New Dock Lets Windows 10 Phone Be a Desktop



  • A new docking unit from Microsoft allows a Windows 10 phone be used as a desktop PC. This seems odd, to me, since Microsoft has been supporting the Windows Phone so poorly as of late with their software going to iOS and Android so much earlier. It is a neat idea and I could see this really taking off, especially for casual home users who just don't want to own a computer anymore.



  • Why didn't @David-Scammell break this news?



  • I agree @StrongBad It will be interesting.

    Perhaps @scottalanmiller could just ship a monitor to where ever he is going and use a phone for the computer... now to make sure that things like RDP, Putty, etc work on it.

    Heck I want RSAT on there!



  • A monitor is the part that I cant deal with now 😉




  • Banned

    They demoed it at Spiceworld London during the Windows 10 session. Kind of old news 🙂

    They called it continuum back then.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    A monitor is the part that I cant deal with now 😉

    Are monitors not purchasable local? Granted $250 every month or so (assuming you move that much) on a new monitor might not be desirable.



  • @Breffni-Potter said:

    They demoed it at Spiceworld London during the Windows 10 session. Kind of old news 🙂

    They called it continuum back then.

    I was surprised he didn't call it continuum during this demo.

    Yeah the news was old hat.. but the demo was pretty cool.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    A monitor is the part that I cant deal with now 😉

    Are monitors not purchasable local? Granted $250 every month or so (assuming you move that much) on a new monitor might not be desirable.

    Yeah, not a good option. And no idea how I would buy one. There aren't exactly computer stores in the third world. There are Internet cafes full of 1990s CRTs and that is about it.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    A monitor is the part that I cant deal with now 😉

    Are monitors not purchasable local? Granted $250 every month or so (assuming you move that much) on a new monitor might not be desirable.

    Yeah, not a good option. And no idea how I would buy one. There aren't exactly computer stores in the third world. There are Internet cafes full of 1990s CRTs and that is about it.

    aww.. yeah, that's no good. So they have decent internet access, but 20-30 year old computers?



  • Yes, anyone with money brings computers in from somewhere else. Presumably you could buy them far away in the capital, which is a huge city (Managua) but out here in Granada we are very remote and you can buy almost nothing here. It's not like there are normal stores here. Even buying clothes would be a challenge. We were just discussing with a company here that they are unable to source faucets in the country and people have considered smuggling them in luggage from other countries!

    I am not even sure how to buy an apple here (the fruit) let alone a mouse (computer component.) Things like cell phones and Internet are solid because they are government infrastructure. But getting computer parts is pretty much impossible.



  • Most of the Internet is for tourists and expats who are bringing in computers from the States and Mexico anyway. Little need to sell them here. And everyone uses laptops because they traveled in with them. So it is a compounding problem.



  • And now Crazy AJ's makes a little more sense 🙂



  • Didn't Ubuntu conceptualize this previously?



  • @gjacobse said:

    Didn't Ubuntu conceptualize this previously?

    Yep, Canonical showed the idea off several years ago. I think I was still in college at the time. They never got the investors they were looking for though and the project died.



  • @coliver said:

    @gjacobse said:

    Didn't Ubuntu conceptualize this previously?

    Yep, Canonical showed the idea off several years ago. I think I was still in college at the time. They never got the investors they were looking for though and the project died.

    Because it just isn't a useful thing to do. It's neat but.... who would actually use this?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @gjacobse said:

    Didn't Ubuntu conceptualize this previously?

    Yep, Canonical showed the idea off several years ago. I think I was still in college at the time. They never got the investors they were looking for though and the project died.

    Because it just isn't a useful thing to do. It's neat but.... who would actually use this?

    Right, I could see some fairly limited use cases but beyond that it would just be for the "cool" factor.



  • Why wouldn't this be useful? You could have one device for your computer at work, then use it as a phone on the go.. and then use it as a computer at home.



  • The XL model is fully as powerful as many low end laptops. I see a large segment of people that will use something like this as a single device instead of having more than one.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Why wouldn't this be useful? You could have one device for your computer at work, then use it as a phone on the go.. and then use it as a computer at home.

    I can see someone thinking that that is valuable, but very, very few. What part of what you describe sounds awesome? I already have access to my data in those places. Unless I'm super poor and work for a company that is super poor and can't afford desktops I'm unsure where the value comes in. I don't want my business using my phone as my desktop, I don't want everything stored on my phone. The only people I see thinking this is useful are those that don't want computers at all and are looking to plug this into their TV for that rare case where they need a little more than the phone interface offers but don't care enough to own even a single computer at home.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    The XL model is fully as powerful as many low end laptops. I see a large segment of people that will use something like this as a single device instead of having more than one.

    The power I'm not worried about, seems plenty powerful to be useful for many users. It's more of it being an ARM-based Windows machine. The applications that people think that they want won't be available. It will be perfectly good for email and web browsing - so the question becomes, I think, how many people will want to use this for Windows Phone apps on a big screen combined with web browsing?

    I feel like that segment of the population exists but are already using their phones like this and don't often care about having a big screen to connect it to.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Why wouldn't this be useful? You could have one device for your computer at work, then use it as a phone on the go.. and then use it as a computer at home.

    The one place where I could see this being useful is for road warriors who sleep in a different hotel every night. Even that is a stretch though because you would still need to carry around a keyboard, mouse, and the docking station. A lot less to carry around then a laptop sure... but not nearly as convenient.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    Why wouldn't this be useful? You could have one device for your computer at work, then use it as a phone on the go.. and then use it as a computer at home.

    The one place where I could see this being useful is for road warriors who sleep in a different hotel every night. Even that is a stretch though because you would still need to carry around a keyboard, mouse, and the docking station. A lot less to carry around then a laptop sure... but not nearly as convenient.

    Right, that's how I feel. I'm a bit of a road warrior, I live out of suitcases and don't need very much computing power so, in theory, this would work for me, right? Reduce the number of machines that I need to carry around, lighten the travel load.... but does it?

    Carrying a mouse, keyboard and risking everything on a single device that I generally need to carefully manage its battery or start to carry lots of battery packs for seems to go from "what a convenient idea" to "oh, that's more effort than grabbing a laptop" quite quickly. Cheaper, to be sure, but more convenient is cutting it close.

    But this big issue comes in when you need the monitor. Assuming that you do need one, how do you deal with that? Travel with one? That's crazy, at least with current monitors. Laptops are portable monitors already, if you need very little power go Chromebook for $199. You can't trust that places you go as a road warrior will have working monitors for you to use, except in the rarest of cases. Hotels often have televisions that you can plug into, but not often in places convenient to use (like at a desk) and often, I've found, those televisions don't handle being plugged into very well or have odd resolution problems and everything you need is offscreen somewhere.

    There is going to be "that use case" where this is awesome. But I just can't see it getting out of the niche stage for a long time.



  • How, I'll step back and say where this would make me very happy, add in a wireless gamepad and I could totally see using this as a video game system in a hotel or something like that. It has the power to do this well. But I doubt that they have that ready to go on day one. But I don't doubt that someday that they will figure this out.



  • I love that they are trying out new things like this, that is great. And giving people the power to play around with this stuff and see what works and what doesn't and discovering how it might be useful is needed or else all we can do is speculate.

    But for me, just looking at this, even though I am a heavy traveler AND have light computational needs (I mostly am on web browsers, email, etc.) it is not a fit for me nor can I think of anyone for whom it would be a fit.

    It feels like the attempt is to move all of your data onto a device, rather than onto the cloud. Maybe here in the third world it makes more sense. When you can't afford a computer but everyone needs a phone and maybe you can get second hand monitors and it is just for home, not for work.... maybe.



  • I think the key mistake you guys are making if that it is for traveling.

    That is not now, nor has it ever been the point of a dock. The point of a dock is to give your mobile device (originally, just your laptops) a way to feel more like a traditional desktop.

    By definition then, to be more like a desktop removes the portability/travel aspect.

    This is for people that do not need or cannot afford to have a computer in their house just to use when they are at home. But yet still want some type of desktop feel.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    I think the key mistake you guys are making if that it is for traveling.

    I was following up on the road warrior suggestion, which isn't a bad one but lacks some things that make it difficult to make into an awesome scenario.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    This is for people that do not need or cannot afford to have a computer in their house just to use when they are at home. But yet still want some type of desktop feel.

    This I agree with, my question is what size is this market segment? Might be big or might be small, I don't have good insight as to whether there is much for this or not. I know some people that "might" consider this, but very few and because of the need for the monitor and stuff I think they would fall to "not" because they only want to use devices on the couch or in bed.

    Where I feel this doesn't work is when people add the idea of taking it to work to be their office desktop. I just don't see companies in any quantity letting or wanting people to do that. It would be an extension of BYOD, yes, and you could make it work. But it feels, at least at first thought, overly awkward.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    This I agree with, my question is what size is this market segment? Might be big or might be small, I don't have good insight as to whether there is much for this or not. I know some people that "might" consider this, but very few and because of the need for the monitor and stuff I think they would fall to "not" because they only want to use devices on the couch or in bed.

    I think this is currently a very small segment because there was not any good hardware for this. It could be done with various 3rd party components. Now it will be native and I think it (this segment of users) will grow significantly.

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Where I feel this doesn't work is when people add the idea of taking it to work to be their office desktop. I just don't see companies in any quantity letting or wanting people to do that. It would be an extension of BYOD, yes, and you could make it work. But it feels, at least at first thought, overly awkward.

    This is most certainly where this is NOT designed to be IMO also.



  • Although for a business treating this as a thin client could work. Although having an "always on your desk" thin client isn't that costly or hard and would be more reliable.