Reviewers of Microsoft’s Continuum feature have found it much like Samuel Johnson regarded lady preachers: “like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all".
Continuum turns Windows 10 phones into a PC once you add a keyboard and mouse. It has its limitations, the obvious being that only Universal (ARM-based) apps, such as the built-in versions of Microsoft Office, will run on the new configuration.
Chipset support is another. So far only the two dedicated Windows 10 phones, each running high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, can do Continuum, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL.
Microsoft has quietly added another, a mid-range part, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MS8952, which becomes first mid-range processor to gain support.
Qualcomm’s 617 is an octocore chip with the all-important dual image support necessary to provide the graphical grunt work for Continuum to tick.
HTC’s One A9 is one of the first phones to feature the 617. However, Microsoft still requires 2GB of RAM (minimum, 3GB recommended) to do Continuum.
Microsoft needs all widespread third-party support if Continuum isn’t to remain a novelty. Even if you have all the hardware ducks lined up, and can get it working, Continuum still needs apps and essentials like support for keyboard shortcuts. ®