Feeds

Microsoft 'year away' from single-core phone OS

Costly catch-up

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.