Microsoft thinks people want ultra-portable headaches

Android dudes
Android dudes (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

A while back I mentioned that having a third company make a big splash in mobile was sorely needed. Apple and Google holding all the chips isn't good for anyone except Apple and Google. It was clear then, and still is now, that only one company can afford to keep trying — Microsoft. But their latest news about putting Windows 10 on ARM-powered tablets and convertibles, and rumored to come to phones, is just another way to spend money building things people probably won't want to buy.

To be fair, they have to do something. Intel is done building low-power (and low-performing) chips designed for always-on mobile things. The future will move away from the desktop model we currently have (Steve jobs' computer equals truck analogy will come true, just much later than he thought) and Microsoft's history of trying to reinvent themselves in mobile has been less than spectacular. Windows as it exists on a phone or tablet, as well as Continuum, are ideas nobody asked for. I don't have an answer and don't claim to have ever had any. Luckily, guiding Microsoft's mobile ambitions isn't my job. Critiquing them while unable to do any better is. But I do have a pretty good idea of what the consumer buying public-at-large is spending their dollars on, and more of the same from Windows on a small touch device doesn't fit in with it.

This was a bad idea in 2011 and it's a bad idea now.

This was a bad idea in 2011 and it's a bad idea now.

If people really were jonesing to run full blown desktop Adobe photoshop on a touch screen tablet, Adobe would be making it for the iPad (and iPad sales wouldn't be shrinking.) Adding a detachable keyboard and calling a 10-inch tablet something besides a tablet doesn't change that. Shrinking the experience down to 6 or 7 inches and telling people they can use a keyboard, mouse and HDMI cable certainly doesn't improve anything. Having a very expensive and very nice slim laptop with a great input pen that can run Photoshop the way it was intended makes sense and people who need Photoshop at that level surely appreciate the experience on the new Surface the same way they do on the new MacBook. The same goes for Turbo Tax and Quicken, Microsoft Access 2016, AutoCad and any of the other crazy things that have been touted as something people want to do and make the new new Windows portables the best ever. (I stopped reading comments and Tweets when someone said Visual Studio.)

The Codeweavers app lets you run Photoshop on an ASUS Zenfone if you want to — and nobody wants to.

Right about now, half of the people reading this disagree and are ready to express that in the comments. I get it, but people who visit tech blogs on weekends are hardly a representation of the average consumer. Folks still buying tablets as well as people buying phones are looking for something more simple than the computer they left at the office Friday at quitting time. Instead of Steam and Civ 6, they want Temple Run with Mario when it comes to something small they hold in their hands. The same goes for Photoshop — the experience for iOS and Android is good but it can get a little complicated. Yet it's miles away from what you would see on Windows 10. People are buying devices that are cheap and easy to use. Apple and Google see this and are trying to make things even more simple. The things that tech-savvy folks think of as dumbing down are the very same things that let people not worry about how to do things and instead, they can just do them.

I don't know what Microsoft should do to prepare for the end of the desktop cash cow. But I know what isn't likely to sell.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it is a thing. I don't want to see OS X turn into MacOS (for example) but Apple isn't making products that Jerry wants to buy; they are making products that most people want to buy. Marshmallow did some things better than Nougat does for this power-user nerd. Microsoft hanging on to their legacy of desktop software to drive a new mobile strategy may be cool to some of us, but I think an iPad or Chromebook is going to be a better choice for most people because they are simple and do all the things most people want.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • This article makes it sound as if Windows is nothing but headaches. If that's so, why is Windows the dominant operating system for PCs? Why would being able to do the same things on your mobile device that you can do on any desktop/laptop PC be bad, or a "headache"? This article is the ONLY one I've seen ANYWHERE that has a negative opinion on this subject.
  • Amen. I was just getting ready to reply with the exact words. What Microsoft has accomplished is nothing short of amazing and to say that no one wants this is just ridiculous.
  • Well jerry is an electric engineer and has most of his time spent in linux, so that is why he comes as a android lover, as that is what he knows best and what he likes so I believe windows would be a headache to him. Plus on the phone where things need to be simple (he said he mostly uses phone as a phone) I guess windows would be complicated.
    But that said I do definitely want to buy one to test it.
    It's should be better than win rt.
  • I agree, RT was a disaster. I respect his choices and opinion but to say Windows is a "headache" and "it's holding on to it's last" is a little foolish. If anything Linux to a normal user is a headache. I'm not attached to any company and or product but I see the future with this and to imagine using my phone on the go and then connecting it to a dock that increases it gpu power, adds more ram, and connects my keyboard / mouse would be amazing. Again, I'm simply criticizing his (in my opinion) narrow view on this.
  • I'm using a Windows computer right now. I use one regularly when it's the right tool for the job.   I didn't claim Windows on the desktop is a headache (some think so, but nothing pleases everyone). It's not my favorite way to computer, but it's a fine desktop operating system.  It should stay as one. nothing on this computer would be a good experience on a mobile device. nothing on this computer was designed to be a good experience on a mobile device.  Microsoft should use this chance to reinvent the future like they did with Windows 3.1 and the Xbox instead of trying to shoehorn their existing products into a new space.
  • Well said
  • Exactly
  • It seems your assuming x86 support on ARM means people will be using desktop apps on the small screen. That's not the point of x86 support. It opens the door for technologies like Continuum and users like pro-consumers and the Enterprise. But in my opinion (and I'm no expert) it opens the door to emulation - think about the development tools Microsoft has aquired. And then think about the possibilities of emulation and projects that were cancelled on Windows Phone in the past... As for your statement nobody asked for it, well, nobody asked for Apple to make the iPhone. Nobody asked for Facebook. And nobody asked your opinion but we got one...
  • "If I gave people what they wanted, they'd all be riding around on faster horses." - Henry Ford
  • I respect that point of view Jerry, Microsoft is trying to put whatever ace it has on the table so they can expand on mobile. But I don't think Jerry is getting the point that Microsoft is trying to make (or this maybe my reading/thinking into it). MS is looking at the future as in the movie Her where the same OS is all the devices and interconnected and with all your data. There is no discrimination in computer sizes, but instead in screen sizes, depending what you need you use the computer for. Plug in a tv for a big screen. In a monitor as a desktop working station and etc. But Jerry sees them all different and wants it to be separate. Whereas I believe in the future there will only be a single device with different screens to connect to depending on what you want to do.
  • Almost. I see one OS that runs somewhere in the cloud and the right way to interface with it is based on how you're doing the interfacing. A touch-friendly interface from a small handheld. A simple menu-driven interface when using a game controller. An event and menu interface when using a mouse and keyboard. A predictive way to interface when using your voice. The same data and results need to match the use case. We'll be there in 10 years at the most.
  • Well Microsoft is the closest to it with Windows 10 than either Apple or Google. So I don't know why you dislike Microsoft for doing this. Microsoft is wanting to do that with Windows 10 in Xbox, phone, computer, tablet and IOTs. And it's the same OS as a core, not forked. After they do this with Windows 10 then maybe they'll goto cloud OS.
  • To Jerry's comments, if there's anyone that has had to navigate a Surface tablet outside of the touch friendly shell without a physical mouse and keyboard, they can understand how painful it is. The on-screen keyboard is erratic and disappears at random. God forbid if you have to get into control panel, administrative settings, registry, command line, you get the point. Windows still doesn't have everything in the touch-friendly environment accessible to the user without jumping into regular Windows view to accomplish those tasks.
    So yes, when Photoshop for Windows tries to fit everything on the screen within reach, the icons and anything else clickable are impossible to touch accurately because they are so tiny. You can use the stylus, but that's not what Jerry's original piece is about. One major point of the iPhone never having a stylus or physical keyboard was to show that we can move forward with touch technology using only your finger.
  • Isn't a smaller, slower "horse" exactly what Microsoft is trying to sell on mobile though?
  • I don't disagree with all of your points, but you really did ask for his opinion just by coming to the site and clicking the post...
  • That's the best reply to an AC article I'v read in a long time. It just makes Jerry's article & his opinion as truly ridiculous as they are.
  • You really think Microsoft has the right approach and their spiral into irrelevance will be halted by emulating x86 programs on ARM?
  • Microsoft's "spiral into irrelevance"? What planet are you living on?!
  • I couldn't agree more. Although windows 10 is an improvement, it's still a very mouse and keyboard OS. The moment you try use a normal win 32 app on a touch screen device, it is painfully obvious. Touch isn't precise enough to navigate some menus designed for a mouse. Windows 10 is still full of those legacy menus. You compare it to an OS designed for touch, and the difference is amazing.
  • Windows 10 is still very much a mouse & keyboard driven operating system because that's what consumers demanded. They "revolted" when Windows 8 was released, and its sales plummeted compared to Windows 7.
  • Clearly you don't understand UWP. Android makes for a horrible mouse and keyboard OS. Microsoft's problem in the reverse. Scaling up or down for the screen size isn't Microsoft's play here. Business is still and will be for the foreseeable future a large screen, mouse and keyboard world. Have you tried using Excel on a small phone touch screen? Do people type up large 20 page reports with graphs and illustrations on a 10" tablet with touch keyboard? For business, using software that is still x86 on a touch preferred interface (or a tablet for that matter) is not the future, else it would have already shifted that way. Touch is becoming more prevalent and will continue to do so. Each device has a use case and should be used when it is most convenient. Windows has both large screen keyboard and mouse, as well as small screen touch covered. (they are even dabbling in VR and AR so that use case is covered as well.) Windows 10 is still a toddler, but it is growing and improving. It is producing previously unconceived devices. Windows 10 isn't a scaled down desktop on small screens. Rather, a similar experience that adapts to the multitude of interfaces types. Now with ARM support, you have less full devices filled with processors, memory, RAM, etc to buy because you won't need a desktop computer, a tablet computer and a phone computer. You only have to carry one computer and connect it to the interfaces that make the most sense at that moment. A tablet screen that mirrors your phone and adapts through continuum for a tablet experience. A screen, keyboard and mouse with a dock for your desktop experience. Microsoft is about adaptation to any interface. Android is still about phones and tablets.
  • Jerry, I think you missed the point with Windows 10. You assume that it is going to be an identical OS ported to a smaller device. When it is just going to be the core code of Windows 10 OS, to keep things easy to manage and update. It doesn't mean the interface is going to be identical for each device forever. Windows 10 is an exceptionally good OS for which to customize each platform. Just like I wouldn't want Linux desktop on my phone. Oh wait, that is what Android is based on. Just like sits as basis for many devices you would never know they are the same. As just one example. Do you review a phone based on pre-released specs and pictures? I didn't think so. Something tells me as this strategy unfolds, there will be hints of Windows 10, but it won't feel the same as the PC version. You are missing the point of MS is doing, just my opinion.
  • Ok then
  • You have to differentiate between the previous windows OS's (7 & 8) which are the dominant operating systems for PCs and Windows 10 and the push for the mobile/tablet market which is in the minority. Designing a desktop app that will work on a phone and still have reasonable functionality will be a major headache and a waste of time. More time will be used trying to get it to work across vastly different devices than will be used designing a quality product. You either have to dumb down the app so that it can work on a mobile device with limited GUI and means of interacting with it, or else design it to be dumb for the PC. You cannot include the functionality that an app can have on a desktop onto a mobile device, without making the interface absurd to use (you'll have to go to menu, after menu, after menu, after menu to get the same functionality). Either it's going to be dumbed down on the mobile device or dumbed down on the desktop, or just really poor quality, take your pick. As a programmer, it sounds like a massive headache to me.
  • Winner winner chicken dinner! Windows is the dominant operating system. Windows 7, not 10.
  • Yes, Windows 7 is the dominant OS, which is designed for the desktop and comes with no world domination type marketing aspects. Windows 10, comes with high aspirations but is in the minority as a desktop OS (and performing poorly in the market place - a substantial number of users didn't want it even for free). Linux/Unix is actually the dominant OS when all devices are considered. Just the way it is.
  • And yet, you don't hear people complaining about Linux being used in smaller devices as the OS, based on the desktop version. Interesting point. Just as a side note, Windows 10 blows Windows 7 out of the water in technical circles. You can hate Windows 10, but if you took the Windows 7 interface and laid it on top of Windows 10 you would like it, plus it is faster, more efficient, and safer. So what you dislike is really just the interface, not Windows 10 itself, which is fine. Just thought I would point that out.
  • "More time will be used trying to get it to work across vastly different devices than will be used designing a quality product."
    That sounds like Android with it's fragmentation issue. From a totally naïve perspective, (I'm not a developer) I suspect the future unified chromeOS will have tighter controls to prevent the rampant problem of fragmentation. If android does it right, it will be a painful transition for android users when that OS arrives because I suspect that android will be leaving people behind just like Microsoft had to when they migrated from windows 7/RT, to windows 8 and 10. (all android apps are made for small screens, with primarily touch interface. The same headache you mention of desktop app to phone only in reverse. Android developers screaming, why would I make my app desktop compatible when Windows and Apple hold 99% of the desktop market.) If not, I suppose chromeOS will just be a watered down desktop OS to be able to maintain the legacy phone apps compatibility. Good enough for consumer, but not powerful enough for business. Android has the same problem Microsoft had only in reverse. I'm not saying Android can't overcome this obstacle, I am saying it won't be painless. Microsoft may be the bigger ship to turn vs a more agile Android, but Microsoft has made the turn already. While android keeps moving down the same path; at least what they have revealed for their future.
  • I think you hit the nail on the head with this article, totally agree. Let's face it Microsoft's shared OS appears to have failed before it even really started.
  • That shared OS that you're talking about actually, caused the irrelevancy of Android tablets and the rise of Windows on tablets. with 16% of market share and a high profitable market and took almost all Android OEMs with it, something that Android suffers.
  • Windows 10 is barely moving as a product. By Microsoft's own standards, Windows 10 has failed in the market (Microsoft estimated that twice as many people would be on Windows 10 by now). There are fundamental problems with designing an OS that runs on devices with huge differences in capabilities. There is no way of solving these problems without dumbing down the applications on the desktop.
  • 400 million people using Windows 10, is an impressive feat, despite not getting 1 billion on time. UWP, is a way for scaling on multiple devices. Nevertheless, Windows Tablets are rising in sales, profits and market share, whereas Android is declining
  • There are BILLIONS of people using Linux/Unix without even knowing it - two thirds of the servers that run the internet are Linux/Unix. Android is Linux, MacOS is Unix (BSD), you are surrounded by devices that are run by Linux/Unix which people are simply not aware of (including TVs and recorders). If Microsoft wants to lump all devices running Windows 10 into one category and boast about it, it comes a really poor second to the number of devices running Linux/Unix. The UWP is a means of attempting to mitigate the fundamental problems associated with designing software across two hugely different environments. The functionality cannot be translated across the devices in any way without making the 'app' practically impossible to use. You either have to dumb it down for the mobile device, or dumb it down for the desktop or just produce really awful software.
  • What does your contention that "BILLIONS of people use Linux without even knowing it" have to do with anything?! You're taking about COMMERCIAL hardware running Linux; this article is talking about the CONSUMER market. The simple fact of the matter is that Microsoft Windows COMPLETELY dominates the consumer market on personal computers, probably FAR exceeding the combined use of Mac OS and Linux.
  • Microsoft is clearly moving towards the idea that there will be no desktop in the future. They seem to envision a world where you sit down at a terminal and plug your phone/tablet/whatever in and can work in whatever way you desire which for a large majority of people right now includes Win32 apps. I know plenty of people well on their way to being sufficient without a desktop.
  • Exactly. I think the author of this article is confusing continuum for running desktop apps on a small screen. Which would never be the case. Continuum is the future. Microsoft phones will still be phones, unless you hook them up to a larger external display, or lap dock.
  • No, he certainly knows what Continuum is. By the time terminals are widely available, if they ever are, x86 will be completely irrelevant and Android will be in a muh better place with a full app store. Continuum functionality (keyboard, mouse and external display support) has been available in Android for years.
  • As far as I am aware the Atrix was the only phone that was comparable to continuum. But it was not even close to the same technology. Certainly a good starting point. But Motorola didn't really push it, at least not in the way MS seems to be.
    Be early doesn't mean better.
  • Continuum is mouse, keyboard and external display support which has been in Android for years. You can even run multiple apps on screen if you enable Freeform and there are other apps that will change your UI. Android is currently superior when it comes to Continuum. If the single device thing pans out, Google will be leading it, not Microsoft. They do not have the apps/developers to make it happen. x86 isn't going to make it mainstream.
  • This article makes no sense. It assumes that MS is trying to be Google or Apple, and that is clearly no longer the case. MS gave up that strategy a couple years ago. MS is actually having huge success in their new strategy. There is a PC market in the business world, with cloud, and creative devices like the Surface, along with supplementing the use of IOS and Android Apps in the mobile market to bring it all together. I see MS building a future, which in the long hall, Google and Apple will wish they had seen. Funny to think that MS is actually the company innovating here, while Apple chugs along with its dated iPhone and Google focuses on Ad revenue with more and more free services that don't really fit the business world or the growing number of entrepreneur's. It doesn't mean MS isn't going to try some odd things and have a few market misses, but that is better then the "Play it safe" role Google and Apple are taking. I think the author needs to update his knowledge of the products MS is pushing out.
  • Wow, not only did you miss the fact that they are specifically targeting the enterprise sector but you are assuming that this is something people won't want. Everyone said the same about the surface line of devices and yet they are doing really well.
    Look, I love my LG V20 and regularly use an ipad but I'm not dumb enough to say that what Microsoft accomplished will not be successful in the future. What they have done is a game changer period. Give them the credit that they deserve.
  • How is running legacy programs a game changer? There are basically no mainstream x86 programs that do not have a mobile version available. x86 won't drive growth, except maybe in niche use cases where you won't want to be using underpowered ARM chips anyways. This is another non-starter by Microsoft. Windows RT 2.0!
  • They've got a lot more things going on than 'the only thing they've got left'. If anything, they're doing more interesting projects than Google, and especially the new 'me-too' company that is Apple these days. This reads like an article of someone clearly embedded in one camp, who only takes a glancing view of what's going on in others. Things can change in tech very quickly, I love products and services from both MS and Google, and only a fool would dismiss a Juggernaut like Microsoft.
  • I like that you took a strong position. I don't agree with it wholeheartedly, but I see where you are coming from. Personally, I don't think Microsoft is on the cusp of another attempt at competing with Google and Apple in the mobile space.
    What i prefer to think of Microsoft's efforts is that they are trying to push enterprise needs forward into new spaces within their ecosystem instead of ceding this space to Google and/or Apple in the foreseeable future.
    I think Microsoft has actually developed a compelling vision for the future of business computing. Whether it impacts Google and Apple's market share is sort of immaterial at this juncture. If businesses can buy a single device, for instance, that is a work phone and full featured computing platform instead of buying two devices to accomplish the same (which is where many businesses are at this moment) then Microsoft has given them cost savings while securing and possibly increasing their own revenue.
    That's a rare win-win scenario and one of the increasing signs of brilliance coming out of them lately.
    Just some thoughts to consider.
  • I agree with your entire post EXCEPT for this last part: "I think an iPad or Chromebook is going to be a better choice for most people because they are simple and do all the things most people want." No, they won't and they aren't. Which is why iPad sales are sinking and Chromebook sales NEVER went anywhere worldwide. People also don't find Windows "complex". In fact, the vast majority of people around the world grow up learning their computer skills on Windows machines. Not on Macs or Chromebooks. There's nothing "complex" about Windows for the vast majority of people worldwide.
    The "complexity" of Windows is equal to that of Android. The "headaches" caused by Windows are the same (or even less) than those caused by Android. Yet both OS's dominate their respective markets.
    People are NOT stupid.
    That's what Apple wants you to believe. And Apple customers, by all accounts, seem to fit that description. They're also an insignificant minority in the vast scheme of things (lest we remind you Apple's marketshare is miserable both on mobile AND desktop? Windows accounts for over 90% of the desktop market and Android for over 80%. Now you do the maths on the "relevance" of Apple's presence). Apart from that, expanding Windows to ANY sort of device makes sense. HOWEVER people (specially at Windows Central, lead by their often misguided Editor-in-Chief) are putting too much hope and too many dreams into this "Windows 10 ARM".
    Microsoft has had an ARM version of Windows. It was called Windows RT and it flopped. Why? Because it was useless.
    It couldn't run powerful programs because those are x86 and, because it relied on the Windows store, it had no apps (just like WP went nowhere). This Windows 10 ARM will NOT be any different. Emulation? Windows RT was able to do that too. In fact, some folks built an emulator for the Surface RT called "Win86Emu". However, because the device was under-powered and locked down, it couldn't expand.
    This Windows 10 ARM will have the emulator built in but the question remains: who will allow their programs to be emulated? Most developers won't likely allow it. IF Microsoft had been able to put full blown Windows 10 unto a portable device, that might have been significant. But then Intel cancelled all of that.
    Eventually they will as tech evolves and if necessary Microsoft will likely build their own chips. Perhaps 10 years from now. THEN, the offer of having a full blown PC in your pocket will appeal to everyone because the "complicated" machine (which isn't complicated to anyone, really, so stop trying to pretend it is) they had at work can accompany them everywhere and transform itself unto a portable device.
    THAT might be appealing to the average Joe who will then NOT have to pay for two machines - a proper PC and a weaker version (phone or tablet or both) - and can have only one device.
    However, NONE of that will be on ARM. Windows is not an OS for ARM devices.The future is NOT on ARM, no matter how hard some people want to believe it is. The future will be more and more divided between dumb-devices (smartphones, tablets) and smart-devices (computers). And ARM is just trying to evolve their chips to make them as powerful as Intel chips. Well, guess what? For that, there's already Intel chips. ARM chips will eventually reach a point that they've become so powerful and expensive that their current advantages over Intel chips will vanish. Then what? Well, then Intel will still have the upper hand as they understand powerful chips much better than ARM does. However, no matter what, Microsoft does NOT understand mobile. That's their biggest problem, shown not only by the failure of Windows Phone but also by how they butchered the mobile experience on Windows 10. The Surface was a 2-in-1 on Windows 8.1. The touch experience was easy then. With Windows 10 it became a laptop with a detachable keyboard.
    And the Windows apps? Still going nowhere, much thanks to Microsoft.
    The UWP is by all accounts a complete failure.
    And this "Windows 10 ARM" and the building-in of the emulator into it just gives developers yet another reason to not bother with Windows apps. What for? They can continue building their x86 programs and be done with it. Oh and worth noting, the World doesn't begin and end with Adobe products. Want a good example of an x86 program? Google Chrome. Which happens to be the most used browser on Windows. Google does NOT offer Chrome in the Windows store. They could do it and have people for example on the Xbox using it.
    So to have a Windows ARM device that might work with consumers, Microsoft will have to make sure they can emulate simple stuff like Chrome. Otherwise it will be just as dead as Windows RT and Windows Phone are. I just don't think it will work out that well.
    Microsoft would do better to continue to try to work things out with Google and other developers instead of finding ways around them.
    Because one thing I can clearly foresee: if the emulation tools are open to anyone, Microsoft might be throwing itself into a sea of legal problems. This is the conundrum that makes Microsoft not succeed outside their existing strongholds. To succeed on mobile currently they either need to bring on developers or all sizes or to be able to work around that with these emulation schemes.
    I doubt any of them will work.
    Microsoft will have a mobile future. But they'll need technology that isn't available yet. Until then, they'd be better off making sure Windows is up to snuff for when that technology arrives instead of waiting for it to arrive and then try to develop Windows around it.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read where they won't be using an emulation layer on ARM this go around. Also, I strongly disagree with your assertion that Windows 10 Mobile "butchered" the mobile experience. I use an Android phone as my daily driver because of the app gap, but around the house, I go back to my Lumia Icon running Win10Mo. I actually find that OS to be the best of the three, personally. JMO.
  • Blackberry and Blend were the best. It's a shame they conceded at the will of John Chen. Android's lack of native continuity is really a drag.
  • The concept behind what they presented is similar to what they already did on the Xbox One with the emulation of 360 games. ARM processors can't run the normal 64 bit Windows 10 like the Xbox One couldn't run 360 games due to different architectures. However, the emulator built into the OS can. So when Microsoft showed the 64 bit Enterprise edition of Windows 10 running on an ARM device, that was running on an emulator. It remains to be seen how they'll ship any of these devices but they could put them opening directly into the emulator and never run anything other than an emulated version of Windows 10.
  • The way I understand it, any 32-Bit Win32 application will work transparently on Windows 10 ARM just like on Windows 10 x86, nothing at all required from the developer, so it's not a matter of whether a developer will "allow" their software to be emulated. You argue that Windows RT could emulate, too, but the situation is entirely different, as the devices were locked down, even if they could be unlocked in theory, in practice you couldn't expect anyone to and by the time the emulator would have been done, the system was already dead. Windows 10 ARM sets this right by being exactly as open as Windows 10 x86 from the outset.
  • All the legacy applications will run on emulation. In fact, they'll be emulating the entire OS. In the presentation that's what they did. When they talked about applications working transparently, they were talking about them running on the 64bit version of Windows 10 that they were emulating. So, if they ship the devices with the ARM version of Windows 10 only, none of the applications will work. I think they won't do that and they'll ship any device with an emulated version of "real" Windows 10. I don't think they'll be shipping a user-facing ARM version of Windows again like Windows RT.
    However, so far, we know nothing. There are no devices yet, nothing. We can only speculate.
    As for the developers, they'll likely need to consent on the emulation. There are legal issues behind it which Microsoft will have to work on before release (copyright protection laws aren't the same worldwide and emulation doesn't have the same legal status everywhere). But yes, the failure of Windows RT is absolutely due to it being completely locked down AND (and we should remind ourselves of this) attached to stupidly overpriced devices (the Surface RT sold for over 600€ which was ridiculous for such an underpowered device...and the 1 billion loss it made Microsoft sort of speaks for that).
  • Dude, show us on the doll where they touched you
  • Lmao!
  • Chromebooks have outsold Macs. I stopped reading your comment after I realized you're misinformed.
  • You must have misread his comment. He never mentioned that chromebooks did worse than Macs. He only mentioned that they never caught on globally. So, not sure where you are getting he is misinformed from. And this comment makes you sound like an entitled idiot.
  • "Chromebook sales never went anywhere worldwide" It's right there.... They're also pretty high on Amazon "most popular" lists in their respective categories regularly. I probably missed some relevant information in the rest of the comment, but a fanboy or "elitist" or entitled I am not. I'm actually pretty excited about what MS announced.
  • You missed a key word again..."worldwide". The numbers you posted the link for are US only. That's why I was saying you misread it. Chromebooks are successful, but only in the US. They really haven't made a big splash in the rest of the world.
  • His type is what I call a world denier. Honestly believe that, some people that don't think there is a world Beyond America...
  • I would answer you but others have done it already. Besides, I don't see much of a point arguing with someone who can't grasp the concept that there's a gigantic World outside the USA.
  • Hah, I work in the education sector, Windows is plenty complicated, even for those who are supposed to teach others how to use a computer.
  • "people who visit tech blogs on weekends are hardly a representation of the average consumer." We'll, then I'll just **** right off then. But before I go, a few thoughts. What MS is doing isn't for people who can do whatever they need in apps commonly available on an iPad or through Android. It's for people who have to use legacy apps who would like to be able to do that without toting another device. If I can use Word or Excel on large screen with a mouse and a keyboard with the processor available on my phone, and the only take the phone (or laptop with Chromebook-like simplicity and battery life) with me when I'm done, then I'd be interested. It's in line with what MS has been promising all along, but hasn't yet delivered. I'm curious to see what real-world price and performance turn out to be.
  • Your needs for such a device maybe valid. What Jerry is trying to highlight is the fact that the size of the user base with such needs is miniscule. So maybe MS needs to focus carefully on what the larger market is looking for otherwise as numbers erode they will start to lose traction - in mobile.
  • Who do you speak on behalf of? I love my Android phone, but I absolutely could not do without the desktop applications on my computer. Also, nobody wanted Windows on a tablet? Tell the Surface Pro line that. It's probably the most successful tablet lineup at the moment, with iPad sales dying year upon year, and Android tablets near nonexistent.
  • Only Microsoft calls a full x86 device designed for desktop operating system and desktop software a tablet. Originally, devices like the Archos 80 were their answer to the iPad. Terry Myserson made that perfectly clear 3 or 4 years ago when he said Windows tablets are the extension of Windows Phone software running on 6 to 10 inch ARM devices, not the Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, and that we would be seeing plenty of them. Moving the goalposts afterward doesn't have the same impact on the people who pay attention or the people who bought into those ARM devices.
  • Yes, I suppose there is that. It really is a laptop more than a tablet. I will agree wholeheartedly that a traditional tablet chipset and system is horrible to run Windows on. Btw, thanks for the reply Jerry. Love your work!
  • Microsoft doesn't move that many Surfaces and they are not really tablets. They are laptops that can kinda be used as tablets, if you don't mind a sub-par tablet experience. When was the last time you saw someone with a Surface that didn't have the keyboard? You never have because a laptop without a keyboard is useless.
  • "Desktop cash cow"? This Jerry guy is clearly demonstrating that he really has no knowledge of what MS is or does. He's stuck in the 80s, thinking that MS derives the bulk of its revenue from Windows. I suggest, Jerry, that you might bother to have a look at their last income statement, and you'll see that MS is hardly dependent upon Windows as a "cash cow". What a tool. And if you'd bother to learn about their "retrenching" in mobile, you'd know that they've overtly given up on the consumer space, targeting the enterprise. Nobody asked for Continuum. Nobody asked for x86 apps. News flash, Einstein, they're not innovating in this direction because they think the consumer wants this stuff. ENTERPRISE, ENTERPRISE, ENTERPRISE. Get a clue, Jerry.
  • Stupid stupid article
  • Refreshing to read an article by someone who would rather be disliked than be right.
  • "People are buying devices that are cheap and easy to use. Apple and Google see this and are trying to make things even more simple." Pixels are cheap? iPhones are cheap? Windows 10 is hard to use??! No, Mind you I will grant that Photoshop is hard to use on any platform/device until you get acquainted with it. But who died and made Photoshop representative of anything about "the average consumer's" experience of/interest in Windows or PCs? Photoshop Elements, maybe. But not that monstrous CC 2015.5 bag o' xxxxs.
  • Oh wow, never thought I'd read an article with so much misguided bullsh*t from jerry.
  • There still is a need for desktop applications. Will be for quite awhile. Not everything should be ran via the internet. That can get messy and be unreliable. And not all Internet based apps are made well. Some years ago I had thought Microsoft was evolving to a - code once - run on either the desktop or mobile type of deal. And I seriously thought that was a good idea. Still do in a way. But I haven't done any hobbyist type of programming in awhile, so I'm out of touch. The hardware and code base in mobile devices will have to make several huge jumps before that can become a reality... Taking over the desktop... And I am thinking YEARS. Besides, Microsoft I think did an excellent job promoting and refining their Windows OS over the years.... And Linux took a back seat with all of their fragmentation...
  • wow...the writer of this garbage is really butthurt about something. probably taking out his frustrations of not having hilLIARy elected.
  • I've never seen a comment that sounded so... witless. Seriously, that comment just seems like it came from a 12 year old girl who got offended that her younger sister just beat her at a game of uno... You're too old to be talking like a 12 year old girl, buddy. Grow up.
  • Well to be fair, your comment earlier about "drumpf" wasn't exactly at "genius" level either.
  • why do you like 12 year old girls so much?
  • OK, I "hate" Hillary and I'm extremely glad the demos were defeated everywhere BUT...what the heck does ANY of that have to do with the article, mate?
  • absolutely nothing.
  • While I definitely agree that desktop apps on a small screen in a terrible idea, I do think Jerry forgot the fact that Microsoft is not planning to do that at all. ARM based, continuum-enabled phones will be great. A mobile OS while using it as a phone and full desktop mode when connected to lapdock or larger display. Freedom and choice rolled into one.
  • Agreed, now if only a Chromebook can play DotA on the Android OS platform.
  • You can. It runs great on my Pixel in its own Window through Steam.
  • Yet that is probably streaming via Steam from, guess what, an x86 PC as DotA is not native to Android!!!
  • Hey!! I liked my Atrix and Lapdock! Still have them both, don't use them any more, but still have them!
  • "I don't know what Microsoft should do to prepare for the end of the desktop cash cow."
    They're moving to cloud services (i.e. Office 365). I'm far from a Windows fan, in fact I just got a Windows laptop this past first in years. I think Microsoft clearly sees the end of Desktop coming, and will be well prepared to continue innovating as a cloud/services company. But to defend Jerry (not that he needs my help) trying to shoehorn desktop apps onto a phone is an excruciating experience. Any time I come across a web site not optimized for mobile, I wish I could reach through my phone and smack the developer. And I think we'd all agree that Microsoft's attempts at mobile have been a disaster.
  • Mobile websites are always horrendous.
  • Except this won't be "shoehorning" desktop applications into a device to use on a 5" display. It's designed to be used with Continuum to run x86 applications on a larger display with a keyboard and mouse.
  • Seems the writer just doesn't like MS
  • I work in graphic design and at the office I use an aging Mac mini that works for **** in the corporate infrastructure. At home I use the full creative suite on my gen 1 surface pro connected to my external display. I don't plan on ever spending another dollar on Apple products unless they become innovative again. So I am literally jonesing to run full blown desktop Adobe photoshop on a touch screen tablet and Microsoft has my needs covered.
  • It seems the guys that don't have a need for computing power don't see the other side of the lake, so to speak. It's kind of like - the world is flat type of deal. Running Visual Studio can consume CPU time. Especially if you have a bunch of third party add-ons installed too. But you know, someone will invent an AI that will use Object Oriented best use methods case for web, mobile etc. make it available on line too... And no one will use a desktop anymore... Hah.. Sigh... Those canned apps are extremely limited and not very correct... And slowwwww... Not very efficient... We still need developers... Good ones. OMG... We need good architects. No, great architects...
  • I think you don't understand Microsoft's vision for the future. Imagine you only have your "smartphone" and don't need a PC or laptop, because wherever you go, your phone connects automatically to every screen, without taking your phone out of your pocket. You maybe have one screen in your office, one screen for gaming or a TV and a tablet-sized screen at home. Your phone streams to all these devices without the need of connecting your phone with a HDMI cable.
    All your apps and data are on one device. And when you work in your office and go home, you take your phone without closing all your open apps. Then at home, you can continue to work from the exact same state (if you want to work at home). I doubt that people in the future want to buy and use 10 different devices for every aspect of their life, when their phone is capable of doing all of this.
  • Lol such a huge difference in opinion from Windows Central. I think what I got from the article is that the author doesn't know what Continuum is and is confused into thinking that this feature means you can run desktop apps on a small screen phone. Also, his statement about iPads and chromebooks being all the average consumer needs is false. The market has shown us that your average consumer DOES want to run some amount of desktop apps. It's the reason why Windows RT, Steam OS, and Chrome OS never really gained mainstream traction and ultimately were flops. It's also why iPad sales are slowing down but Surface selling better than ever.
  • I'd be willing to bet that Jerry is at least somewhat familiar with continuum. The reality is that personal computing has been shifting to mobile for years, and it's not just email anymore. Metrics show people have been CHOOSING mobile devices over traditional PC's for online shopping, web browsing, social media, and video consumption (this one surprised me). This is why financial markets have been somewhat tepid on Google's growth--because everything is shifting to mobile where their revenue per stat is lower. I don't think the market has shown anything supporting a desire to move back to desktop apps. Quite opposite in fact, mainstream consumers seem to be drawn to the simplicity and familiarity of the mobile platform.
  • I know exactly what Continuum is. And what it will be if it ever really happens — yet another failure. Everyone Rah-Rahing about whatever Microsoft will do next are the same people who supported what they did last. It wasn't enough. It won't be enough for Continuum. It's not enough for the HP Elite x3 which does it right now that nobody is buying. Microsoft has three great things for the future — enterprise software, corporate lock-in with Office, and the back-end of Office 365. Adapt those so they work great with something they haven't invented yet. Don't tell people how great it will be to use software written for desktop APIs on their tablet or phone or that they can carry around a set of peripherals instead of a Surface Pro. Whether anyone likes it or not, the future is moving to thin client machines and robust back-end servers. Microsoft failed to adapt (not sure why. Windows phone wasn't a bad mobile OS at all) and became irrelevant in mobile. They risk doing it again and losing it all if they don't have the right people working on what comes after Windows. If they do have those right people working on the right things, stop showing videos of x86 desktop software running on portables and telling us that the future is gonna be awesome and everyone will be using it.
  • Your error here is that you assume this feature is being marketed towards consumers. It's not. It's marketed for enterprises and for laptops/tablets first. Windows 10 mobile support wasnt even confirmed or announced yet. That's just an assumption people are making. And finally, I still think you're wrong about the direction of computing. IPad and Android tablet, as well as chromebook sales have proven that consumers want more than just a basic email and web browsing device. And don't forget that other devices that took away the ability to run traditional desktop apps always ended up flopping such as Windows RT and Steam OS. Consumer demand for smartphones to do even more things is ever increasing which is why manufacturers keep putting in even more powerful CPU's laptop levels of RAM and so on. It's all converging to the point where mobile computing will reach parity with desktop computing. It's a simple case of consumers wanting more bang for their buck. The more features crammed into their device (including the ability to run x86 desktop apps), the more enticing.
  • You should read Paul Thurrotts article "Remember Satya Nadella’s claim about the “ultimate mobile device”? Surprise: It’s a PC, not a phone. The move to ARM won’t happen overnight. The first devices won’t appear in market until one year from now, in late 2017, and it will likely be 2018 before we see any truly viable designs. The first devices will be ultra-mobile portable PCs, which is to say notebook PCs.
    That said, Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft will be offering Windows 10 on Qualcomm to device makers “across a variety of categories, including 6-, 10- and 14-inch categories.” So it won’t be only PCs. It will be mini-tablets, traditional tablets, 2-in-1s, and notebook/portable PCs of all kinds. Fanless PCs. Silent PCs. PCs that get hours and hours of battery life. PCs that can compete with both iPad Pro and traditional laptops.
    What they won’t be is phones. But that 6-inch form factor must have some wondering. After all, the Nokia Lumia 1520 was a 6-inch design, and that did run on Windows Phone OS back in the day. Could Win32 app compatibility come to phones too?
    I doubt Microsoft will deny hardware makers this opportunity, but they’ll need to use full Windows 10 on those devices, at least for the foreseeable future, and not Windows 10 Mobile. So we should now look out for any plans that Microsoft may have to bring phone features to full Windows 10. For example, the firm is going to offer cellular data access through Windows Store, and that means that ARM-based Windows 10 PCs are going to include SIM slots. Can’t they make phone calls? Why not?
    This is a nice out for those of us still in mourning for Windows phone. There is a future there, a way forward, a platform that combines the best of what we love with this best of what we need. And that platform is not Windows phone. It is Windows 10.
    Huzzah." What Microsoft is doing is indirectly competing against Android and IOS. Notice how Microsoft is only going to support 6 inch category 'phablets' that does phone calls. Not 7 inch, not 8 inch or 9 inch. Only 6 inch devices. They will have Esim technology as well and everything. This indirect competition from Windows worked, it made Android tablets irrelevant to anybody and OEMs, iPads continued to decline, introduction of the iPad Pro, Pixel C where it was thought to be vision as a future of personal computing (failed at it massively) it got Windows Tablets to have 16% of market share and increasing and a highly profitable market that Android currently suffers. The situation with X86 on ARM is similar to the transition from 32 bit to 64 Bit. Where as more 64 bit computers continued to sell more, more developers started to develop for 64 bit PCs, to take advantage of the hardware. The same case is for Win32 to UWP. The lack of X64 apps is a strategic (and technical) move for Microsoft and Qualcomm as a way to have developers use UWP to take advantage of the hardware found, as UWP works on 64/32 bit, ARM and X86 natively.
    Satya Nadella is a VERY smart man. Banked 26 Billion on LinkedIn, because he knows the future of CRM, caused Salesforce to have a fit and claim monopoly, Microsoft got away with and not share LinkedIn trove of data. They undermined the whole PC Gaming industry because of UWP/DX12 and Windows 10's 400 million people and growing.
  • Microsoft is clearly aiming in the next decade of mobile. This isn't a short term plan for them. This is a long term bet. maybe 5 years. as more ARM devices are on sales, likely in the hundreds of millions ARM PCs. More developers using UWP to take advantage of hardware, more UWP apps developed and can be scaled down to a 6 inch device, more applications for Windows 10 'pocket PCs', all while they increase their market share because of PC OEMs and their link to PC software.
  • I agree. MS is the company innovating for the future here. As odd as that sounds. MS see's a future in enterprise where more and more consumers will cross over and meld together. MS has a enterprise strategy and it just so happens to attract some consumers as a bonus. So if you judge there success based on the consumer side, of course it looks like a failure. Truth is, MS is kicking butt with their new strategy. It is Apple that is not innovating and Google is focused on their own Ad revenue strategy with free services (as they should be), so this is wide open for MS. MS isn't dominating anywhere, but look at which holes they have stuck their fingers into and you will get the big picture. This article is clearly written by someone who has no vision of where things are going. Sorry Jerry.
  • [b]not sure why. Windows phone wasn't a bad mobile OS at all[/b] True, think WP is intuitive and robust.
    Tough to beat an OS which has crazy millions of people working on it for free.
    Security be damned, let it just work.
    Object based programming makes it "easy" to do just about anything. Command line correction/ proofing
    is near impossible however.
    Many many things can be hid in Objects, not all good and/or stable.
    But I digress.
  • "Windows phone wasn't a bad mobile OS at all" I think you're confusing a very well designed OS with a not bad mobile OS at all. Windows Phone had an excellent UI design. But the OS as a whole was a disaster of lack of functionality (though fans of stock Android might not find much of a difference, I admit).
  • This article is dribble from what can only be described as a Microsoft troll. I usually will never, ever bash an article directly because writers are entitled to their opinions and can't please everyone. But the opinions spewed in this article are so misguided and uninformed I had to say something. *a note to the uneducated on Microsoft reading this - do your homework and don't trust this article, a few quick google searches will give you correct information*
  • The Microsoft trolls have almost always been right the last decade. Predicting Microsoft is going to fail, especially when ARM is involved, isn't all that risky.
  • Great article Jerry. You've got a good read on the consumer marketplace. Next few years will tell the tale for sure. Keep um coming!
  • Which is exactly what is wrong with the article. MS is not going after the consumer market any longer. The only consumers they want are the ones who integrate their personal devices at work, loaded with MS Android Apps, running on their enterprise cloud services, paid for by the companies. Ever seen a Surface ad? It always takes place in business, education, or entrepreneur/productive background, which is to say, they don't give two shakes about if you can play your kids old 32bit games on it or not. Some of you are clueless as to what MS is really doing.
  • Which is basically what this article if saying. If Microsoft abandons the consumer market, enterprise won't last that long. Innovation in the consumer space will trickle into enterprise as well.
  • You are kidding right? The consumer market is low margin and many companies avoid it all together. There are HUGE enterprise tech companies that 95% of consumers have never even heard of. Enterprise has always been and will always be where companies make money in tech. MS has always been focused on it. They only dabble in consumer when they think the "worker drones" will integrate it into the enterprise side (like Bring Own Device). Apple has done good in the Graphics and Design (greay area enterprise) side of things and they are letting that slip lately and MS has pounced on it with the Surface with great success. Anyone who doesn't know what MS's strategy here is, might consider them failing, but those who do know understand that MS is on to something and very successful to this point. Being that it is MS, you never know if they won't do something stupid and shoot themselves in the foot, but for now, it looks pretty darn good.
  • I see there are several people here that are still living in the 20th Century. Wake up it is the 21st. The desktop PC and Windows has been losing ground for a few years. Chromebooks have been top top selling computer on Amazon for about 3 years now. The only place the PC is holding it's ground is the corporate world and gamers.
  • And you are stating the obvious because? MS isn't going after the consumer PC market. There is no money in it. MS is mostly an enterprise focused company now. Which, Jerry in the article completely sidestepped. Just like there is no money in Chromebooks for Google or the people who sell the devices. So you are saying the obvious. I don't see anyone defending MS for consumer products here? What people are saying here is that MS's strategy IS enterprise and the consumer products they do release are rapidly moving them way out ahead of Google and Apple. PC's do and will play a huge role in that. The article misses the point and you guys have no vision of the future. To write an article using the old "the PC market is dead and MS doesn't get it" argument is at this point a cheap shot at MS and Jerry should know better.
  • "MS is mostly an enterprise focused company now." Like Blackberry?
  • "Chromebooks have been top top selling computer on Amazon for about 3 years now." Hey look, another person who doesn't know that the USA is ONE country and NOT the World. Here's a hint for you: US Amazon sales mean sh*t in the GLOBAL market. Chromebooks are not the top selling computer worldwide. Not even in Google's wettest dreams.
  • I think that windows has to be rebuilt completely from its core. Its a years old system, which needs constantly installing drivers, reboots, even today i get some of those error messages like 10 years ago.
    for me, after last 8 years on linux and some time on mac, windows is still a pain in the ass.
  • Windows RT was acutally quite lean and smooth on a 2GB RAM tegra 4 device like the Surface 2. I think these devices are just an updated Windows RT with win32 files. Look at the Photoshop demo. On a Snapdragon 820 4GB RAM processor, with Windows 10 Enterprise, the device ran very impressively.
  • Arm may have been a bad idea 6 years ago but I'm sure their only reason to bring it back is because it works great if done correctly. Same thing with mobile which is why they keep pushing. People say their different but who say that consumers that nearly have tunnel vision on nearly everything. I myself and a consumer but I definitely work with many products of tech and learn everyday and I keep an open mind. Microsoft is my go to but I love my V20 because I got tired of Apple and Microsoft didn't have the features I wanted. Microsoft pushes not because of desperation but they know they have damn good tech but consumers never think about who runs a company. Look at Apple Steve Jobs did amazing and the guys who took over nearly bankrupted the company Steve comes back asks Bill Gates for help. So that's two part Jobs did better for Apple and Microsoft helped Apple back on its feet cos competition is healthy. Microsoft is far from desperate. Research a little more guys and that's directed at everyone.
  • Microsoft has never understood that small touchscreen devices and large screen, mouse and keyboard driven devices need different UI paradigms. Remember Windows CE? (Wince, what a great name choice!). A UI with lots of drop down menus, just like windows. Didn't work worth squat, but Microsoft flogged it to death. Then there was Windows 8, which reversed the mistake, and tried to force a mobile UI onto the desktop. Equally dumb, and even more quickly backed away from. Now this. Microsoft never has, and apparently never will, understand mobile.
  • You've clearly never used Windows Phone 8. It was well designed to be a mobile OS. It in no way felt like a desktop OS condensed to a smaller screen.
  • Great, but you lost me at the word "Chromebook."
    Nothing better, easier, or appealing about them in this conversation.
    P.s. my surface pro 3 is a great desktop, meeting laptop, and tablet when I'm wasting time waiting on the family somewhere...
  • And how many "Chromebooks" do you see in the offices? They don't get it. Your Surface was not designed to be a consumer device, it was meant to be productive in primarily a enterprise/work and creative environment, it just so happens to work well in being productive elsewhere, like your home. Which is why it does so well. Chromebooks are media consumption devices, which are basically throw aways. They are about as productive as portable DVD players.
  • And a few years from today, this article will be wrong on so many levels. :)
  • People told me the same thing the last time I explained that Microsoft would fizzle in mobile and move back to the desktop model. They did exactly that. Stopped making and supporting tablets, told everyone that an x86 machine that runs a full-scale Microsoft desktop operating system was a tablet and never again mentioned that they were the first victim of the failing tablet market. Oddly enough, when I try to say a convertible Chromebook that runs over 1 million Android and Chrome apps is a tablet, I get told that it's not and it's just a convertible laptop. Go figure.
  • Microsoft's too big to not come back, again, and again, until they get it right. It's a little on the "backburner" now, but they're too big. Big companies make it a priority, when they want to. With machine learning, and AI, the whole landscape may change.
  • Don't you think ARM-powered phones in 2025 could be more capable than ultrabooks in 2016?
    And if it were a less-than-pound laptop-ish peripheral (screen and keyboard), it'd be lot easier for average consumers to dock it and use it as a PC. (or, cast on a big screen and connect a keyboard while at home)
    Using a single versatile device, they don't even need to give a sh** about seamless cloud syncing thingy. All the favorite apps. files, photos, music, videos and what not are always there. I'm just saying.
  • Still, I stand by my words. Microsoft may not be the absolute future, but it promises to deliver. There's no point in becoming too negative about the development of things, especially because Microsoft is not JUST A SMALL COMPANY. They may have been late in the innovation front, and may have flopped with so many things a while back, but with the way they bounce back, I really do not see any sense in this article except an obvious preference for Chromebooks. :)
  • Considering my refurb LG G5 is a disaster, I'm bitter enough right now to switch to a Surface phone if it can run x86 apps in a desktop mode.
  • I'm one of the few that agree with Jerry. No one wants to run desktop apps on a 6" screen. I tried to run desktop apps on an 8" screen. It wasn't pretty. If you have to lug around a keyboard and mouse to use Windows 10 Mobile on a big screen you might as well bring a laptop or 2-in-1. People do want laptops and 2-in-1s with better battery life and constant cellular connectivity.
  • No one is wanting to run x86 apps in 6 inch screen.. It's for when you connect to a big screen with a, keyboard.
  • Which is exactly what he said. Read it again.
  • Nice polarising discussion here. I completely agree with Jerry. He is not dismissing Microsoft 's desktop platform. He is simply stating that trying to stuff this square desktop platform into a round mobile hole is not going to give them any mass market appeal. It may cater to a small niche market not more. I use my mobile device device (Priv-Android) and my laptop (Win 10) every single day. They are both indispensable. My Android tablet got relegated to disuse because the phone's were gradually getting more versatile for pretty much doing most tasks related to reading, networking, music and emails on the go. Where some heavy lifting was required or even a little work on a few excel worksheets the laptop was the go to device. I recently bought into the 2 in 1 concept and got a Huawei Matebook running Win 10. I chose it over the Surface form factor simply because the Matebook's weight (740 grams) and dimensions put it in tablet territory, thinking I will get the best of both worlds - a desktop experience with the folio keyboard attached and a tablet if I just had some lightweight mobile centric needs. The result : I find myself using the Matebook only as a laptop with folio keyboard attached. For anything lightweight my phone suffices. The main reason for this is the fact that Win 10 as a mobile experience just does not work. The touch UI is way too clunky and complex as compared to the fluid gesture based interface that I have got used to on mobile (WebOS -> BB10 - > Marshmallow). Microsoft still has a huge presence in desktop - the success of the Surface is not coming from the demise of tablets. The 2 in 1's and Ultraslim notebooks are simply cannibalising market share from desktops and larger laptops. The tablet sales are sliding because mobile devices are now available in a wide array of sizes and are more capable at delivering almost everything a tablet could. The missing piece in the puzzle is the convergence of mobile and desktop. Microsoft 's approach with this recent step as well as Continuum will not work. They are trying to move the desktop experience to mobile - this is not what is needed. What is needed is the possibility of a fluid continuation of the mobile experience to desktop. But this needs to be a supplement conduit without compromising the fluidity of the mobile and the workhorse capabilities of the desktop experience. As a concept the Blackberry Blend had potential but it was abandoned in its infancy.
  • I disagree. The tablet market has clearly changed. There is more people that want more productivity devices. We wouldn't have Pixel C, iPad Pro, Matebook otherwise. Not only did it effect the notebook market, but it did change consumers perception of tablets and demanded more productivity, only Windows 10 provided that. Hence the irrelevancy of Android on tablets, OEMs abandoning it despite having over 50% market share. and the decline of the slates, that iPads and Android is in, as they are media consumption based.
  • The long and the short of it is an operating system only matters because it is a platform for applications. Apps make money for businesses and productivity for individuals.
  • Hey Jerry what about Project Evo? Do you think it will actually compete with Google and Amazon?
  • Isn't Google Home struggling right now? Also Project Evo (Home Hub) is all software based and it will already run on hundreds of millions of tablets, 2in1s, PCs. PC OEMs can also take a screenless device if they wanted to, as this is all based on Voice. ARM seems to be the key to this as it's power efficient as Google Home and Echo. Microsoft's strategy is clearly more scale, where you can have a device with a screen that does echo functions or a normal echo-like device.
  • I'll be honest, I've rarely seen anybody using Google products. I've never seen a Nexus in the wild, haven't seen a pixel in the wild, I'm the only person that I know that uses Chromecast, when I mention Google Home to people they don't know what I'm talking about.
  • Either you live under the rocker you're not paying attention...
  • Everyone has their opinions but I look forward to this. I've got a Surface Pro 3, an Asus T100, and a Tab S2, guess which I use the least? The Tab S2. Android on a tablet is almost worthless still, it's an over sized phone with a simplified interface not designed for productivity or multitasking. The Tab S2 screen is large enough it makes most tasks awkward compared to my phone, making it primarily useful for Web browsing and media consumption, I prefer a keyboard/mouse over touch still as well. I have no desire to run Windows on something smaller than 10 inches, and I've no desire to run android on anything larger than 8 inches going forward. I look forward to some nice slim 2 in 1 devices with a 10 or 11 inch screen that perform better than what Intel has done with Atom.
  • Do you know why I like Jerry? It's because he isn't afraid to express his own opinion, even if the majority disagree. That's what I like to see. People sharing their opinions and others also sharing their thoughts. Also, I would prefer having an OS that's unified across all form factors, from a phone to my laptop. It's not easy but if somebody can pull it off, count me in.
  • Agreed And I think that's Microsoft's long run. To me it still makes sense... The mobile environment is really pretty unstable. And it is very hard to - correctly - stay ahead of the bleeding edge... Better to tend to your bread and butter... And dabble in the unknown. I'll go a little bit further... I think Microsoft's failure in the Mobile market is that it had a price tag on everything... Whereas Android was basically free and the culture expanded from there...
  • I believe it's also because Microsoft started pushing in way too late.
  • Well OEMs still need to pay Microsoft for making Android phones
  • Exactly! It's one thing to disagree. It's another thing entirely too bash, disrespect and discredit someone with a different valid opinion. That's social bullying at its best, or thought censorship at its worst
  • Originally no one wanted a Chromebook, most of us thought it would fail. I'm interested in one because I'm a nerd and want to play with it, I don't know a single friend or relative that has interest in one, they want windows. And as a former Verizon rep, a large percentage of our customer base looking at tablets wanted them to run the software their pc did, not blown up versions of the phone software.
  • This guy has lost his mind completely. Microsoft is not trying to run a full windows on a 6 inch device(phones). LOL
  • I think you have completely missed the point of continuum. What we do now is a headache. Multiple devices where we have to download the same app and login and sync on every device we own. Even then the app may not be available in say our car, or our android has it, but our surface doesn't. This new announcement brings us closer to one device to access everything. A scenario for you. I work as an architect. So I get to work and rather than boot up my desktop computer, i have a dock with internal egpu. i dock my phone to connect to my two 4k monitors (ran by the egpu in the dock), keyboard and mouse. I prepare a client presentation. Using a desktop interface. When i am done preparing the presentation. i look up directions to their office. I pop my phone out of the dock, take it to my car where Bluetooth picks up the still open maps app and automatically gives me turn by turn directions. My still open music app that was playing through my headphones in my office flawlessly transitions to my car. Basically my phone is now the brains running my car's interface. I take a call through my car's stereo while i drive hands free. I arrive at my clients office. I dock my phone in their conference room dock. (notice i didn't transfer their presentation to a thumb drive or a cloud service back at my office) i use my phone to make my presentation, using my programs. I didn't even close the program when i left my office. No longer do i have issues of, do they have the same program i need, or, will my thumb drive work with their set up. My stuff is ready to go with my desktop not theirs. Afterwards i stop at the library. Dock my phone, rather than use their unfamiliar interface. A library app pops on my desktop to use their services, search their catalog. I save something directly to my phone. Not a thumb drive. I then go to the airport, get on a plane. I dock my phone and have my full computer adapted to the seat back touchscreen as well as airline provided entertainment options appear on my desktop. (yes the library app is gone) Yes some of this will require a wireless connection to keep using the phone as a phone. The idea is the interface adapts to how I'm using the phone. I won't be using autocad on my phone screen for sure, But docked to a monitor and keyboard, no problem. I get full autocad. Something you can't do on android or iphone. Basically, you buy one computer that is your phone. Your phone becomes the brains that adapts to run on a multitude of different interfaces. No more separate computer at home, another at work, another at the library, another in your car, that you have to sync, or transfer files between. That is the headache we deal with now. Continuum has the power to download an app once, and use it everywhere you go, without downloading it over and over again to multiple devices, then syncing it with an account over the web. Notice you won't even have to carry a keyboard or mouse because the paradigm will have shifted and these things will be available at the destination = less headaches.
  • This. This is the future. Whereas Jerry wants separate OS and devices. (While he did mention cloud based OS that adjusts to the screen you are using, in the comments the article comes off as he never imagined this scenario. I don't know why he didn't mention his cloud OS thinking in the article itself )
  • Where I'm hung up on - is the cloud based OS. Simply because the cloud isn't stable. And with my limited experience, I'm still worried about corrupt packets... And having a secure OS. Cloud based apps... No problem. Automatically adjusting to the device you are operating, no problem. Can do. I understand that awhile back there were 'some' desktop computers that 'had' their OS baked into the CMOS chip. I was told that was for security reasons, don't know if they exist today. Interesting. Compatibility issues has been with us since day one. And proprietary systems will always make us stay with one manufacturer... I guess I've got some reading to do...
  • Some additional thoughts into what I shared earlier. I feel Microsoft is pushing a paradigm shift the same way Apple pushed it with the IPhone. it is hard to see why anyone would want what they are offering. The same thing people said when Apple released the IPhone, "Why would I want a $400 phone!" It's because they saw it in the old paradigm. A device to talk and text. Now we see the incredible benefit of that paradigm shift. I don't see this as a Microsoft only future, just as the Iphone isn't the only smartphone anymore. I would hope the multitude of secondary docks and connections I mentioned earlier would be universal for any operating system. After all, these docking stations are nothing more than a generic screen, keyboard and mouse. I see USB-C as the universal adapter for these docks. (I'm sure a wireless connection for cars, tablets and other yet unforeseen devices will also be an indispensable part of this paradigm shift.) Another example, I get in my car and dock/wirelessly connect my windows phone, my windows interface drives the cars infotainment system. My daughter borrows my car later that night and she docks/wirelessly connects her android phone. The car now runs on her android interface. Later, my friend borrows my car and he docks his IPhone. the car is now running Apple Carplay with his interface. I hope it becomes more universal, rather than the locked up Apple Car plays where I must have an apple device or the feature in the car I just bought is worthless. Imagine every scenario I just presented above adaptable to any available phone system. Right now, photoshop is so different between Windows and Apple, that you can't switch systems and still function. At school all the computers in the lab were windows. Made it very difficult to work in the lab if you learned Apple products and worked in Apple your whole life, If the scenario I described above turns out to be universal for any device, you will have people working in the lab on Apple devices sitting next to android users sitting next to windows users who sit next to Blackberry users. I hope this scenario plays out in a very universal way. it would drive greater freedom to choose whatever device works for you. Enough already with this proprietary garbage. Seeing how Google refuses to put their apps on windows phone, and Apple is like a cult, you can leave, but you are shunned and can't take your stuff with you, I see Microsoft as the best chance of getting a universal paradigm where all devices are welcome to connect to any station they require to get work and play done.
  • Google and Android are in a better position for this and have already started. Car Play and Android Auto use the same systems already. It is Microsoft that doesn't have a similar, let alone compatible service. The desktop interface is already present in Android and so are the apps. Google can make this happen just as easily as Microsoft. I do not think the future is a single device as PC hardware is dirt cheap and the cloud already seamlessly syncs your data. With Microsoft retreating to the enterprise, it is questionable they are even going for this paradigm.
  • This article is horribly off-point and bias..
  • As a counter-balance you can go to Windows Central and read an article filled with delusions and hopes and dreams. The truth will be in the middle, between the delusions of Rubino and the apocalyptic visions of Jerry.
  • I just learned that my married mother of two coworker does not have a "computer" at home. She says they do everything using their iPhones, iPad and Xbox. My 1st reaction was, "No computer? But it's 2016...almost 2017..." Then I took a step back and realized user needs vary. And it is precisely because it is 2017 (effectively) that a household might not own a "computer". Her iPhone has 128GB of storage. The $2,000 Sony Vaio laptop I bought in 1999 (my first) had a 6GB hard drive. Average user wants simple. For the record, they are getting a "PC" soon as their son will have to start "typing book reports soon for school".
  • How is having a fully blown windows 10 device in your pocket a bad thing ? The idea of having a device that portable to finally actually replace a laptop etc is just amazing . We have seen hp try it with the elite x3 and it's a brilliant concept. The author is clearly delusional, this is next level stuff.
  • I think that MS has got the right idea here. The only problem is their mobile experience. So for people that need it, why not use this emulation tech to allow Windows continuum to run on Android devices?. MS will make some money from the Android market and those of us who use older Win32 apps can take them with us to use when we connect to a different external display. Or we can simply use our lounge TV or office monitor without dragging around the desktop tower in order to use Win32 apps on the big screen. I think Jerry struggles to visualise what is possible from all of this. PS: I have wanted this for years.
  • I think, the article has completely missed the main point highlighting a very naive opinion without considering technical aspects. First things first, Microsoft doesn't want to get rid of desktop computing (I'm pointing this out because I read many comments with phrase 'Post-Desktop World') . Right now, Microsoft's prime target is to expand its space and make presence felt in all the spaces with one single OS core. Please mark my words, I use core because OS has various layers and you just cannot put same full-fledged OS on all the devices. With Windows 10 on ARM powered devices, what Microsoft has achieved is run that core OS on it. This doesn't mean that you will have exact same OS with exact same capabilities which runs on desktop running on ARM devices. What this actually means is that unification is now possible wherein further development is not very diversified which has a lot of advantages. Most common is UWP app, same code that can run on device family but UX is different on mobiles to tablets to PCs. I put forward this example because most of you could relate to it, but this unification is at the very top layer of OS (Emulation layer for the techies). There are deeper layers which are now more easy to build to introduce a feature across all the devices in less time and resources. Now instead of questioning each and every strategy of Microsoft (Best minds work at Microsoft and they cannot be all wrong, always), lets start connecting the dots. Microsoft has successfully managed to distinguish between tablet mode and PC mode of Windows 10 with the change in form factor. Microsoft is already working on next version of Metro Design Language and with the core now unified across almost all categories of devices, introducing form factor specific UX, which would give the developers a lot of options to present their apps (because we all know, it all started because of modern app deficiency in Windows Store) to types of consumers (business/power users and normal/common users), Windows 10 might succeed. So this concludes your baseless post, the people who don't want headaches, need not use their devices like PCs. People who want to stay productive 7 days a week/or whenever they want, well Microsoft is here to serve you. :)
  • I think we should wait for Microsoft .what is future plan for windows mobile right answer will get Microsoft
  • If you are one of those who still couldn't accept Windows Phone/Mobile was dead, the moment Microsoft emulated real Windows on ARM devices pretty much sealed the fate of Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Every model of operation will be changed, from the way we do things now, to a different way. Granted, I can't tell the future, but with artificial intelligence, and machine learning, even a complicated to many full blown applications(like photoshop), will be done, as easily as facebook. I'm sure that applications ported to, or made for applications , made for windows, on arm, will be decent(I know, too many commas).
  • Not everyone can afford to have a desktop, laptop, tablet and phone at the same time. Having a phone that can plug into a bigger screen and essentially run windows 10 sounds really appealing for those that just have a phone. I don't need that function in a phone, but I would love to see Microsoft hit the market with a flagship phone.
  • I agree with this article 100%. Windows will be a headache on mobile and people would rather buy a Chromebook or an iPad instead. Microsoft should step aside in mobile and let someone else have a go at challenging the worlds most popular and advanced OS in Android and the inferior, locked down and OS for stupid people in iOS.
  • Jerry has got hidden talent and he just showcased it in this very article.
    1000 shots to your intellect buddy keep it up.
  • The problem is that we already have laptops. I'm not going to replace my Alienware laptop with a slow phone laptop.
  • Completely different market. You're Alienware wasn't designed to run on battery for 10 plus hours while you carry it location to location all day. I would NEVER replace my Asus T100 with an Alienware even though it's vastly superior in performance, it's also vastly inferior on portability. Not to mention it's a $300 computer vs whatever the Alienware cost.
  • Jerry, I am a huge Android fan (Nexus user for years), but Windows is and always will be a presence and will be better than Android for productivity. I cannot use SAP easily for work from a cell phone or tablet (Android or iPad) like I can on a computer running full Windows with a mouse and keyboard and dual monitors.
  • Most of these readers whining about the post I think they are from the other camp at windows central who are used to being fed BS by Jason Ward and Daniel Rubino.... Thing is among all platforms windows have got the worst of the fanboys. You can find someone there saying android is bad and when asked the reason could say because it runs Google
  • X86 emulation is for enterprise. The future, for some, will be a phone that you can dock into a dumb laptop and run UWP apps and the X86 programs your employer wants you to. That sounds a much more solution solution than a Chromebook. I love you Jerry but I think you called this one wrong.
  • Jerry, if things had gone other way around, what would you say?
    If Google pulled off unified-OS that runs Android on the phone while it morphs into ChromeOS UI when it gets external display, it'd be nice, albeit just a novelty.
    My point is, continuum itself isn't really a bad idea at all.
  • Google is already working on this.
  • I agree the idea of working with a "desktop" user interface on a 5.5 inch screen doesn't make sense. However a user having a true all in one device does make sense. Google is already moving in this direction by enabling the play store on Chrome OS. A feature like Microsoft's Continuum may not be something people are asking for but when the hardware and software can make a concept "sing"; consumers will want it. If you told my wife(non-tech iphone user) she could dock her phone to a larger screen and get a seamless transition and work however she wanted on that larger screen...she'd love it. MSFT didn't pull it off, but somebody will...and if they don't Microsoft will get it right eventually.
  • I agree with you. Windows 10 is over complicated and will never be competitive with iOS or Android as a mobile system. Nobody needs office on a 7 inch device. I have a Pixel C that is wonderful, but when it comes to "in hand feel" I prefer my iPad mini. The Pixel is too big. Most average consumers are going to a big phone rather than a tablet. They want their big phone to do what tablets do, not what PCs do. I'd love to see windows competitive, but the can't do it by selling a 5.5 inch phone running Windows 10. BTW I HATE windows 10. It's awful. I still run 7 on my laptop and it's what we use at work. When I'm not at work or home, it's iOS or Android for me.
  • Lenovo Yoga Book. Perfect example of a device that would benefit from Windows running on ARM.
  • Microsoft brought about the death of the desktop cash cow they first captured then butchered their own market through DRM
    Their market relied on innovation by users who added pieces and changed pieces regularly, which drove innovation, I used to build and modify my own PC's regularly adding and changing bits from one pc to another but I don't bother now because windows will refuse to work when I swop several bits. Anyone who ever spent time trying to get windows reactivated by phone will realise it is a costly and pointless exercise both in time and money admittedly it was many years ago when I tried but I was to phone America (I'm in the UK and at the time phone calls to USA were expensive) you're better off just scrubbing it and installing linux which is what I did, The desktop market is dying because of lack of innovation not because phones are better computers, in fact phones are crap computers and touch screen tablets are fine for half an hour of surfing but struggle with any decent applications. Desktops have stagnated now the one I have is over five years old and I don't bother replacing it because apart from an SSD there's nothing new that would make more than a marginal improvement to it and it's over five years old.
  • Did the same. I can't afford multiple licenses for all my PCs. I found Linux more flexible than Windows. I use both systems as I need MS Visio in my my day to day work. Linux provides all tools I need build right in, no need to fiddle with additional software...
  • This isn't a problem anymore with Windows 10. They listened to the masses and fixed it.
  • Windows 10 is good on the desktop environment, now on xbox too but for touch devices it's pain to use. Tablet mode? It's a pathetic way of controlling the OS, worst tablet experience ever! MS should stick with their desktop environment and whatever they have now, AR, iot but stay away from the phone market where they have simply shown total incompetence and mediocrity every time!
  • All these whining heads must always remember that whether Microsoft or Apple or be it Google, a healthy competition must always be welcomed. I am a Nexus user and I firmly believe that, Jerry has got it all wrong in this article. People are whining about bringing Android apps into the ChromeOS environment. This is something which was already present there since the time of Windows 8/Windows Phone 8. Programmers just need to import 6 packages to make their app run on all the current Windows 10 supported platform. Don't mix continuum with x86 Emulator. Just take a look at the UWP apps in the Windows Store. You would find App interface on mobile to be much identical compared to its iOS counterpart. So people in here whining about Windows Mobile App interface are failing to make any proper sense in here. I am a Nexus user but I own an iPhone 5s and a Lumia 930 as well. Android is great for a fluid experience and variety of Apps, same goes for iOS But Windows 10 Mobile is simply a breeze. It is slow, unresponsive at times. But they are fixing it and as I said, everyone must welcome a healthy competition rather than criticising it every now and then.
  • A competition is always welcomed, but in this case only two try to do their best. MS is not even trying on the mobile part. In terms of speed, stability, fluidity, windows 10 mobile is way behind WP8.1 when it should have been the other way around. No to mention that when the X50 phones were launched, this mobile OS was in a so pathetic state that even the worse beta of every other mobile OS was better, and still they had the nerves to sell it to the masses...MS is indeed trying, but trying to get out and they haven't found the way to kill the last phone OS yet, at least in a way that won't look even more pathetic...not like it would be their first time to ditch and run.
  • I'm all for competition but Microsoft have proved with WP and now with W10 mobile that they still don't get it along with the fact that Android is a way better OS, heck even I'd even pick iOS over buggy and slow W10 mobile. Microsoft would be doing everyone a favour by pulling out of mobile. Microsoft deserve to be criticised along with their inferior OS.
  • As someone that actually uses multiple OSes and on a daily basis and has to deal with the "headaches" of them I always find it humorous when people expound on the virtues of one OS over another. Also if you have been living under a rock for the last 30 years you may not know it but Microsoft is business-centric and consumer secondary. Businesses mostly use Windows now matter how much you cry about.
  • This ^^
  • Who told you that they are going to put whole Windows 10 in mobile with less than 6-inch? If they ever put full windows 10 in Mobile with less than 7-inches, they can enable it only on Continuum. Stop your whining!
  • Continuum is just one of the many technologies Microsoft is pushing. It is not the only idea they have for the future. On the flip side, they understand that many desktop applications are outdated and are therefore converting them to apps- just like they released the new Paint 3D app on the Windows store.
    Unfortunately, Continuum is a couple years too late. Companies are already converting their programs to applications - like TurboTax, so the necessity of a phone that runs desktop applications is less necessary. That being said, it will be a long time before the mobile Excel app will be able to replace the desktop program for my purposes.