marketplace.
    That's the hard truth.
  • Couple quick thoughts here: Contiuum is exciting as hell. It's super important for Microsoft. Comparing it to the Atrix is, well, not a good comparison. (Especially given all the factual errors here. It didn't just plop smartphone apps up on a bigger screen. It was a full Ubuntu-based monstrosity that was a weird hybrid between Android apps and Linux. That's a big detail missing here.) But it's basically like comparing a P85D to a 1979 Ford Pinto in terms of hardware and software. The Atrix dock thing was as ahead of its time as it was unnecessary and too expensive. That's why it didn't "succeed." It was a Moto and Mozilla play (and probably Ubuntu, which has been trying to get this done forever) to get things integrated.
  • Simply, I dont understand the negative comments here... If you are not a MS believer... What are you doing reading an article in WPC?? Go and but an iphone/android and place your lame posts on their forums.
  • I can see two regular user cases with this. But these won't happen with the 950 just yet because of price/power limitations. 1) somebody with a future mid range phone. Could buy a touch screen with some a build in speaker/mic and battery, for surfing skyping etc on the couch. And a screen plus mkb for when they need to do some more serious office work. They would also be able to connect with the tv. 2) the power user is basically the same as 1 but would have a very powerful phone. Their tablet screen would be like a surface with type cover, pen support and kickstand. In these cases both should save money especially in the long run. Since they would only pay for processing power, gpu etc in their phone, and i presume that the extra screens would have a longer life span the today's desktops.
    So it really depends on the ability to make powerful enough phones for a fair price and supply of the right accessories.
  • You guys just staying in a bubble.. Doesn't look like majority of them care of having this kind of thing. Anyway let's see if this thing takes off, my opinion is it will not make a difference and not going to change the iOS/Android mobile dominance.
  • i doubt this is goin to catch on ... it is only going to work on the few flagship models ans is basically windows RT 2.0 without a built in screen ... there will only be a few universal apps like touch first Office just like on RT.
  • I think the Windows 10 Mobile Continuum featureis geat but Microsft has to also 1= get good Android & Apple iphone Apps developers to make MS Universal Apps version of their Apps, 2= change the shape of the tiles by rounding off the 4 corners of the MS tiles and space them furher apart to have a less Cluttered look on thier user interface. the way the current Mcrosoft tiles look is too homely and Industrial looking to most People's taste. As a Windows 10 insider i warned Microsoft that human beings like to see areo dynamic rounded off objects as opposed to objects that have 90 degree boxy corners on them. People tend not to buy what looks too industrial, homely or ughy to them. the shape of the Microsoft tiles must change to look more appealing to  people. 3=Microsoft needs better advertising strategy to get the word out about Windows smart phones and stop phone sales People from steering People to Android and Apple smartphones            
  • This is a nice feature for IT people to have and use occasionally (I guess that why Microsoft invented it), but the average consumer isn't thinking about how they can go home and do excel spreadsheets from work.  Microsoft is going to have to come out with better phones with much better design that what these Nokia 950/Nokia 950L rumors show to impress people.   
  • Continuum is a great concept, I am a die hard MS mobile fan and am waiting for a new Lumia to come. I see this for me as an advantage because now I wouldn't necessarily need to buy a surface or PC replacement. I have a few monitors in my home and could sync up and process my work. That is the type of concept I could definitely get behind and I could see a shift in consumers moving to that concept and away from android or iOS provided the app content is there. I work for a telco and remember getting the Atrix and thinking this was a great concept then and was disappointed when it was just dropped after only one series. Great article and wrapp up I hope MS gets it right the first time that will be the key indicator whether this line is successful or not. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Good Article, Jason, per the usual! I agree that this is like nothing that has come before it, and has an EXPONENTIALLY greater chance of succeeding. I also agree that this is not guaranteed to succeed, but if it fails, it will not fail for anything like the same reasons the others failed. Actually, I think a far more interesting compare and contrast would be between Continuum and Apple's Handoff. That would be a great article for you, Jason! I will say that big picture, I envision myself being a bigger fan of Continuum than Handoff, easily. But that doesn't mean that both aren't without their advantages, as are both very different but similarly interesting approaches to the same goal - integrating phone and desktop. Just some casual observations: I'll start with what I perceive to be advantages for Handoff: 1) all you need is a device running iOS8 and a device running OSX Yosemite, and internet (or is it 9, and El Cap - I can't remember). The point is, no special adaptors are required, nor any specific models of phones (all of the current crop of Windows Phones will be unable to use Continuum, only the new ones in the way) 2) Unless you're going to commit to going completely PC free, and make your phone your everything, then your phone in Continuum mode will amount to a "second PC" and you won't be able to interact between your phone and your main box like you can with handoff - as far as I know. But if you have a Munchkin, and a Continuum enabled phone you have a degree of seamless interaction between phone and PC that Handoff can't even begin to touch. Plus, with universal apps, everything that works on the one will work on the other - unlike with Apple. Sure, Handoff is nice for passing documents and e-mails in process from one device to another as well as passing texts and calls. Those are really nice, genuinely handy features. But with Continuum, aside from the huge benefit from apps, you can do all those Handoff tasks as well, only without having to pass from one device to the other - it's all happening on just one machine, one that you can slip in your pocket and take with you! So anyway, would love to see you do a writeup on this! Cheers! Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I hope this is the killer feature that gets Microsoft above 3% worldwide.
  • Think with something like LG Rolly Keyboard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BOmdKWrBrs and a foldable display continuum would be great for students.
  • Yeah, another great article Jason.
  • Only fans can believe, that continuum will be real future. This situation is not such a different from Atrix. Yes, W10 is more sophisticated with better HW, but why I should buy it and use it?
    I guess, continuum will be part of a few high-end (and high-priced) phones. Not much customers for app developers. And the real point - ok, I will take phone, mouse, keyboard and...well..monitor is problem. OK, I will hope, there will be some TV there or I will just use 5-6 inch phone screen. I saw some student example here. Ok, I took my "mobile solution" instead of subnotebook. Have mouse, keyboard, phone (and dock?) I will put it together. Use my small portable keybord (its pain to use it), and little screen and Im not able to use default university x86 SW, hoping that nobody will call me :). And its not cheap (high end phone, keyboard...). Why? Why I should do it? My cheap subnotebook has 1,4kg. I just open it, work with usable keyboard, big screen and still have actual data in cloud.
    And yes, I had Atrix...and yes, I believe you are so excited, because have had no chance to try it yet.
  • I'm so ready for this.  It's what I used to love about my Symbian N8.  I could have only this phone on me, and someone would have a technical problem and I could plugin in a USB to the N8, transfer the fix to the USB and put that into the issue computer and fix it.  I want more PC features on a phone.  The thing I wanted on that N8 was full desktop excel and word when plugging it into a screen so I'm glad that that has happened. I also want more more more... more of the PC features on a phone and Continuum is a good start.
  • This is a well-thought out and well-written article, there's just one problem: All of this is moot if Microsoft can't get any carrier support. T-Mobile only "supported" the 640 for what, two months? And that support came in the form of online only sales that no one in the company seemed to know anything about. No one in their stores knew anything about the phone. I got ONE sales rep to tell me that they "think it's on the website." Does WP get better support from any other carrier? Not from what I've heard? So what's the alternative? Do they sell all their phones unlocked at Microsoft Stores? Walmart? WM 10 and Continuum can be the greatest, most potentially life changing technological advance ever and it won't matter if no one can buy it. I hope this isn't the case. I love Windows Phone. It's the only mobile OS that I actuality l actually like, but we have to be realistic about this. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I just don't see how this will work in practice. The idea of public places having appropriate docks is wishful thinking ... which means that I'd have to carry around, in effect, a complete laptop computer except it would be brainless (no CPU/storage/etc.). I'd then have to connect my phone to the braindead laptop with a cable or something. That's the mobile scenario. The desktop scenario seems much less cumbersome since I could conceivably connect the desktop keyboard, mouse, and monitor wirelessly. Of course, I'd probably need at least a power connection to the phone to drive the wireless desktop so I might as well "dock" the phone to the system. Is a portable "brain" what users need and/or want? I don't know. Managing multiple semi-siloed devices is a pain and Continuum provides a reasonable solution. There are two big problems I see: 1. If I have one main device then losing that device means losing everything. Drop it on the ground, drop it in water, etc, and everything goes poof! The solution there is to have a cloud backup of data. 2. Phone hardware isn't yet equivalent to laptop or desktop hardware. You use a laptop or deskop for high power applications while phones are for fairly primitive "apps". Phones are for "viewers" while computers are for production. What we really want is to be able to access our *data* from multiple devices. That's what needs to be portable across devices, not necessarily the underlying hardware. Again, that's where the automatic cloud storage idea comes in. What we as consumers really want is portable data with the various devices reduced almost to "terminals" viewing/modifying that data. Right now we're in this hybrid land where most consumers use local programs on low horsepower devices (apps on phones) and simple data renderers on high power devices (web browsers on laptops and desktops). This has kind of inverted the entire computer world since we (consumers) have the most capable devices, laptops and desktops, used for the most simple task (rendering HTML). The business world still operates in the traditional world of large programs like Office running on large systems like laptops and desktops. I'm not even sure we should bridge that gap with things like Continuum and Universal Apps. It will add unnecessary complication to simple consumer apps and artificially restrict what should be large programs for producers.  
  • All this is mute if Microsoft does not advertize it properly because in the USA for instance most People use Iphones or Andriod smart phones People have to be shone the value of the Windows smart phones with Continuum features. Also they must sell a mid price level Windows 10 mobile "Continuum" capable Window 10 smart phone so it can be bought by the masses. Microsoft must also change the shape of it's TILES by rounding off the 4 corners of the tiles and spacing them further apart to have a cleaner new looking human interface. A lot of People do not like the look off current tiles UI. To Microsoft and others this may seem like a dumb ass idea but tests show People like to look at circlular, curvy, rounded off objects more than then industrial design sharp 90 degree cornerd boxy objects. Since people buy what looks good more than what looks bad my idea may not be a dumb ass idea
  • Ahhh, finally some sensible article which explains completely about Continuum!
    Good one mate.
    I think this feature would be largely recognised only by 2017.
    Any device, One OS, One MS!!!
  • @Surndran Thanks so much for the support! Glad that the article was helpful!
  • I'll be really believing in all that the day - and only that day - when my phone will be able to run any .exe file. Then and only then, that Continuum thing will have some sense. Having universal apps cast on a bigger screen is not the real deal.
  • I think VDI is what really makes this work. Imagine a college with virtual desktops for each student. Sit down at your desk, plug your phone into the keyboard, mouse monitor, and connect to your persistent virtual desktop. Go back to your dorm and reconnect. Or work, I already use a VDI desktop for most of my work, but I use a laptop to connect. What a waste. I think VDI will make this a huge success.
  • overblown image of your phone projected on TV ...isn't really the same as what Continuum is doing - I don't think these things are comparable at all - technology, software architecture behind it, the actual 'usability' will be miles apart.
  • What we don't know is how many system apps will have effective continuum mode? Will Edge have the capabilities that it has in full Windows? Groove music and Movies&TV apps are pretty bare bones in term of native containers and codecs support. That only leaves Office mobile apps but they are also optimized to work on android tablets and iPad so it's not like it is any differentiator. And, how long before android and iOS come with a continuum alternative of their own? We all know very well where developers will flock off to. Don't get me wrong, continuum is a great feature and a stand setter but I doubt it will change Windows 10 mobile's market share significantly. In my opinion Microsoft should place its bets on full PC experience that can come with x86/64 based phones which will be able to run desktop applications with peripherals instead of this pseudo pocket PC approach which hardly has any true #UWP ecosystem to take advantage of. An all in one phone will be a pretty tempting offer for consumers and will get them in a fix if advertised correctly.
  • All Windows 10 Mobile devices with Continuum will not be called 'smartphones'. They are Pocket PCs.
  • I'm very interested in Continuum and Universall Apps for private use.
    I have a very good notebook for work (software development), but I don't like to take it home and do all my private stuff on it.
    For private use I need a new device. I have only a old big bulky notebook (I don't like it for travel). But I still don't know what sort of device is the best choice for me.
    I do a lot of lightweight hiking and take a lot of photos during this trips. I transfer my photos (JPEG) wireless to my phone.
    The Lumia 950XL with the 1440p 5.7-inch display seems very good for this purpose.
    I can use a big screen at home or in a hotel. But there is still no good photo editing app for Windows Phone. Snapseed on Android or iOS is very good.
    A universal Snapseed app would be very cool!
    Or Adobe can make a nice Universall App for photographers with the nice sliders of Lightroom (like shadows, highlights, blacks, clarity, etc.).
    Thats much more userfriendly then Adobe Photoshop Express for photo editing.
  • Looking at the comments too many people are hung up on continuum and the phone and are missing the far bigger picture here, the universal app platform. The universal app platform solves the phone app gap along with whatever device comes in the future that we have not contemplated yet. It also means as a developer I don't have to select a target platform. It is also possible to create "desktop grade" apps in the universal platform. The UI tools have grown from WPF which has been used for render in Visual Studio since 2010. A universal app does not limit you to fart apps :) As a long time developer (30 years) I can see the universal platform become the "desktop" target of choice moving forwards.