Build 2016 – New Features for Windows 10 Mobile in Anniversary Update

Build 2016 – New Features for Windows 10 Mobile in Anniversary Update

Last week Microsoft spent a lot of time in its Day 1 Build 2016 keynote talking about Windows 10 and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that is expected this summer around 29 July 2016.

There were even demos on stage of this upcoming Windows 10 update, provided of course by Microsoft's defacto Windows 10 presenter Bryan Roper, yet there was no mention of new features that would also arrive on Windows 10 Mobile.

If you dig through the Build 2016 schedule there was one session that was all about Windows 10 Mobile and that was Continuum for Phone by Issa Khoury and Liz Threlkeld.

It was held on Day 1 in the Main Theater of The Hub. This short 18 minute session actually highlights a couple of new features for Continuum that will arrive with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The first will be the ability to project your phone screen and use Continuum on any Windows 10 device that is Miracast compatible and has Wi-Fi connectivity. No need for a wireless display adapter or similar dongle.

The second feature announced in this session is the possibility to connect an Xbox One controller through the Microsoft Display Dock and use it to play your games from your Windows 10 Mobile device while it is running in Continuum on a larger screen.

Here is the session so that you can see the demos for yourself:

So while these new features are no indication that Windows 10 Mobile has left hibernation mode it certainly shows that work has not stopped on the platform itself and two senior Microsoft executives basically said as much in the last few days.

Terry Myerson, the lead for Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, told The Verge last week during Build:

"We're fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it's part of the family but it's not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year," explains Myerson. "There's no lack of recognition to realize how important that form factor is, but for Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it's the wrong place for us to lead."

Then, earlier today in an interview with Business Insider, Microsoft's CEO said:

"First of all, I don't think of Windows for mobile differently than Windows for HoloLens or Windows for Xbox now. We have only one Windows. We don't have multiple Windows. They run across multiple form factors, but it's one developer platform, one store, one tool chain for developers. And you adapt it for different screen sizes and different input and output. But what we get ... I'm not trying to be another phone guy with the other person's rules. What is unique about our phones is this Continuum feature. If anything, we will want to continue to build that capability out."

While many want to connect these statements to the idea that Windows 10 Mobile is a dead platform, to me I read them as very straight forward.

Resources are focused across the ecosystem but there is still work being done on the platform as evidenced by this Continuum demo and the highlighting of two new features that were otherwise un-announced during the big Build 2016 keynotes.

That is the kind of attention a hibernating platform gets at this point - low key - and off the big stage.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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