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Microsoft wants to let you run desktop apps on your Windows phone

Microsoft wants to let you run desktop apps on your Windows phone
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICROSOFT

Microsoft hasn't had a lot of luck selling its Windows Phones. Sales lag far behind Apple iPhones and smartphones using Google's Android operating system.

Part of the problem for Microsoft is that its smartphone's apps have been paltry. It's got just 350,000 or so, compared to 1-plus million each in the App Store and Google Play store.

That may be about to change, if leaked information from a Microsoft insider at an ongoing developer conference is correct. Microsoft may be about to make its millions of desktop Win32 apps available on its new Windows 10 phones.

If so, these Win32 apps will run on Windows 10's Continuum mode. That essentially allows smartphone Internet users, who outnumber desktop Internet users worldwide, to use the Windows desktop from their phone.

Continuum is a new feature that Microsoft rolled with its new Windows 10 operating system, which was released over the summer. To do that, the Windows 10 phone must be connected to a display dock, which costs about $100.

If Microsoft does make Win32 apps available on Windows 10 phones, it follows much speculation about Microsoft's smartphone plans. Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Continuum was developed for countries where the smartphone has replaced the desktop.

This Win32 news is also fueling another rumor. Specifically, Microsoft may be developing a smartphone based on its popular Surface tablets for businesses that use Win32 apps.

No word yet on the Surface Phone. Keep reading Happening Now for updates.

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