The Windows 10 release is a little over two days out and Microsoft continues to drop help videos showcasing walkthroughs of Windows 10 specific features in “10 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10”. Today’s feature of the day is Continuum. Originally demonstrated by Joe Belfiore, this is arguably the feature that would have made Windows 8 acceptable to many people. Microsoft hopes that it will make Windows familiar once again.
While Windows 8 was arguably criticized on the desktop side for not having a more traditionally functioning Start Menu the lack of a Start menu received far less criticism on the tablet side. Many Windows users argue that Windows was and still is a great way to interact with content via touch. In fact, Windows Insiders suggested a feature that would make Windows 10 behave more like Windows 8 in tablet mode.
With Continuum, Windows 10 now can adapt to the hardware that it’s installed on. Demonstrated on a hybrid device in the video: when the screen is attached to a keyboard, it shows a Start Menu and acts like a Windows 7-like desktop. When detached from the keyboard, the device will display a Start Screen and act more akin to the Windows 8 Start Screen. Of course no matter the difference in hardware, be it a tablet or laptop use, it is still possible to customize between “tablet mode” and “desktop mode”. In offering these options, Microsoft has given Windows 10 users the best of both worlds.
As July 29 is the release of Windows 10. According to Microsoft, Windows 10 Mobile is scheduled for release later this fall. However, this video doesn’t include a demonstration of Continuum for phones. The Continuum for phone feature was first demonstrated at Build 2015 and allows Windows 10 phones to behave like a full blown laptop when connected to a monitor display, mouse, and keyboard. The Start Screen of the phone transforms into a Start Menu on the monitor and Universal Windows Apps such as the Microsoft Office suite look and behave just as they would on a laptop.
Of all the features in Windows 10, Continuum is quite possibly it’s most important. Continuum is a feature Microsoft needs Windows 10 users to know about, understand and hopefully use. The more Windows 10 users understand and use Continuum, the greater chances of Microsoft’s mobile ambition staying alive as well helping PC manufacturers sell new hybrid devices in the future.