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The Challenge of Turning a Phone into a PC and Who is Participating


Microsoft Continuum turns a phone into a PC

Yesterday, in New York city, at their Galaxy S8 launch event, Samsung also revealed their new Desktop Experience or DeX. This is a feature which allows users to turn their Galaxy S8 smartphone into a PC, also with the ability to run Android specific apps on a desktop. Those apps reportedly require support for much larger displays, and if we are to guide ourselves after this initial presentation, the Desktop Experience already looks better than Microsoft’s Continuum feature, which does almost the same thing.

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DeX versus Continuum

Two years ago, at the at their Build developers conference, Microsoft revealed Continuum. This is their own take on this feature of turning a phone into a PC. However, even if initially it seemed like Microsoft was marking the beginning of the future, in two years, Continuum has not evolved at all. So, people slowly forgot about it. For example, some of the issues with Continuum had to do with Microsoft not allowing the users to make the apps fit on a window. Moreover, the company has not enabled two apps to function side by side. Apart from this, a very small number of apps on their Windows 10 Mobile support Continuum. So, in order for those to work, the developers must build specially-customized versions for their apps. And yes, most of them did not do this.

Well, when it comes to DeX, the situation changes drastically. Their apps will be compatible with the feature. Moreover, Adobe and even Microsoft collaborated with the company in order to make sure that their apps will work perfectly on the Desktop Experience and, consequently, on much bigger displays. For example, the Microsoft Office pack is going to run perfectly on DeX. It ran perfectly on Continuum too. Of course, it was their own creation. However, now it seems like Microsoft has given up on their desktop feature. People drew this conclusion from the fact that the company accepted to work with Samsung on a feature that would be in direct competition with its own. So, maybe Microsoft lost all the hope in what concerns Continuum.

Not perfect, but better than Continuum

Nobody said that DeX is the perfect desktop experience. And those who are expecting a similar experience with the one on a classic desktop will be disappointed. People need to understand that this is just an extension. During it, you can control mobile apps with a mouse and a keyboard. Still, they are still mobile apps which the companies altered to fit larger displays.

Apart from Microsoft and Samsung, experts are saying that Google might soon come with its own version of a phone-to-desktop experience. Rumor has it that Google is planning to combine Chrome OS with Android and create something special. As for Apple, the technological giant has not shown any interest in making their iPhones or iPads into PC, at least yet. All in all, we will see where this is going. Also, if Microsoft will give up on their Continuum feature, now that there is a new chief in town. That being Samsung’s DeX.

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