Why Microsoft's New $99 Display Dock Could Be A Game Changer (Opinion)

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hannibal

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Remix mini https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jidetech/remix-mini-the-worlds-first-true-android-pc
Is also one device that use mobile chip to produce desktop like experience, so this MS-dock can actually be really good in practice! Also WP 8 has been really light and run reasonable well also with very low specks, so it should be relative easy to 950 series to run any normal phone application.
What we now need is 64-bit version of WP10 and things can change radically.
 

ninjustin

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I think it's a good half step. The Lumina's still won't run normal windows programs (what the hell is the technical term for those), only the universal apps from the app store. I would imagine for office work though it would still be good for many people.
 

billybobser

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That does sound lovely and robust. Kinda wish my company hadn't pulled the trigger on business iphones. The utility on these devices are poor without 3rd party work arounds. (downloading a patch/file to transfer to a pc over USB anyone?)

And to be honest, the power in todays phones should have no problem running a basic office suite. ( unless it was programmed as an afterthought...).

Most of my work tasks are emails, reading technical docs/cad drawings, creating word docs/spreadsheets and cropping/basic image manipulation. Hardware is not the problem. Robust and efficient software is.

I'm glad to see companies coming up with real solutions to use a phone for all work tasks instead of having touch rammed down our throat. Touch is a terrible way to do everything.
 

blakbird24

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Well we've been waiting to see some real classic-apple-style innovation come from somewhere, since apple itself stopped doing it years ago. This may be it. Certainly looks like it on paper.

I've been saying ever since Microsoft created Windows 8 that they have a potential game changer in this unified computing concept if they can just get it right. This is the kind of thing I was talking about. A truly unified lifestyle computing platform. It's inevitable that we eventually move to the abstract form factor where all the horsepower is leased to us and we simply have choice of interface (or abstract interface, ala VR), this seems like the obvious intermediate step. Classic M$ would find a way to screw it up, but they've actually been holding up in the last couple of years, so maybe.

I'm watching intently, that's for sure.
 

schultzter

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It's not quite clear, does it charge the phone too? If not then I'd probably have to interrupt my work day to plug my phone into a charger at some point!?
 

salgado18

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When you get to test it, don't forget to try the smaller 640 with it (maybe the 540 too). They may be very limited in hardware, but that's what testing is for, right? :)
 

remyj

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Let's not forget that the ports on this device might work with tablets and laptops with the USB Type-C ports. These docks might sell very well because of this. I hope Microsoft or one of their other Windows partners build one of these docks that would stand the phone up so it could be used as a second monitor. Have a clock, calendar, or task app running on it while you do real work on the larger screen connected to it.
 

drethon

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I've said for years that all these computing devices other than a mobile device (cell phone) and high power device (desktop/server) are just display devices that happen to have a CPU.

Use some wireless method so you don't need wires and now when you walk into a computer cafe with your phone, you can just auto connect to a keyboard, mouse and display(s). Or your laptop can just display what your phone is commanding rather than having its own CPU and storage (or laptop has extra storage if needed). Then your tablet just talks to your phone to display a larger picture and when you walk into your home it can switch over to your server computer for higher processing power.

The problem likely is that there isn't much money saved by making a tablet a wireless remote screen instead of a stand alone device. Who knows though.
 

salgado18

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(To Best Of Media) Why can't you make the link change to the next article when the next article is on the middle of the screen?? The link changes while the screen is looking at comments to the previous article, so a refresh sends us to the wrong one. Seriously, can't you do a site properly? Can't you test it? Don't you have some standards of quality? Ever since Best Of Media took over, I've seen countless complaints about everything here. Pleeease, think user first!
 

Dave K

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IMO this is one area where Apple dropped the ball. I bought one of the early iPad's and had the keyboard attachment, it quickly became obvious that it wasn't that useful without a mouse, but Apple specifically disabled using a mouse with the iPad/iPhones (didn't want to cannibalize their pc business). I ended up switching to a Surface Pro, the iPad was crippled for someone who needs more than content consumption.

This little dock will likely cause me to switch to Lumia for my next phone... assuming the real hands-on testing shows it's got decent functionality. Though on the design side... they should integrate a plug into the unit (simple docking station) instead of requiring an external cable.
 

Depends

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@salgado18 - yes it does charge the phone while plugged into the dock. If you click the link in the article, the Microsoft web page discusses it.
 

hannibal

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It does require USB Type-C port, so we have to wait until there are new low and middle range phones with that port type. But next year we most likely see also those cheaper phones that can use this dock!
 

drapacioli

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your phone can't replace your PC. And it never will.
Uh...ever heard the phrase "never say never?" I'm shocked that a tech website of all places would say that a phone will never replace a PC where that is basically inevitable and simply a matter of time. People seem to forget that the capabilities of a desktop are often far beyond what the average user needs to browse facebook and watch videos, along with the occasional email and word processing.
 

Shad0wguy

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The technical term is Win32 apps. And with 110 million Windows 10 installs so far I doubt it will be long before we see other productive universal apps.
 

Shad0wguy

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It also works with bluetooth devices and miracast, so in theory the 640 could do it if it has miracast support, unless there is special hardware in the 950 to enable this.
 
Strange - pretty much any Android 4.x device can already do the same without a dock... My 2012 phone with a Bluetooth keyboard+mouse and MHL connection to a FHD screen could already handle most productivity tasks. A standard windowed user space environment is the only element missing, and installing one from Google Play is a click away. What's missing?
 

scolaner

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your phone can't replace your PC. And it never will.
Uh...ever heard the phrase "never say never?" I'm shocked that a tech website of all places would say that a phone will never replace a PC where that is basically inevitable and simply a matter of time. People seem to forget that the capabilities of a desktop are often far beyond what the average user needs to browse facebook and watch videos, along with the occasional email and word processing.
You missed the first part of that sentence: "Your phone can't do all the things your PC can -- even if that PC is a lightweight ultrabook -- and in that sense, no, your phone can't replace your PC. And it never will."

That is to say, because of physics, however powerful your phone hardware can be, the capabilities of full systems, such as laptops or desktops, will always be a step ahead.

A lot of people are going to squeal, "It can replace your PC entirely OMG!!" But it can't, not entirely, and I was just trying to emphasize that point, lest anyone think I was trying to say that it could.
 

scolaner

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(To Best Of Media) Why can't you make the link change to the next article when the next article is on the middle of the screen?? The link changes while the screen is looking at comments to the previous article, so a refresh sends us to the wrong one. Seriously, can't you do a site properly? Can't you test it? Don't you have some standards of quality? Ever since Best Of Media took over, I've seen countless complaints about everything here. Pleeease, think user first!
BoM was acquired by TechMediaNetwork a couple of years ago, and the company has since renamed itself Purch Media.

Which is to say, your ire can be directed at a different parent company. ;)

Anyway, we hear you. We send issues like this up the food chain, I assure you.
 

Larry Litmanen

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I don't know who is responsible for all these products, i guess the new CEO Satya, but lately MS has been just releasing great products. And they did it all while actually cutting the workforce.
 

ET3D

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As someone else said, that's a good half step. I'd wait for an Intel based Windows phone. The flexibility offered by full Windows is unmatched.
 

Larry Litmanen

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This could be the last attempt by MS, if you keep waiting MS may just exit the phone segment altogether.

 

Richeemxx

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It really surprises me that so many people think this is some sort of new product that is any sort of game changer. Samsung has had a Multimedia Dock out for years that has sold very well and very successfully does everything this so called new dock does. I mean I'm glad to see MS is taking steps to make some great accessories but most of what they have launched for their phones is nothing all that new.
 
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