As a Microsoft focused developer for 22 years and a windows phone user, everything still feels like its held together by sticky tape and string at the moment. It works but inconsistency and sometimes show stopping failures just ruin it. As an example, Windows 10 Mail just stopped working for me for 11 hours throwing an update settings notification loop on two devices. No fast ring here; only the stable releases. Edge is all marketing and is slow and clunky as fuck still.
This is daily friction which kills the platform. They need to focus on quality before promising features.
That said, I am still a windows phone user. Yeah, there are no apps (even less these days, amazon and ebay actually pulled theirs from the store) but the UI is so neat, and i like to think having fewer apps makes me more productive.
For reference I went on a six month long hiatus after using Android for about two years and getting shafted by zero updates, via a Nokia dumb phone and now to WP, which was where I was before the android handset. Android on a mid range handset is a disaster worthy of it's own rant in a more appropriate thread. My wife is always complaining about her iPhone 6s random problems like audio disappearing and suddenly getting random impossible to delete stuff appear in her calendar from emails and the inability to easily move music around. There's an opportunity to kill this friction.
As for app culture, screw it. When I had a dumb Nokia I learned that it pays to use a proper computer for anything serious so I run the phone as a music player, a phone and casual email/calendar device and nothing else.
eBay app was awful. The android one is no better - falls over all the time.
The only downside was having accelerated graphics only available as pure COM instead of WinRT components, but even there the situation is improving.
It is there for Windows Phone 10.
One thing I've noticed is that the voice recognition is not as good as it was on the WP8 SMS app. I love that I can use it anywhere now, don't understand why it's taken a backward step in accuracy though
I am much more interested in the technical details of such technology. How are they doing this? Is it pure emulation? JIT transpilation? Does .NET CIL have anything to do with making this "emulation" easy?
But it seems likely, to my mind, that what we see today—x86 emulation on a Snapdragon—materialized because Microsoft wants to deliver full Windows 10 on a phone-sized device and Intel wasn't able to give them the necessary platform.
Emulation may be inelegant, but the video  confirms performance that would be "good enough" (oh how I hate that phrase) for many users.
.NET can already be built to ARM CLR bytecode, or to ARM native/machine code.
This is for apps where you don't, and quite possibly never did, have the source.
MS could have been there, in fact they almost were there, but they've let the mobile side drift aimlessly to the point were neither vendors nor third-party developers have any faith left in their mobile efforts. I could never wrap my head around how strategically MS could just let mobile go and not take the fight. It seems so integral to so many other efforts.
Another problem, is continuum really a good idea for anything else than niché scenarios? I have trouble coming up with use-cases. A laptop you can bring with you to meetings, on planes etc. With continuum you need a lap dock for that.. but then you have a sub-par laptop and a phone.
I guess if I were travelling it could be nice to just bring a mobile and connect it to a setup at a co-working space. But is carrying a dell xps 13 around really such a big deal? and what if I want to use a computer outside of the co-working space/office?
Then we have x86 apps on the mobile platform. There's been a lot of people wanting to see "Desktop" apps on mobile... I can understand that from a "continuum as a computer" perspective, if you buy into the continuum premise, but I can't see x86 software ever work well on a mobile form factor with the battery limits and UI challenges that comes with that.
So what is Microsoft's plan, now it seems they're just throwing stuff on the walls and to see what sticks. I'm a bigger UWP and .Net proponent than most, but I wish Microsoft would get their shit together and start executing across the board.
There's a bunch of stuff in UWP that could make the windows platform larger than the sum of its parts if you are in the ecosystem. Roaming settings/files, Notification mirroring and synchronization, universal apps, continuum, continue on another device etc etc. But it requires that there actually is an viable windows mobile that people wants to buy.
Yes, and this is exactly what they should be doing. In some ways, it is what Microsoft has often done in the past.
Remember Windows Tablet circa 2004? It may have been a complete failure, but it shows Microsoft was looking toward and understood the future. Unfortunately it came at a time when Microsoft was not executing quite as well as they are now (in most areas I'd say - up for debate).
Many comments in the parent thread are about how this will lead to 'sub-par' laptops and 'AR isn't good enough', but they aren't building this for today, they are building this for 5-10 years from now.
It may be released next year (I hope so), but it will take a while for interaction and hardware and possibly social norms to catch-up.
Yes, this is what Microsoft should be doing now. Try 1,000,000 things, get 100 out into the market, see what people respond to. This is what we tell start-ups to do all the time, and we suggest that big corporates should imitate start-ups, but then we bludgeon them when they put out an incomplete product.
In years of using and developing for WP, I've been baffled several times by how unsynchronized some of their actions looked from the outside. One thing always enraging WP users was that Android and iOS counterparts of MS apps received new features earlier than their WP counterparts, if at all. While the other platforms are surely important, it looks like even MS doesn't really believe in its own mobile platform.
I just never could get rid of the impression that one layer of management isn't doing it's job propery.
Regarding the WP apps though, I do find the WP OneNote to be better than the Android version.
Apart from the total disregard that shows for current customers, the big issue with that attitude is that it's fundamentally incompatible with the discipline and focus needed to actualy get the product right even 5-10 years down the line.
Poorly thought out, badly implemented compromised systems do not transform into great products. None of the parts of those half baked tablet computers from Origami and such exist to this day. The whole lot had to be junked when Apple showed everyone how it ought to be done. The fact that they had a half baked solution to sell actively prevented better solutions being developed within Microsoft because they would compete with the existing system. It's a recipe for mediocrity now and failure in the future.
You can't go dark and build a product for 5-10 years and then drop it on the market. While you're "baking" for years the market will change around you and you'll find that you built the wrong thing and someone else launched early and took the whole market with iterative improvements.
> Poorly thought out, badly implemented compromised systems do not transform into great products.
Sure they do. There's a reason people talk about minimum viable products and worse is better. You cannot build the perfect product in isolation. You build something good enough, get to the market, and keep making it better.
Disclosure: MSFT employee
Another counter-example. What ever happened to Myspace and Orkut? What did their first mover advantage buy them? A legacy platform that held them back.
Windows phone is an interesting example for you to choose. Do you imagine that the old Windows Mobile team would have produced an iPhone if they'd just kept working quietly? Of course not. No amount of baking would turn Windows CE into an iPhone or even the current Windows Phone. On the other hand, Android released super early when it felt junky, but they iterated repeatedly and eventually beat Apple in market share.
WP7 run on Windows CE kernel, same as Windows Mobile. It uses embedded version of .NET and Silverlight, both pre-existing. Even the touchscreen friendly UI language (once called Metro) existed before windows phone, the first product was Zune.
The only bits they had to throw out is marketing bits, branding, logos, that kind of BS. The tech however is an evolution, not "back to square one".
They indeed replaced the OS kernel while transitioning from WP7 to WP8.
However, they inherited the rest of tech things from WP7. Both .NET and Silverlight were almost same as in WP7, they released the new non-Silverlight UI platform later with WP 8.1 update.
Same applies to GUI design, marketplace and other online services. They even inherited non-tech things as well, i.e. logo and branding.
You see, at no point they were starting things from scratch. Instead, they released new generations of products largely based on the stuff they already had developed and tested.
Microsoft has never needed their first version of a thing to be fully basked in order for the product to eventually be successful. Ever.
I think MS's plan right now is to not have a plan. Many of their products point to them thinking that we are at a point where computers are making a fundamental shift in the way we interact with them (Surface, AR, this) but not necessarily being sure where the shift is going.
Microsoft has a folding bluetooth keyboard that fits in my pocket and is surprisingly nice to work on despite the size.
Keyboard, stick, phone, phone charger is just about all I need to be productive, and with a bit of arrangement I can fit all of that in carpenter's jeans pockets.
I think MS has several plans in motion but has been slow to get all of the moving parts in place. The Creator's Update and "Redstone 3" to follow sounds like some of those plans are finally starting to converge (now that the basic infrastructure is in place).
Sure in the far far future there might be feasible solution but in the meantime it would be nice if Microsoft had an idea of where they were headed instead of shrugging and going "well let's just see" :) They need to keep their ecosystem competitive to be positioned to take advantage of that future, whatever it is.
AR-glasses should be given to programmers and traders. What if AR-glasses could somehow be synchronized with what you're looking at in your IDE/editor? How about "diff-vision?" -- You could have a visual overlay that diffs the currently shown method/function with another bit of code from a stack?
I think the gloves are silly. Hand gestures would be a nice supplement to function keys. Heck, I could envision a bunch of good gestures that would mean less finger travel than function keys.
If it was somewhat independent of any particular tool, it's possible that I could diff faster and more conveniently. If I can do it 5x faster than with a desktop tool, then I would probably use diffs a lot more often. It's the kind of change that happened with git vs. svn: certain information became much easier to use, and so the way that information was used fundamentally changed.
I'd also use such a tool differently. Instead of going statement-by-statement or character by character, I'd want to see at a glance the degree of similarity, then transition to a desktop tool to look at details.
That means that msft must be working on some way to address this.
Possibly, they see continuum as a way to interconnect many devices made by their vendors?
Senseless Corporate Priority inversions are most often some combination of internal politics and/or money grabs.
I have trouble coming up with use-cases...but then you have a sub-par laptop and a phone.
People who prioritize for ultra light weight already have a "sub-par laptop." So what if you could get rid of the laptop? A large company that standardized around docks would make that possible. All large companies standardizing around, say USB-C connectors and a Windows ubiquitous wireless "dock" standard would make that possible for US corporations in general.
I wish Microsoft would get their shit together and start executing across the board. It's just sad seeing the mix mash of wasted potential.
Despite their huge success, such a statement could apply to Microsoft throughout most of its long history. I suspect that internal politics is behind much of that.
I think the problem I'm having with continuum is that it's based on us only using the computer in a few fixed places, whereas the good thing about laptops is that they can be used anywhere..
I agree that internal politics is most definitively the bane of Microsoft's existence :)
I'm still holding out hope for a "Surface phone" with a laptop dock. The dock would really just be a battery, keyboard, trackpad, display, and probably a few USB ports.
What about an affordable 7"-8" tablet that can offer windows mobile gaming(with an add-on joystick) and media + serve as a computer + serve as a media center ? could be a great fit for a the gamer niche, teens , and frugal consumers.
And a 7" platfrom is a great beachhead to encourage app development for 5" phones.
Which has Bluetooth 4.0, and will natively pair with Microsoft's Xbox One Bluetooth Gamepad. It also supports Miracast, so you can send Netflix / Hulu to your TV using Microsoft's Miracast Adapter ($50)
I feel like nobody is attempting to hit that market anymore in the US. As the income gap widens it seems foolish to ignore the majority of the marketplace.
I'm also pretty sure it supports keyboards. Attaching one permanently and turning it into a 7" laptop would make it unsellable.
WP10 as the main OS, launch Android in a hypervisor, which ARMv8 supports.
Speaking of tablets is entirely different, but microsoft already has the surface computer/tablet mix.
ASUS actually already tried a smartphone/tablet device with PadPhone, but it lacked the productivity angle that full-fledged Win10 would bring to the table. Also, I think the idea of physically docking the phone into the tablet is counter-productive, because it results in a bulky device, and you cannot use the phone.
A simple tablet that is basically just a wireless display with touch makes a lot more sense, and the phone can stay in the pocket. I also wonder how much lighter the tablet could be made if it didn't have to have a powerful chipset, and cooling for it.
Real men have mobile platforms.
Hopefully, it's not to far off now.
I don't think we'll ever see that with the Mac though unfortunately, and I suspect Apple would never introduce a cursor and windowing system into iOS either.
Performance-wise, the iPhones are coming into line with the low end macs, and Apple is in a unique position with the Mac App store and past experience with chip changes (Rosetta) that it is a real possibility.
It seems like a task that the Apple of yesteryear could have easily pulled off. I'm not sure the current Apple has the vision or ability to pull this off though.
Hitting the nail on the head.
It's entirely doable, but they won't do it.
I could see a keyboard/dock combo where one could drop in their iPhone.
I don't see Apple blurring the lines of mobile/desktop UX simply because the ARM chip now enables the opportunity but I do see them moving their macbook line to ARM for cost reduction and increased leverage over Intel.
My PC is configured with terabytes of slow storage, gigabytes of fast storage, a fast CPU, a fast GPU, and applications that need lots of storage and a fast video card and big screens. I'm unconstrained on size and power consumption and optimized for performance and my efficiency.
Meanwhile, my phone makes all kinds of compromises in order to be small and run all day on a single charge.
If being able to dock a phone is a good idea, why not go one step further? Make a watch that's your PC. When you sit down at a keyboard and monitor at Starbucks, it pairs with your watch and you get to work. Make the phone be nothing but a remote speaker, microphone, and display for your wrist computer. Your desktop is just a remote keyboard, mouse and display.
Probably not the world, but the customers I deal with, surely yes.
Laptops with docking station have been my work tool since 2006.
I too use a dock (or port expander) but haven't had a lot of luck since I started moving to high-dpi displays a few years ago. Do you have a laptop that can drive a couple of 4k displays?
I don't know if apple fixed the incompatibility problem with older thunderbolt 3 devices though.
However I am yet to get an employer or customer, having 4k displays, or allowing more than one external display.
To use the typical car analogy, it feels like designing a motorcycle that you can attach a second set of wheels and a cabin to turn it into a car. Or a second set of wheels and a bed to turn it into pick up truck. Or wings to become an airplane. Or a hull to become a boat.
All your examples sound ridiculous, because we know that there's no technological way to make it work well. But suppose there was one. Wouldn't you want a car that could turn into a monster truck, minivan, boat or airplane, if all of these actually worked well? Especially if it was all for a fraction of the combined cost of these things today?
My car is useful. An adaptable car would take more design effort, so likely cost more. I have no use for a monster truck, a boat, I can't pilot an aeroplane, and if I did sink or crash-land my car then I'm out one car that I have use for, and need. (Wheras, if I hire and crash a boat now, my car is still fine).
And I don't want to imagine the insurance, MOT, or servicing cost for a vehicle which has to meet flight safety regulations but which is also waterproof and which has brakes able to stop a full minivan.
Minivan, might have limited use - but where would I keep the minivan part while it isn't on my car? And if I had somewhere to keep it, I may as well get a trailer or a roof-rack right now to get most of the benefit for almost none of the cost, or hire a minivan for a day if I need to carry more people instead of more stuff.
A phone is always on you anyway, usually in your pocket. What disadvantage do you see from making it the "universal compute unit", so to speak, driving your tablet, your laptop etc - which then just become combo display/entry devices?
If you don't need a device in a particular form factor, then you just don't buy one, and the question of storage doesn't arise. People can make arrangements depending on their specific use cases - someone might do phone/tablet, another person might do phone/laptop, yet another would span the full gamut with phone/tablet/laptop/desktop etc. And if you think that you don't need something, and then later find out that you actually do, it's easy to add that capability.
Cost is not really an issue here. Phones today are already powerful enough to serve as compute devices for all desktop tasks for the majority of the users, so we're not talking about anything more expensive than usual. And those user for whom it is not the case - developers, 3D designers, hardcore gamers etc - can still have dedicated devices, where it makes sense (i.e. usually for a desktop and/or laptop).
The very fact that it's a compromise means it will be worse than each of the individual solutions, but it will enable something new - and I'm not seeing anything very desirable in this space to be worth the compromise.
What exactly the disadvantage is depends on the exact compromises made, but USB-C is a small socket, many more connects/disconnects will lead to failures. Wireless links will struggle to be good enough for display output. Losing your phone on a night out would be much more disruptive and render you digitally-stranded.
If it drives your tablet, you don't get to give your tablet to your kids to play with and retain your phone. If it drives your laptop, you can't lend your laptop to a guest. If it drives your TV to watch a film, you can't be sitting around with other people and receive a text message and glance at your phone like they can. If you're working on a fullscreen spreadsheet, you're not going to want to interrupt it for an incoming text - and now you have no phone to glance at.
In order to make it a universal compute unit you increase the amount of code on it - attack surface goes up, need for patching goes up, complexity goes up, room for bugs goes up.
So you have a phone which is small, personal and convenient, and you have an empty shell of a tablet, an empty shell of a laptop, and an empty shell of a desktop - all of them could have their own smartphone class ARM CPU for say 5-20% more cost, but without it they're all useless and taking up space and you can't use more than one at a time.
But you also have a phone where you have to fiddle with the software all the time when you switch roles - disable notifications, connect USB-C things, connect bluetooth device so you can carry on using it as a phone, plug mains power in, redirect audio out to be bluetooth only for phonecalls and system audio to go to speakers, deal with 'ok google/hey siri' listening so it won't fullscreen over your work...
And for what benefit? Where's the call for "I wish I was in a hotel carrying my smartphone and the husk of a laptop, that would be so much better than having an actual laptop". Where's the call for "I wish my iPad couldn't do anything unless I had a thunderbolt cable connecting it to my iPhone, that would be really conveninent". Where's the call for "I wish my main keyboard was a portable bluetooth foldup one" or "I wish I could take my employees' $400 laptop and instead give them a screen, a keyboard, a mouse, a mains cable, a port adapter, and a big sheet of instructions, and some more training".
I guess the disadvantage I see is that companies are awful at integration, awful at UI, and the experience on the user (me) is that many things related to connectivity and integration between systems don't work, much of the time.
The market that Microsoft seems to be after seems small to me. You already can do Chromebook like stuff with a phone and bluetooth keyboard and I do see people using that combination, just not very often.
What are the applications that have an interface that will scale well between a 4" handheld display and three 28" desktop 4k displays?
Your data is in the cloud (eg a Word Document in OneDrive on on Azure) and you can access it from a full desktop program on a PC or Mac, from an app on iOS or Android, or via a web browser on any device that has one.
This is a cross-platform vision that works both online and offline (unlike Google) and that ultimately doesn't care which device you use (unlike Apple).
Take a phone and plug in a bigger display and keyboard and mouse and suddenly it's a desktop computer. So a single application is going to need to cope with a 4" touchscreen display with no keyboard or mouse as well as a multi-monitor setup without touch, but with a keyboard and mouse.
Yes, it reflows. You use the app when it's in phone mode, and you get the full desktop-style UI when in Continuum mode. There are several demos online. See for example, from April 2015 (so it's surprising you haven't seen it before):
Windows 10 Continuum for Phones LIVE DEMO
Enhanced Continuum For Phones demo (Build 2016)
Only if it makes sense for that application. It doesn't mean that every desktop app would be usable on the phone. Or vice versa, for that matter; although it is much more rare for a phone app to not be useful on the desktop.
As a desktop user, Windows 8 seemed ludicrous to me. Fire up a 4-function calculator or start the weather app and it gave me a full-screen view. Windows 10 is far better although they still show UI elements sized for touch even though I don't have a touchscreen.
> It doesn't mean that every desktop app would be usable on the phone.
The base computer should probably be a watch, not the phone.
First, you have your phone which connects to a dock, which lets your keyboard and monitor connect to the phone. Now, replace the dock with a full computer, but uses the phone for storage. If you had these two systems side-by-side, could you tell which one you were using?
I guess that there is something to having your state be saved, so you can take your phone off the cradle, connect it to another device, and resume all your open apps. But the same could be done if the cradle is a full computer, and undocking the phone does a suspend-to-disk (remember the phone is the storage device). You'd just have to have that action integrated into the undock button. But overall, I think I would be better served by having the phone be the storage device for my desktop computing environment, instead of also being the CPU, GPU, storage, RAM, network, usb, and everything else.
India is mobile first. Most people don't have a PC, and may never have a PC.
As for the answer to your question: Sure, why not? theres many limitations to a small screen. If all you need is a screen and keyboard dock, then why not?
You'll get cheap "phone docks" at home, and it would be like carrying your brief case to and from work.
If it works of course. Big if.
Try they might, but it's not going to work of you don't have another piece of the puzzle i.e. Mobile.
Microsoft is so much out of the mobile game, no matter what it's gonna do on PC, it'll not work. The windows phone is dead as a dodo, and they've nothing to show on mobile.
It'll take extraordinary efforts to get their continuum working on Apple/Google walled gardens.
This will fizzle out soon, not because of the technical merits, but due to App Store politics.
They tried that more than a few times and failed. X-box worked, but portable music players, mobile and search would be things they pumped massive amounts of money into and didn't get very far with.
But yes, I would like choice above all. I am not a big Windows fan, but Android is really starting to annoy me and iOS (or at least the rules around iOS) is too limited for what I do with computers/phones/tablets.
Oh, if you mean US only then these other people https://www.statista.com/statistics/267161/market-share-of-s... say Google is 64%, yeah.
MS had time and again failed miserably to gain foothold in mobile, and failed miserably.
MS is like IBM in the 90s, it's past its prime.
If your data is in OneDrive, you can access it using anything that has a browser, including a Chromebook.
In my opinion, we don't need another platform to learn - you can see how many people agree with me when you look at how prevalent web > native technologies are right now. PhoneGap, ReactNative, NativeScript.
If Microsoft decided to focus on Edge, not as a token "we still make browsers" gesture, but with a genuine interest to innovate.
They focused on web technologies, providing native support for web within their operating systems. Support in ways other manufacturers haven't.
Imagine if their app store was a place where you could publish a progressive web app (along side their current apps).
How low would the barrier of entry be then?
Win10 (UWP) apps can be written entirely in HTML5/JS:
Insofar as the HTML and JS standards specify APIs, it uses them - e.g. you get IndexedDB, websockets, canvas, WebGL etc. For OS-specific things that aren't covered by the standards, you invoke WinRT APIs directly, but they're exposed as JS objects (and in a way that maps naturally to idiomatic JS - e.g. callbacks for async).
All this has been there since Win8. What more, Microsoft is also investing into PhoneGap, e.g. by adding direct support for it in its tooling:
so as to encourage people developing HTML-based apps for other platforms, which would, coincidentally, then be easier to port to UWP.
So if you're right, then this is already actively being pursued. But so far it doesn't seem to be having a big effect.
We could have a future where your personal computer fits easily in your pocket, you can carry it everywhere you go, and you just plug it into whatever monitor & keyboard & mouse you happen to be near by, whether it's in a coffee shop, at work, at home, on an aeroplane, anywhere!
It's almost kind of the return of the mainframe & terminal. Your OS & apps would be installed on your device, and your data would primarily be on your device but also backed up in the cloud.
This is one of the first computer-based innovations I'm actually excited about in like 15 years. Count me hopeful.
Man, I hate to be Mr. Pedantic here, but with mainframes/terminals all of the processing and data storage took place on a machine you couldn't see and (probably) didn't control. Which is the exact opposite of having the machine in your pocket.
When really what we're asking for is better OS and device support for peripherals. If an iPad had mouse support, I'd have little need for a MBP save running Xcode.
To be fair, much of the processing and data storage is going on in the cloud.
An I/O device is inherently a security risk because it sits in-between the user and the system, and effectively acts the intermediary between the two. That's a ton of trust.
This isn't a completely unsolvable problem. One could imagine a security system where an app using external I/O is opt-in, and even then given restricted access (e.g. not in the Settings area). But it's something that has to be created and put in place first, and there will probably be some associated user friction.
I use Android phones and tablets, but as long as they have non-free components, I will never accept the "convergence" paradigm. If I can't have freedom all of the time, at least I won't surrender it all of the time.
I ask because my perspective is that the convergence effort started a long time ago...perhaps as early as Canonical's original controversial release of the Unity desktop...and these efforts by larger players are more or less followers (albeit higher powered followers with larger market reach).
This being the case, I actually support the "convergence" paradigm...particularly Ubuntu's efforts but even from players like Microsoft...since I see convergence as a way of cracking open (to some extent) the walled gardens mobile devices have become.
But I wonder if there is some part of the Ubuntu Edge that was "closed" and I didn't notice.
Microsoft has a "legacy" on x86 that its open and standardized. Once it moves to ARM, all bets are off (see surface).
I wonder if I'm going to be able to install Linux on a "PC" in ten years
That's why I prefer to keep my phone and PC separate.
I'm not criticizing your decision, and it's certainly yours to make, but people (and also Stallman) draw such very strange lines of demarcation about this stuff.
If the firmware is written to flash once and then can no longer be updated by the vendor or the user then the firmware is treated as hardware, even by RMS.
>What is the boundary, in digital devices, between hardware and software? It follows from the definitions. Software is the operational part of a device that can be copied and changed in a computer; hardware is the operational part that can't be. This is the right way to make the distinction because it relates to the practical consequences.
>There is a gray area between hardware and software that contains firmware that can be upgraded or replaced, but is not meant ever to be upgraded or replaced once the product is sold. In conceptual terms, the gray area is rather narrow. In practice, it is important because many products fall in it. We can treat that firmware as hardware with a small stretch.
If you're doing free-all-the-stuff for principle, I think it gets un-comfy drawing the line at stuff that runs on x86 and ARM ('specially as your monitor probably has an ARM in it anyway). If you're doing it for security, I think you must strive for peripheral openness too, or you're mostly wasting your time.
I believe computing freedom is a right people should assert, and I should inform them why they should assert it, but I don't go as far as saying it's unethical to use non-free devices and/or software. At least not when non-free is more readily available and, from the perspective of the average user, more "convenient" than free.
Personally, I like Debian because it removes non-free blobs from the kernel (and I check the license on a package before I install it). But let's say Ubuntu was the only available GNU+Linux distribution. I would still choose it over Windows or MacOS because mostly free is better than completely non-free, and I would rather support Ubuntu (or Android, for that matter) than enable and give money to Microsoft or Apple.
As for peripherals, from a practical point of view, doesn't the type of peripheral matter? A monitor or printer (output devices) going rogue seem far less dangerous than a rogue webcam, for example.
Personally, I don't really care at all about RMS's weird definition of freedom and I use what's best for accomplishing my goals. But drawing arbitrary lines of "freedom" has always made even less sense to me.
Thunderbolt devices have to be approved before they can be used.
Though it is a good question that raises a lot of questions of what things we're using have source in them that we can't touch that we don't normally think about. I don't think I'd ever thought about firmware in a monitor or keyboard.
I do feel a phone/PC convergence is inevitable, x86 emulation on ARM is the future, and web-based mobile apps will make a comeback, but that day seems far off.
EDIT: I forgot you where talking about windows, still, if you stick to open source *nix stuff then you really don't have this problem.
Looks like this will run similar to how Apple got PowerPC apps running on early Intel Macs. Emulated just enough to cross the bridge to the Intel bits so that performance wasn't completely unusable. You could really run Adobe Photoshop, which would have been unthinkable if it was full emulation.
Question for this effort, is this Microsoft revisiting Surface Books that are running on ARM chips?
Not a great experience, but then again, touch input on the Windows desktop on the whole Surface line is occasionally janky when you have poorly compatible software, so that's nothing new.
Your data is assumed to be in the cloud, or on your SD card. If not, you do what we did roughly 20 years ago from (pre-smartphone) PocketPC handhelds: used RDP.
This was so much fun, you remembered to stick it on a ComnpactFlash card for next time ;-)
Did it take them more than five years to write an x86 emulator, or did they only decide to try this after Windows RT had failed?
If they'd supported a dev box (something like a beefy rpi3 with 2-4gb of ram, and ssd support) and sold that early for developers with windows rt a year ahead of the tablet/convertibles it would have gone much smoother.
They also should have pushed the .Net Core much sooner, and it should still be a bit further along than it is at this point. I do think it will get there though. The real question is will someone beat them to the punch.
I think ChromeOS and the Chromebooks are proof that this level of device is good enough for a lot of people and being able to dock a phone for a platform OS for most people is probably good enough hardware wise at this point. It's just that MS has always fallen short when it comes to quality control and polish.
Using any kind of desktop software on a 2011 mobile phone would have been horrible, even if the ARM translation were free.
I think maybe it could have, but the problem was that Microsoft believed the Windows Store and Metro was the future.
Internet of Things is and will be running on ARM CPUs, ARM GPUs, ARM Display, ARM Video, etc. Not having your major OS on ARM means you are behind Android, behind iOS, behind Linux, behind IoT and basically behind the world...
Have you seen Windows 10 IoT Core?
Some companies have already been making ARM microprocessors for Windows 10 IoT core for a while now.
This one for example runs it:
Both JIT and native modes of operation work. Hell, I can also build it for my desktop PC, and it's literally only changing the build target. It's phenomenally easy, so easy that I was actually a little in disbelief at first. .
C:\Program Files (x86)\
C:\Program Files (ARM)\
C:\Program Files (x86)\
C:\Program Files (ARM)\
C:\Program Files (ARM64)\
As someone in my office just said: "This is like saying 'of course shoes need laces'".
I was actually fine with a chromebook a couple years ago, but couldn't get it to work with the VPN at work... So went back to an mbp. A lot of people do fine with this level of device (hence the chromebooks). I think the real shift will be in terms of integration without friction, which MS has a poor track record of, and most developers in general do poorly with.
Who knows though.
There are probably about 1000 apps that MS would need to make sure are in their own app store for any new Surface Phone to survive, plus continuum, plus "something else".
I personally think they need to dump the tiles and mimic the UX of iOS/Android and just admit that's what people like and are comfortable with.
Perhaps they are aiming for productivity based use that requires windows toolsets? Sort of like a Bring Your Own Work Device to work that will inherently tie the worker beyond the office?
I think bouncing off on your idea of the windows phone, it'd be a crazy win if you at the end of the day, you didn't have to carry a big laptop bag, but you could carry it in your back pocket.
maybe we don' even need monitors or keyboards. it could be VR or AR even....!
Windows Phone was always smoother, just suffered from absolute shit app store and no clear commitment to devices.
Intel cancelled their smartphone x86 chip in April.
Perhaps they'll re-enter the smartphone market but it's unlikely to be anytime soon.
It's then just a matter of apps. If that's dev once for all Win 10, then the future looks bright.
I hope Android provide an equivalent thing. For me a simple dual boot of e.g. an Ubuntu read-only image stored in the SD card or similar would be enough for my needs, if MHL/HDMI-Out, USB OTG, and Bluetooth work properly.
Also, Intel did not leave Microsoft in the lurch: Intel left Intel in the lurch.
It made no difference at all to Microsoft, which already had Windows on ARM smartphones and tablets. It didn't even lose any revenue, because Windows is free on small screen devices.
If you're running Windows 10 on a smartphone with an Intel chip then you're potentially leaving yourself open to badly-written Win32 programs that can have devastating effects on performance, security and battery life.
If you're only going to allow UWP apps then it doesn't matter whether it's a ARM chip or an Intel chip.
In passing, OEMs can already make and sell Intel-based smartphones and tablets with free Windows 10. However, Intel-based phones like the Asus ZenPhone weren't successful, which is why Intel dropped the new Atom SoCs for phones and tablets....