Smartphones and computers running Windows 10 software already share some common code and both support Universal Windows Apps available from the Windows Store. And upcoming phones like the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Acer Jade Primo will even work like desktops when you attach a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

But there’s a report suggesting that next year Microsoft will add new features that let phones and PCs running Windows 10 work together in new ways.

For instance, you may be able to start composing an email message on your phone and pick up where you left off on your PC, or open a web page in your desktop web browser and keep browsing on your mobile phone.

lumia docked

According to WinBeta, those features are expected to be part of the next big update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone. It’s due to launch in the summer of 2016.

Microsoft is still just getting started on development of Redstone, so there’s a chance that features could change by the time it’s ready to launch. But here are a few things WinBeta says we might be able to expect:

  • The Edge web browser will gain support for extensions.
  • The Mail apps for phones and desktops will talk to one another, allowing you to start a message on one device and continue writing on another.
  • Likewise, the Edge browsers for desktop and mobile will be able to communicate, so you can sync your browser tabs across devices.
  • You may be able to make phone calls from your PC. The calls will actually go through your smartphone in order to connect to a mobile network, but you’ll be able to dial on you desktop and talk using your PC’s microphone and speaker.

While these features all apply to Microsoft’s own apps for Windows 10, the company may also offer developer tools that will allow third-party apps to work across devices in similar ways.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before. This is how Apple’s Continuity feature works, allowing iPhones and Mac computers to communicate with one another. Continuity was introduced as part of OS X Yosemite in 2014.

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13 replies on “Windows 10 phones and PCs might work better together in 2016”

  1. Convergence NEVER made anything work better that it was before. As soon as you try to make a desktop work like a mobile device (and vice-versa), you give up a lot. Even if you can make the system adapt well enough to not be compromised, it bloats up too much.

  2. well, well, well … what a series of NO-news. most of it could have been done years ago with a pc and a winmobile device, using tools not from microsoft. and now about 10 years later this is the NEWS. does not change a malware spysystem full of loggers and stuff.

    1. Yeah, if you had a couple of hundred extra bucks to spare, perhaps, and only with a lot of configuration and frustration. But then, if you want to live with 10-year old technology, nobody’s going to stop you.

  3. “If this all sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve seen it before”

    Like the rest of the planet, I haven’t seen something that only works with apple computers and apple phones.

    But starting an email on one device and continuing it in another is how email has worked for years (IMAP). Loads of browsers have supported syncing tabs between devices (and aren’t limited to only one make of device that most people don’t have). Fine for MS to use these, but it’s nothing to do with some apple buzzword. Using my PC as a phone, whilst still needing a phone, is the least useful feature ever.

    1. Well, keep in mind what the article is talking about will go into a lot more than just syncing tabs and email… While there is a difference from simple syncs and multiple clients from making it right out of the box easy to seamlessly switch between devices or use features interchangeably between devices by just having them on the same network without any special setup on the user’s part or limited to a specific ecosystem…

      Like being able to use your PC as your phone by just having your phone nearby means you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to answer a call and go look for your phone that may be across the room from you or just in its charger and thus you don’t need to interrupt the charging to answer the call… There are many scenarios where this feature alone is actually very useful but you can also do the opposite and access PC features from the phone for even more options or even more when you factor all the other devices that can be on the network… So each device can be a client for any other device on the network and all add features and options to each other that many alone would not have…

      While, as the article suggested there’s a chance this may be useful for a pretty wide range of devices that don’t necessarily have to have any direct relation to MS…

      1. “being able to use your PC as your phone”
        I used to do this with a modem and a land line. So much technology and so many years later and they are just now re-inventing this.

        1. Home PC and a landline is not the same as a PC, which can be a laptop you’re not even home using, and a modern Smartphone… Besides, as I already pointed out, they’re talking about doing far more than just that one feature and even that one feature can do far more things like start a video conference, show info on who’s calling, etc…

          Don’t let a lack of imagination fool you… You might as well compare your old dial up to modern broadband and what can be done now to get a idea of the massive difference…

  4. “You may be able to make phone calls from your PC. The calls will actually go through your smartphone in order to connect to a mobile network, but you’ll be able to dial on you desktop and talk using your PC’s microphone and speaker” – I so hope this happens. Seems trivial but being able to fire up Outlook and call from within the app (or indeed any app) will save our org a lot of time..

  5. So let’s see… First you need a phone that almost nobody has, then add a special hub good for nothing else that nobody at all has, then plug in several devices, then install all those not-at-all-universal apps that nobody develops. Now you have a slow sorta-kinda-PC with no software. Good thinking there Microsoft, where do I sign up?

    1. Still, at least everyone will have window 10.. but that’s only because it was installed without people’s knowledge or they were tricked into agreeing to the install.

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