Very soon, people will not need to carry around a laptop and smart phone to complete their computing needs. Microsoft claimed in its Build conference that Windows 10 on the phone will support display extensions. Dubbed “Continuum,” the function will allow apps traditionally meant designed for desktops. Microsoft will give developers the tools they need to create software that runs across all platforms: from PCs, smartphones, Xbox, and tablets.
By creating the tools supporting cross-platform scalability, Microsoft will finally fulfill its goals of offering single solutions fitting for everywhere, regardless of the device. Consumers and businesses may expect Microsoft will design even higher specifications for WP (Windows Phone) devices. Given the operational efficiency of WP devices compared to Androids, such as low memory usage, the company does not need to update the hardware that much to support Windows 10.
Intel, through its Atom line-up, or ARM may power WP devices. This means the WP10 devices may not support x86. Even if Microsoft released an emulator, current generation chips are probably not powerful enough to support a x86 emulation. This may not be a concern: popular programs like Photoshop Elements will run on current and new WP devices. This app was already rewritten specifically for devices, and is available in Windows Store.
Lumia with Intel Inside?
Microsoft would be coming around full circle if Lumias were powered by Intel. Ever since Intel dominated the desktop market, it took its time developing power-efficient chips. The chip giant now powers the latest Surface 3 tablets with the atom line-up.
Massive migration from Apple and Android users possible
A boost in hardware innovation, both by technical specifications and by aesthetic design, will interest users on the Android and Apple camp. If Microsoft delivers with WP10, they could start winning significant market share in the mobile space.
Lower costs for enterprises
A WP10 that dubs as a desktop would cut many hardware requirements for businesses and enterprises. There would be no need for servers (Windows Cloud includes Azure and OneDrive).
Continuum’s success depends on one thing
For Continuum to succeed for Microsoft, developers must get behind this platform. Ubuntu, a Linux operating community, tried once to extend its environment beyond desktops into mobile. It failed, because of its struggle launching the mobile hardware. There was also a lack of developer support in the initiative. Now it’s Microsoft’s turn. Microsoft still has some advantages with the apps that do work. The Win32 version of MS Office is available on devices as Universal App Office.
Future WP10 device as powerful as a desktop would win over another core desktop user base: casual PC users. This group of user requires only email, word processing, surfing, and basic photo editing.
It is an exciting time for Microsoft. The software giant is introducing meaningful improvements to the Windows ecosystem. It is getting into VR (HoloLens), releasing a Surface Pro 4 refresh, and will release very powerful WP devices.