Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Is Microsoft Merging Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 Desktop OS and How?

Is Microsoft Merging Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 Desktop OS and How?

Looks like MS is preparing to merge Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8, but they're not sure how to do it yet. I heard some rumours they're trying to run run Windows 8 on some ARM phone hardware. Windows Phone 7 is still based on Windows CE, which was cut down to fit on year 2000-era ARM devices and hasn't been beefed up that much since then, while Android and iOS are based on Unix cores more comparable to Windows 7 or Windows 8 for desktops. Windows CE is still popular for vertical-market small-screen data entry and device controls (on MS campus, desktop phones and room reservation gadgets are based on CE) which have not yet switched to either iOS or Android. ARM devices now are running  as much or more powerful hardware as Intel PCs were in the year 2000 especially for video and graphics.

The first decent PDA was palm when CE was based on "palmtop" very-small clamshell devices which succeeded the tiny DOS-based HP 100LX and 200LX, but lost steam once Microsoft essentially took the spirit of Palm into the "pocket pc" and made phones out of it. The pocket pc phones could do much of what you can do with the iPhone today, except not as well, and not as easy to use. It used stylus, not finger gesture as was essentially a shrunk down desktop user interface, where iPhone re-thought out how to do a gui with fingers and gestures.

Apple so  far has had not that much commonality between Mac and iOS other than Cocoa UI and the offbeat objective C which make it really hard to port to either WP7 (C# Silverlight XAML) or Android (Java)

From zdnet:

but here's the meat:

Earlier this year, there were some major leaks as to what Microsoft was planning to deliver as part of the feature set for the next version of the Windows Phone OS. Among the planned features:
* Support for multicore processors
* Support for four new screen resolutions
* Support for removable microSD card storage
* Support for NFC and an associated “Wallet Experience”
* Inclusion of core Windows elements, including kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support
* New data-tracking capabilities, showing users a breakdown of their data consumption by various networks
* Use of a proxy server to deliver pages more efficiently and quickly to Internet Explorer 10 Mobile
* Addition of native BitLocker encryption and Secure Boot
* A separate but improved Skype application, but not integration of Skype into the operating system
* Replacement of the Zune PC client software with an update mechanism more akin to ActiveSync. (The new update mechanism is codenamed Daphne, according to one of my contacts.)
Microsoft officials have continued to decline to say whether existing Windows Phones will be able to run the Windows Phone 8 operating system. My contacts said earlier this year that this would not be the case, as did unnamed sources speaking to The Verge.
Microsoft also has shared previously a few tidbits about its Windows Phone OS 8 developer strategy. Microsoft is believed to be looking to unify its PC and phone developer ecosystem, and is expected to alter its current Windows Phone toolset and guidance to mirror that offered for Metro-Style apps for Windows 8.
Microsoft officials have said that existing Windows Phone apps will run on Windows Phone 8 devices, and that Microsoft will continue to support XNA to some degree with Windows Phone 8. They’ve been vaguer about plans for Silverlight support for the Windows Phone 8 platform.

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