Windows Phone with Laptop-class processor was a Dell prototype with X86 chip, full Windows inside?

Windows Phone with Laptop-class processor was a Dell prototype with X86 chip, full Windows inside?
Just the other day, we passed along a tweet from Evan Blass which indicated that Microsoft had been working on a new phone powered by an Intel produced Laptop class processor. Blass' original tweet had made it sound as though this had been an older project that was killed off. In an update, Blass tweeted that the phone is "Much more than just a concept. Stay tuned." The news quickened the heart rate of many Windows fans who were hoping that this would be the mythical Surface Phone. Marketing material tweeted by the serial leaker made it appear as though Microsoft was moving ahead with the project.

But this is not to be. According to Thurrott.com, the device displayed in the story was a prototype made by Dell that would have used an Intel X86 processor. The images of the device tweeted by Blass could have been renders since the Intel chip for this project could never fit inside such a thin device, especially if it needed a fan to cool down. While the Dell product was basically a laptop in a phone form-factor, it would have made phone calls using cellular connectivity. With a lap dock and an early version of Continuum, this product could have powered a device with a laptop sized screen, keyboard and mouse.

While it is interesting, intriguing and hopeful that Dell was planning on stuffing the "phone" with the full version of Windows 10, the truth is that the project could not be completed. One of the reasons why Dell had to kill it was that Intel let go of its low-end chip division. 

Perhaps one day we will see Windows 10 Pro and Microsoft X86 chips powering up a mobile device with a phone style form factor. But today is not that day. Still, Dell's attempt earns it an "A" for effort.

source: Thurrott.com via MSPoweruser

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33 Comments

1. Podrick

Posts: 1284; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Can't wait to see what it brings to the table!

18. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

I'd drop any phone I currently have in a heartbeat for an x86 full windows phone.

34. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No doubt, assuming size, battery life and other specs were up to snuff.

25. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Did you read the entire article? "While it is interesting, intriguing and hopeful that Dell was planning on stuffing the "phone" with the full version of Windows 10, the truth is that the project could not be completed. One of the reasons why Dell had to kill it was that Intel let go of its low-end chip division."

2. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

OMG OMG HEAR! HEAR!! HEAR!!! If this is real, then my mind is officially blown. Especially if it runs full desktop apps. My only skepticism is that blass statement seems to be more of a "what could have been" not "what will happen"

6. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Honest question, why would you want to run desktop apps on your mobile?

10. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Why would'n he? Windows has hundreds of billions of real job apps. Using same OS like his PC on his smartphone is very convenient. Is't it?

13. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I like the idea of x86 in the phone but I still think they should not allow w32 apps to run. Simply continue pushing more developers into UWP. It's still early but there are more and more apps coming to UWP. The idea is that it will replace w32 eventually. And PC shares are falling like crazy, w32 developers need to move their apps to an api like UWP so that it can adapt to different technologies and continue to new hardware initiatives while the PC slowly fades out and remains specialized for certain fields.

19. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Even if it is able to only run a full fledge version of M$ Office, it's worth it. I'm more interested in the flexibility it would bring to the table. Being able to easily hack it to run a full version of Linux for example. Run full pc apps like Visual Studios, xCode, Eclipse, AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc. Basically all the things I still use my PC for that I can't use a smartphone for.

12. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Cuz it cool? Lol.. Well, I did put some thoughts in to this once... Main reason is that it will complete the continuum. It'll truly become a PC when docked in to a display. Current windows mobile only work with those apps specially designed for it Which wont actually replace a laptop completely cuz it can't run traditional desktop apps... This might encourage developers so they also support continuum further. In short it'll become a true all-in-one-device in a smartphone form. This is just my thought though.. There might be many more possibilities unexplored.

20. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Continuum? Continuum is just a mobile phone OS with a fake full windows GUI layered on top of it. You cannot do anything on it that you can't already do on a smartphone. M$ should just kill off the Continuum idea and bring a full fledge Windows experience to a phone using a x86 processor.

35. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Sounds like you're mistaking the half-assed Continuum for phone for true Continuum, which exists in the full Windows for devices like the Surface line, which can convert into Tablet form-factor. In the full Windows, Continuum is simply optimizing the UI for the current form-factor of the PC, 0 compromise in functionality. In the case of the Surface line and other 2-in-1/3-in-1s, it automatically switches the UI to/from a touch-friendly mode (i.e. Tablet Mode) when it detects that the keyboard is detached/attached or folded back/unfolded, have a look for yourself ( https://goo.gl/i4d6ku ). With the full Windows on a Smartphone form-factor, Continuum will simply need to be further advanced to also detect when the device is in Smartphone form-factor, thus switching the UI to one that's both suitable for small screens and touch-friendly. Basically, merge the current Windows mobile UI with Continuum in the full Windows. That way, it's a practical Smartphone when undocked and on the go, a practical Tablet when docked in something like this tablet dock of the ASUS PadFone ( https://db.tt/G6ktMJX9 ), a practical Laptop with the keyboard attached, and a practical Desktop when docked at a desktop docking station. Basically, it'll be the materialization of the practical pocket-PC.

9. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Well, the article says this might not see the light of day... Sad but there is something similar in the market already right? One with a projector and full Windows?

3. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

X86 may mean Atom processor too.

4. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

X86 CPUs are known to overheat when applied on smartphones, this heat problems are evident on Asus Zenfone series (Pre-Zenfone 3).

8. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

We need a tech expert that frequents this site to explain this with stats and essays. He's a IT xp with a wealth of knowledge in the mobile tech field.

7. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Earlier this year evleaks promised to announce something related to Windows phones that will "blow your minds" in April. Well April came and no news came out. A short while later Intel announced they were killing the low-power Atom CPU line, effectively ending any speculation of an Atom-powered x86 Windows Phone. In this tweet he's using past tense "would this have blown your mind?" hinting that his was what he was going to reveal earlier this year, but something obviously happened resulting in its cancellation, probably the discontinuation of the Atom.

14. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3112; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Sixth gen Skylake Core M doesn't require fans. However, don't expect such a thin device. There's an engineering term called "the point of diminishing returns" and this obsession with wafer-thin phones is partly to blame for all the battery-related problems with devices like the Note 7. It's not natural to hold thin phones. Our fingers are not suited to grasp leaves, they were created to grab apples (or pus*ies if you're Donald Trump).

23. Subie

Posts: 2324; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

"they were created to grab apples" Crispin, are you subliminally trying to push a particular brand? ;)

24. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3112; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That thought didn't cross my mind. I was referring to the forbidden fruit from the book of Genesis. As a point of reference mind you, I'm more Darwinian than theological.

28. Subie

Posts: 2324; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

"That thought didn't cross my mind" I figured as much, but felt like being a smart a$$ anyway :D

15. Subie

Posts: 2324; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

So this was just a concept of something that was never coming. Microsoft needs to be more vocal on what they're doing with mobile, otherwise even the patient and faithful will eventually have no choice but to jump ship.

17. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

My point exactly. Why should blass release such a phone that he probably knew would not exist and then go on to raise our hope and say that "its much more than a concept" and at the same time tell us to "stay tuned" if he knows that the device would have seeing the light of day? Which begs the question "is this an actual phone but just not the dell brand?" Maybe the surface phone? Maybe the idea is still alive? However it would be stupid for blass to bring this out if he knew it wouldn't exist. Btw, it isn't even helping matters that a guy like Andy Ruddock of androidpolice doesn't know anything about it from what I got from his comment.

16. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Or maybe the project will probably go on? and maybe just maybe blass might actually know what he's talking about? Or maybe this one isn't from dell but MS? Or maybe that site might be inaccurate? Or maybe blass ought to have earned our trust by now? PA are sounding like they don't like the idea of an all in one at this point. I wonder why they're so negative over anything unconventional. Don't know bout you but as for me I'm tired of this 2 horse race between iphone and android. Smartphones have been so boring for a long time now. In fact, I can even see next years flagship will be thesame old wine in new bottles already with just form factors changing and not much else.

21. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

If this phone was going to be developed, I would recommend making it IP68 certified to stay cool. ( and perhaps an optional detachable cooling pipe at the rear of the phone )

22. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

It makes no sense for Blass to tweet "Much more than just a concept. Stay tuned.",unless he wants to damage his credibility. He knows something.

27. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This this and this..

29. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

But What if he meant it as the fact that it was actually a real device at some point and not just a concept. Contrary to what people actually thought (as being just a concept in the first place)

30. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Possible but he still had the "stay tuned" part. To my knowledge he doesn't troll people as he has a reputation for being serious with his facts. I honestly think something is coming, but who knows.

31. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

You're actually giving me hope now

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