When Microsoft introduced the Lumia 950 and 950XL while touting the device’s ability to run its customized Continuum experience, the company was meet with a resounding “meh” of interest from reviewers, journalists, and most consumers.
Unfortunately, obfuscated by Windows 10 Mobile’s inability to hurdle a growing app ecosystem gap and the Lumia 950 and 950 XL’s seemingly conventional hardware, Microsoft’s crown jewel in Continuum suffered a lost-in-translation moment.
Thanks to a tweet from the Walking Cat, we now see just how important Continuum is to Microsoft’s mobile future as well as the name change of the tool that highlight’s how the company views modern computing going forward.
— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) August 8, 2016
Somehow, Twitter user The WalkingCat has gotten hold of a PDF presentation that covers the evolution of Continuum’s name as well how central of a concept the experience will be for Windows 10 users.
What most people know as Continuum, was in fact planned to be called Modern Glass. In a briefing that covers Continuum: evolving the mobile experience, software engineer for Windows, Abolade Gbadegesin discusses how Modern Glass (aka Project Wizard/Tinman) developed and tackled challenges such as:
- Platform features missing on mobile, e.g. USB host, drivers
- Inappropriate platforms & UX behavior, e.g. back stack, multi-tasking
- Adapting existing apps with minimal changes
- Battery life
While much of Continuum has been explored by users by now, the somewhat lengthy PDF presentation is still eye opening as to how and why Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform plays into its single core OS philosophy and engineering.
For anyone who has seen a Microsoft Future/Visions video, it is apparent that the company believes consumer computing will evolve into a fluid capturing of screens. The gist of the Microsoft vision videos are to not only showcase its technological integration but show that instead of owning a single information loaded device, user data floats across the ether and fished to appear on whatever screen is around at the time.
Microsoft’s Modern Glass aka Continuum continues on that same thread of belief. Instead of just having a single phone with apps and data confined to the device, the phone evolves into a conduit of information, able to call down data onto other screens when applicable.
Although Microsoft’s smartphone efforts have all but fallen off the face of the earth recently, it’s ambitions in crafting a unified and user simplistic experience that spans across screens that include handheld mobile devices remains resolute.
Based on Gbadegesin’s presentation, Windows 10 Mobile users should expect to see some cool and innovative things coming from Continuum in the future.Further reading: Continuum, Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft, smartphone, Universal Windows Platform, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile