vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Microsoft Continuum to extend phone productivity to big screens

by Mark Tyson on 30 April 2015, 10:01

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacq3u

Add to My Vault: x

Back in November last year we first heard about Microsoft's Continuum UI ideas. It was demonstrated on a Microsoft Surface switching from desktop to touch-tablet mode. The intelligent switching was thought to be needed as part of the one Windows strategy with Windows 10 and its universal apps working elegantly upon whatever types of devices and screens they find they are connected to. Yesterday Microsoft's Joe Belfiore showed that Continuum has many more tricks up its sleeve, especially on mobile.

The crux of the idea is that with Windows 10 for phones users will be able to connect their smartphones to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and enjoy a PC experience "almost just like the one you get from a full PC device". Belfiore imagines companies offering touch-down spaces for their mobile executives where execs can connect their phones to work almost like they were on a PC. Overall it looks like a slicker implementation of ARM's 'seamless computing' ideas.

Microsoft's key apps are already built to intelligently work like this and productivity favourites like Powerpoint, Excel and Outlook were shown working. The demonstration looked pretty smooth and there's new Windows Phone hardware on the way that will make it even better. With new phones built for Windows 10 with a new Qualcomm chipset users will be able to enjoy dual screen functionality. The Windows Phone screen can be used independently from the big screen if you so wish. This means, for example, someone could watch a movie, text and make calls on the smartphone while another person gets on with answering emails in Outlook on the big screen with mouse and keyboard interaction.

As hinted at above, the universal Windows apps that work like this in Continuum mode need to be written so that their UI can scale and adjust to different form factors, input types and screen sizes. We expect to hear more about the new devices that can drive dual screens at a later date.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
The crux of the idea is that with Windows 10 for phones users will be able to connect their smartphones to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and enjoy a PC experience “almost just like the one you get from a full PC device”.
Ahem, most phones have only one USB port so you'll have to multiplex that to get monitor plus IO devices. Are Microsoft (or 3rd parties) going to offer some kind of pocket sized adapter that has a video out (HDMI?) plus a couple of USB ports, (LAN port would be nice too). Other thing is that I thought that the typical phones USB port could be only “storage” or “power” not both - so is using your phone in “desktop” mode also going to drain the life out of it?

Great idea on the face of it - modern phones definitely have enough horsepower to do the typical “office” tasks, but I'd like to see more implementation details.
It's likely meant to be done via bluetooth keyboard/mouse + miracast (ms do an adapter already)

I have to say I do like the idea of powerpoint via a phone… it's handy as a backup if a laptop/slate/pc fails
LSG501
It's likely meant to be done via bluetooth keyboard/mouse + miracast (ms do an adapter already)
Wasn't aware of the Miracast setup - thanks for sharing. If the desk-set connection is via Bluetooth then I'm out - CorporateIT have a standing ban against them (on security grounds)
LSG501
I have to say I do like the idea of powerpoint via a phone… it's handy as a backup if a laptop/slate/pc fails
I was thinking more that the typical “road warrior” load would be a lot less. If you were hotdesking then all you'd need was my proposed docking station and your office-in-my-pocket and you'd be good to go. Coincidentally it'd be a good justification for moving to more powerful phones… :devilish:
Think of it as iPad replacing in a fun way. Surface replaces the iPad by being better. This replaces it for letting you do iPad style work, from a ‘desk PC’.

I'd often said windows RT could have been brilliant for the big companies, the ones that require no really 3rd party apps for that staff member. It proved to be very secure too. This is perfect for receptionist grade workers.