Lachlan Smith



Revisiting Microsoft's Commitment to Mobile


April 16, 2017

April 2017 is now upon us and Microsoft have kept fairly mum on their Windows 10 Mobile strategy. With the creators update set to release for mobile later this month we still do not have any new high end handsets appearing on the horizon.

Back in July last year I wrote about how April puts Microsoft in a good position for engineering a completely new device from scratch. It is now April, so where are our new devices? But with not any significantly update to Windows 10 mobile for the creators update, could we imply Microsoft are working on a different strategy?

During last December Microsoft made a very curious upload to  YouTube demonstrating a Windows 10 desktop running on a Qualcomm 835 dev kit with full Win32 app support.

Could this mean the Windows phone we were meant to get in April is waiting on general availability of Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors. Infact Samsung have been hoarding the chips for the Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone which was recently announced.

It would seem from this that Microsoft's convergence strategy relies on all devices being able to run Win32 apps. Continuum and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 give Microsoft the ability to leverage Win32 in a category where ecosystem is key to consumer adoption.

Surprisingly Samsung has made the biggest convergence splash of late with the introduction of Dex on the Galaxy S8. Dex offers continuum like desktop computing which supports windowed Android apps including Microsoft's Office suite for Android. A device which offers continuum with support for full Win32 apps via centennial app bridge is likely to turn heads and pique interest. The question is then whether more ISVs are going to package their Win32 apps on the Windows store to support these new classes of devices or will they continue to shun the Windows store.

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