Feeds

Microsoft 'year away' from single-core phone OS

Costly catch-up

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.