1. hamphlet's Avatar
    Just finished reading an article in last week's Micromart magazine (UK). It suggests that as Intel have recently killed off their forthcoming Broxton chips, Microsoft no longer have a viable chip to put into a Surface Phone if they wanted it to be x86 compliant. Any thoughts?
    05-27-2016 07:22 AM
  2. Chintan Gohel's Avatar
    Just finished reading an article in last week's Micromart magazine (UK). It suggests that as Intel have recently killed off their forthcoming Broxton chips, Microsoft no longer have a viable chip to put into a Surface Phone if they wanted it to be x86 compliant. Any thoughts?
    It wasn't a viable idea anyway. By the way, the centennial project that converts windows applications to apps - does this mean they can be used on arm architecture?
    Guytronic, RumoredNow and aximtreo like this.
    05-27-2016 07:44 AM
  3. xandros9's Avatar
    Who knows, maybe they can stick a Core M into it. But regardless, the Surface Phone isn't going to be able to turn the whole thing around unless MS really puts effort into the whole situation. The 950, save for so-so design, was a fine piece of hardware let down by software. That better not happen for any soft reboot device.

    It wasn't a viable idea anyway. By the way, the centennial project that converts windows applications to apps - does this mean they can be used on arm architecture?
    No, it just repackages the programs to be more cleanly installed and uninstalled I believe.
    ven07, a5cent, jmshub and 4 others like this.
    05-27-2016 04:58 PM
  4. ogr8's Avatar
    Surface phone dead in the water?
    Not surprising really, even ip68 phones can have this happen.
    Perhaps the name 'surface' phone gives a clue of how where the device should be used?

    More seriously, Broxton chips were always too slow anyway. Something better is required to keep pace with Qualcomm based phones. Core M is getting close from a power consumption perspective, but is not quite there yet and is expensive for a phone.
    06-13-2016 09:19 PM
  5. ogr8's Avatar
    Would Microsoft enabling Android on Windows 10 help windows mobile?
    06-19-2016 05:07 AM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    By the way, the centennial project that converts windows applications to apps - does this mean they can be used on arm architecture?
    MS does a rather poor job explaining this, since they often use the word "conversion". MS doesn't ever state that Centennial actually converts the program, but some of their blog posts are very easy to misunderstand in this regard. What is converted is the installer-software, but that's not the program itself. That's just what gets the software onto your PC, which is obviously useless in this scenario since that functionality is now part of the Windows Store.

    The WCentral staff doesn't have the technical background to keep all that apart, so when they report on Centennial they always end up insinuating that the program itself is in some way being converted, which is just wrong. Like xandros9 said, "repackaging" is a better word, as in: "repackaging the program so it becomes compatible with the Windows Store installer and discards everything related to the traditional Windows installer".

    Getting this to work also requires some runtime support, i.e. repacked programs are launched "inside a software wrapper" which intercepts and redirects calls that would otherwise cause the program to read or write things to and from your registry, app data folder, etc. (which keeps all program related information compartmentalized, like any other store app).

    Edit:
    Just in case it's not already clear, no, repackaging software using the Centennial tools doesn't make software that previously couldn't run on ARM automatically ARM compatible... that's not really that big of a deal anyway though. Any software that is built using the .NET framework is already ARM compatible by default. A developer must do nothing more than click a button and wait a few minutes... presto... ARM compatible software. For other types of software it can be more involved, but even then often isn't.

    The far bigger issue is making such software compatible with the UWP APIs and getting them to run on devices that do not have any of the Win32 APIs (like phones). This still requires potentially a lot of work, often times a complete rewrite, and no, Centennial doesn't do anything on this front either. This should already be made clear by the fact that Centennial doesn't actually convert the software.

    All Centennial does is replace (a.k.a. convert) the installer, with the goal of making that software distributable through the Windows Store. No more. No less.
    Last edited by a5cent; 06-25-2016 at 05:31 AM. Reason: see edit
    06-19-2016 06:09 AM
  7. a5cent's Avatar
    Microsoft no longer have a viable chip to put into a Surface Phone if they wanted it to be x86 compliant. Any thoughts?
    The whole idea that the Surface Phone would run x86 software was never anything more than a rumor, invented and speculated over by the "tech" press, and then spread through fan sites like this one. A more knowledgeable publication/author would have reported more competently. At this point it's very clear that an x86 compliant phone was not something MS ever intended to design. I don't want to get into the technical details here, but I'll say that while it's possible to build such a device, marketing it as a phone (raising the expectations people have of phones, particularly in regard to performance and battery life), would have been a disaster. Any such device would probably be more suitably marketed as something other than a phone.

    Would Microsoft enabling Android on Windows 10 help windows mobile?
    MS is a software company. Their goal is to develop, control and sell a software platform. That software platform is called the UWP. A phone sized device that runs Android apps would be that fastest and surest way to kill the UWP at that form factor. MS are already shooting themselves in the foot often enough. Allowing Android apps to run on W10M would be akin to blowing their own UWP legs off.

    Many W10M fans (still an irrelevantly small part of the smartphone market) would like the app problem on W10M solved, and see Android apps as the best way to do that. I understand that viewpoint, but IMHO it's driven by the consumer mindset which MS just doesn't have. Selling phones is strategically irrelevant compared to the ability to further the UWP.
    Last edited by a5cent; 06-19-2016 at 06:33 AM. Reason: spelling
    06-19-2016 06:20 AM
  8. ogr8's Avatar
    To be clear, it almost seems there are two separate points in your post: 1) Microsoft do not have the mindset to do this 2) your opinion is that it would result in no windows apps designed for mobile.

    On number 1, all we can have is opinions on the mindset of Microsoft, so I try more to stay whether allowing android apps would be a good or bad idea. I can see points for both sides. Your suggestion is that if the phones can run android apps, then no one would write windows apps for the phone. In this you could be correct. But then there still would be a windows phone platform to allow people to also run continuum apps for which android is not substitute. Native windows apps would still be preferred as well.... but that requires there to be enough windows devices out there to write the apps for.

    If there is not mobile platform....doesn't this rather make continuum pointless...... which in turn weakens Microsoft competitive advantage on the desktop. Each market you abandon makes you vulnerable on the next.

    I see that on balance allowing android apps is better than having nothing which may be the only, but very undesirable, alternative.
    06-19-2016 06:48 AM
  9. a5cent's Avatar
    1) Microsoft do not have the mindset to do this <snipped> On number 1, all we can have is opinions on the mindset of Microsoft
    Nope. We know for a fact that MS' no longer considers consumers to be part of W10M's target market. This isn't just an opinion. It's been communicated in multiple e-mails by MS officials and even been reported on by WCentral:
    Perhaps the biggest shift for Microsoft's own smartphone ambitions – at least for hardware – is the demographic. No longer are they pursuing a general smartphone user base, but rather businesses and enterprise.
    source

    Even without that, MS' utter incompetence when it comes to communicating with consumers should be more than enough proof that consumers aren't their main priority, but that's admittedly only apparent to those who have the time, energy and interest to follow this stuff closely.

    your suggestion is that if the phones can run android apps, then no one would write windows apps for the phone. In this you could be correct. But then there still would be a windows phone platform to allow people to also run continuum apps for which android is not substitute. Native windows apps would still be preferred as well.... but that requires there to be enough windows devices out there to write the apps for.
    I disagree that supporting Android apps on W10M would result in there still being a "windows phone platform" .

    If by platform you mean "the UWP", then no, because you'd be removing a big reason for many developers to target the UWP at that particular form factor in the first place. That's not contributing to preserving the platform, but working towards killing it.

    If by platform you mean "ecosystem" and "relevant user base", then again no, because those are already gone and they won't be brought back by offering the ability to run Android apps on W10M. People already have a gazillion cheap ways to do that, all of which will work better than running those same apps on a similarly priced W10M device. The only people who care about this are the 1% still trying to justify staying with W10M. It's not worth sacrificing UWP's developer appeal, for now and evermore on phone-sized devices, just so MS can continue selling phone hardware to those 1%.

    IMHO you're still wondering how MS can entice consumers (a.k.a you, me, and most other here) to stick with W10M. They can't. That's over. I'm not saying that can't ever change. If MS fires the product managers responsible for W10M and finally decides to do something with the OS that people find exciting, then they can still turn things around. As long as MS has money to invest in W10M development it's never to late for a comeback, but at least in it's current state, particularly when it comes to consumers... forget it...

    The one thing that is certain, is that if W10M ever does manage a comeback, it won't be by introducing the ability to run apps everyone else can already run. W10M will never achieve success by being a better iPhone or a better Android device. That ship has sailed. It must either develop into something new and different and exciting, which people wouldn't instinctively compare to other smartphones, or die.
    06-19-2016 06:15 PM
  10. mbrooks78's Avatar
    Windows Contiuum folksbascially laughed off the idea of an x86 phone. Just too big , too hot and too power hungry at the moment. We would more likely see a lighterweight desktop model that would work on phone than a x86 phone. (discalimer --- IMO)
    06-21-2016 06:37 PM
  11. J Dubbs's Avatar
    There was never going to be a surface phone, for the many reasons others have already explained. It was fun to think about tho
    06-24-2016 04:42 AM
  12. fatclue_98's Avatar
    The whole idea that the Surface Phone would run x86 software was never anything more than a rumor, invented and speculated over by the "tech" press, and then spread through fan sites like this one.
    I believe this to be the crux of the whole "Surface Phone" idea. As you and I have mentioned many times, Microsoft is a software company, first and foremost. I always believed their next "Super Phone" would involve some form of expansion of Continuum and maybe some dumb terminal. Well it appears that HP and Acer will be releasing Continuum-enabled phones with separate dumb terminals. Why would Microsoft make its own if their trusted partners are willing to be the Guinea Pigs? If the Elite X3 and Liquid Jade Primo don't catch on with the Enterprise crowd, say "Sayonara" to any Surface Phone. That's just my opinion, yours may be different and that's fine by me.
    06-24-2016 09:06 AM
  13. Vittorio Vaselli's Avatar
    There was never going to be a surface phone, for the many reasons others have already explained. It was fun to think about tho
    There is no doubt there will be a surface phone. Only it will not be x86 based.
    06-28-2016 09:40 AM
  14. Greywolf1967's Avatar
    There is no doubt there will be a surface phone. Only it will not be x86 based.
    You are correct !! Windows Weekly had a topic on this and Paul T. has stated it is in fact in the pipeline, and they (Microsoft) may look to capture the part of the Market that would normally buy the non Pro Surface. It's around the 48 min mark of the show.
    06-30-2016 01:59 PM

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