The HP Elite x3 is one of the most powerful Windows 10 Mobile devices released to date, for what it’s worth. But while the phone has an operating system called Windows and supports Continuum, which gives you a desktop-like environment when you connect an external display, it doesn’t have native support for Windows applications developed for PCs.
So when HP introduced the Elite x3, the company offered a solution for enterprise users. It’s called HP Workspace, and it’s a cloud virtualization service that allowed companies or other institutions to let users access desktop Windows apps on their Windows phones by connecting to a remote server.
But while HP has recently stated that it will continue to sell and support the Elite x3 through 2019, the company pulled the plug on HP Workspace this summer.
HP Workspace was always more of a workaround than an actual feature. Upcoming versions of Windows 10 will actually let use an ARM-powered PC, tablet, or maybe even phone to run Win32 desktop applications designed for PCs with x86 chips thanks to emulation. But Windows 10 Mobile as it exists today doesn’t let you do that.
Instead, HP Workspace was basically a tool that would let a company set up software on a remote server and let users login to that server from a phone, so they could access whatever applications they need for work without actually using a device that natively supports those applications.
A message posted to the HP website says that “when the HP Elite x3 was introduced, there were limited options to deliver Windows PC applications to Windows 10 Mobile devices… since then, leading providers such as VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix have released or improved their solutions for this operating system,” making HP Workspace unnecessary.
Or maybe it just wasn’t used by enough people for HP to continue supporting the service.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if future mobile devices with Windows 10 on ARM software alleviate the need for this sort of remote desktop/virtualization workaround altogether by allowing you to simply install Win32 applications on your phone, tablet, or other device.