Feeds

An NT-powered Windows Phone? Not so fast...

MS mulls partying like it's 1996....

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Sources close to Microsoft have confirmed the veracity of last week's Windows Phone leaks – but say no decision has been taken to base the mobile platform on the Windows 8 kernel.

The information that leaked last week concerns 'Apollo', the next-but-one release of Windows Phone. It's all genuine, but should be thought of as more of a blueprint, a wish-list, than a concrete roadmap, say sources. In particular, the decision to throw out the 15-year-old Windows CE kernel in favour of the even older Windows NT/XP/Vista/7 kernel has not been finalised.

Anyone with experience of Microsoft platforms over the years – from Chicago to Longhorn – will know that 'blueprints' are typically aspirational. The reality often under-delivers.

The latest, leaked blueprints point to the Windows Phone managed code layer being ported to the Windows 8 kernel. All WP apps are currently 'managed code' - there are no 'native' applications. The Apollo project is an ambitous plan that requires pulling in code from different areas. It brings mixed blessings.

It may seem odd that a mobile phone should be based on the same technology that underpins a powerful desktop operating system. But the PS kernel typically uses a fraction of the resources of the entire OS. And the original Windows NT kernel, a microkernel architecture*, booted on machines with low specifications by today's standards: 33Mhz clock speed and 16MB of RAM. Microsoft already supplies a cut-down Windows – Windows PE (for "pre-installation environment") – to OEMs and large customers.

There is one great advantage to adopting the Win8 kernel: greater device support. Windows Phones are currently based on a single hardware reference platform, and Microsoft desperately needs to bring in choice and diversity to a system that's been well reviewed, but has yet to spark any public interest. Buying into NT kernel driver model should expand that enormously.

In the meantime, the next release of Windows Phone Tango takes a much more incremental approach: targeting lower cost devices and greater international support. That should power devices available on the market by the end of the year. ®

Now it's just "Goodbye"

*Bootnote

The micro-kernel approach was dropped in 1996 when video drivers were pulled into kernel space – with NT gaining performance at the expense of reliability.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.