In 2014, Apple introduced its Continuity feature to its line of Mac and iOS devices in a rather impressive demo at its World Wide Developer Conference. Before that, Google made a seemingly similar play with cross-device communication in its Babel service that was later renamed to Google Hangouts in 2013.
In early 2015, Microsoft held an event for the unveiling of upcoming Windows 10 features and among them was a native messaging service that would span devices (mainly Windows Phones and Windows 10 enabled PCs) that would act similar to both Google Hangouts and Apple’s Continuity. With the release of Windows 10 Insider build 14316, it looks like Windows users are inching closer to a reality of Messaging Everywhere being enabled on devices.
The idea behind Microsoft’s messaging service was simple: begin a conversation via SMS (text) on your mobile device and pick up that same conversation on your PCs desktop without hiccup or interruption. Part of Microsoft’s pitch for the messaging service leveraged its popular in-house video messaging service Skype. With Skype’s cross-platform and cross-device architecture, Microsoft would be able to deliver a truly “Messaging Everywhere” experience for Windows 10 users.
SMS on Windows 10
Since the January 2015 announcement, the company has gone relatively dark on its development or a time frame on which Windows 10 and Windows Phone users could hang their hat on regarding the feature.
However, in today’s release of Windows 10 Redstone Insider build 14316, the Windows makes an explicit call out to the feature’s continued development as well as hinting at an early implementation of it coming soon.
Messaging Everywhere Preview Coming Soon: We will soon be enabling a preview of the “Messaging everywhere” feature in Windows 10 that allows you to send and receive text messages from your phone directly from your Windows 10 PCs. You will see options for this feature in the Messaging app on PC. However, an update is required for the Messaging app for Mobile for this experience to work. More to come on this when the experience is live.”
Presumably, when the latest Windows 10 Mobile build drops or the Message App on Mobile gets updated, Insiders will finally get their hands on the long-awaited Messaging Everywhere experience. Up until recently, the Windows team had been briefly experimenting with moving text messages across mobile devices to PCs with some relative success. Perhaps, the new Messaging Everywhere Preview builds upon that with better functionality and newer features. We’ll just have to wait and see.
To get your PC and mobile device ready for the new Messaging Everywhere Preview, head over to the Windows Insider website and sign up for free to become a Windows Insider. Set your rigs to Fast Ring (presumably) and allow the Windows team to do the rest.