Windows 10 Continuum and the future of desktop computing

Windows 10 Continuum and the future of desktop computing

Another very unique device that was announced today at IFA2015 was the Acer Jade Primo. It was described as the first PC phone by Acer CEO Jason Chen and it takes advantage of the Continuum features that are built into Windows 10.

We have seen Continuum demoed by Microsoft at major conferences this year however, just like the lack of a retail USB webcam that supports Windows Hello, the hardware has been missing in action since the launch of Windows 10.

The idea behind Continuum is that your smart phone, through use of a dock to connect it to desktop peripherals, will allow you to have desktop levels of productivity while using your phone as your computer.  Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps mean the experience of using apps on your Windows 10 Desktop or your Continuum compatible smart phone docked or undocked should be seamless and nearly the same experience.

See our feature on Duolingo for an example of
this between a desktop and smart phone

I have said for some time that the future of computing is a docked world. Whether that is a smart phone with Continuum or a tablet such as the Surface Pro 3, at some point in the future we will walk into our homes/offices and slide those devices into a dock that connects us to all of our networked resources.

Time to leave for work or head to a meeting? Slide the phone or tablet out of the dock and head off. Wireless networking will keep you connected and make sure you have access to those important documents which you stored in the cloud.

Once you are home or the meeting is complete then it is back to the dock and being reconnected to your physical peripherals.

As you might imagine it will take new hardware to pull this off on the smart phone side and the Jade Primo appears to have those kind of chops although serious details such as memory and storage capabilities were not shared at the Acer briefing today.

Here are the specs I was able to pull from the live stream video:

  • 21MP Pixel Rear Camera
  • Dual LED Flash
  • 8MP pixel front camera
  • Super AMOLED 5.5 inch screen
  • 100% NTSC color saturated display
  • Ships with docking station, keyboard and wireless mouse and necessary cables
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 processor

Another set of hardware that is expected to support Continuum are the upcoming Cityman (Lumia 950XL) and Talkman (Lumia 950) devices which are rumored to be announced next month.  A review of their specs shows they have the capability, including support for Windows Hello iris scanning, to be a solid work device both at your desk and on the go.

As mentioned earlier, the Acer Jade Primo will ship with a dock, keyboard and mouse with you just needing to add a monitor.

On the Microsoft side for Cityman and Talkman the dock, codenamed Munchkin, will be an optional accessory and according to speculation will cost $99 and uses your own devices/hardware to give it desktop type productivity.

Earlier I mentioned that Lenovo is including the detachable keyboard/cover with the Miix 700, a Surface clone, and now we have learned that Acer will ship the Jade Primo with its own dock, keyboard and mouse. These accessories will be included in the cost of the device as opposed to them costing extra as accessories like they do with the Microsoft hardware.

It is an interesting trend and I think a way for the OEMs to stand out and offer value compared to Microsoft’s first party offerings.

Could you replace your desktop computer with a Continuum compatible phone for your productivity related work?

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