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Windows 10 turns your phone into a desktop PC

Microsoft has revealed a new Windows 10 feature which will let you use your Windows mobile as ‘almost a full PC’.

The powerful new feature, named Continuum, was originally expected to launch only for Windows 10-based tablets. However, Microsoft has opted to roll it out to both Windows 10 tablets and smartphones in order to give users a seamless all-round experience.

Your smartphone (or tablet) will be able to plug into any HDMI-compatible monitor and pair with a keyboard and mouse, allowing you to make full use of core Microsoft apps, such as Word, Excel and Outlook.

Keyboard shortcuts will work, as will copying and pasting between apps and your Word formatting will even carry across into your Outlook emails, allowing for desktop-level control over what you send.

The feature was unveiled by Microsoft’s Joe Belifore at the company’s Build conference, and Belifore went beyond the now while he was explaining the possibilities with Continuum, in the future, he said, users will be able to rely on next-gen Qualcomm processors to drive a separate monitor at the same time as your phone or tablet, allowing you to work on one screen, while you surf the Web on the other – much like you do on your own home setup.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen features of this nature touted as the next big thing.

Canonical’s apocryphal Edge device was pitched at offering users a seamless experience, with the phone able to plug into a screen and run a full version of the company’s Ubuntu OS, but when the device failed to make it past the drafting table, the concept was shelved.

Motorola also chanced its arm with the Atrix 4G. The device was one of the first to launch with the company’s “Webtop” platform included, which let users place the device on a dock and make use of a more desktop-centric, Ubuntu-based operating system.

Microsoft’s Continuum should make it a bit further down the road than previous attempts however. With the company’s might behind the idea and the support of a brand spanking new operating system in Windows 10, Continuum is likely to get some actual use and could initiate a real change in the way people buy, set up and use their hardware.

Windows 10 is heavily tipped to launch at the end of July, and Continuum-capable devices will be available shortly thereafter.

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