Feeds

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

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
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?