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Continuum will turn your Windows 10 phone into a desktop PC

By Katrina Canlas & Ng Chong Seng - on 30 Apr 2015, 6:26am

Continuum will turn your Windows 10 phone into a desktop PC

In Windows 10’s parlance, ‘Continuum’ is a feature that allows you to move from one device to another with ease, as it handles UI transitions and adapts accordingly to the device. For example, if you are in tablet mode, the UI is optimized for touch; and if you dock it to a keyboard, it surfaces UI elements that are more suitable for a keyboard and mouse. And vice versa.

But what happens if you’ve a phone? At the Build developer conference, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of the Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore, who is also in charge of Windows Phone, has just demoed something that other manufacturers have tried in the past, but have always failed - and that’s turning a phone into a desktop.

In a nutshell, when a phone running Windows 10 is connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, Continuum kicks in, and the UI becomes more desktop-like, with the phone’s Start screen replacing the desktop’s Start menu at the bottom left corner. In his demo, Belfiore got the PowerPoint and Excel universal apps up and running, complete with desktop tools like copy and paste and task switching. And remember, since the device is connected to a keyboard and mouse, edits can be done with them instead of you struggling with a small smartphone screen.

Continuum for phones isn't great just from a productivity standpoint. Imagine connecting your phone to a TV in a hotel room and it becomes your entertainment and gaming hub. That's one less Chromecast or Apple TV to bring on your holidays.

According to Belfiore, Continuum for phones require new hardware that can drive dual screens, which basically confirms one of the tentpole features in the certainly-coming-but-still-unannounced Lumia flagship.

Color us impressed.