Feeds

Microsoft rolls out One Big Windows strategy

Phone, tablet, smartphone united?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

You are the ecosystem, the ecosystem is you

So far, so coherent. The ecosystem will be unified by allowing apps to run on both Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

In one respect, that beats Apple. With Apple, developers must write apps for either the iPad and iPhone or the Mac.

Andy Lees

Andy Lees: one Windows core, one ecosystem?

But about Windows Phone, the third part of the equation? Were Lees and Thompson suggesting future Windows phones would run Windows 8 or the successor to Windows 8?

That brings us on to another important word in Lee's statement: "core". This is less nebulous than "ecosystem", and it suggests Microsoft is working towards a model where phone, PC, and tablet run on the same core APIs and frameworks but do not have exactly the same operating system.

This makes Microsoft's strategy more like Apple's. Apple has OS X for Mac and iOS for the phone and tablet, but both platforms use the same Darwin kernel.

So far, we have few technical details about Windows 8, but there are plenty of promises from Microsoft and plenty of optimistic projections from Windows fanbois. So far, we don't know exactly how it will work across PCs and tablets or just how far the XAML architecture allow developers to write once and deploy anywhere on Windows 8. More will be known once the operating system hits beta in September.

While Windows 8 certainly looks like Windows Phone – it has the same tilled and touch-enabled interface – Windows Phone is not Windows 8. It's not even Windows 7. It runs a combination of Microsoft's Silverlight media player and XNA managed runtime environment for graphics and media, with Windows CE 7 kernel. Windows CE was the brand of Windows Microsoft put on phones before Windows Phone 7. It was not the same code base as Windows running on the PC.

Mobile choices

To put the same Windows on phones, tablets, and PCs would mean Microsoft moving off of Windows CE. Also, there's the question of what happens to Silverlight. Microsoft's media player uses XAML, and this fits into the Windows 8 story, but Silverlight has now been demoted by Microsoft as the preferred interface for PCs and devices on the web in favor of HTML5.

Is Microsoft moving to one Windows? The company has been moving to a single set of development tools for Windows and its applications over the years. Also, it has dropped different versions of Internet Exploder for PC and mobile. There is now just one browser. With that in mind, one Windows looks likely. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.