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03-19-2015 11:52 PM
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  1. AaHaa's Avatar
    One of the many Windows 10 fan concepts included a function where a user could hook up his/her Windows 10 phone on to a screen and use the phone as a computer, with a keyboard and mouse. That got me thinking: would that be possible?

    I know there is still some sort of difference between Windows 10 and Windows 10 for Phones, but would it be possible for a Windows 10 Phone to maybe "emulate" a desktop and run the installed apps on that? I don't think running x86 applications and using it as a full-blown PC would work, but if a phone would be possible to make it look like a desktop, I think it'll get the work done.

    Imagine that. Microsoft could market Windows 10 (and the flagship that will come with it) as the next big step. The fact that your phone is a computer is a HUGE thing to brag about. It would not be another boring step in the age of smartphones where the "new" stuff is about bigger screens, higher resolutions and faster processors. It'd actually be a huge innovation. "You have an iPhone? That's cute. I have a phone that's running Windows and I can use it as a computer."
    03-18-2015 06:29 AM
  2. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    I don't see a reason why it would be conceivably possible to do this.

    You have essentially two modes of operation. Phone mode and desktop mode. (like they're doing with tablets) Desktop mode only works in a docking station.

    I think running x86 apps on in phone mode would be pointless personally as the vast majority of them are not set up for touch or phone screen size.

    The main issue at the moment is storage space in the phone (though it's not really an issue just expensive) and people trying to run programs on the phone that would be too much for it to handle. Generally the processing power is different on a phone compared to a PC.

    But in my view I don't see a reason why such a device isn't possible. It should be something MS or some OEM should look into.
    03-18-2015 06:39 AM
  3. a5cent's Avatar
    Yes and no. W10M, which is what's installed on our phones, doesn't include the Win32 desktop, so what most people envision when they say "desktop" is not possible.

    However, many future W10M apps (for phones and small tablets) will include both a phone and a tablet UI. The later will also support mouse and keyboard input. With such a setup our phones will support desktop like usage scenarios, just not with the software most people think of when they say "desktop".
    The traditional Win32 desktop will always provide a very poor experience on smartphone sized mobile devices, primarily because none of the software written for it considers any of the issues that mobile software should care about. It's not technically impossible, but it will never provide a good experience, which is why MS is focusing on evolving WinRT's desktop capabilities, rather than the Win32 desktop.
    Kaushik Banerjee and DJCBS like this.
    03-18-2015 06:42 AM
  4. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Yes and no. W10M, which is what's installed on our phones, doesn't include the Win32 desktop, so what most people envision when they say "desktop" is not possible.

    However, many future W10M apps (for phones and small tablets) will include both a phone and a tablet UI. The later will also support mouse and keyboard input. With such a setup our phones will support desktop like usage scenarios, just not with the software most people think of when they say "desktop".

    The traditional Win32 desktop will always provide a very poor experience on smartphone sized mobile devices, primarily because none of the software written for it considers any of the issues that mobile software should care about. It's not technically impossible, but it will never provide a good experience, which is why MS is focusing on evolving the WinRT desktop rather than the Win32 desktop.
    I still think a W10 phone with full windows on it and a docking station would be cool though. :)
    Kaushik Banerjee likes this.
    03-18-2015 06:50 AM
  5. Harrie-S's Avatar
    It depends what you mean with use it as computer.
    You already can do a lot of "computer" things on your phone like emailing web browsing but connecting it to a bigger screen would make it also "easier" to use it specially for Office.
    But then again you need to carry a keyboard or bigger screen around or you need to hook it up to a TV screen.
    So even if you can use it as "computer" it will be more a bragging thing (gimmick) then really useful.
    It is like the 4K video recording on the 930. Yes you can do it, and brag about it, but within 10 to 15 minutes your phone is overheated and you only can store about 50 minutes of 4k video on your phone before your memory is full.
    But then again the technology will not stop and phones will become more and more powerful.
    Kaushik Banerjee likes this.
    03-18-2015 06:51 AM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    I still think a W10 phone with full windows on it and a docking station would be cool though. :)
    Cool yes, practical, no. Never will be, primarily because people will compare such devices to the iOS, Android and WinRT competition, which will always do much much better in terms of perceived performance and battery life.
    03-18-2015 06:54 AM
  7. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Cool yes, practical, no. Never will be, primarily because people will compare such devices to the iOS, Android and WinRT competition, which will always do much much better in terms of perceived performance and battery life.
    Allow me to clarify.

    Picture a phone.

    It's in Phone Mode and acts only like a phone when not docked. The battery performance and all that is based on Phone mode. When the phone is docked it converts to a Desktop/PC Mode. The dock has power to it so it charges the battery and the phone more or less acts like a computer. You can attach a monitor, mouse and keyboard to the dock and you're using full Windows.

    Of course the main issue is the processors in this situation as the programs are not set up to run on non x86 unless the new Intel processors are x86 compatible... or something comes along to change that.

    That's what I think would be cool if that were achievable. Not saying it will happen tomorrow but it's something I'd like to see. It's something I would buy without doubt.
    03-18-2015 07:00 AM
  8. Harrie-S's Avatar
    Allow me to clarify.

    Picture a phone.

    It's in Phone Mode and acts only like a phone when not docked. The battery performance and all that is based on Phone mode. When the phone is docked it converts to a Desktop/PC Mode. The dock has power to it so it charges the battery and the phone more or less acts like a computer. You can attach a monitor, mouse and keyboard to the dock and you're using full Windows.

    Of course the main issue is the processors in this situation as the programs are not set up to run on non x86 unless the new Intel processors are x86 compatible... or something comes along to change that.

    That's what I think would be cool if that were achievable. Not saying it will happen tomorrow but it's something I'd like to see. It's something I would buy without doubt.
    If you do not need it tomorrow I would like to add a kind of hololens integration so you can use it without a physical keyboard, mouse or screen. But I am not sure is it is a then a phone which acts as a PC or the other way around.
    03-18-2015 07:14 AM
  9. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    If you do not need it tomorrow I would like to add a kind of hololens integration so you can use it without a physical keyboard, mouse or screen. But I am not sure is it is a then a phone which acts as a PC or the other way around.
    I like Hololens but I'm not overly keen on it for my personal use. I think I have a issue with wearing something all the time.

    Not sure how that would work with the phone but interesting.
    03-18-2015 07:25 AM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    @LaRue
    I understand, but I think you're missing an important point. The main problem is that achieving a similar experience to what iOS, Android and WinRT will provide, will either require significantly more expensive hardware in a larger package, or it will perform significantly worse at the same price. It's not just about having hardware that is "good enough" to run the Win32 desktop, but hardware that performs similarly to the competition's at the same price. Win32's inability to do that is why MS axed Windows RT. Considering almost all devs building software for consumers will be focusing on the mobile OSes rather than Win32, I don't see much of a future in this proposition. Surely somebody will come out with such a device, but I can guarantee it will remain a niche product. Few will be willing to pay more and carry around a larger device for a Win32 desktop, when all the apps they want and the newest software is being built for the mobile OSes. The professionals that really need Win32 desktop software will likely also require the performance and capabilities offered by laptops or real workstations. Nobody will need Win32 for Office.
    03-18-2015 07:57 AM
  11. AaHaa's Avatar
    I agree it wouldn't be that useful, but it'd be a kickass marketing strategy.
    "Running full Windows" somehow sounds like it can do basically everything. Being able to say that about your phone, in addition to "I can hook it onto a screen and use it as a PC" sounds to me like something that can persuade a lot of people to buy such a device.

    Also, these phones are getting more powerful by the minute. Would it really be impossible for a high-end smartphone to emulate a desktop when docked?
    03-18-2015 09:01 AM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    ^ As previously stated, no, it's not impossible. It's actually a sure thing that we'll eventually get devices that do this, starting with large phablets.

    They just won't be popular.

    Most consumers who'd want such a device would likely want it for Office. When they realize that they can get a normal sized phone, that costs less, which can also hook up to a dock and interface with a monitor, mouse and keyboard, and that it will run WinRT based Touch Office faster despite all that, why would they choose the alternative? Also mention how much more expensive desktop software is, compared to their Mobile counterparts, and you're unlikely to find many buyers.
    03-18-2015 09:10 AM
  13. PepperdotNet's Avatar
    Well, we've already got 7-inch, 8-inch tablet devices with x86 processors running "real" Windows that include microphones, speakers and cameras. These by definition are "real" computers that will run modern and legacy applications. Some of them can be had for less than $100.

    I think the real question is, why hasn't some OEM yet added an LTE chipset, SIM card slot and antennae to one of these?
    03-18-2015 09:23 AM
  14. yihong kang's Avatar
    It is definitely the future. Phones are getting more and more powerful everyday. Win10 will dynamically change the interface according to the screen size.

    On the phone, it will be just the phone OS, similar to what we have now.
    When it is docked, the interface will become win10 on desktop (without x86 programs). It allows you to do more multitask.

    Universal app is the bridge, the same app, just different interface for different screen size. Actually I am using a lot of windows store apps on my desktop running win10, pdf, office, news apps, video and music apps. You can pretty much get 80% work done using just apps right now. Once windows 10 got released, there will be even more apps.
    03-18-2015 11:21 AM
  15. DavidinCT's Avatar
    As modern hardware, Very possible and would not be shocked if this is attempted but, it would be a very high cost and limited specs on the PC side but, it would work. Specs on a phone are a lot lower than a desktop, so if your running bigger apps (say full office, or connecting to a SQL db or something), they could suffer from performance.

    Your not going to put a full Intel i7 in a phone, it's just not going to happen.

    Android did this with one model a few years back, if you got the phone, you could buy a laptop shell add-on for it that your phone plugs into (it was just a display and keyboard) but, it was like $300+ or something.

    It was Android and I don't remember it doing very well.
    03-18-2015 11:45 AM
  16. Grimlock's Avatar
    I think in five years this will be a viable feature. But I still think it will be more of a niche device at first, because most people that have laptops/desktops won't want to pay a premium to have a duel device. As the OP said it will be more for bragging rights than anything else, "You have an iPhone? That's cute. I have a phone that's running Windows and I can use it as a computer."
    matt john2 likes this.
    03-18-2015 11:55 AM
  17. TheCudder's Avatar
    I don't quite understand why people say it's "useless". Essentially what we're imagining is a x86 Windows phone where when used a standalone device displays a Windows for phone UI, not the Desktop start screen. And similar to continuum, when docked into a docking station/port replicator, similar to that of the Surface Pro 3 or any enterprise laptop line, the phone would display a complete desktop UI. And support x86 applications and apps on an external display, keyboard & mouse --- you would not be running x86 applications on phone with touch based gestures...that would be stupid.

    A great implementation would be to truly make your 'Desktop" Start Menu a complete extension of your 'phone' Start Screen. You'd still be able to make calls, reply to texts and WiFi Hotspot share even when in 'Desktop' mode. Basically, by default your phone start screen = your start menu + all apps list, unless you choose to make them unique from one another.
    03-18-2015 12:18 PM
  18. yihong kang's Avatar
    It won't be niche market at all.

    Atom is already more powerful than Core 2 duo (GPU is even comparable to first gen core i5). That means flagship phone are already more powerful than the laptops from 6 years ago. Recent study shows that 1 billion PC are more than 4 years old. I expect more than 0.5 billion PC are less powerful than new flagship phones. With proper docking solution and OS, those PC can definitely be replaced by phones.

    Why people still think this is not possible?
    03-18-2015 12:41 PM
  19. yihong kang's Avatar
    Cost is also not an issue at all. Flagship phones are already getting 3-4g ram, 32-128g storage + SD card.
    When the docking station is available, you will also be able to get external hard drives.

    If they can get this right, I will definitely buy the phone and docking station this year or next year.
    03-18-2015 12:46 PM
  20. a5cent's Avatar
    ^ I think you've completely missed the point. Nobody is saying it's not possible.
    03-18-2015 01:32 PM
  21. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Having read through the thread, some aren't considering a major flaw with this concept and that is the wear and tear on the battery. With many flagships these days with non-removable batteries... it could prove to be rather expensive in the long run if your not into prying open the phone and replacing the battery yourself. Not to mention you run the risk of damaging the other components.

    Besides why complicate matters with a dock when you can go all wireless with Bluetooth, Miracast and Qi Wireless charging :P.

    Personally an x86 phone is redundant when you can get a decent 7" tablet running full windows + proper applications, with a micro SD card slot, mini hdmi / display port, miracast support and have a stonking big battery to boot for less than a mid range phone.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/4...Tablet_-_Black

    If anything a tablet with LTE + Stylus support would do the job and it would be a more enjoyable experience.


    Convenient? yes, practical? no.

    Edit: Would you look at that, I guess those who wanted the functionality can now celebrate :). While I go place the winbook in my wish list :P.

    http://www.windowscentral.com/window...ge-peripherals
    HeyCori and a5cent like this.
    03-18-2015 01:58 PM
  22. PepperdotNet's Avatar
    Personally an x86 phone is redundant when you can get a decent 7" tablet running full windows + proper applications, with a micro SD card slot, mini hdmi / display port, miracast support and have a stonking big battery to boot for less than a mid range phone.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/4...Tablet_-_Black
    That's what I'm talking about. Add an LTE radio to that, it's a phone. But still a computer.
    03-18-2015 02:11 PM
  23. AaHaa's Avatar
    http://www.windowscentral.com/window...ge-peripherals

    This might make this concept even easier to achieve.
    03-18-2015 02:22 PM
  24. a5cent's Avatar
    Okay, just out of curiosity, a question to those who think this idea will take off:

    What Win32 desktop applications do you think will make this a mass market consumer success? Which Win32 software applications will it be that convinces the masses they need an x86 windows phone, rather than their iPhones, Androids and W10M tablet/desktop apps like Touch Office?
    Last edited by a5cent; 03-18-2015 at 03:14 PM.
    Harrie-S and TechFreak1 like this.
    03-18-2015 02:36 PM
  25. TechFreak1's Avatar
    That's what I'm talking about. Add an LTE radio to that, it's a phone. But still a computer.
    Well.. if that's what you want...

    samsung-galaxy-note-8.jpg

    I was actually referring to mobile internet.

    Okay, just out of curiosity, a question to those who think this idea will take off:

    What Win32 desktop applications do you think will make this a mass market consumer success? Which Win32 software applications will it be that convinces the masses they need an x86 windows phone, rather than their iPhones and Androids?
    I know just the one Photoshop! /s

    Seriously though... I don't think many have thought beyond what they envisage as their perfect set up.

    I mean what next? Hyper-V on a phone? Come on... were do you draw the line lol. Besides like you I'm also interested to see what those who are advocating this say in response to your question.
    a5cent likes this.
    03-18-2015 03:09 PM
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