The developers of Windows 10 have given what amounts to a humble admission that most users of their new PC operating system will also be users of mobile devices from their closest rivals. With over 90% market share combined, it would be folly to ignore iOS and Android devices.
This support starts with a Companion app built into Windows 10 that pairs your device with your PC and Microsoft account and automatically sets up the correct apps for crossplatform compatibility. Microsoft has borrowed a page from the Apple playbook with their use of the word “magically” when describing this app.
The magic includes:
- Photo syncing through OneDrive. All photos taken automatically show up on the PC’s Photo app.
- Music syncing through OneDrive. You can play any of your music for free on all of your devices.
- OneNote syncing between your PC and phone.
- Office document syncing.
A Cortana app is coming to iOS and Android. This has most of the capabilities of its Windows equivalent, such as note taking, reminders, tracking flights, etc. This isn’t integrated into the OS like it is on Windows, so more advanced capabilities like “Hey Cortana”, toggling settings, and opening apps won’t be available.
Ballmer’s philosophy of Windows exclusivity was admirable but an abject failure. With Microsoft embracing all manner of devices, it is obvious that the potential and revenue they get from people using their services is far more important to them than increasing their device market share.
On the device front, this move enables a quick pivot. If Windows 10 Mobile and its associated devices fail to make a splash during this summer and autumn, Microsoft will still have a way of gaining a foothold on mobile through its PC OS. This is a completely pragmatic and sensible move.