Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 to have shared kernel


— 6:00 AM on February 3, 2012

We know that Windows 8 is taking a page out of Windows Phone 7's playbook by implementing the same Metro user interface. According to the latest reports around the web, Windows 8 will have even more in common with the next version of Windows Phone—but this time, Windows Phone will be the one doing the borrowing.

The folks at Pocket Now say they've gotten hold of a video, purportedly intended for "partners at Nokia," in which Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore discusses code base unification between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8:

Windows Phone 8 won't just share a UI with the next-generation desktop and tablet OS, apparently: it will use many of the same components as Windows 8, allowing developers to "reuse -- by far -- most of their code" when porting an app from desktop to phone, according to Belfiore. He specifically mentions the kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support as areas of heavy overlap.

In a related story, Paul Thurrott elaborates by noting that Windows Phone 8 will actually use the same kernel as Windows 8. He says the two operating systems will also share the same "multi-core processor support, sensor fusion, security model, network, and video and graphics technologies." And they're reportedly scheduled to launch together later this year.

I've been saying for a while that Microsoft is doing a better job than Apple of bringing its mobile and desktop operating systems together—at least as far as its public development efforts go. With the lines between conventional PCs, tablets, and phones getting blurrier all the time, consolidating UI and software development frameworks really seems like the right thing to do. It'll be interesting how Apple ends up bridging Mac OS X and iOS (though I believe those two operating systems do already share some code).

   
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