Those dual-screened experiences Panay describes are just as reliant on the software working well as they are on the two screens existing side by side. And that’s where Android comes in. At some point Microsoft determined that if you can’t beat them, you need to join them and try your darnedest to differentiate. It will attempt to make Microsoft apps the best Microsoft apps you can get on an Android device.
When I ask him if he ever considered reviving a Windows mobile OS, Panay says no. Twice. And he says it firmly. “At the end of the day, where the applications sit today, the opportunity that people have already leaned into, that developers have already taken advantage of—it’s right there. And there’s a reality to that. To ignore that would be silly.”
Of course they never considered using Windows for a mobile phone. That ship has sailed, crashed, and sunk, and the market just isn’t open to any new entrants, as the lack of response to this change.org petition illustrates.
For me there is some irony in this revelation, not that it matters but I had always thought the tiled interface of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Phone were a superior interface for this type of mobile device, dual screen device. If I let go of prejudice I found them functionally far superior to iOS or Android. The more traditional interfaces simply persist because people are people that resist change and embrace familiarity, you can give a device a shiny new coat like a dark theme, curved screen or haptic feedback, but change the way the end user has to function and you are dead in the water, I think that is why Android and iOS persist, because to the end user they are really just mangled representation of legacy desktops and as such remain largely familiar. I think the chaos that exists in the space between tablets and phones for both Apple and Samsung displays this state of affairs nicely. The old way is the right way, at least in perception.
But alas however the OS appears and functions to the end user, it will make little difference if there are zero developers and apps.
btw., As popularly reported I don’t see that these new devices are trying to bridge some ethereal gap between phone and desktop, as I’m sure the marketing intent will that you own all three, one is not obsoleting the other!
It funny that they say the market is not open to new entries. Librem 5 and Pinephone are attempting just that.