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Microsoft's Continuum will turn Windows 10 phones into desktops

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Continuum Windows Phone

Microsoft has revealed a new Windows 10 feature to allow smartphone owners to hook their device up to a monitor and receive a ‘almost a full PC experience.’

At the Build 2015 conference, Microsoft expanded upon its Continuum feature, which had previously only been announced for tablets.

Now the company says the next generation of Windows 10 phones can also be paired with monitors, keyboards and mice for those times when a touchscreen just won’t cut it.

The Continuum feature will make further use the firm’s Universal apps, so software like Outlook will scale up for PC-like experience with folders on the left, messages in the middle and previews on the right. Replies can be sent using Word formatting tools (Excel and PowerPoint are also compatible) and keyboard shortcuts will still work.

The functionality will be useful for those who, for example, wish to make changes to a PowerPoint presentation without faffing about with their phone’s touchscreen.

Microsoft’s Windows boss Joe Belifore also used the example of connecting a smartphone up to the TV screen in a hotel room as a means of showing off vacation photos and playing videos.

Read more: Windows 10 release date, features, preview, download and price...

The connection will all be done wirelessly, thanks to the common code that sits within Windows 10 devices, while new processors from Qualcomm will be capable of driving two screens at a time.

In this instance the phone screen will run independently of the PC screen, meaning users will be able to manage their email while watching movies on the larger screen.

Belifore claims Continuum is more advanced than other attempts at cross-device syncing, such as Apple’s Continuity, which enables users to move tasks between the iPhone and the Mac.

“In those case you have a phone running phone apps,” Belifore said, “but those phone apps were never designed to work with a mouse, keyboard and large screen.

With Universal apps in Windows 10, software developers are writing their apps for the PC and the phone. And when those apps are run with a mouse and keyboard, they work exactly the way users expect.”

Continuum-compatible phones will be available after Windows 10 becomes available this summer.

LeeTronix

April 29, 2015, 8:51 pm

I think it is interesting what they are doing, but it also seems like they are going to wait till after the new Windows OS then release a flurry of new up to date handsets so people will buy the new handsets to sync with the latest OS. New tech same old marketing strategies.

LeeTronix

April 29, 2015, 9:18 pm

That does make sense and in all fairness I do not blame MS for marketing out their range of products after all it is business.

I like the Windows mobile OS and Windows 10 would be the perfect match. I own a Lumia 1520 among other phones on different OS's, and on a phone like that I would imagine 10 would be amazing.

LeeTronix

April 29, 2015, 9:44 pm

Nice, I like the 830 have played on one. The only thing annoying with the 1520 is the touch screen sensitivity as it opens the apps while scrolling.

LeeTronix

April 29, 2015, 10:21 pm

I will go check it out 😊

LeeTronix

April 30, 2015, 1:20 am

Wow that was a comprehensive review! Very detailed and honest minus your bias points of course hehe.
You patiently explained all the areas and provided realistic feed back such as call quality, operational smoothness, picture accuracy, chipset comparisons and much more.
I wish this site would take a leaf out of your book and produce a detailed review like yours. As you know I own a 1520 but I have to say if I was a potential person looking to make a purchase after reading something like what you wrote would definitely peek my interest.
Great review and well thought out :)

LeeTronix

April 30, 2015, 1:29 am

Just joking about the bit where you said it was the best looking phone :)

LeeTronix

April 30, 2015, 1:46 am

Yeah I agree. I like the orange back on the 930. Am not convinced about Cortana, it has a lot typo flaws I've noticed sometimes it takes 10/11 attempts to send a simple text but I am sure it will get better.

LeeTronix

April 30, 2015, 1:56 am

If your on twitter look me up under this username and add me.

David Hale

April 30, 2015, 2:20 pm

I love the idea of this software but like so many attempts at this sort of convergence before it so much will depend on the places you go having the hardware to take advantage. How many hotels are likely to invest in the screen tech or workstations that make this viable. Be interesting to see if they release a Chromecast dongle like device that could turn any existing TV or monitor and make it continuum compatible.

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