Microsoft Continuum was showcased in April 2015 and caused quite a stir. Not only was it designed to offer flexible computing from a smartphone, it also singlehandedly righted the wrongs of Windows 8. Where Windows 8 wanted to turn every PC into a tablet, Microsoft Continuum will turn a smartphone into a PC. Which is the right way to do it!
Microsoft Continuum will work on high end Windows Phones such as the Lumia 950 and 950XL and with a Display Box, can turn the phone into a fully functioning productivity machine. While we can already do a lot with our phones, this seamless integration makes working with them easier than ever.
Any screen PC
The idea behind Microsoft Continuum is that it can stream a fully working Windows 10 desktop from a smartphone onto any other compatible Windows device. So, you connect your phone to your PC, tablet, Xbox and the desktop will appear on the screen attached to that device. It will also work with the associated controller and offer a full desktop experience.
The desktop will automatically scale itself correctly to the size of screen, universal apps will do the same and they will work flawlessly between devices with no user input. When you disconnect your phone, all your data is saved on that phone, ready to be used whenever and wherever you need it.
They key to Continuum is that it configures itself to the device you’re using automatically. It will detect input devices and configure accordingly and it will detect screen size and scale to fit. All automatically and without user input.
This has potential benefits for both BYOD and traditional in-house IT models. The ability to offer a single device that can work in a multitude of ways could reduce hardware spend significantly. It could also increase security by concentrating focus onto a single user device.
App and Away
Microsoft Continuum also seeks to remedy one other significant failing of previous operating systems. That of apps. Previous Windows OS had a dearth of quality apps which significantly hampered uptake of Windows Mobile. While most mainstream apps eventually made their way across, the range was only a tiny percentage of that available for Apple or Android.
Microsoft Continuum aims to change all that.
By using the Universal App architecture, apps written for UWP (Universal Windows Platform) will work across any compatible Windows device and offer an identical user experience regardless of said device. (You can learn more about UWP here.) Used in conjunction with Microsoft Continuum, it will begin to redress the balance and hopefully, pull enterprise away from Apple and Android.
We think the potential for Microsoft Continuum is massive. As long as apps continue to be produced and work as advertised, it could be a game changer in the mobile device market. Anything that increases competition while also widening choice for business is great news as far as we are concerned!