Feeds

Microsoft 'year away' from single-core phone OS

Costly catch-up

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.