A Personal Operating System with Microsoft’s Project Rome

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Back in the day, people rarely used multiple devices. They could easily substitute their device with a new one when they feel like using better software or need a more feature-rich operating system. But things have changed now. Users use devices differently today. They use multiple devices of different form factors now like tablets, smartphones, wearables etc. alongside desktops and laptops, and conduct activities across them all.

There’s a downside though. Using multiple devices required users to perform atypical actions like USB drives due to context switching. This affects developers as well, as they will have to figure out a way to sustain user engagement while the user switches between devices and applications.

Each device behaves differently. So switching devices to perform a particular task can be quite complicated. This is where Microsoft’s Project Rome comes in.
 

Mobility of Experiences

 
Microsoft’s idea is to solve this complexity and replace it with fluidity i.e. the user gets to move wherever they want while the ecosystem enhances the experience. This mobility of experiences spans areas like form factors, intelligent assistance etc.

According to the tech giant, Project Rome helps deliver fundamental advances, in a way that adds value across these areas, thus delivering a more personal operating system for next-gen computing.
 

Project Rome

 
The Microsoft technology solution consists of:

  • A Programming Model – The model is delivered as APIs for various popular platforms including Windows, Android, and iOS. The APIs enable cloud and client apps to build experiences using the capabilities of Project Rome.
  • Infrastructure Services – A set of services in the Microsoft Cloud for cross-platform and Windows-based devices.
  • A Device Runtime – The runtime connects Windows-based and cross-platform devices and integrates them to the Project Rome infrastructure services.

The result?

The type of device, the form factor, and the platform wouldn’t matter. Users can perform tasks or projects without being concerned about the form factor.

Context-switching without losing the context.
 

Connecting Windows to Microsoft Graph

 
A favorite of developers, Microsoft Graph allows them to use a single endpoint to access Microsoft data without calling different endpoints and dealing with multiple data and auth formats.

In addition, users can:

  • Navigate between entities and relationships
  • Access data and intelligence from multiple Microsoft cloud services

Through Project Rome, Windows can now connect to Microsoft Graph by adding new entities to the Microsoft Graph API set.

Using REST endpoints in Microsoft Graph, developers will be able to access devices used by users, including Android and iOS devices essentially breaking down barriers between devices.
 

Driving User Engagement

 
Developers can use two APIs from Project Rome to drive user engagement between two or more devices.

They are RemoteSystems and RemoteSessions.

RemoteSystems

The API enables developers to:

  • Discover active devices in proximity or through the cloud, and connect to them
  • Launch apps on these devices remotely
  • Send messages to the apps on connected devices

Leveraging these capabilities, developers will be able to build apps that provide rich single-user experiences across multiple platforms.

RemoteSessions

While RemoteSystems can be used to create single-user experiences, the RemoteSessions APIs enable developers to create multi-user experiences. For instance, multiple users in proximity will be able to start a collaborative session together like for playing games, editing videos etc.

The APIs arrived with the Windows Fall Creators update. The Android and iOS implementations will be released soon.
 

Conclusion

 
Barriers between devices will not be a problem anymore with Project Rome. User experiences will not be constrained to a single device. Unlike other Microsoft technologies, Project Rome holds immense potential and can lead to a future where switching between multiple devices will be seamless, productive, and hassle-free regardless of the platform and the form factor. So basically, the technology delivers a personal operating system enabling context switching between devices without losing context.

Written by Ratheesh V S

Ratheesh directs Verbat's Microsoft Technology vision and is responsible for aligning the company’s technical competence with the emerging trends and futuristic technologies, relevant to our customers. His passion and expertise in the technology space has helped the company in delivering world-class services to its global customers.

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