Feeds

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

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.