How Much Windows Phone is in Windows 10?

Christian Cawley 29-06-2015

Windows 10 includes a collection of new features that might seem familiar to some. While they’re hitting Windows desktops for the first time, these features have already been seen on Windows Phone.


Like Windows 8 before it, Windows 10 owes a lot to work pioneered on Windows Phone, but rather than adopting the user interface wholesale as before, Microsoft has opted to use the mobile platform as a testing ground for new features that can then be introduced into Windows 10.

Existing Similarities Between Windows Phone and Windows

The Windows desktop OS borrowing features from Windows Phone is nothing new. Windows 8 featured the erstwhile “Metro” tile-based user interface, which many preferred to bypass in favour of the traditional Windows desktop How To Quickly & Easily Disable The Metro User Interface In Windows 8 One of the most striking things about Windows 8 – beyond the Metro user interface – is the lack of a traditional Start menu in favour of tiles. However with a desktop view available for... Read More .

Metro, later known as “Modern interface”, was originally introduced with Windows Phone 7 back in 2010. While fast and easy to use, the UI had some frustrating quirks that made some tasks, like uploading photos to Facebook, quick to complete, but others, such as toggling mobile data connectivity required multiple taps.


At the same time, however, the unification of your contacts and the presence of Facebook (and later LinkedIn) updates in the People hub> meant that you could stay in touch without installing the third party apps. This functionality was extended to Windows 8.1, along with improved cloud integration with OneDrive, included on Windows Phone 8.1 and the desktop equivalent.


Both platforms have had the benefit of an official online store, too, which is increasingly important as a delivery system not only for games, apps, and entertainment, but for updates, too.

How else is the desktop Windows 10 influenced by the mobile version of Microsoft’s operating system?

The Obvious Choice: Cortana

Anyone who has been following Windows 10’s development will know that Cortana is a key element of the new OS, and that the voice-activated digital assistant with a sense of humor Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Bored with no one to talk to? Why not strike up a conversation with your Windows Phone? These cues will make Cortana talk. Read More first appeared on Windows Phone 8.1.



We’ve given you a preview of how Cortana will work in Windows 10 Cortana Arrives on the Desktop & Here's What She Can Do for You Is Microsoft's intelligent digital assistant as competent on the Windows 10 desktop as she is on Windows Phone? Cortana has a lot of expectation on her shoulders. Let's see how she holds up. Read More , and it really looks like an exciting development that will give Windows an edge over Mac OS X and Linux.

While Siri is expected to hit Apple’s desktop OS at some point, the only way to enjoy Google Now (as seen on Android) on a desktop computer is via the Chrome browser, and even this will require that you’re also using it on iOS or Android. Alternatively, fans of Google Now might abandon Windows and install Android as their desktop OS How to Install Android on Your Netbook or Laptop Now you can install Android on your netbook or laptop with this simple and easy guide. Read More , but this is an extreme measure, we think you’ll agree.

User Interface Elements

Let’s be honest: Windows 10 is designed for mobile and desktop operating systems Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More . Many screens and menus, while already vertical, have been restyled to match the new Windows 10 mobile look, which in turn are based on buttons and elements from Windows Phone 8.1.



For instance, we’ve got the vertical presentation of the results of a search, as well as the All Apps list, Windows 10’s version of the Windows Phone Apps screen, which can be found at the foot of the Start menu. As with Windows Phone, you can even tap a letter in the search box to display a list of alphabetized squares, enabling you to jump to the section of the list where the app you’re looking for can be found.

The Settings screen, too, owes an awful lot to Windows Phone. Although this was partially the case in Windows 8.x, there is even less reliance on the Control Panel of old in Windows 10.

Wi-Fi Sense

A key new feature in Windows 10 is Wi-Fi Sense, which uses social data to find open wireless networks for you to connect to the Internet with. This happens in the background, using data that Microsoft has gathered from social contacts also using Windows 10.

Wi-Fi Sense was introduced with Windows Phone 8.1. It uses your location to connect automatically to non-secure hotspots. Clearly, this isn’t wise for security purposes, so we recommend to limit the use of this feature to light browsing; don’t use Wi-Fi Sense connections for online banking and other services that require a secure HTTPS connection What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default Security concerns are spreading far and wide and have reached the forefront of most everybody's mind. Terms like antivirus or firewall are no longer strange vocabulary and are not only understood, but also used by... Read More .


Windows Phone: The “Failed” Mobile OS That Is Everywhere in Windows 10

We’ve already seen that Windows 10 and Windows 10 for mobile are essentially the same operating system with different user interfaces and feature sets depending upon the device, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the next iteration of Windows includes quite a bit of Windows Phone.

Of course, Windows 10 also has some features removed, such as Windows Media Center, although plenty of alternatives exist 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center for Windows 10 Windows 10 will offer many new features, but some old favorites will be deprecated. The Windows Media Center will no longer be supported. Here are alternative media center application compatible with Windows 10 to take... Read More . Oh, and Windows 10 has features you can unlock Under the Hood: 6 Hidden Windows 10 Features You Can Unlock Windows 10 is full of secrets and surprises. Some new features are just not very well known, yet. Here are six tips for customizing your Windows 10 experience. Read More , too.

What features are you most looking forward to in Windows 10? Tell us in the comments.

Related topics: Microsoft Cortana, Windows 10, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Personally, I found the Title of this report mis-leading. I have been looking high and low for anyone that can verify my observations on Win 10 (X64-X86). it certainly appears Redmond has created a successful 'mashup' of Windows RT (ARM) and Windows (Intel).

    WUP looks to me like: Win 10 Mobile = ARM no Desktop. Windows 10 (Desktop) ARM or Intel. Windows Server = Blended or Hybrid Cloud; some 'Nano' services bolted in per config.

    The nano bolt on difference being a service is not automagically trusted.

    I'm NOT a MCSD. However I'm been kicking the tires of coding for 49 years and 11.5 months now. That MSFT managed to completely re-write (and trash) code going back to the mid 80's AND keep legacy code and calls running, THAT is the Greatest Rabbit From a Hat trick man has seen in IT since multi-tasking.

    If there is a geek reading this that has been poking in the dark, I'd love to swap observations. If you watch Channel 9 and been trying to remove the marketing smoke, a chat would benefit both of us. .

    • Christian Cawley
      July 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

      How exactly can a question be misleading?

  2. Anonymous
    June 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I disagree with Make Use Of on how to conclude that "Windows Phone: The “Failed” Mobile OS That Is Everywhere in Windows 10" - Which is wrong, if you got your research right, since Make Use Of is based in the UK, my town(Colchester, Essex), I see a lot of Windows Phone users there and I see a growth of Windows Phone presence and platform growth as seen of lot of UK developers developing apps for the platform, it's marketshare in the UK reached nearly 10% back in Q2 Spring 2015 and Lumia sales reached 500,000 Q1 sales in the UK, It is the most successful mobile OS in Europe with nearly 10% marketshare, outselling iPhones and close to outselling Android budget smartphones and some high end too. So I fail to see how "Failed" Windows Phone is, it may not be the largest mobile OS marketshare out there, its 3rd biggest out there in the world, and it is the worlds fastest growing mobile OS which MS will make the platform growth with new incentives for Windows 10 platform across the mobile spectrum for Q4 growth and momentum ahead with its upcoming flagships and other high end devices from other phone partners. Go to Kantar Worldpanel Research for Windows Phone market results, its clearly showing how its growing this past two quarters of this year and I don't see it slowing down and growing in the next two quarters. This conclusion has lead into a poor article, I enjoyed the beginning and middle but the end. I am disappointed with MakeUseOf of its biased view against the WP mobile platform. That was cheap Christian Cawley (Author)

  3. Anonymous
    June 30, 2015 at 5:46 am

    will windows phone 10 will allow OTG

    • Anonymous
      June 30, 2015 at 11:09 am

      yep. It has been included in windows 10 mobile builds recently

    • Anonymous
      July 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Rakesh, Windows 10 Mobile already supports OTG the preview. Moreover, the upcoming hero devices (940 & 940 XL) are rumored to feature a USB type-C port instead of the MicroUSB port, meaning adaptors won't be needed for connecting some devices currently, and most devices in the future.