With Continuum, capable Windows 10 Mobile devices will be able to act like PCs, hooking up to keyboards, mice, and monitors for a full Windows desktop experience, and Microsoft is looking into ways of expanding these capabilities. Apparently, that involves investigating the possibility of running Win32 apps from phones, according to Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo during the Connect() 2015 conference.
I have two things to say about this. First, this is totally cool. The idea of having just one smartphone with me that can hook up to a display, keyboard, and mouse, and then also run proper Win32 applications (instead of crappy Metro applications) is incredibly appealing to me. I like the concept of the Surface and Continuum (the device being smart enough to adapt the UI to the current input method), but a desktop with just Metro (and yes I will keep using that name) applications is pretty much useless. It’s going to need big girl applications.
Second, while cool, this is also yet another admission from Microsoft that they just can’t get developers – either inside or outside – to care much about Metro and all that it entails. Microsoft would love to move everyone – users and developers alike – over to Metro, but it just isn’t happening, and there’s no signs that it’s going to get any better in the near future. I would love for Metro to be adopted enough (and capable enough) so that it can start replacing Win32 – but it’s been years now, and it’s pretty clear that we’re just not getting there.