Microsoft shows off Continuum, which lets you use your phone like a PC, in new video

Do you ever wish you could plug your phone into a monitor and use it like a PC? Microsoft’s upcoming smartphones might be what you’re looking for, then, and today Microsoft revealed more about how it will work.

The company is billing Continuum as a marquee feature for the upcoming Windows Phone 10 platform. A new video, seen above, gives us a preview of what it might be like – and also reveals some new features, including wireless display.

The video shows a user plugging a phone into a monitor and using a keyboard and mouse to design slides in PowerPoint, then using the still-connected device to send a text. There’s also a scene where a phone connects to a TV and wirelessly displays a full Windows desktop on it.

We’ve previously reported the feature will support HDMI displays and Bluetooth input devices. Microsoft now revealed that your USB mouse and keyboard can also be supported if you buy a supported dock, shown off in the video.

But perhaps the biggest reveal here, though, is wireless display. The upcoming Lumia 950 and 950 XL can connect it to Micracast devices. Microsoft says performance will depend on which model you have.  There also may be full wireless docks for the feature in the future, offering wireless display and compatible USB ports all in one device.

As we’ve previously reported, Continuum also only works for “universal” Windows apps – you won’t be able to run desktop software on your phone, with or without an external display. Still, the feature means you could use your phone in a whole new way.

Windows Phone 10 will be a free update for Windows Phone 8 devices, but the Continuum feature requires hardware that current devices don’t offer. Microsoft lists the Snapdragon 808 (MS8992) and 810 (MS8994) processors as the lowest hardware to support the feature, along with 2 GB of RAM and a USB dual-role port.

Two upcoming devices from Microsoft just happen to meet those specifications perfectly: the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL, which will be available November 20 and 25 respectively.

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