Microsoft remains focused on improving the Continuum mode. Objective: to strive towards a continuous user experience between the different versions of the OS: smartphone, tablet, PC, holographic headphone.

Even though the next Windows 10 update will be centered on 3D and creative graphics, Microsoft does not hear Less remaining focused on a target: “continuity of experience” between different versions of its OS (desktop, tablet, smartphone …).This R & D work will thus be on the menu of the next updates of the operating system. The objective? Achieving ever-finer synchronization of tasks and applications between the user’s various Windows devices.

The cloud being used here, as one of the main binders between devices alongside an OS (Windows 10) designed as resilient and cross-platform. “Continuum mode remains a priority within Windows 10,” confirms Jean-Christophe Dupuy, director of the Windows & Devices division at Microsoft France.

The second update of Windows 10 is planned this year, after the Creators Update expected for April. A slide projected by Microsoft at its Ignite event in Australia on February 22 indicates that this second update (code name: Redstone 3) will be launched at the end of 2017.

Windows Mobile and desktop could still get closer

The continuity of experience between the different versions of Windows 10 was already one of the key evolutionary axes of the so-called “Birthday of Windows 10”. In this area, Microsoft has so far sought to better synchronize Windows 10 and Windows Mobile 10. To do this, the publisher uses cloud storage (with OneDrive) to provide access to files regardless of the Windows platform, mobile or fixed.

The OS also orchestrates a “multi device” broadcast of notifications (alerts, SMS, etc.). This R & D work will continue. The goal is to achieve seamless continuity of experience between editions of Windows.

Ultimately, the idea would be to go so far as to allow the continuation of a task begun on one device (for example the writing of a mail) on another.

The Elite x3 is the first “3-in-1” terminal for Windows. Designed by HP (in conjunction with Microsoft), it comes in the form of a smartphone that can be transformed into a workstation (by connecting to a large screen via a dock) or a laptop (via this effect).

To achieve a continuous user experience in Windows, Microsoft is working on a new track: a smartphone that can be converted to a workstation and a touchpad. The goal is to promote the emergence of a new category of the terminal: the 3-in-1 which would offer the mobility of a smartphone, the velocity of a tablet and the power of a notebook like the Surface Book, explains Jean-Christophe Dupuy.

Certainly, the scenario of the transformable smartphone has already been partly tested by Microsoft with the Lumia 950. A Windows Phone released late 2015, which, through a docking station, could already be connected to an external display, and with a physical keyboard and a mouse.


A new “transportable” graphical interface concept

That’s not all. At the same time, Microsoft is working on an evolution of the touch interface (so-called modern) of Windows 10, which could also bring a new dimension to the Continuum mode. This new interface (codenamed “Project Neon”) could indeed become a gateway between Windows 10 desktop version and augmented reality projected by Windows 10 Holographic.

The idea is to be able to manage the movement of graphic elements outside a Windows touch screen, in order to make them appear before you in augmented reality. “This is a UI that is transported between terminals,” says a source in the Windows Central columns. Textures, 3D models and light effects would be used here.

But the only problem:

The Windows Phone, based on an ARM architecture, can natively support the software developed for PC (because the latter rely on x86 technology). Windows phones are thus theoretically optimized to run only universal touch apps (Universal Windows Apps).

To solve the equation, Microsoft is working on integrating an x86 emulation layer into Windows 10. A brick that must allow executing PC software (Win32) on an ARM terminal, with complete compatibility in terms of peripherals.

Always well informed about Microsoft plans, this new product could be on the menu of the fourth major update of Windows 10- scheduled for the fall of 2017. As part of this optimization of Windows 10 for ARM, Microsoft has chosen to turn to Qualcomm and its Snapdragon processors. According to the Qualcomm, the first Windows 10 devices under Snapdragon are expected to be released by the end of the year.


Microsoft confirms a new GUI project

At the same time, Microsoft’s goal with the Neon project would also be to make the Windows 10 touch interface more dynamic and animated. This would result in a “very fluid environment, with many movements and beautiful transitions”.

The Neon UI could appear in the upcoming Windows 10 updates (Creators Update and Redstone 3), first through Microsoft-signed applications. According to Numerama, developers should be able to start using it in their apps from the next update of the OS (possibly baptized by Microsoft internally Redstone 4?), which will probably not be delivered, before 2018.

The information was partly confirmed by Microsoft during the Windows Developer Day held in early February. For the occasion, the editor said working actually on a relooking of the GUI of Windows 10, without actually mentioning Project Neon.

It shows the Groove Music application with a design interface similar to that of the captures published by MSPoweruser. In its commentary, Microsoft said it wants to evolve towards “beautiful and attractive user experiences on Windows”, and specifies that this evolution is part of the Redstone update scheduled for the fall of 2017.