If you purchase a Windows 10 smartphone that runs on a Snapdragon 808 or 810 processor, you can use Continuum to turn it into a makeshift desktop PC. And you may eventually be able to run all your desktop apps on it, too.
Continuum can’t do that right now. In its current state, Continuum allows Windows phones to run any universal app on a smartphone on a monitor or TV when it’s connected via something like Microsoft’s desktop dock. But running legacy Win32 apps is something that Microsoft is giving some consideration. Kevin Gallo is Microsoft’s VP of the Windows Development Platform, and he told the crowd at Connect 2015 that they’re exploring the possibility.
That doesn’t come as a complete surprise. In its present state, Windows 10 mobile bears a strong resemblance to Windows RT(which Microsoft put out of its misery a while back). Back when enthusiasts were still, uh, enthusiastic about Windows RT, one of the first things they did was figure out how to jailbreak the ARM-friendly OS and get Win32 apps running on it.
Gallo didn’t get into any specifics about how or when Microsoft might deliver Win32 support. Microsoft’s been pushing hard to get developers to produce Universal apps, but there are still loads of legacy apps that would make Windows smartphones with Continuum much more interesting to potential customers — especially corporate types.
Not because they’d be able to, say, fire up their proprietary accounting software on a 5-inch screen and peck away at stacks of paperwork using the on-screen keyboard… but because the ability to run Win32 apps via a desktop dock would truly deliver on the promise of putting a complete Windows PC in your pocket.