For an ecosystem that is supposedly dead on the vine it seems new Windows 10 Mobile based devices are getting some air time over in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress 2016 (MWC16).
Now, I don’t agree with the whole Windows Phone is Dead line of thinking because in my opinion it is hibernating and dormant right now and I said as much earlier this month.
Dormant and hibernating ecosystems need slow feeding to last through the lean months and the Windows Phone 1%, or whatever the percentage is at these days, is getting that trickle of nourishment in the form of brand new Windows 10 Mobile handsets being unveiled over at MWC16.
Our former protagonist here on the SuperSite, Paul Thurrott, made a great correlation to this over on Petri earlier today talking about the OEMs, Windows phone mobile devices and Microsoft's absence from the mobile focused event:
“They no longer see Windows phones as phones. Instead, these devices are simply highly portable and ever-connected mini-PCs that can connect to legacy back-end systems and be transformed into highly-managed PC-like devices when docked with a screen, keyboard and mouse. Oh, and they can be used like a phone when needed too.”
This goes right along with the current trends in the computing industry as well – you know – the Post PC Era everyone talks about.
People are doing more and more on smaller devices such as mobile devices (phones) and small form factor tablets (really small PCs basically) in the 7 to 10-inch device range. This is exactly why we are seeing more OEMs coming out with the convertible/2 in 1 style hardware as well.
The one device announced so far at MWC16 that really feeds the ecosystem is the new HP Elite x3.
If you give someone the ability to be productive by allowing them to connect a mobile keyboard and maybe even a mouse to this style of hardware, then it gives many users exactly what they want.
Simplicity, convenience and real portability.
I know not everything announced at MWC16 is coming to the United States but there is an entire world out there that are looking for cost effective ways to do their computing and many of these mid to low end devices will fill those gaps.
One trend I am also noticing in these new product announcements is the offer of cellular connectivity that enhances the usability of these small form factor devices when a user is not in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Include this on a device that can now double not only as a solid productivity device but also as a phone and you have the best of both worlds.
Now, for me and I am sure many of you, using a 7 to 10-inch device as a phone is not the most ergonomic of usage scenarios but hey pair a Bluetooth headset with that device and you are on your way.
You can see all of the Windows 10 related devices that have been announced at MWC16 so far by visiting a new blog post from Microsoft's Terry Myerson on the Windows Experience Blog.