Linux News Today: Continuum for Windows 10 Is Phone Convergence, but Not as Advanced as Ubuntu's
Continuum for Windows 10 is Microsoft’s idea of convergence, and it looks like they got things going. The Windows 10 Devices event that happened yesterday saw the official launch of this feature, albeit it’s a little bit more complicated than you might suspect, and it’s not really all that similar to what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu.
You might be tempted to compare this with the Ubuntu convergence idea that’s been in the works for a few years now. Both Ubuntu and Windows phones can offer users a desktop experience by connecting them to a mouse and keyboard, but this is where the similarities end. What Microsoft is trying to achieve with Continuum is by no means a bad thing. If anything, it underlines the fact that Canonical is on the right path, and this is the future.
Companies are only now realizing that people are walking around with devices that have a lot of power and that it’s usually wasted on apps and other stuff that don’t really need that power. Canonical reached this conclusion when they were preparing for Ubuntu Edge, and now Microsoft is seeing the same thing. The only difference is that the Windows 10 phone doesn’t transform into a desktop, it turns into a desktop-like experience.
Convergence is more than just looks
If Canonical wanted to transform Ubuntu Touch into a desktop-like experience, their convergence would have been ready a long time ago. But they are playing a longer game. When you connect an Ubuntu phone to a display, you get the full Ubuntu desktop and not something that only emulates that. It also means that apps for the new Ubuntu with Unity 8 will be installable on both the phone and the desktop, sharing the same codebase, and that is what convergence is about.
Just like Ubuntu, Windows 10 needs a special dock, but it looks like it will work with all the phones, not just one brand.
However, it remains to be seen if this is something that users want. It’s also worth mentioning that Microsoft is also working on something named Universal Apps, which will supposedly be one type of application that will be usable on both mobile and desktops platforms.