back to article HP Inc vows: We're not walking away from Continuum

While Windows roadmaps purportedly leaked to a blog last week appear to have a big hole in them where mobile should be, HP Inc tells us it has been assured by Redmond there are no plans to drop Continuum. HP is the sole major mobile vendor committed to the Windows Mobile Edition of Windows 10 and bet big on Continuum, the …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    I don't trust HP.

    And I don't trust Microsoft.

    I have dealings with neither, and that's the way I like it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many of us will have been burnt

    before when trying to do business with one or both of these two.

    Why on earth would we even begin to think that there is a future with Windows Mobile (or whatever it is called this quarter...)?

    They were late to market

    They F***ed the users royally not once but at least twice

    They renaged on promises about the upgrade to Window 10 for a good number of devices.

    Then there was the [cough-cough] upgrades of PC's to Windows 10.




    Far too niche, far too late and not radical enough to make a difference.

    More evidence that MS (And HP) are fiddling while rome burns perhaps?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "More evidence that MS (And HP) are fiddling while rome burns perhaps?"

      Just evidence that Microsoft is a tired behemoth vainly struggling to get out of the tar pit of history. It has never been capable of adapting, much less forecasting change, and is now too entrenched in its own hubris to do anything that would make it change its habits.

      Of course, said behemoth is still sleeping on a rug woven from diamond and platinum, so it will be a while before it dies out. Meanwhile, it is quite possible that it may gobble up a newcomer that just happens to have a good idea, which means that Microsoft will have a stay of execution for the time it takes to inevitably stuff it up and abandon that market.

      Nevertheless, Microsoft is now a dead man walking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "More evidence that MS (And HP) are fiddling while rome burns perhaps?"

        "dead man walking" is a little premature. Their market capitalization is over $500 billion with earnings rising, so despite many people on this site not being overly fond of them they are going to be around for a long long time.

        Rather that dead man walking I would go for drunken billionaire stumbling.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: "More evidence @ Pascal Monett

        Just evidence that Microsoft is a tired behemoth...

        That post was a superb piece of wordcraft, well done sir!

  3. Teiwaz

    Creative idiocy all round.

    They claim they are still going to continue continuum, but it seems clear they don't know what to do with it.

    And with Canonical having abandoned convergence, they'll be no helpful hints or steps to shadow - with tablet sales stymied and the mobile market stale and constipated by those fossilised turds Android and IOS - Canonical didn't know what to do with their version any more either.

    The buying public is stuck on a certain design of phone as being good enough - manufacturers are timid due to more radical designs and choices failing market tests - it all doesn't look good right now.

    Personally though, I still think the converged ui idea has merit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Creative idiocy all round.

      A modern phone now or soon will boast more processing power than most people (gamers aside) need to run what they do on their desktop PC at work or at home. When you have a really powerful computer in your pocket it seems bizarre to have to sit down at a desktop PC, but it needs to be done because the phone screen is too small and the input mechanism to clunky to get real work done. In this context Continuum made sense as it lets you carry around your data on your phone where you can look at it and make minor tweaks on the go, then connect it to some big monitor setup when you need more that the limited man machine interface the phone can provide. Were it to become a commercial reality dumb monitors with keyboard, mouse and Continuum support could replace a sizable fraction of the worlds PC's. In that context a converged UI that services a small mobile device but extends to support a desktop makes sense.

      1. Teiwaz

        Re: Creative idiocy all round.

        Were it to become a commercial reality dumb monitors with keyboard, mouse and Continuum support could replace a sizable fraction of the worlds PC's.

        Wow! That would be a reversal of current trend - it seems to be getting slowly harder to find a dumb monitor (or anything not infected with the mental rabies of the current 'smart' trend of stupid).

        Microsoft has nothing to gain in such a 'one device fits all' design - what profit to them to design 1 thing that can truly fit home and mobile when they can sell you 2. Apple certainly have never been interested.

        The only possible value is in a converged codebase being more efficient in terms of upkeep.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Creative idiocy all round.

          @Teiwaz .... interesting point. I hate smart TV's too and much prefer to use them as dumb monitors to display hdmi sources, but any old smart TV with keyboard and mouse (probably Bluetooth) plus a Continuum support app, could fit the bill as a "dumb" monitor in this context.

        2. cambsukguy

          Re: Creative idiocy all round.

          > when they can sell you 2

          What if they are the only source for the 'one' but there are myriad sources for the 'two'? e.g. an iPhone and a Mac.

          Then MS will want to be the 'one' to avoid this kind of competition.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Teiwaz - 'why sell 1 when they can sell you 2'

          I think for Apple the equation would be rather different, since Macs are only about 5% of PC sales worldwide, but sells at least 10 iPhones for every Mac.

          If they made it so you could install a 'macOS GUI/API' app on your iPhone, and sold a Lighting to HDMI & USB dongle so you could connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse, you'd basically have a Mac. Think of how useful something like this would be for "casual" PC users, who basically use them for browsing, email, light gaming, viewing/editing Office type documents once in a while (think college students writing papers) and hardly running any commercial applications beyond a tax or home accounting type software. You probably need a beefier CPU if you want to do 4K video editing, but many people's needs would be taken care of by this.

          Sure, they'd lose a lot of Mac sales those who currently own an iPhone and a Mac, because they might decide they don't need to replace that Mac now that the iPhone can perform the role. But I think they'd gain a lot more in iPhone sales because of this capability than they'd lose Mac sales, and end up with more Mac users overall.

          The one thing that makes this difficult is that the Mac uses an x86 CPU, and iPhone uses ARM. But that's not a real obstacle, they have supported fat binaries before and the millions of iPhone users who would adopt this would be a tempting market for every Mac software company. They could continue selling x86 Macs, and the iPhone would just be a "different" Mac. Sales of x86 Macs would drop, but they would not disappear as some will need a real laptop, high end performance or need x86 for running Windows.

          Dunno how much RAM they'd need for this, probably 4GB at a minimum with 8GB desirable, but some phones already ship with that much so it could certainly be done if they decided they wanted to go this route.

  4. fiddley

    WP Fanboi here, just chiming in to say I use continuum a lot. BT sport on EE is a fiver a month which I cast to my big telly. Picture is super sharp, even if the frame rate is a touch under silky smooth (just a touch, mind).

    I Also run Spotify on the small screen and have the sound come through the AV system so I use it in the garden as a sort of remote control (I realise if Spotify had ever have updated their WP app as they have on ios/android I could link two spotifii together to achieve the same thing.)

    The last thing it's also surprisingly good for is browsing youtube, the on screen keyboard/touchpad being miles better than having either a full size wireless jobbie, or one of those crappy media centre keyboard things, or the arrow keys of a remote control.

    These aren't the use cases they're going for, clearly, but they're undeniably handy and it even impresses my Android/iPhone owning friends.

    Sigh, I hope they don't drop the ball &/or give up on this one as well. Sadly persistence doesn't seem to be the Microsoft way right now.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I can connect my S5 to any HDMI device for the big screen but on devices that I support it, I can also just use Miracast, which routes the video directly to the screen.

      I use Bluetooth to drive my soundbar from my phone or use Kore to run Kodi. None of these activities are what Continuum is about but they're ubiquitous, which is why they work.

      It will be interesting to see if Samsung continues to push DeX with things like the next Samsung Note.


    I actually used the X3 for a couple of months

    In principle Continuum is a great idea.

    I got one (as a reseller promo) to see if it actually was something we could sell and/or recommend to our customers.

    It's not for the following reasons:

    - Microsoft is not committing any resources to Mobile. X3 shipped with tons of bugs, only a few which have been fixed.

    Issues include but not limited to: Not recognizing externals displays (HP!); not being able to use the Ethernetport on the dock, the mike not working with Skype, etc.

    - The total dealbreaker is the however the total lack of a file client:

    I.e. you cannot access your corporate file server in any useful way. If you're on the road and need access to a file, you have to phone someone at the office with a proper computer, have them upload the file to a shared Onedrive account. Finally, you can actually continue working....

    - Also, no Active Directory join (yes, you can use an Azure AD account), no SIP client (the architecture prevents SIP from working) so limited to only Skype (for Business) etc.

    If they just had put Windows Professional on it, with proper driver support, it would have been great...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I actually used the X3 for a couple of months

      >If they just had put Windows Professional on it,<

      They will, with Windows 10 with the universal shell, compiled for ARM on the Surface device shipping next year

      1. Lorribot

        Re: I actually used the X3 for a couple of months

        That won't be Windows pro it will be Windows on ARM.

        They should have got in bed with Intel and made a proper x86 phone and run a full copy of Windows so legacy Win32 apps could be used, you can't even run Windows Server admin tools on it, if you can't engage with the techies then what hope is there?

        Its only use would as a dumb terminal connecting to a virtual windows desktop or Terminal Server in its current state.

        Microsoft took too long to get stuff out the door then then killed development.

        I still have 4 year old Nokia 925, company won't get me a new Windows phone as we are now an iPhone only company, which is weird because i can have a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop but no choice of phone as it is too hard to support, really?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Of course, Windows 10 Mobile looks dire...

    Until you experience trying to manage Android 6 for secure business use!

  7. Nimby


    Continuum doesn't even make sense. What is the point of a PC that cannot run PC applications? Without x86 it's just ... Windows RT. Meh. So even if you made Continuum the absolute best that it could be, you're still just wasting time polishing a turd. Microsoft would be right to drop it. They were stupid to ever start it! Anyone committed to Continuum should be "committed".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    talk all you want

    WP is the best platform in terms of features and future prooofness

    while I do not have practical use for Continuum (not being the road warrior) I occasionally use the feature and it is mighty

    I should disclose I have been windows ce/mobile/phone etc happy user since 2000 and comparing to what I have with what Android and iOS users have, I can only laugh at them.

    Should MS or manufactures drop windows phone - I will face tough question indeed but fortunately I am not glued to phones and would likely resolve it but going back to dumb phone and ultra mobile laptop (e.g. my current Spectre x360)

  9. CorpAmerica

    HP Elite X3's trajectory on target for Corporate Market

    As a user of the HP Elite X3 and a decision maker in the technology future of a fortune 500 company I say the following:

    The HP Elite X3 is a fine unit. The docking capabilities are excellent and the ability to write texts, charge the phone, use a full sized external keyboard and monitor are great assets. With announced movement to full Windows compiled for ARM coming in the spring we have something that is on the trajectory to be very powerful in enterprise.

    The Windows OS is much more advanced than that of Android and has shown to be more efficient with battery usage. The X3 has lasted 2.5 days of regular usage on some releases although currently battery life has been affected dropping battery life to 24 hours, still far better than Android based phones with similar hardware.

    What always surprises is that Android and iOS leave a sloppy apps based feature set where as Windows builds significant functionality in to the core. This is an incredible value for an enterprise which is looking at standardized ways to approach certain workloads.

    Is the X3 currently ready for corporate America? Yes, however, the workstream needs to be narrowly defined and matched to the features of the phone. As a broad cross company platform, Microsoft needs full windows on ARM announced for next spring and some rock solid features that it commits to supporting. Ultimately, organizations should wait for the trajectory to be travelled until next spring as the target and progress is on track for the vision.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP Elite X3's trajectory on target for Corporate Market

      I have no idea where you work, but I can assure you that no user there is interested in using Windows Phone for anything. When IT brings something like Windows Phone up, you have your answer as to why the lines of business avoid IT. Just trying to cram the world back into a 1990s box because it is an IT "standard" when everyone else moved on, nearly a decade ago.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would HP not drop MSFT at this point and try to come out with an Android based device which runs on multiple screens? Like Samsung has done with the DeX and Google is kind of doing by blending Android and Chrome OS. Windows Phone is done. HP has almost certainly lost millions trying to push those devices when no one is interested. MSFT is openly competing with them in laptops. What do they have to lose at this point. They can always continue making declining Windows PCs, but that is clearly a losing strategy as the market declines and MSFT takes over the high end of the Windows market. Might as well do something where you have a chance of success.

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