Microsoft Discusses a Very Limited Future for Windows 10 Mobile

Posted on September 29, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows Phones with 92 Comments

Microsoft Discusses a Very Limited Future for Windows 10 Mobile

Though Windows 10 Mobile made almost no appearance in Microsoft’s recent Ignite conference keynotes, the software giant did in fact discuss its future in a show session. And as you might expect given the platform’s death spiral, it’s pretty limited.

I know. But you don’t take my word for it. You can watch the sobering session, called Discover what’s next for Windows 10 Mobile for phones and small tablets, for yourself on YouTube. You can also find the slides from the presentation here.

So what’s coming in Windows 10 Mobile?

New Continuum functionality, pretty much. More specifically:

Independent Monitor Idle. A terrible name for a useful feature, Independent Monitor Idle lets one screen time out (“sleep”) while you’re working with another screen. This can help save battery life, for example, so if you’re working on the big screen, the phone’s screen can turn off.

Proximity Connect. Today, you can use Continuum with wired or wireless (Miracast) connections. Future releases will support a third option, called Proximity Connect, which will let you keep the phone in your pocket or bag, approach a wireless dock, and keep working. This is obviously the feature HP plans to use for its laptop-like dock for the Elite x3. Which you will note is not actually shipping yet.

More customizable. You’ll be able to customize the Start screen separately on the phone and on the big screen connected via Continuum.

float

More PC-like features. Continuum’s full-screen experience will get more PC-like over time, adding familiar features like Start search, taskbar app pinning with context menus on right-click, a PC-like Action Center, and a system tray. But the biggest new feature here is windowing support: You will be able to run multiple apps simultaneously in floating windows, just like a Big Boy OS. You’ll also be able to run two apps side-by-side, just like Windows 8.

And .. that was it for the future. Four new Continuum features.

That said, there was a lot of other talk about momentum and business functionality, and of course some questions from the audience. So here are some further observations on what was said, and what wasn’t said during this presentation.

And small tablets? The name of the session is more than a bit insincere, given that Windows 10 Mobile isn’t actually available on small tablets, and no such devices were ever mentioned. Instead, Windows 10 Mobile is a system that runs on phones and on the handheld and ruggedized devices that you see in retail, industrial, and other vertical markets. Sorry.

Windows 10 Mobile is only for businesses. This was stressed repeatedly in different ways. There’s no consumer play here at all, and that is not changing going forward. Even the “More Personal” slide was about “Office 365 pre-installed, OneDrive for Business, Cortana for work,” and so. Businesses, not individuals/consumers.

phones

Windows 10 Mobile is for existing business customers, not for new customers. This one was interesting. At one point, one of the presenters said of the future, “our desire in this space is that Windows Mobile remain the safest, most manageable, most deployable solution for organizations that are already Microsoft customers. You will see that in the next year, and in the years after that.” That’s extremely limited, from an aspiration/goal standpoint. The question, by the way, was what success looked like for Windows phones.

Imagine having to present about this topic in front of a room full of Windows phone fans. Naturally, the questions in the Q&A session got increasingly testy, as if the people on stage were responsible for Microsoft shipping apps for iPhone and Android, or for the lack of a Snapchat app. Kudos for the calm responses they gave. I imagine they live under a lot of pressure day-to-day as it is.

Microsoft is “still committed” to Windows 10 Mobile. Acknowledging that Microsoft has “refocused” its in-house mobile efforts, the presenters said that Microsoft was still very much committed to Windows 10 Mobile, which is part of the Windows 10 family of solutions. He also noted that its phone partners were “enterprise-focused,” which is a way of saying “not consumer focused.”

Microsoft will still make Window phone(s) of its own. The presenters dragged out that May 2016 quote from Terry Myerson, in which he said that Microsoft and its partners would continue to make Windows phones, and said it was still true. This is certain to renew excitement in a Surface phone. But it shouldn’t. Nothing has changed, and Surface phone can’t cure this platform’s issues.

Timing. Everything Microsoft did discuss in this session are things that the firm is “actively working on,” but it would not commit on a time frame. So some new features may appear in “Redstone 2,” the Spring 2017 release of Windows 10 Mobile. But some, like Continuum Proximity Connect, may appear sooner, I’d imagine.

Remaining Continuum limitations: Win32/x86 apps do not work.Continuum continues to be stuck in a UWP sink hole, and of course Windows 10 Mobile only runs on ARM, so there’s no way to run the applications people really want in Continuum. The presenter didn’t address this at all during the session, but kudos to the attendee who called him on that. “We don’t support Win32 applications on [Windows phones in Continuum] today,” he responded. “I acknowledge that gap.” And then he recommended that the questioner move his LOB apps to UWP or RDP out to a data center that can deliver those applications from the cloud. In other words, they are not addressing the single biggest limitation in Continuum.

Remaining Continuum limitations: Not all phone apps run. Many phone apps are simply unavailable today on the big screen. Will Microsoft ever fix this? In the “long term,” they do hope to do so, but no promises on complete coverage. It’s crazy to me that Continuum will support floating windows but will not fully support all phone apps, which could/should just run in non-resizable, phone-sized windows.

Windows Ink. Microsoft has nothing to say about inking support in Windows 10 Mobile at this time. Seems like that should have been a big part of any “what’s next” talk about this platform. You know, if it were happening.

ARM64. Today, Windows 10 Mobile is a 32-bit OS, even when running on a 64-bit chipset, so it’s limited from a hardware resources (RAM, mostly) perspective. The presenters refused to address whether this would ever change when asked, but acknowledged it was “an important gap.”

Microsoft’s use of Windows phone internally. One attendee asked how Microsoft used Windows phone internally. Let me answer that one more accurately than the presenter did: They don’t. And at Microsoft Ignite this year, there was a dramatic drop in the number of Windows phones seen, especially among Microsoft employees. It was something many in the press remarked on.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (93)

93 responses to “Microsoft Discusses a Very Limited Future for Windows 10 Mobile”

  1. 1217

    I'd love to think that there's somebody, at least in the Garage team, that's implementing a Microsoft built "Metro" launcher for Android.  I don't personally need to have Windows 10 Mobile as my actual OS (though I'd love to, if there were apps to support it), but it's the UI experience that I miss most about Windows Phone.  I've tried several attempts at Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile launchers on my Android, and found them all lacking.  I could have my cake and eat it too if MS supported this.  The UI I want, on a platform that has developer support.

  2. 5271

    "This is certain to renew excitement in a Surface phone. But it shouldn’t. Nothing has changed, and Surface phone can’t cure this platform’s issues."

    News that MS is committed to making its own devices, doesn't excite me. It gives me confidence that MS is committed to the platform. I'm essentially a business user, and have had the Lumia 930 for two years now. A Lumia 925 prior to that. And a Lumia 800 prior to that. Yes, I am waiting to see what MS does next in the way of a device release. If there's no announcement by end of 1st Qtr next year, I'll stop waiting and move on....but not necessarily to another OS. I'll probably start looking at other OEM's building Win10 mobile phones.

    I like the platform and I can do everything I need to do with all the apps I need to use. Web, Email, & Messenging. Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, Twitter, Skype, FB Messenger - these are the big goto apps for comms for me. Not bothered about anything else as all these apps are multiplatform, and I use all of them for both business and personal use.

    I've found some great, slick, Win10 UWP apps that I like too. My top five 3rd party apps are

    1. Audible
    2. Viber
    3. Twitter
    4. Windows Central
    5. DropBox

    All are elegant, fast and fluid. Somehow, they manage to keep the soul of what made WP7 refreshing.

    For you YouTube I use "myTube!" (really nice on WP8.1 or the UWP app on Win10Mob).

    For Fitness tracking, I use "7 minute workout", "Endomondo", and "Ur Health & Fitness Tracker". In fact I've used Endomondo since the Symbian days on my Nokia E71.

    My banking app works fine and is supported.

    I could go on. My point is, the platform is still my preferred platform, mainly due to the Start Screen/Live Tiles and UI. For me there is no app gap.

    Will a Surface phone change anything for me if it doesn't come out? Nope, not really. So long as MS stay committed to the platform, I'm happy.
     


  3. 2706

    Look at this fancy new comment section!

  4. 5612

    I am really looking forward to these features. They are on my top wish list of Continuum improvements. Being able to use windowed mode is my number one wish. I also would like to see general performance improvements as it can be a bit slow from time to time.

    As an experiment, in our home, we have tried to embrace the idea of Continuum. We have set up "Continuum"-dock at the TV with a wireless keybord. We have a dock with a workstation-like setup in our home office. 

    If I need something done on the web - I just plug in my phone. If I need Youtube or casual surf on the web, I use the TV. If I need to sit and think I use the workstation setup. I really like this idea.

    My girlfriend only have her phone and use Continuum for her office needs. Continuum works perfectly for this scenario. The UWP apps there are fine for this sort of thing. I some times VPN from the home office using the phone and RDP against my office workstation. This is no different than from the pc.

    I had the opportunity to check out the Lapdock at the HP booth at a tech-show. I tried it with the Lumia 950 and it worked like a charm. So I might get this as an extra option. HP said it would be available (in Denmark) mid October. We'll see.

    I think it is important to actually use Continuum on a regular basis to really appreciate and understand what it is - and what it is not. The best comparison I have seen is "it's like a Chromebook, but with Edge" - an "EdgeBook" so to speak - with the added benefit of the UWP platform. That is the way I approach it. At least for now. I hope it will eventually mature into something "more" and these features is definitely in that category.

    Win32 app-compatiblity is not part of my idea of the future anyway. We have a few employees using Macs in the office and they RDP to our RDP-session-hosts for their Win32 apps - I see no reason why a Continuum device is any different here. I would much rather maintain an RDP session host than lots and lots of local installs of whatever software people use. Will it replace your PC? No - it will not - but Continuum (or a similar feature) is definitely worth considering for the above scenarios.

    I like the idea of only having one device and just plug it in where I need more screen space.

    My guess is that Continuum-like features in smartphones is what the future holds. I will bet that the competition has similar features in the pipeline and depending on how things turn out Continuum might be a head start for Microsoft in this space - or it might get run over whenever Google or Apple get around to doing the same thing. :-)

  5. 279

    It's a shame, this is still the best mobile OS there is. I've been using a nexus 6p for 3 months and I still miss the features from my now broken window phone. RIP

  6. 166

    They might as well give up. At this point, Microsoft is clearly just grasping at straws. Do you honestly think businesses will be able to get employees to use Windows phones after being used to using iOS and Android for so long? That will cause a backlash matched only by the Bolshevik revolution! Ok, ok...I kid, but there would be a LOT of pushback from folks if companies tried to force employees to use Windows phones. I truly wanted Windows Phone to succeed and was one of the first adopters. However, I learned within the first two years that it was just going to die slowly. At this point, it's just embarrassing to keep it around.

    • 4563

      They need to stop this BS kill it and move on.  Nobody will use it even with improved Continuum because the remaining app support will be gone by the time RS2  is released.  I would only be able to run a couple of Office apps (which will be behind their Anroid/ios counterparts) so I would still have to carry 2 phones around.  Lets be frank here Nadella doesn't care about the mobile experience on Windows.

  7. 5598

    "“our desire in this space is that Windows Mobile remain the safest, most manageable, most deployable solution for organizations that are already Microsoft customers. You will see that in the next year, and in the years after that.” That’s extremely limited, from an aspiration/goal standpoint."

    Isn't that every business that uses a PC; in other words, virtually every business? Apart from not being consumer-oriented, how is that a limited goal?

    • 5793

      In reply to OMR:

      Because today, many businesses are BYOD for phones, at least in the Fortune 500 set. Only a few companies that are high security companies require separate business and personal devices. The vast majority of companies require their employees to purchase their own devices if they want a phone for company use. Hardly anyone is going to buy a phone that they only use for business, so they buy one that they can use for business and personal use. There is no market for a business only phone, except at a handful of high security companies that lock down their employees. At the Fortune 500 I work for, far less than 1% of users are on Windows Mobile. I'm one of the few remaining out of tens of thousands of employees.

      This is one of the best summaries I have read of Microsoft's positions, and I'm glad the author took the time to parse out the statements from Ignite. I don't understand Microsoft's strategy at all. No mention of fixing the app gap problem. No matter what hardware they plow into the Surface Phone, demand will be muted unless they get app equality. Continuum alone will not save the platform. Not when Google is working on something similar. I've tried to stay on Windows Mobile, but my next phone will probably be an Android. More device choices, more app choices, better cameras. Windows Mobile doesn't have my bank's app, PayPal, my health insurer's app, hotel apps, travel apps, map apps, it's all limited. Sorry Microsoft, I'm only buying one phone, and Continuum isn't enough to keep me on your platform. Especially not when Samsung and Apple have invested so much in their cameras, which is another place Microsoft is lagging behind.   

  8. 5528

    I'd make a comment but obviously I'd only make a non-premium comment which will be looked down upon by premium members.

  9. 4563

    Microsoft's own employees are not using it and will not use it even when RS2 is completed. This is thing is done.

     

  10. 277

    I am having trouble getting excited about switching to Android.  I liked the promise of windows across all my devices.  I sometimes wonder if MS had not signaled their intent to the world they were giving up at the time UWP was roliing out, more developers might have gotten on board with WM10.  Probably not.  So many things I like about WM10.  I am not the captain of this boat though.  I am the rat.   Maybe I will like Google's Android so much I will start buying chromebooks and using Google docs.  There is something nice about keeping everything in the same ecosystem.

    • 1808

      @MixedFarmer75

      I can honestly say that this happened with me and the Apple ecosystem.  I dreaded making the switch from Windows Mobile as I would then have an "unmatched" piece in was I saw as my "tech stack".

      Now?  iMessage and Facetime are how my family communicates now...phone calls are rare.  I just realized today that when I sit down wearing the Apple Watch and I watch the Mac automatically unlock, I smile a little. ;)  Family Sharing of all purchased content, AirPlay...it all work together (with an emphasis on "work").  Everything works as advertised and the Microsoft apps on iOS remain best in class...certainly better than their Windows 10 Mobile counterparts.

      I still miss Windows Phone something fierce...but once you are fully in the Apple ecosystem, you get it.  And, as much as I always thought I'd hate to say it, it truly is great to know I can rely on everything working together and Apple being there to support it all.

      • 2149

        Yeah. For all the talk and promise of "one Windows," there really isn't much of a benefit to it from a consumer perspective, is there? Yet, Apple really has built what seems like a slick, seamless experience with Continuity. Speaking a bit more broadly, I found that when I switched to Android, I could agree with Paul when he talks about using the best tool for the job. Google Maps, for instance, is just amazing. Not so much in basic functionality, but in that it's 100 times more refined than HERE or Bing maps. Tons of thoughtful little things in features and UX design. The point is that once your eyes are opened to all the wonderful products out there - not just Microsoft's solutions - you're much more likely to just use the best option available.

        • 277

          Yes, I have used those other products too, except the Mac.  Writing this on a an iPad Mini.  The first CPU my family bought had Windows 3.1 on it back in about 1990.   I could go all in on Apple except I am so comfortable using Windows.  I am tech savvy enough I know I could learn MacOS, but from the little I have played with it, not really interested.  In reality, I probably will continue to use a what makes sense for me.  I am just wondering if MS is being short sighted.  By giving up on W10M, I think they may concede a larger share of the consumer market than they intended to.  If I am using an iPhone, an iPad, it is pretty tempting, the next time I need a laptop or desktop, to buy a Mac.  The only real reason to buy a PC is for your job that might demand it of you.  Maybe the only place you will see Windows, in 10 years, will be in enterprise, and gamers.  Now that, is kind of a weird mix.  Maybe Normal people do not care what OS is on the device as long as it works, and it is only geeks like me that give this topic any thought. I actually prefer windows, it is just that WM10 does not get the smaller developers to build the apps, like your local business's app.

  11. 5610

    This is so sad. For whatever reason Microsoft fails to grasp at this moment anyway, that Windows is a huge consumer operating system. All of my customers are consumers, that have iPads, and Windows PC's. Many are older and technically unsavvy. I go pretty far out of my way to talk these folks into @outlook.com email accounts, because most of them are also Word and Excel users. Once I get the new computer setup with all the sign ins, and OneDrive going etc. I rearrange the Start Menu so that it is not the jumbled mess that comes out of the box. Within a very short amount of time I show them how one app works just like all the others, and quickly most of them are in and out of apps, checking Maps, Email, Photos, and they are REALLY impressed by how their iPhone and iPad photos just show up in the Photos app and how easy it is to create and share an Album.

    Then after all that, they are actually very happy with the way things work. I pickup my Windows phone and then I show them how all the apps on the phone are the exact same apps they are using on screen. Many come away smiling and asking where they can get one of those phones. And then I leave their house, not smiling, with no real good explanation for them at all, other than, "unfortunatley Microsoft has pretty much given up on Mobile for now, but they'll be back I say, they'll be back". Then I leave their house, not smiling much at all. Just sad. And I do this every single day. At least I get to love my job, but MS has sucked the enthusiasm right out of their fanbase. It's just very sad.

  12. 1792

    So Windows 10 Mobile is reduced to a compiler option when they do a new build of Wndows 10.

    Windowsphone for business. Something Blackberry said about their products a while back. I would like to see some evidence that Microsoft are selling Windowsphone to anyone - business or consumer.

    Continuum tweaks are coming.

    Almost no-one in Microsoft uses a Windowsphone.

    Even if a new phone is coming in 2017 it will be business only, sold on Continuum and accessing "apps in the cloud".

    My reaction is this is not even remotely a strategy. It's not an attempt to interest anyone in the platform. It's just a statement of fact that while they have a compiler option to make Windows 10 Mobile they will. That's it.

  13. 951

    As this was a business event, it's normal they didn't talk about consumer features, right?

    What more business features did you expect, Paul?

  14. 491

    Windows Phone dont go away mad Windows Phone just go away

  15. 179

    The main problem I have is Microsoft does not even release it's own software as UWP for mobile.  How can you talk anyone else into supporting a platform you yourself do not support fully.  Having an "enterprise focused" phone means what?  Most enterprises are going BYOD and if you don't have support for all these consumer applications you are really saying we are government/security focused which translates into you needing to start removing cameras and disabling/stripping features out thast high security "enterprises" don't need.

    I think MS has a problem where they want the user experience to look and feel a certain way but have an issue that on Andriod and IOS they cannot replace the default.  So they have this mobile platform to show off a native integration story that no one will ever get.  I see the W10M platform as a marketing tool to sell a story/vision not to sell a device.

     

    Still kina sucks, cause I will need to switch, and anything I switch to will be a pale crappy shadow of what I have..... 

      

  16. 914

    It is a very sad state of afairs with Windows Phone. Every time I look at the UI and do phone things with it I remember how good it really is. Then when I think about an app i want to run I am reminded that one might or might not exist. That makes me think of switching again. I thought about Google Fi, but it like the Google/Android ecosystem everyhting is designed to funnel my data for their use. I just can't get over that hurdle. I could switch to Apple, but it just does not work the way I think it should and I really don't like the UI.

  17. 5605

    "Let me answer that one more accurately than the presenter did ... ".  Wait, let me get this straight--you chose to correct, a Microsoft employee, on the habits of Microsoft employees?  The hubris is strong with this one.

  18. 5604

    Hey MS, since you're abandoning consumer phones, can you please bring in the Android emulation layer?

    Thanks so much.

    Love,

    Your loyal fan base.

  19. 4094

    Again, what a shame.   Microsoft really blew it with mobile phones.  As a former Windows phone owner and fan, I reluctantly dumped my  Lumia Icon for a Samsung Galaxy a year ago or so.  Android is crude, won't use anything Apple, miss my Windows phone, but it seems clear MS will not be resurrecting Windows Mobile/Phone for consumers.   Their Mobile focus seems to be on the enterprise now, and I don't get any warm and fuzzies they are even committed to that.  Bye, bye Windows Mobile/Phone.  We reserved you a spot at the Tech Graveyard in the coulda/shoulda section near OS2 when MS finally admits you are nothing more than a ghost of what could have been.

    • 252

      In reply to jpr75:

      Your comments pretty much echo what I feel. Yesterday I finally decided it was time and ordered a Samsung Galaxy to replace my Lumia 950. I'm excited about getting on a platform that's well supported and having access to a plethora of apps but am also anxious about making the transition from the WM experience. Do you know of any guide(s) for former Windows Phone/Mobile fans moving on to Android?

  20. 5234

    What "Ecosystem Momentum" can they possibly have from the Lumia line when they've killed all production of it?

  21. 5615

    "The best comparison I have seen is "it's like a Chromebook, but with Edge" 

    That pretty much sums up the challenge.

  22. 3596

    You know its over when Microsoft employees arent even using their own products. I was so hopeful for a Surface phone with continuum that would run full Win32/x86 apps. I was always convinced if Microsoft would create a real high end phone capable of running full windows pc applications via continuum that it might save Windows Mobile. I just have to face the reality that this is just a pipe dream. Time to put this fantasy to bed. I guess the only question now is whether I go Android or iPhone. This truly is a sad time.

  23. 5613

    Meh... nothing new here....

    even Pauls little drum sounds the same????

     

     

  24. 5997

    I've been an avid computer/Microsoft user since the days of DOS. I've been on the Insider Preview since the first week. I finally switched to Windows Phone about a year ago and immediately moved my phone to the Insider Preview.  This SHOULD be good for Microsoft.  But, I'm a consumer.  Microsoft seems to have no need for my services any longer.  When I replace my Lumia phone with an Android device this fall, I will also start using a Chromebox device for my daily desktop tasks.  If this works out well, Microsoft will never see me again.  It was a good ride.

  25. 6405

    This is really sad news. I tried android, gave it a few months as my only daily phone, but eventually just the accumulation of glitches, stupid user-hostile features, lack of proper car bluetooth integration, totally useless in-car sat-nav, and a million other tiny things just became too much frustration, so I went back to my Lumia 930 to see if I was looking back with rose tinted glasses.

    And, it wasn't. Windows phone was comfortably a better experience as an user of the device. That I reminded myself of this just as it's going away is quite upsetting.

  26. 5079

    I've just found a new definition of meagre: How Microsoft treats its customers when it's no longer interested in their business.

    My first experience was when I spent £800 on a Surface RT on the promise of touch friendly versions of Office. My dream of a truely mobile writing solution remains unfulfilled and the Surface can join the iPad 2, 2 notebook PCs(one running Linux), a phone with Bluetooth keyboard and a couple of Windows Mobile PDAs on the scap heap.

    Now there's Windows Phone/Mobile and I invested in an HTC HD7, a Samsung Omnia W, a Lumia 920, 930 and now a 950XL. I won't say it was for nothing, because I have enjoyed using it and kudos to the old Windows Phone team for making something lively and different - you did a good job.

    But that leaves the question of the future: Nothing about the failure of Windows Phone/Mobile makes Android any more acceptable. I don't trust Google, while Google and Android fans have been such (Expletive Deleted)s than I don't want the association, thank you.

    Apple has three problems: too expensive, Apple drawing you in to a closed ecosystem all the time and iOS is frankly too dull. My iPad is painful to use, it just sits there waiting. For (Expleteive deleted)'s sake tell me the weather, but at least do something!

    A third option is a dumb phone and a small tablet. A Dell Venue Pro would give me the Live Tile experience I like and make it easier to read blogs etc than on the Lumia. I hope they make one with a SIM card.

    More immediately, I see no reason to be a Windows Insider any more. I was one of many who had to reset my phone and start from scratch and I don't see the point of all that hassle.

    I'm not going to rush into any decisions, but clearly I'm going to have to be more careful with Microsoft in future.

  27. 6169

    What if Microsoft rolled out a Windows Surface Phone with inking capability, full Office 365, OneDrive, etc and was able to run all apps from Android starting Day One?

    Well, that would be the land of milk and honey.....but, getting the approval of app owners would leak quickly, so it would be revealed long before the phone was announced.

    Unless MS made some agreement with Google (all those patents that Google pays to Microsoft, resulting in MS making more money on Android than Google makes on Android?) that allows a Windows Surface Phone to use the Google Apps Store?

    Could this be why we see Google following Microsoft's lead on building hardware?

    Time will tell.

     

  28. 5933

    i used WP for years, literally since WP7 right through until last November when i got an iPhone 6s.  I dont think i would've preferred an iPhone 5 due to the small screen, but after using the 6S for nearly a year, i can say i'm sold.  I feel slightly awkward that i recommended WP to people, because the iPhone 'just works' and it is a much better experience all round.  The fact i have ordered a Jet Black 7 Plus speaks volumes.  Shame, as i hoped WP would gain traction, but it's never gonna happen (can't see Surface Phone changing it either - it's really all to do with the 3rd party support and apps that make the iPhone what it is - and WP just didnt ever generate enough interest).  RIP WP. You will probably NOT be remembered, but whatever... onwards to iWorld.

  29. 5611

    I think I can see what Microsoft is doing here, and it's a shot at the future. The clue is in one of the new Continuum features - Proximity Connect. Imagine a world where you can connect to screens everywhere - a shop window, a bus stop window, the window on your train, a window in your home, etc and all those windows work as screens. Now imagine that Continuum doesn't just work on phones, but also works on wearables, IoT devices, and AR glasses. Suddenly you are no longer tied to a hand-held device for your personal computing. And that is the future I think Microsoft is aiming for.
    The question is, why focus on enterprise? Well, I think there are two reasons -

    1. This kind of stuff is more likely to be adopted by enterprise first, because it needs the screens to be everywhere and it might be too expensive for consumers to adopt initially.

    2. By doing this in the enterprise space, Microsoft can fly under the consumer radar until it's actually consumer-ready, whilst keeping OEM partners on board and involved.
     
    In other words, I don't think this is about Windows Phone (in the long term) - I think this is about mobile computing. Satya talks about "mobile first, cloud first" and "the mobility of the experience", and this vision of the future fits with that.

    • 2149

      I think you're right, but in it seems likely to me that Google or Apple will come up with their version of that, and it will catch on because people care about those companies. Microsoft has some great stuff, but people just seem so indifferent to things with the name Microsoft on them.

  30. 5763

    All I can say is, I hope your reading a lot more into this than they mean.  I really think microsoft needs to be serious in the consumer market to succeed in the corporate market.  Corporate app makers are no more likely to support a phone with low usage and a non-existant eco-system than a purely consumer one, they go hand in hand.  Because of this, I think they need to bite the bullet and go ahead an bring back the android app capability.  This solves the chicken and egg problem, release a Premium Surface phone with all the bells and wistles (including VR) a watch.  Those two things togeather (Android compatablity, and Eco-system), then market it as Windows plus Android, the best of Windows and Android.  Get the apps you want, plus the security you need (your phone stays up to date).  I think this would allow Microsoft to break the 10% number in short order because they would essentially be a better version of Android.

  31. 575

    Due to circumstances beyond my control... I left the house today with just my test iPhone. I feel like I walked out on my 950 XL. I feel this Ignite Session shot an arrow through my heart. Paul, you've been right all along about Windows Mobile. At least we can share the sadness. Love the new site features.

  32. 5611

    Hmm, comments not working correctly. When I try to reply, it replies to the wrong person!!!

  33. 980

    I have had the new HP Elite X3 for a month or so now. It is a beautiful piece of hardware, (with the exception of the silly silver speaker bar at the bottom.) It really showcases how equally beautiful the Windows 10 Mobile operating system is and the Windows Hello Camera is only topped of by the perfectly places Windows Hello Fingerprint Reader. It is no question the best phone I have ever owned.

    However, while it has most of the applications I need, I also alternate between carrying a second device, either a Apple iPhone or an Android device, especially when traveling. The reason, applications.

  34. 5641

    I think there is a massive opportunity here for Continuum for people who don't have a PC, who, perhaps dont want one but need one in todays world.

    Quite a few non-technical people I know would be happy to have a phone, the dock, a monitor, keyboard and mouse (the 950/950XL even prints). The 950 is at such a good price now, they would just need to buy a screen and keyboard / mouse to have a fully mobile compute experience.

    Frankly, most of these people use email, text, web and that's pretty much about it. Being able to take photos, then plug your phone into a dock and show them off on a bigger screen (no transfer, no sync but backup to OneDrive) would be a bonus.

    If they can bring out a consumer all-in-one Continuum enabled phone package with phone, dock, keyboard (with built in fingerprint reader), mouse for a reasonable price (user supplies the screen) - they could be onto a winner.

  35. 5601

    This is such a shame best OS out there and I love there phones again such a shame

  36. 5615

    Okay, since us lowlifes can't reply on the other tab, I guess I'll have to do it this way.

    On the Premium tab, Plettza said: "With the X3 Elite from HP, it can be ordered with dual-SIM so employees where I work will get the phone, a company SIM and then they slot in their own SIM if they want."

    I don't think the issue is having somewhere to put an extra SIM. I think the issue is that the employees probably already have an iPhone or Android. So even if the company phone has an extra SIM slot, how many folks are going to want to take their personal SIM out of their shiny new iPhone or Galaxy whatever, put it on the shelf and stick their SIM in the company Windows phone? I'm guessing not many.

  37. 5530

    "Continuum will support floating windows but will not fully support all phone apps, which could/should just run in non-resizable, phone-sized windows"

    Wait this is not a thing yet? Wow. Typical Microsoft rubbish...

  38. 5504

    By default, all Windows 10 UWP apps that run on a Windows mobile device will be enabled for Continuum.
    Read more at https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2015/12/07/optimizing-apps-for-continuum-for-phone/#Z5iHqV0f8BrJGVRU.99

  39. 5485

    I would like to know what is the business case of something like the Elite X3 at $1200 aprox.

    I ask this because the advantages of 2in1 or 3in1 are still not clear over using separate devices tailored for each task.

    On one side a Windows Phone with Continuum competes with things like Chromebooks. These can be bough at around $200 too $300. Including both screen, keyboard and a laptop like enrogonimics.

    This means that this phone costs $900 alone, a really expensive phone More expensive the best smartphone on the market regardless. $300 is for the continuum previlege aka PC like experience on a phone. Now the cost does not stop here. Add the keyboard and the monitor or whatever is still needed for this to work like a PC.

    The business case is extremely week. Its paper thin, if not hot air.

    Its crazy.

    PS: Mind you the underlining of above is that they will try to milk the cows that are locked in the Windows ecossystem. If you get the feel of MS lock in .. this is it!!!

     

    • 5793

      In reply to nbplopes:

      Highly mobile employees who travel a lot. Like salespeople. No need to lug a laptop around through airports, hotels, etc. I would actually like to move to just a phone even though I'm in the same office or my house every day. But the lack of apps and capabilities in Windows 10 Mobile is really dragging me down. Also, third world countries. Africa for example - many countries in Africa skilled PCs and laptops and went straight to phones because they are just recently developing economically. For those people a high powered device with Continuum makes a lot of sense.

    • 5539

      The Elite X3 is $799, with the dock, so roughly $699. That's a 6" phone with 64G storage, 15Mp camera, microSD slot, iris recognition and fingerprint reader, and headphone jack. Quad core, 2.15GHz with 4G RAM. Dual mode wireless charging and USB-C with all that supports, including digital audio out, because that seems to be the courageous future. 32G, 5.5" iPhone 7 Plus, $769. Samsung - Galaxy S7 with 32GB Memory, $680 (Best Buy). I don't get the price bashing.

  40. 441

    I see things like Continuum has the "future" of Low end laptop use.  its my phone i have it with me every where i go, but when I'm near a dock attached to a full keyboard\mouse and a display its my light wordstation or low end laptop.  my NexDock just arrived, and the only two thing i really wished it did, was USB-C connectivity, and wireless display.  But doing most things with it is nicer than trying to used the phone alone.

    Has these things get smaller and ligher and more effortless to use I don't see there being much more need for cheapo winbook\chrome book styped items.

    There will always been a need for a heavy hitter, like a Suface book or Macbook, but for most people I think this is the way forward.

    If Apple ever adds a Desktop\laptop like UI to a docked iOS-thing, that would get me to jump from Wm10 to iPhone.

    btw whats snapchat? ;)

  41. 5504

    There are no APIs or tools specific to Continuum; when your app is activated or moved to the connected display, your app will simply receive a SizeChanged event similar to when a desktop window is resized.
    Read more at https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2015/12/07/optimizing-apps-for-continuum-for-phone/#Z5iHqV0f8BrJGVRU.99

  42. 5504

    Sorry for the multiple posts, can't edit them. Based on MS guidence I quoted, I'm guessing that apps considered "unavailable" with Continuum will just appear as Paul desired - with a phone-sized window. But it won't add any value IMO.

    • 5615

      Yeah, the comment section isn't ready for prime-time, yet. If I need to edit a "finished" comment, I copy the posted comment, delete it, start a new one, paste in the old text and edit.

      My issues with the new comment section so far (in case management is listening):

      1. Two different comment streams for the same story is cumbersome.

      2. Not being able to reply to everyone's comments is not ideal. I'm almost inclined to completely ignore the one comment stream since I'm unable to reply to any of the comments there.

      3. No ability to edit comments.

       

  43. 953

    So Microsoft is thinking that businesses will get their employees to carry a Windows 10 Mobile device and their iPhone/Android. I don't see this happen anytime soon if they think it's for business users only.

    • 951

      Business get their employees to carry Windows laptops and mobile devices, so why shouldn't they get their employees to carry (much lighter) Windows mobile devices and other android/iphone devices?

    • 2851

      With the X3 Elite from HP, it can be ordered with dual-SIM so employees where I work will get the phone, a company SIM and then they slot in their own SIM if they want.

    • 241

      Blackberry was used in my company as the supported (i.e., paid for) business phone for years. Once Blackberry was dead, they did not switch to Windows Mobile/Phone. Now my company (fully a user of the Microsoft ecosytem) is implementing a program so most employees can use their personal phones for business (and receive a monthyl stipend for the plan not the phone). Meaning nearly all will be using iPhone and Android phones. No plans to use Windows 10 Mobile devices as our corporate standard. None (maybe a few) of the 25,000 employees will go with anything but Android/iOS.

  44. 722

    I find it a bit odd that there are two different comment sections on this redesigned site.  Hopefully they get merged into one.

  45. 5603

    Did you see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwZl0xYemF0 where they use Touch on the external display?

    • 5539

      Tim Posted

      Did you see the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwZl0xYemF0 where they use Touch on the external display?

      I have been able to do that for some time using the dock and a touch screen monitor. I can use the touch screen on my Surface 3 using my Lumia 950 connected via the Connect app. Works fine. Running UWP apps fromthe phone in the Connect app on my Surface 3 is almost indistinguisable from running the same app natively on the Surface.The problem trying to connect to just a touch monitor at this point is that those things generally require a USB connection to facilitate the touch. They don't send touch back through the HDMI channel. Not sure if one of the new HDMI Miracast dongles which has a USB port to connect a keyboard might allow that to work.

       

      P.S. Would be nice if the new comment system put a reply under the post you are replying to. Maybe that doesn't work in the cheap seats. Editing would be nice too.

      • 5615

        "P.S. Would be nice if the new comment system put a reply under the post you are replying to. Maybe that doesn't work in the cheap seats. Editing would be nice too."

        Also, although I know the stated reason for having a separate tab for premium subscribers, having to look at multiple tabs of comments is going to wear thin very quickly.

  46. 5294

    It's interesting they say all the Win10M device OEMs are enterprise focused, when there are clearly those that are not. I don't expect them to push Windows 10 Mobile much for the next 2 years at least. Though I also don't expect them to totally kill it either. They need some mobile OS for UWP to actually mean something, so I expect that they'll eventually release a set of Surface phones after having a larger push toward developers to build UWP apps. Getting one's app on Windows PCs is probably worthwhile for a lot of apps, in the long run.

  47. 5234

    Microsoft is just mimicking Blackberry at this point.

  48. 5394

    The updates seem fine and logical, but without Win32 support and Consumer focus, it is just dead in the water. Saying "limited future" does not appreciate Windows 10 Mobile's actual position in the market. It is annihilated.

  49. 5508

    They are waiting for Intel. And it won't be W10M, it will be a new Windows 10 SKU. Shhh.

  50. 5600

    Someone get the doctor in the room. I'm calling it: Windows Mobile is dead. This article serves as fairly definitive proof. The biggest indicator: Microsoft says this is for enterprise customers who currently use Microsoft services, but Microsoft is an enterprise and they (presumably) use Microsoft services, yet they aren't using Windows phones. They make the damn thing, and they represent the kind of customer who they are targeting it at, but they don't see any value in using it. To quote Bones, "He's dead, Jim."

    • 5497

      Yeah... basically Windows Mobile is dead, hell... it's been dead for quite some time. Some might say it was stillborn from the beginning.

      If you ask me, Microsoft needs to desparetely get back to what made them successful... the desktop. The desktop was king, is king, and will remain king in the future. Just forget all of the stuff that came forth from Windows 8.x and the continuation of it with Windows 10. Scrap Windows 8.x and Windows 10, send all of that code to the garbage heap and go back to the Windows 7 source and begin again from that.

      • 4563

        The desktop is dying as well and I don't think there are any major issues with Windows 10. Why would you go back to win 7?

         

        • 5793

          In reply to kitron:

          Agree. Microsoft's new stategy is minimize their investment in all OSes - client and server. They realize platforms are the future and OSes are meaningless.  And platforms are residuals and not one time payments. Looks at them backing away from Server OS. SQL Server on Linux. Linux in Azure. New apps and capabilities deployed to Android and iOS before Windows 10 Mobile. Heck, the new capability to unlock your Windows 10 PC with your phone is going to iOS first, then Android, then maybe Windows 10 Mobile.

        • 5497

          Because Windows 7 is a true desktop operating system with none of the things that Windows 8.x and Windows 10 have that make it feel like it has a split personality. And what the hell are you talking about? The PC is dying? You're listening to the idiotic pundits again, the desktop is never going to be dead.

          When people need to do real work, they go to the desktop with a keyboard and mouse which are both 10 times more accurate when it comes to user input. Oh yeah... the Surface tablet has an attachable keyboard but it feels like crap when compared to the feeling of a good firm keyboard with tactile feedback. And as for the mouse, it's far more accurate than a finger on a screen.

  51. 252

    Seems like this re-enforces the notion that I should ditch my Lumia 950 and abandon the windows mobile ship. Is anyone still have any excitement/enthusiasm for this platform?

    • 5294

      Cortana is still high on the list of decent features. Also, the way Windows works is much to my liking. I still hope they'll continue making at least some reference hardware for phones going into the future and continue working on Windows 10 Mobile. I do expect a Surface phone at some point, but we're obviously not going to be moving to the top any time soon. UWP does at least lend more life to the platform, as at least those that have had apps in Windows Phone are putting UWP apps in now.

  52. 8470

    I bought a Lumia 435 based on price and wanted a phone to meld with my win 10. An I LIKE  WIN10 OS and really like it on laptop.

       Even the staff at  tech firm all were on all the latest  lumia win 10 phones. The Owner was all bout MS  even when I and few others kept trying to get him in reality. That the  droid and ios will still be king less MS works with droid or makes sure there is no real hassle for developers to do windows mobile apps. Needless to say he lost ,But  we all lost our butts cause of it. In the cost of owning such equipment.And the hours in supporting and trying to make things mesh well. And the over hype of Cortana and what does MS do.  SORRY  we are killing mobile for the masses. Not to mention they NEVER cared to play nice with the others OS's Mostly due to Balmer I'm sure..  Now the staff ended up with Droids.Don't know if the owner did or not I'm not there anymore. He may still be sticking with MS phone.  Now I have to replace my lumia even though I like it alot. But If I  want to keep up and use the features and apps out there I need. I gotta get a droid. Then I ask so what is the main purpose of cortana on a laptop or desktop.When you cant make it work with the browser YOU want and do some hoops  to get it to work with your calendar. Sorry office 360 isn't for everyone. So I sure hope they really work of cross platform with droid from here on out. 

    PS  I also have a Echo  I not seen to many tie  ins with win10 :(  And PLEASE to don't come out with a cortana stand alone.

     

  53. 1377

    Windows Phones -- not as dead as Generalisimo Franco

    For those old enough to remember Chevy Chase as anchorman on Weekend Update on SNL.

  54. 5602

    The split comments section reminds me of this: https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/05/11

    "Free play users may not look upon Elite Players"

    "Free play users may not speak to Elite players"

    "Elite players may ride Free Play users like mounts"

    • 5613

      ahhh segregration so well loved in the US....

      old habits I guess    ;)

    • 5615

      Hmmm. Looks like the folks in the cheap seats can't talk to the folks in the box seats unless they speak to you first. I foresee many unintended (or maybe intended) consequences.

  55. 289

    If I could imagine for a minute that Windows Phone had never existed, and I was just reading about this new little offshoot of Windows 10 they were developing for the small screen then this would actually sound pretty cool. 

  56. 5161

    Funny. Just read WindowsCentral's coverage of this same topic. Needless to say, they were way more enthusiastic. I was kind of intrigued as well, but yeah this will have very limited appeal. I just wish there were more hardware vendors on board. I mean come on - Viroyal? Arp? Okay.

    • 1377

      Has anyone at Windows Central ever been less than enthusiastic about anything MSFT has made public about Windows Phones? The writers at Windows Central are as capable of annoyance at MSFT as Barney or Mr Rogers were to show annoyance towards children.

  57. 241

    "Microsoft is “still committed” to Windows 10 Mobile." Right! in a limited, essentially meaningless way. I understand the need to focus on Enterprise/business but they really should change the name to Windows Mobile for Business. And be prepared for more consumers to stop buying Windows along with many of their other products.

    I really like my SP4 and my 950XL, but I already have an Android phone (which I hate but will check out the Pixel or other flagship Android phone before the end of the year). And I am now thinking of using an Android or iOS tablet once my SP4 reaches its elder phase.

  58. 5608

    Having just bought a new HP Elite X3, I honestly think there's a possibility of Windows Mobile staying alive. However, I also noticed my Microsoft TAM now sporting an Iphone 6S+ instead of his 950XL. He actually likes the Microsoft experience on Iphone better than on the WM10.

  59. 5607

    Its stuff like this that makes me angry at Microsoft. There was no stopping them from keep pumping out commmercials conidering they still make billions and billions of dollars per quarter/year. 

    It is sickening that their own employees don't even use a product they (MSFT Corp.) supposedly "champion". I had an idea about bring x86 support to windows mobile and have phones use some sort of dual-chip solution (one chip x86 core(s) and the other ARM) until theres a way the two types of chips can be bridged together. The x86 chip becomes active when the phone is plugged into continuum mode so desktop apps can be used w/o the need for a "bridge" per se. At least make it so the desktop apps can be sandboxed so if you install malware accidentially then it is contained and doesn't spread throughout the phone's software

    I know it sounds unrealistic but it is a pipedream. Why not build a device with 3D cameras, laser-focus, nightvision or something cool to gain more notice to the platform. at least SOMETHING! Cosnidering how they are so silent about their own mobile platofrm, i can not see the point in continuing development of the platform that will not gain traction, even if it is "enterprise focused". 

    • 5615

      "I had an idea about bring x86 support to windows mobile and have phones use some sort of dual-chip solution (one chip x86 core(s) and the other ARM)"

      "I know it sounds unrealistic but it is a pipedream. Why not build a device with 3D cameras, laser-focus, nightvision or something cool to gain more notice to the platform. at least SOMETHING!"

      Two thoughts come to mind immediately: size and battery life. Then, if they could solve those "hard computer science problems," I think price might be an issue.

  60. 1763

    I bought a lumia 950 yesterday. I was afully close to buying an iphone 7 because of basically already knowing what was in this article. The combination of MS's own unenthusiasm/ employees not using WP, and the general medicority of the 950 made it very difficult. I just couldn't quite bring myself to do it.

    I did do the 1 year new phone thing since I was afraid of being saddled with this 950 for long with a possible surface phone or WP no longer making any sense at all.

     

    ...Which it's dreadfully close to already. Why in the world would they consider putting out a Surface phone when they won't commit to improving the software platform that'll run on it? So far dragging it along with general W10 development has not been sufficient.

  61. 903

    I miss my Windows phone but will somebody at Microsoft call this product dead, the rest of the world has.  Between Mobile and the Band my level of trust for adopting new technology from Microsoft is dwindling.  Cortana? I rather take my chances with Alexa or Google.  Hololens? Prove to me first that you're truly invested and not going to quickly jump ship.

  62. 3623

    I first became a fan of MS Lumia a few years back with the 1020 with 41MP camera. I hope they go big again someday and release a monster that rivals the specs of a One Plus, keeping with their tradition of a removable sd memory/battery. Go big or just die already.

Leave a Reply