Two years from now Microsoft will probably be running a similar promotion to get people to switch to Intel based smartphones. It seems to be headed down the same mistaken path Microsoft took with RT & tablets.
What Microsoft & Intel need to keep in mind is that their greatest combined competitive advantage not dependent on Intel's manufacturing prowess is the unrivaled ecosystem of Windows applications made possible by x86 architecture. Even with the most efficient clever designs ARM cannot deliver that capability.
Heed the lessons of Sun Tzu.
Android smartphones is ARM's battlefield and certainly Intel can fight there, but a much greater victory is possible when WINTEL moves the battlefield to ground of their choosing and that's x86-based Windows smartphones. Success is WINTEL's to lose as long as they seize the opportunity.
It's liberating to have a portable device that delivers the same full-service OS as the one has on their desktop. It's taking a while for some to discover this but they're getting there.
LOL. When I first began talking about the hybrid smartphone/portable Windows desktop it was only a concept as the needed hardware didn't exist. Today, new smartphones easily have the power and Microsoft calls the concept Continuum. While Microsoft's first implementation is short of the full objective what's important is that they are now officially championing the user model. This is a breakthrough.
The only thing that remains is the Intel version of the product then Microsoft's Continuum really will deliver on the promise.
The first to benefit are those that carry a laptop and smartphone between the office and home every day. That's a pretty large market right there. I wouldn't rule out business oriented hotels having these accessories. Now if you're going to the beaches of Belize maybe not.
Later this capability could be use future versions of Google Glasses. Fundamentally, the hardware resources will already be there. They will get used.
Agree with the analogy to RT and for MS to get serious doing it with an x86 device. Implementing Contiuum on ARM will only get them so far and in my mind not enough to make a compelling case to buy a Windows smartphone over Android or iPhone. On the other hand a true desktop, even if a lite one would differentiate Windows phones from all other offerings in a visible way. And MS is so far behind in smartphones they need all the advantages they can get.
Even if it was an Intel SoC with support for legacy apps it technically still doesn't violate the MS's earlier policy because the experience is not being delivered on the smartphone's screen, it's being delivered on an external monitor much larger than 7". It's essentially does the same thing as an Intel HDMI stick.
At least now that the single-device-to-carry "Continuum" concept is out there and people will soon begin asking if I can launch Word why can't I launch my other favorite Windows apps. There is no good reason Microsoft should deny the public that convenience, nor should MS deny themselves the revenue potential in doing so.
A pivotal moment and definitely a step in the right direction of enabling smartphones to do more. The video in the article articulates the user benefits of the hybrid smartphone-PC I've described. However, the article isn't clear if the applications capable of being run are limited to Microsoft applications versus any legacy Windows app. After seeing the video I'm inclined to believe the apps are limited to Microsoft's Universal apps which means the PC experience will be very limited and the user will need to know if the application they use on their desktop is among the Universal apps.
The Continuum program is a conceptual breakthrough in the smartphone space but constraining the apps to a handful of Universal apps is too limiting. To make this the homerun event it can be the smartphone just needs to be able to run anything the user has on their desktop, at least within the available resources.
We'll get there eventually dragging and pulling Microsoft along.
When you assert that non-Intel smartphones are replacing Intel PC's it's precisely relevant. If you believe what you post it underscores the importance of WINTEL making such a product, which some report is already on the way.
If that's true it's another good reason Intel & Microsoft should make a smartphone that can run full Windows while docked. If anyone is going to replace the PC, it should be done by the two companies that created it.
The fabrication advantage up to this point has been a huge benefit in Intel's traditional markets. They've crushed AMD to the point of near bankruptcy and they've successfully blocked ARM encroaching on any of it's traditional markets, particularly servers and at the same time they've thrown ARM out Microsoft's tablet business.
Smartphones are a special case. While they enjoyed the fab advantage they just didn't have a complete mobile offering to be competitive in that space. LTE was a big hurdle and many frequently reminded us of that. Intel has that now. There may be other things they need but piece by piece they've been removing barriers so what's different about 10nm is that it will probably be the first time they've had a complete product offering for the smartphone market along with the manufacturing advantage.
That is true generally, and most certainly was true when Intel's mobile parts had process superiority but lacked key communications components needed in the marketplace. What's different this time around is that Intel has largely filled-in those missing pieces with very competitive offerings.
Those may be true but they're not good excuses for failing to make the right product. A product manager should be keenly aware of the competitive strengths/weaknesses of existing products that will compete with what they plan on selling. If what the product manager is building is underwhelming compared to what's already in the marketplace the individual needs to step up and say they need more time or resources.
It's not like the market is screaming for this product so Intel should have waited until they could deliver something that would really impress, especially since it's sold under Intel's brand. Right now this looks like a product looking for a problem to solve and it's not even very impressive at that.
I don't doubt the product manager was advised the product needed a fan. The better question is why the product manager didn't redesign the device so it didn't need one.
ArsTechnica has a fairly thorough article on the Intel HDMI stick. According to the article this device has a fan. Tell me it isn't so. My $55 Winbook tablet has no fan, is absolutely silent and is completely self-contained when needed. Plus it's HDMI port allows one to do everything the HDMI stick can for a third of the price of the Windows version.
What product manager dreamed this up?
"At the time" is the key phrase. Plans have to adapt and Microsoft realizes this. Besides Microsoft has to offer the consumer something they can't already get with an Android or iPhone and a full Windows desktop (at least part time) would certainly be that.
In the end no matter what Microsoft has said before I am confident such a device will eventually be made because consumers want it and Microsoft desperately needs a competitive advantage to get traction in the smartphone market.
On a 5.75" smartphone screen the owner will most likely use touch apps designed for small screens. When docked the user would be able to get a full desktop/MS Office experience for the tasks the majority of consumers use on a daily basis.
It's not that the experience itself is revolutionary but combining both these roles into one device is. There is no reason why the future smartphone can't also deliver a desktop experience whether it's Windows or real Linux. It just happens that for Microsoft they also have the world's largest application ecosystem to bring to the device.
If Intel & Microsoft want to shakeup the smartphone industry this is the product to make.
Recent history shows Microsoft is making up new pricing policies to adapt to industry changes. Previously it would have been unthinkable for MS to make the OS free to vendors on certain classes of devices. Now we have Windows 8.1 with Bing and $55 7" tablets running full Windows.
Referring to tablets they did say earlier it was not their intent to license the OS to devices with screens larger than 7". But they never actually said they wouldn't allow full Windows to be run on a different category of device, such as a smartphone, or something else. Clearly they already allow full Windows to run on a pocket-sized Intel HDMI stick.
It appears Microsoft was making up this policy as they as go along. In any case It makes perfect sense to allow an Intel-Microsoft smartphone (if it truly exists) to deliver as much value to the consumer as possible, especially if it already has the hardware resources to do it.