Image Source: Arc Technica
Hello guys, hope you guys had a great week and looking forward an awesome weekend, I am definitely.
Without much further ado, let’s get into today’s topic. But first:
What is ARM?
Advanced RISC Machine, is a low powered, low cost, low heat set of Computer Processing Unit (CPU) compared to the usual, power horse Intel Chipsets. ARM chips are suitable for portable kind of devices, such as much loved iOS devices (iPhones, iPads), Android phones and tablets, the first-gen Surface RT by Microsoft devices.
Since the Reduced Instruction Set Computing architecture is different than what we find in desktops, laptops, servers, running Win32 applications, such as iTunes, Photoshop, Word, Excel, Chrome etc, these applications do not run on ARM chipset.
Now let’s go a little back in time and talk about Windows Phone. In 2007 when Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone, Microsoft took it very lightly, like seriously lightly and never saw what was coming ahead of them, until Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that iPhones will not sell, nobody will buy a phone priced $600-700. He later however said, he should’ve moved into the hardware/phone business faster, as the competition was far ahead.
Microsoft woke up late in 2010 with their first attempt in phones, Windows Phone 7, and later in 2012, to Windows Phone 8. People did not care much in both their attempts in 2010 and 2012. Windows Phone fans and a lot of tech enthusiasts loved the fresh take on User Interface, which I am also personally in love with till date. The fast and fluid Live Tiles approach was really innovating. Instead of small count number on how many emails you got in the Mail app, the Mail app in Windows Phone would show you who the email is from and the first one or two lines of the matter itself. You can then choose to ignore the email or dive right into it.
Cut to the chase, people were already sold to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platforms, and it seemed, till date that people are not interested in any third platform. Microsoft’s own phone platform isn’t dead yet, with the current Windows 10 Mobile the development is still active but it is not at the forefront at the moment. One major failure to Windows Phone 7, 8, 8.1 or now 10 is the app gap.
App developers have simply ignored developing anything for Microsoft Phone/Mobile whatever you want to call it. They say, you have got an app for that.. sadly this statement does not apply to Windows Phone/Mobile, and that’s what made this humongous ship to sink.
Microsoft’s third coming, oh wait, fourth coming… is something really interesting and I am intrigued by this in a big way, and the actual point of this article for today is based on.
Windows on ARM
In December 2016, Microsoft tossed a bomb towards us that Windows 10 will run on ARM chips. This is huge. Imagine, a full blown Windows 10 with all the modern apps (UWP apps, save for another day/article) plus the classic Win32 apps (Chrome, iTunes, yours trully some ERP and plethora of apps) running on your tower desktop, your laptop, or, wait for it, on your phone.
If you check the above video, full Windows 10 is running on Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (or ARM) that powers most of the mobile devices today.
How is this possible? Well, Microsoft has managed to emulate Win32 apps to run on ARM. So there is going to be a layer or a framework where Windows 10 will sit on, and that layer then translates the old school instructions to the new modern ARM chipset.
Granted, the first version may not be perfect, it could be buggy and slow, whatever the case, this thing will improve overtime and it’s going to be really great.
This is my take, and a lot of tech pundits share this idea, in the near future, this magical device that every Windows Mobile fan have been waiting for, called Surface Phone. Mind you, there is no official comment, news from Microsoft on this. But endless speculations and mockups designs like one below, have been rumoring around the web.
So, one day, if Surface Phone (SP) ever happens, it would’ve crazy specs, super fast speeds, 16GB of RAM, 128GB storage, super camera, facial recognition et cetera.
This one, will be our go-to device. I mean, it is going to be THE All-In-One device. When you hold this device, it is the phone. You can do all the normal calls, text messaging, browsing the web with LTE support. When you need to do some real productive work, you can connect the phone to the dock and there you have a full blown Windows 10 operating system on your larger screen via Continuum support, you run modern apps as well as classic desktop (Win32) apps side by side on your screen, just as if this of your regular desktop/laptop computer. All your files and folders are saved on your phone or synced to OneDrive.
The operating system will be smart enough that it would detect and adapt to different screen sizes, which Microsoft is already working on it with “Composable Shell” or CShell. As Windows Central reported, “Microsoft is building an “adaptive shell” into Windows 10 that’ll work across PCs and tablets, phones, HoloLens, and even Xbox“.
I strongly feel, Microsoft is working towards this and hence, has hold onto what we have been speculating a device from the Surface family, a Surface Phone. They do not want to release a device with a Surface logo onto it where it does not differentiate itself from others. It needs to have something unique, different that it can offer. Surface brand has always been about premium, and something unique. This is true with Surface Pro lineups, Surface Book and recently and critically acclaimed, the Surface Studio. They all offer a unique take on modern PCs.
The same would go for a Surface Phone, if it ever does happen. When Windows 10 will be fully ported to ARM, which is expected to be ready by end of this year, should we then start hearing some news on the Phone side.
This is going to be a true Windows Ultimate device, a Windows device that can do it all. All you need to carry is a small phone like device into your pocket and that would be it.
What do you guys think about Windows Ultimate? Do let me know in the comments section.
That’s all for now folks, catch you all later.
You can reach me on: