Windows' 'Your Phone' puts mobile files and alerts within reach

Members of the Windows Insider Program can try it first.

Satya Nadella hasn't even taken the stage to kick off Microsoft's Build developer conference here in Seattle, but the company has already released some news ahead of its opening-day keynote. Among the tidbits is that Windows is soon getting something called "Your Phone," a drag-and-drop experience that makes it easier for Windows users to access their phone's notifications and files from their desktop. Though this experience is at its best with Android phones, Microsoft is also providing some limited continuity for iOS devices in the form of shared browsing data. The catch? You need Microsoft's Edge browser installed on both your Windows machine and iPhone or iPad.

We've already seen attempts at this kind of mobile-desktop integration from third-party companies, including Dell, which unveiled its Mobile Connect software for Windows, iOS and Android at CES back in January. The benefit here, though, is that the feature would be baked right into Windows.

This feature would also seem to complement earlier efforts Microsoft has made to integrate the Windows 10 experience with Android. Last fall, for example, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Launcher, which, among other things, gives Android phone owners a "Continue to PC" option similar to Handoff on iOS. Speaking of the sort, we expect to learn more about the Microsoft Launcher sometime during this week's developer conference.

Windows 10 users with Android phones can see mobile messages and notifications on the desktop. Photos can be dragged and dropped in and out of the Your Phone window.

Microsoft says that the feature will roll out "soon," with members of the Windows Insider Program getting first crack. But when exactly? That, too, is something we're hoping Microsoft will clarify.

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