05-18-2016 10:13 PM
28 12
  1. Vittorio Vaselli's Avatar
    This is the type of situation where "be careful what you wish for" is good advice.

    I think most people looking forward to running Win32 desktop software directly on their phone would end up being very disappointed with the resulting user experience. Most will end up blaming MS for again releasing a half baked solution, while ignoring that their wish never had a chance of being anything more than a half baked solution in the first place. I don't think that's a good idea.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat however.

    If I were an executive at MS, this is what I'd do:

    Clearly communicate that running Win32 based desktop software directly on very small and resource constrained devices was always a bad idea that MS never supported. It was just something hyped by the tech press. Even when we eventually get to the point where we can run desktop software reasonably well on a high-end 5" smartphone, we must not forget that Continuum spans all form factors. That means there will always be some smaller form factor that is left out of that vision (4" phones, smart watches, IoT devices, clothing implants, etc), making this an incomplete solution (at best).

    Introduce a technology that allows consumers to very easily initiate a remote desktop connection to any other device registered on their MS account. If the device you're connecting to isn't already powered-on, it would be on-demand through your MS account. This would make any software installed on your tablet/laptop/desktop/server potentially accessible to any other W10(M) device, including your phone. This solves the problem you want solved (running Win32 based desktop software on a phone) while sidestepping all the drawbacks (uncontrollable battery drain, poor performance, not scaling to smaller devices, etc).

    Last but not least, this setup works for any software (including CAD, video production, and most importantly, Crysis), and not just the select few that smartphones are currently able to cope with (banking and accounting... yawn), meaning it's a solution that can always work, as opposed to just some of the time.

    I imagine the technology would be based on some evolved/simplified/streamlined version of App-V. This would allow consumers to synchronize such evolved App-V instances to the cloud.

    A synchronized App-V instance would make remote desktop access a highly available and reliable feature (it would work even if your kids unplug your computer at home, or if your home is susceptible to power outages), and also make it accessible to people who aren't comfortable letting MS turn on their computers automatically over the internet.

    This would also be helpful for people who's phone is their sole computing device, as they'd be able to setup such a App-V instance directly through their MS account and not require a PC at all.

    I imagine this could be offered for a few bucks a month per App-V instance, or be included in the Office 365 subscription.

    There are a ton of other things MS could do with a setup like this:Package the whole thing as a Windows Server feature so corporations could offer the same capabilities for their own software on their own networks for their private corporate user accounts.

    • Allow users to contribute their computing resources to the App-V network, which MS would use to run other people's App-V instances (nothing would ever get installed on your machine), which would in turn allow you to access your own hosted App-V instances for an equal amount of time for free.
    • etc
    I see two problems:

    -Internet reliability: internet is not everywhere, there will be latence and disconnections.
    -No advantages over iOS and Android: this solution can be used on every mobile device, is not exclusive to windows mobile and Microsoft would lose the potential advantage represented by millions of win32 programs.
    05-09-2016 06:35 AM
  2. a5cent's Avatar
    Internet reliability: internet is not everywhere, there will be latence and disconnections.
    As I already stated, MS isn't expecting you to use Continuum, or any other desktop like functionality (like a remote desktop connection) from your phone without a large monitor and a mouse + keyboard! That is how Win32 applications were designed to work, and it's how UWP apps when projected onto a >8" display are designed to work. MS simply expects that infrastructure to be available when doing that sort of thing.

    Why is it then not obvious that the "internet not being everywhere" is an irrelevant argument. You won't find a big monitor with a mouse + keyboard in the middle of the desert either. Wherever you can find that type of infrastructure, it's definitely not to much to expect WiFi or a 4G cellular connection to also be available. I don't quite see why this is such a popular misconception.

    Furthermore, Win32 software is typically quite heavy and complex, so in a lot of scenarios having a remote PC do the heavy lifting and just transferring the visual results via MS' lightweight RDP protocol will end up being the more efficient solution anyway. Having Win32 software run directly on your phone will pretty much always be a crappy user experience (insane battery drain, security issues, and most people will hate the idea of introducing the maintenance and driver issues we know from our PC's to our phones). It could very well turn out to be a recipe for disaster, rather than the savior some Windows enthusiasts here think it may be.

    No advantages over iOS and Android: this solution can be used on every mobile device, is not exclusive to windows mobile and Microsoft would lose the potential advantage represented by millions of win32 programs.
    Ehm... I'd argue that this is a very good thing! At least that way MS can keep more people grounded with one foot in the Windows world.

    MS considers Win32 legacy technology. They aren't putting much effort into it anymore, and for consumer focused stuff they are putting in absolutely no effort at all. In short, I don't think this legacy area is the place to really push forward. It's not what MS is focusing on, nor should they.

    The place to push for advantages is the UWP. Ultimately, MS wants every Win32 application to be ported to UWP. If you want to run desktop software on your phone, MS doesn't want you looking towards Win32 or remote desktop applications. MS wants you to have a desktop UWP app at your disposal. That's MS position! Everything else is just plan-B. Getting Win32 software to run directly on your phone is a plan-A type of proposition however. That's what MS would do if Win32 was their strategic focus. It just isn't.

    MS is far better off letting the types of computers that were built to run Win32 software run it. That's why RDP is the better solution, as it doesn't bring software that knows or cares nothing about the restrictions of mobile devices to phones.
    Last edited by a5cent; 05-11-2016 at 05:37 AM. Reason: spelling
    05-09-2016 11:59 AM
  3. kevin taylor12's Avatar
    This article is interesting! Gives us some hope if it is real.
    05-18-2016 10:13 PM
28 12

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