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Build 2018: Microsoft addresses the role of Windows in mobile-first era

Windows 10 Phone may be dead, but now Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 the best partner operating system for smartphones

While it is no longer developing a mobile phone operating system, Microsoft has taken further steps to make Windows 10 a partner operating system for smartphones, with greater integration with Android.

Mirroring the SideSync feature of Samsung smartphones, Microsoft said it would provide a new Your Phone experience that links a smartphone screen to a user’s PC.

Microsoft said this provides instant access to text messages, photos and notifications. For instance, a user can drag and drop images from their smartphone’s photo gallery into a document on a Windows PC.

This is part of what company CEO, Satya Nadella, described in his opening keynote: the idea of a multi-sense application that can share data across multiple devices irrespective of the operating system.

Microsoft also said its updated Microsoft Launcher application on Android will give enterprise customers a way to access to line of business applications through Microsoft Intune. Additionally, Microsoft Launcher on Android will support Timeline for cross-device application launching, the company added.

Joe Belfiore, vice-president for Windows at Microsoft, said: “[Currently], your Microsoft Edge browsing sessions on your iPhone or iPad are included in the Timeline experience on your Windows 10 PC. But later this year, we’ll show how you’ll be able to access that same Timeline on your iPhone with Microsoft Edge.”

To help websites and developers expose content, which can be consumed by third-party providers, Microsoft has introduced Adaptive Cards. Supported on iOS, Android and HTML websites, Adaptive Cards can be used to help developers create rich interactive content within conversations, enabling users to approve expense reports or comment on an issue in GitHub directly in an Outlook email or Teams chat, according to Microsoft.

The company is also making a renewed push in the payments market with Microsoft Pay. While it will work as a consumer payment services, Microsoft sees a big potential for its payment service in business.

“With Microsoft Pay, you’ll be able to quickly and securely pay bills and invoices right from your inbox,”  said Belfiore.

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