MICROSOFT HAS announced the release of Your Phone as part of its October Update and it already does something that we didn't expect.
Connecting an Android device to your Windows machine will now give you the option to completely mirror your screen and even work inside the Android interface, meaning you have a virtualised Android machine within your Windows environment.
Since before abandoning its Windows Phone/Mobile platform earlier in the year, Microsoft has been eyeing Android as a spiritual replacement, with most core Windows functionality transferred into Android apps. This gives Microsoft a potentially huge user base which it doubtless hopes will be encouraged to stay with Windows rather than drift off to Chrome OS.
The feature has been testing with the Insider Programme for some time, but its full rollout will mark a period of analysis as to whether Microsoft can make good its mobile ambition through being a cuckoo rather than a creator.
The first devices to see the feature are the newly announced Surface machines which were revealed in New York yesterday.
We haven't had a chance to test the new Windows Update yet. As ever it is rolling out in phases and is yet to reach Blighty at time of writing. We'll have to wait and see, therefore if the link between phone and desktop is good enough, therefore to play games lag-free, or if it's just about keeping an eye on the home screen.
If it's in any way decent, it will create a number of opportunities for use cases that could eclipse anything that multiple windows on a monitor can provide.
The last serious attempt at anything like this was MyMobiler, the screen mirroring app originally released as part of Windows Mobile 7 (that's the old, Windows CE based version of Windows Mobile).
This is just the beginning for Your Phone and Android and richer integration is expected in future updates.
There will also be a way of picking up where you left off on an iPhone, but that's not directly connected to Your Phone, at least for now. μ
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