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Microsoft’s Continuum doesn’t make a smartphone a full PC quite yet, but it shows promise

NEW YORK — Microsoft gave the press a probability to check out its Continuum characteristic on Tuesday, demonstrating how the corporate’s new smartphones can mimic PCs in the event you join them to a show, keyboard and mouse.

The corporate known as the characteristic “insane” on stage on the New York City press event, but after taking it for a take a look at drive I’d say it’s extra like a promising idea that will probably be reasonably helpful in the meanwhile.

But I believe that can change.

Microsoft has been speaking about its plan to create a frequent expertise throughout gadgets of all sizes ever since Home windows 10 was first introduced final 12 months. With Continuum, I lastly noticed that imaginative and prescient start to come back to life.

The entire thing is made potential by the USB Kind-C port that comes constructed into Microsoft’s new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones. The extra sturdy port makes it potential to attach the telephone to a Show Dock, which in flip has ports to plug in different peripherals like a keyboard. The dock is even appropriate with USB flash drives, letting you extra simply transfer paperwork on and off your telephone. It’s additionally able to full HDMI output, which means you possibly can join your telephone to a TV for high-definition playback.

Microsoft says Continuum makes your smartphone behave like a PC, but that’s not totally the case. The Home windows 10 expertise you find yourself with is considerably dumbed down from what you’re used to on a desktop, with limits like not with the ability to open a number of home windows on the identical time. Clearly, it’s additionally working off a telephone with a lot much less processing energy, so issues don’t run quite as easily.

As it stands proper now, I don’t see many individuals counting on Continuum in a very significant approach. It might be helpful once you journey, but you’d nonetheless have to lug across the Show Dock, a keyboard, mouse and all of the cords. At that time, I’m more likely to deliver a laptop computer. Microsoft says, “go away your laptop computer at work,” on the website selling the Show Dock, but I simply don’t see many individuals doing that.

But that doesn’t imply I’m not excited in regards to the characteristic.

There’ll come a day when a smartphone is highly effective sufficient to ship the full Home windows expertise. Then, I can see myself pulling out my telephone to complete up some final minute work once I get house.

In that situation, the smartphone turns into a bridge to ship the interface you’re used to on no matter display screen occurs to be obtainable. It’s precisely the “mobility of experiences” that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been talking about for therefore lengthy.

Continuum remains to be in its infancy, but you possibly can fairly clearly see the place Microsoft’s headed with this one. It’s an progressive idea and positively one thing to regulate. But for now, it most likely received’t be a important consider many smartphone shopping for choices.

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