Feeds

Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

The question is: Which one?

Top three mobile application threats

Microsoft's hardware chief has given the strongest indication yet that Microsoft has too many operating systems.

"We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," Julie Larson-Green told the audience at a UBS investor event. Larson-Green looks after the "Devices and Studios Engineering Group", the part of Redmond where the Surface hardware and the Xbox games console is built.

In the yawning absence of a clear roadmap, or even a CEO for that matter, Microsoft's operating system strategy has to be inferred - a modern kind of Kremlinology.

But what we can sensibly infer is that Microsoft appears to be on a path to merge Windows RT, the subset of Windows that runs on ARM hardware, with Windows Phone, which now runs on the NT kernel and is highly portable, but runs on ARM. According to reports, only 33 per cent of the Windows Phone and Windows RT APIs are compatible today, although the goal for the next major update, "Blue", is to reach 77 per cent compatibility. According to Mary Jo Foley, full compatibility wouldn't be reached until 2015, which is still some 13 months away.

While RT is the more sophisticated API, Windows Phone appears to be winning the internal political battle, with stories suggesting it has been freed to scale up to 7-inch and 10-inch tablets.

Larson-Green reiterates the need for one full Windows and one more mobile Windows that is more locked down (the politically acceptable phrase is "turnkey", by the way):

While RT now makes much more sense if you're already a Microsoft shop, or are happy with Microsoft services such as cloud storage locker SkyDrive, it's still one of a confusing set of options for the buyer. Does Microsoft really know what RT is for?

"We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility," she told the UBS audience (Word doc, web view). She sees the next "inflexion point" as coming from advances in hardware input, just as the mouse drove the adoption of GUIs, or multitouch drove the growth in smartphones and tablets.

It's left as an exercise for the reader to decide whether this view of consumer technology evolution is accurate, or whether it's putting the cart before the horse. Larson-Green does look after hardware, so you'd expect her to arrange cart+horse in this particular order. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
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
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
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.