Feeds

Microsoft 'year away' from single-core phone OS

Costly catch-up

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

3GSM With Nokia and Sony Ericsson about to launch single-core, single-chip phones using a real-time OS, Microsoft embarked on its catch-up strategy today.

It's a pressing issue for manufacturers, as a single core smartphone platform allows the OEM to cut the cost of materials considerably, or cram more features on for the same BoM cost, or both. But a single core smartphone only works with a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) that's capable of running the CDMA or GSM signalling stacks, and that's something Microsoft doesn't have. Microsoft's phones need a baseband processor running the GSM stack, and a separate application processor core running Windows Mobile OS.

So riding to the rescue is that old favorite of vapourware announcements, the "reference platform".

Pieter Knook, senior Veep of Microsoft Mobile and Embedded, said Microsoft was teaming up with Texas Instruments to create a 'reference design' for single chip, single core phones. Three OEMs, including HTC and Sagem would bring these devices to market.

Knook said Sagem claimed a single chip phone would result in "double digit" reduction in BoM costs.

The announcement of a 'reference platform' is a sure sign that real product isn't exactly immiment - so we asked Knook when he expected Microsoft to have a RTOS-hardened version of Windows Mobile capable of running those signalling stacks.

Knook told us it might be about 12 months away.

Which, even with the wind in a favourable direction, means product might be 12 to 18 months away.

Remember, Symbian began to tout its real-time version of the Symbian OS more than two years ago - with the announcement exactly two years ago at 3GSM in Cannes in 2004. It's only now that Nokia's N series, E series and Sony Ericsson's P990 are set to ship. So 12 months certainly sounds optimistic.

As we've noted before, Windows Mobile kit is now available in abundance, but it isn't exactly cheap. And the price differential set against more technically advanced rivals looks set to punish Microsoft OEMs for some time. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.