Feeds

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

The question is: Which one?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?
Microsoft's long history of broken Windows sync
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'
Sugarcoating Android's Lollipop makes tab easier to swallow
Bug fixes! Get your APPLE BUG FIXES! iOS and OS X updates right here!
Yosemite fixes Wi-Fi hiccup, older iOS devices get performance boost
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Meet Windows 10's new UI for OneDrive – also known as File Explorer
New preview build continues Redmond's retreat to the desktop
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.