Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Oct 2018 23:49 UTC

The Android app mirroring will be part of Microsoft's new Your Phone app for Windows 10. This app debuts this week as part of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, but the app mirroring part won't likely appear until next year. Microsoft briefly demonstrated how it will work, though; you'll be able to simply mirror your phone screen straight onto Windows 10 through the Your Phone app, which will have a list of your Android apps. You can tap to access them and have them appear in the remote session of your phone.

We've seen a variety of ways of bringing Android apps to Windows in recent years, including Bluestacks and even Dell's Mobile Connect software. This app mirroring is certainly easier to do with Android, as it's less restricted than iOS. Still, Microsoft's welcoming embrace of Android in Windows 10 with this app mirroring is just the latest in a number of steps the company has taken recently to really help align Android as the mobile equivalent of Windows.

Microsoft has its own Android application launcher, e-mail client (Outlook on both Android and iOS is actually quite good), browser (Edge is available on Android), Cortana, this application mirroring, and other things.

At this point, one has to wonder why Microsoft simply doesn't just release an Android phone altogether. Imagine a Surface phone, with a similar industrial design, but running Android with Microsoft's applications on top. I have no idea if such a product would be popular with consumers, and I personally would still really actually want Windows Phone to come back from the dead and magically become successful, but I'd definitely be intrigued by such a Microsoft Android phone.

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Could be interesting...
by gsyoungblood on Thu 4th Oct 2018 02:46 UTC
Member since:

I'm sad to see Windows Mobile go away too. Windows Mobile 7 (or was it 8?) was a surprisingly interesting mobile OS. I liked it. And for eyes-free texting in the car, it was the best thing out there back in 2010-12 time frame. It worked great! It integrated with my car's bluetooth better than Android or iPhone and I could send/receive messages without having to touch OR LOOK at the phone.

My one gripe with Windows Mobile all along has been the way they deactivate data and then when you want to do something you have to wait for everything to reconnect. Turn on the phone and press a square for some data app (email, weather, etc.) and watch the dots sliding across the top while the data connection (wifi or cellular) was reconnected. I found the 2 to 5 seconds annoying, especially when I just wanted to do a quick check on something. Ultimately as good as the rest of it was, that part killed it for me and I went back to Android and iOS (personal and work).

I hadn't paid much attention to the Android tools until today. I saw this article elsewhere and it prompted me to look at the Microsoft Launcher. I installed it. So far so good, I like it. We'll see how it holds up.

I agree with you, I'd like to see a Microsoft Android phone based on surface. While I've been tempted to get a Nokia 950 from swappa several times too, it's a dead end so I'm not that anxious to pay the premium most want for those phones right now.

My only issue with a Microsoft Android phone, and it has given me pause when installing the launcher too, is the invasive way Microsoft has started collected data from OS users. Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare with all the nonsense they try to collect. And it seems SmartScreen calls home when you press things on the screen too (found some odd DNS queries and when I researched it, it went back to SmartScreen). I've already begun distancing myself from Google because they've been getting more invasive and show no signs of improving, so I'm not sure if a Microsoft Android phone would be good or not.

The sad thing is, there's really not a viable option for anyone who just wants a basic, secure, non-privacy invasive device any more. If I'm missing one, please post a reply and let me know. The closest I've seen has been iOS, but Apple has their own issues. Maybe I should hang up my tech hat and go luddite.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Could be interesting...
by Morgan on Thu 4th Oct 2018 22:10 UTC in reply to "Could be interesting..."
Morgan Member since:

It integrated with my car's bluetooth better than Android or iPhone and I could send/receive messages without having to touch OR LOOK at the phone.

This was my favorite aspect of Windows Phone/WM10, iOS can't even come close to it. It really felt like the future, and even though my iPhone is indispensable at work, for personal use I really miss Windows Phone.

Reply Score: 4

v Comment by theuserbl
by theuserbl on Thu 4th Oct 2018 08:12 UTC
RE: Comment by theuserbl
by Odwalla on Thu 4th Oct 2018 11:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by theuserbl"
Odwalla Member since:

Wow, that's a whole bunch of nonsense right there.

There's so much to unpack. But let's just hit a highpoint or two. What in the world is a 'quasimonopoly' and how do you feel that a company making a line of desktops, laptops, and hybrids is in any way monopolize the marketplace?

Where does your inside knowledge of how these small phone apps are some sort of poison pill that will make us all want to have a Windows Mobile device in the future? Microsoft has stated publicly and repeatedly that they are not focusing on a mobile OS and that their strategy is to provide apps and services where their customers want them; Windows on the desktop and Android and iOS on mobile devices.

No, seriously, wtf is a "quasimonopoly"?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by theuserbl
by cybergorf on Fri 5th Oct 2018 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by theuserbl"
cybergorf Member since:

No, seriously, wtf is a "quasimonopoly"?

"apparently but not really; seemingly.
being partly or almost."

e.g. MS-Windows on the PC-Desktop:
Yes there is macOS, Linux, BSD and so on ... but MS is running on >90% of all desktop computers, so while not being a real monopoly the consequences are very similar - hence "quasimonopoly".

MS has done the "embrace, extend, and extinguish" cycle on many it-technologies again and again, so it is fair to assume they will try this again e.g. on phones and tablets.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by theuserbl
by Odwalla on Sat 6th Oct 2018 01:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by theuserbl"
Odwalla Member since:

So a 'partial exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service'.

"Partial exclusive" is oxymoronic and can be loosely translated to 'normal'. So the OP is all conspiracy-theory triggered because Microsoft is competing normally in the hardware space, where they do not have anything close to a dominant position. Oh no!

Microsoft isn't going to come out with some magical app or service that is so good all Android and iOS users will instantly dump their devices and buy Microsoft hardware if they only make a future version of this mythical app/service run on non-existent MS hardware. I realize any dose of rational thought won't sit will with the 'M$' crowd who needs to have an evil corporate antagonist in their lives or else they can't feel fulfilled by raging anonymously on the internet.

Even if Microsoft came out with this unicorn app. If they then took their ball and went home open source would swoop in and fill the void with a 100% compatible alternative with a not-in-joke name and a UI that is well designed and easily understood, right?


So yeah, rage against the Microsoft of your fears. Nevermind that the Surface lineup is all great hardware; that Windows 10 is a powerful and approachable OS with a huge ecosystem, strong Linux support system and a shell/console that is (albeit *finally*) OpenSSH and VT100 compatible; or that Office is available just about anywhere these days, regardless of your mainstream desktop or mobile OS of choice.

Reply Score: 2

Play Store
by Adurbe on Thu 4th Oct 2018 08:41 UTC
Member since:

The reason Microsoft won't embrace it in that way is the Google Play store. Its well documented that that is where the money is. Competing with Samsung and the various Chinese brands on numbers is just a no-go at this stage.
The apps Microsoft is pushing to android is to link business users to Windows and Office (its cash cows). Its tried and failed in the mobile market and wasted a fortune in doing so. If its going to release a "surface phone" it needs to be a paradigm shift. I am expecting more like a Gemini than an iPhone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Play Store
by The123king on Thu 4th Oct 2018 09:04 UTC in reply to "Play Store"
The123king Member since:

I expect a highly customised fork of Android with Windows integration would be surprisingly successful. Even if it had to run apps in a quasi-WINE-like way.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Play Store
by Adurbe on Thu 4th Oct 2018 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Play Store"
Adurbe Member since:

What makes you say that? Their own phone strategy clearly failed, and the profit areas are duopoly in the market. Where do you think they would fit in?

Reply Score: 2

Purism Librem
by Danniello on Thu 4th Oct 2018 09:31 UTC
Member since:

Windows Phone back? What for? Who needs yet another walled-garden phone ecosystem?

Microsoft is definitely taking Apple approx with Windows 8/10 - more, and more things are "Metro only" that could be installed via WinAppStore only - the same would be with phone.

Google walled-garden is the most open, but in fact Android also it is a mess. Android, Chrome - these are only terminals that harvest user data for Google (plus other apps/games installed on phone that do the same, but for other companies like Facebook, etc.)

What we really need is phone equivalent of PC - without proprietary blobs / closed firmware that forbid install/update system on phone. In such case - you could install any system would you like.

There is such initiative - Purism Librem 5... I hope they will succeed...

Reply Score: 4

What would be *really* interesting.....
by A.Dev on Thu 4th Oct 2018 11:05 UTC
Member since:

Was if MS developers starting to contribute to the Fuschia stack.

That would finally signal that the OS is now a commodity and the competition is happening elsewhere in services.

It would also be interesting to see Google's ( and Apple's ) reaction.

Obviously not expecting it to happen - direct Windows OS revenue is still huge, as is the associated server/enterprise revenue.

Reply Score: 1

It's not that great
by missingxtension on Thu 4th Oct 2018 11:53 UTC
Member since:

Cortana in Android is not even 5% as good as on windows phone. Just like it was stated. I never had to touch the phone for Txt messaging. Google now is useless, no where near as useful as cortana was.
Edge is just a chrome with Ms services, I'd rather use kiwi browser.
Outlook is OK, I prefer the BlackBerry Hub and keyboard. The BlackBerry dual language keyboard and gestures just work.
My launcher is zeam with no drawer or icons. So my screen is nothing but a status bar and a beautiful girl. No annoying icons or widgets, all other launchers look like they vomited! Too much crap! Folders are just a stupid work around for Apple springboard not supporting an app drawer, it's a stupid reason for Android. All I needed was a browser that worked. Edge on windows phone worked soo good.
I don't need Facebook, bank, instagram or most apps. They are all just links to websites. In most cases, the website has more features, like in Facebook site you can skip cropping profile photos. I don't have an app that I must have. Maybe just snapchat, but then they did the stupid redesign. Waze for being an a ten year old app works pretty good in windows phone. I actually prefer the spartan look! It so much easier to see the map than current waze or Google maps. I am so tired of this useless updates that are forced on you by android developers.
They add features I don't need or have interest in, but they are forced. Then you have Facebook, instagram, and messenger lite auto updating outside the app store!!
Just give up on android! It's already too mature to fix any of the problems. It's amazing how fluid my older devices are, even 4.0 or 3.0 is soo fast!
Buts it's so hard to find a 950xl or hp elite for a good price today. I can see why, it's the equivalent of finding an x58 motherboard at a decent price.

Edited 2018-10-04 11:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Thu 4th Oct 2018 13:21 UTC
Member since:

Windows was never useful, because it combined iOS's draconian sideloading rules with Android's update mess. The worst of both worlds. I 'd rather it stayed dead. What's the point of having a third choice if it combines the faults if the first two choices?

Edited 2018-10-04 13:22 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Microsoft Android?
by jessesmith on Thu 4th Oct 2018 13:45 UTC
Member since:

I think it would be tricky for Microsoft to launch their own Android-based phone, since they have claimed Android infringes on their patents. Microsoft would then be selling a product that they have filed legal action against.

MS probably makes more money from patent licensing for other companies' Android phones than they would make on their own.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Microsoft Android?
by fretinator on Thu 4th Oct 2018 17:20 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Android?"
fretinator Member since:

I think it would be tricky for Microsoft to launch their own Android-based phone, since they have claimed Android infringes on their patents.

They already collect a fee for a large number of the Android Phones sold. This would just be an Android phone that DIDN'T have to pay MS a license fee.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Microsoft Android?
by Odwalla on Sat 6th Oct 2018 01:57 UTC in reply to "Microsoft Android?"
Odwalla Member since:

There's no pending litigation from Microsoft concerning Android and patents. That has been settled for years. From patent licensing fees Microsoft makes (the last time this was ever discussed in the tech press) somewhere around $1 (US) per Android handset manufactured.

There would be no legal issues or ramifications if Microsoft built an Android based phone. If they used AOSP they'd have to provide their own services stack, just like Amazon does.

There's very little business case for them to make their own handset. It would be confusing to consumers and have to compete against both the iPhone and the Galaxy.

Making apps and services available on both iOS and Android, and cutting inclusion deals with existing hardware vendors (Office on Galaxy phones, for example) puts Microsoft in a place where they can monetize services users want without having to get in the risky and thin-margin mobile hardware business.

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

I switched the launcher on my aging Nexus 6P, and it restored the device to its former glory (I suspect the problems with performance stemmed from Google's abandonment of the default Google Now launcher in favor of the Pixel launcher).

I really don't know why you'd ever want Windows on a Mobile device though - it's underlying security model is so broken I don't think it can ever be fixed.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:

Windows Phone was just fine security-wise, without all the legacy baggage; it demostrably could be fixed.

Reply Score: 3

Member since:

Google has product tie-ins if phone wants to be Android.

So no outlook, bing, edge, and quite a few things. At least not as defaults.

So no MS Android any time soon. ;)

Reply Score: 2