Microsoft almost forgot to mention Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile during the Build 2016 developer conference last week, and shortly after the event, the company explained that its smartphone platform is not one of the main focuses of the year.
But as far as CEO Satya Nadella is concerned, the one and only reason Windows Phone wasn’t mentioned more often during Build is that the mobile operating system is part of the Windows 10 effort. This means that when Microsoft says “Windows 10,” it’s actually referring to all versions of the OS, including phones, Xbox, and HoloLens.
“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,” he told BI in an interview.
As far as the future of Windows phones is concerned, Microsoft has no intention of abandoning its mobile push, and Nadella explains that Continuum is living proof in this regard.
Nadella compared Continuum to the Surface 2-in-1 device that was introduced in 2012 and that everyone criticized at first, but which is widely adopted these days.
“Just like how with Surface we were able to create a category. Three years ago most people would have said ‘what is a two-in-one’? And now even Apple has a two-in-one,” he added.
The plan here is to make Continuum a more popular feature by convincing more OEMs to adopt it so it can become a signature feature of devices running Windows 10 Mobile.
“And so three years from now, I hope that people will look and say, ‘oh wow, that’s right, this is a phone that can also be a PC.’”
The biggest challenge is not necessarily to bring Continuum on as many devices as possible, but to make it more helpful, as more OEMs would adopt it when they discover its true capabilities. For the moment, the lack of universal apps makes Continuum a rather limited feature, and that’s exactly where Microsoft is focusing for future updates.