Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 to have shared kernel

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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    • Derfer
    • 8 years ago

    This whole mobile competition thing has been fantastic for Windows 8. Never before have they packed so many changes into every corner of a new OS. A lot of which are based on efficiency, something I’m looking forward too for netbook usability.

    • esterhasz
    • 8 years ago

    There is quite some excitement building around Microsoft – who would have thought? Heck, if they can bring people like Belfiore to the front and keep Ballmer in a containment field somewhere, they may even become “cool”.

    On the subject itself, sounds interesting, but MS has so far not been able to bring Skype to WP and they *own* that company – so consider me skeptical.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      it’s due out this month. it’s in the last stages of internal testing.

      • Arag0n
      • 8 years ago

      Once wp7 succeds, I have the feeling that he is going to be the one to take over Ballmer, in 3 or 6 days from now. Opposite to Apple and jobs, gates retired proving that leadership in Microsoft doesn’t live to stand in their positions as long as possible, and have everything related to themselves. There is plenty of cool initiatives inside Microsoft this days, starting from the reward to wp7 hackers instead of banning.

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        ONCE? I think the market has been pretty serious about WP7 and being generally ignored should rate an ‘IF’.

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          idk, they have a lot of money….. whether it succeeds in NA, it will likely do well in developing markets due to the increased language support, 120 vs android and iOS’s 35

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<] it will likely do well in developing markets due to the increased language support[/quote<] Not so far: Tomi Ahonen "So Nokia did 600,000 Lumia sales in the most important new smartphone launch in Nokia history. The launch where all factors were totally in the control of the new CEO, without any limitations. He could decide what form factor the new phones would have, what countries to launch in, WHEN to launch the phones, when to ANNOUNCE the phones, when to demo the prototypes, who to receive samples to try them, etc. He had the biggest Nokia launch promotion budget ever, and that was then added to by literally several hundred million dollars of Microsoft marketing money to push the launch - inlcuding those famous free Xbox gaming consoles that you would receive if you bought Lumia 800s with some carriers/operators. The Lumia first launch countries were not only markets where Nokia was exceptionally strong (having like I said, 47% market share in the installed base ie return customers) - they also were some of the wealthiest nations not just in Europe (UK, Germany etc) but in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong etc). And they achieved 600,000. How did this compare to Nokia's N9, where Nokia only had one handset to sell (vs 2 with Lumia). Where Nokia had almost no meaningful marketing support, and selling in many countries of very modest income levels like in Europe Romania, Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia etc - and in the rest of the world such less wealthy nations as Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Luckily I didn't have to do the math for this, the nice people at All About Symbian had tracked the numbers (read through the comments) and calculated the limits, finding N9 sales to be between the level of 1.5 million and 2.0 million units in Q4. Wow! Nokia specifically excluded all of its richest and biggest traditional markets where it tried to sell the Lumia, and these countries achieved - lets call it the average, 1.75 million unit sales of the N9 in Q4. So the one N9 outsold both Lumia handsets by almost exactly 3 to 1. And the average price of the two Lumia handsets is far less than the price of the N9. Obviously MeeGo on one handset alone, with no Nokia support, is outselling all Windows Phone smartphones by Samsung, HTC and Nokia, with the massive Microsoft marketing effort, globally, by about 2 to 1. MeeGo does this in its first quarter when it was not sold for the full quarter. This compared to Windows Phone that is well into its second year of sales. What is wrong with this picture?"

      • ermo
      • 8 years ago

      You had me at ‘containment field’.

      • moog
      • 8 years ago

      The Skype deal got finalized end of Oct. It takes time to integrate the two clouds and be confident the service works super good.

      I think giving them a yr is fair.

    • boing
    • 8 years ago

    Two common fuckups both Appe and Microsoft share is:
    1. You have install some proprietary software to copy music/videos to/from the phone instead of just allowing it to be mounted as any standard USB storage device.
    2. SD-cards for storage are not supported (probably so users won’t circumvent fuckup #1)

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      True about number one, but having Zune or iTunes there to quickly sync your device and PC is much more convenient than manually copying files each day.

      As for number two, I just bought a Samsung Focus WP7 and it does support 32 gig SD cards. You can’t swap them in and out, because the card becomes a part of the file system, but you can add storage the way I did. I took the phone from 8 gigs of storage to 40 gigs. However, you are correct that iPhones do not support SD cards at all.

        • albundy
        • 8 years ago

        that convenience comes at a price when the software wipes your entire collection off your device due to software update malfunctions, glitchs, corrupt files, etc. Winblows better fix that asap before RTM. Apple has no hope since they are locked down.

          • Flying Fox
          • 8 years ago

          And Windows Phone is not locked down like they are not following Apple?

        • chΒ΅ck
        • 8 years ago

        I hate it when software tries to auto-sync my music.
        I’ll choose what to have on my phone thx.

        • boing
        • 8 years ago

        Yes and that’s just stupid if you, like me, prefer to copy files to/from an SD-card. But once you put it inside a WP7 phone you can forget all about using it as a storage device in your computer.

      • nico1982
      • 8 years ago

      Number 2 is, were applicable, a nice incentive to opt for the higher capacity and (exponentially) more expensive version of the device.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      if you checked the source article, the zune desktop software will no longer be required to sync. they’re changed the method to use more skydrive for almost all of it. Not really sure how it’ll work. I personally like the zune software. it’s pretty, and WAY better than itunes. if you haven’t used it, and you’re comparing it to itunes, you’re doing it a disservice. I used it as a media player before getting a windows phone because it was that good.

      that being said, i personally do love having explorer access and the option to cut and paste.

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    So Windows 8 is finally going to do what Apple and linux have been doing for years.

      • Helmore
      • 8 years ago

      Oh, so iOS and MacOS have the same kernel? I didn’t even know that…..

        • zdw
        • 8 years ago

        They share a good part of the kernel and userland – most iOS library calls are identical or cut down versions of their MacOS counterparts.

        Considering that NeXT’s OS has supported multiple architectures since the beginning (ran on 68k, x86, PowerPC, sparc, pa-risc, amd64 and probably others), jumping it to arm wasn’t as big of a deal as say MS’s x86 centric development post Windows 2k (which ran, for some versions at least on Apha, and PowerPC)

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Yuppers, they even use the same kernel in their airports and time machines.

        [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XNU[/url<]

      • PenGun
      • 8 years ago

      There is a considerable difference between the windose micro kernel and a macro *nix kernel. So no.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Ummm, windows is a hybrid kernel just the same as xnu.

          • PenGun
          • 8 years ago

          It’s not the same as xnu. Any micro kernel could be called a hybrid.

          ICS is sporting Linux 2.6.32 these days which happens to be the one I am running now.

    • thebeastie
    • 8 years ago

    I really see Windows 8 having all the hallmarks of being a ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ where it almost seems deliberate that they are teasing us and making us believe its just around the corner.

    This is one of the old tricks in the book, you keep your potential customers thinking its just around the corner so they don’t adopt Andriod or Apple/iOS.

    EVERY single day MS can have consumers holding out on buying competitors products thinking its only later this year the better for MS, its standard procedure in business and I am sure MS have a team of people who have planed out this level of consumer awareness.

    If Windows 8 comes out this year I am sure its going to be the most frustrating OS users have used yet, its definitely going to like Vista where you aren’t going to want to touch it until SP1 etc.
    Probably will have kernel bugs etc that suck all the power of your phone battery in 4 hours flat even in idle.

    I mean I am looking forward to it as well, my windows 7 install is pretty old and crusty now and wouldn’t mind blowing it away with a fresh Windows 8 install on the PC but I think I will take my time before I think about the phones.

    But as long as we have everyone drooling like complete fools I guess thats all the matters.

      • Arag0n
      • 8 years ago

      thanks for your statement, but I wish you know that they already have a pretty stable “PRE-ALPHA!!” windows8 working version, and they are looking forward to release a beta this month. I wonder what will you say if the beta is as flaw-less as was windows7 beta…. cuz all points to that direction seeing how flawless the pre-alpha was.

        • thebeastie
        • 8 years ago

        I guess from a usable PC desktop OS your probably going to be right, but as a dual phone OS I think its going to suck for a while.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      I am not holding out for anything. Non-Windows OSs simply do not do enough for me, so I stick with Windows. Besides, aside from Windows ME, I have liked every version of WIndows since 3.11. Even Vista, which is sorely underrated by the uninformed.

        • plasticplate
        • 8 years ago

        Coudnt agree more with you. Even on Vista. I had a q6600 with 4 gigs and never ran into any kind of problems with vista. It worked flawlessly. The only reason i upgraded to windows 7 was that i got it for 20 bucks in the student program. My brother still has a vista install and he doesnt have any problems. If u have a fairly decent specced system vista never gave u any problems. It did have memory overflow issues with 1gig or less but thats about it i think..

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Vista was not entirely pleasant on the first round or two of laptops that both came with a free upgrade or had it already installed.

          Keep in mind that these are the computers people were buying with a “Vista compatible” sticker on them, not your DIY desktop. It had nothing to do with how many CPU cores or GB of RAM you had.

          Whether or not it’s really MS’ fault is debatable, but nonetheless, there is a legitimate reason that the average computer buyer at the time was perturbed.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      People don’t buy Windows, they buy computers with whatever version of Windows comes preloaded. Businesses have other considerations, mainly depreciation cycles and testing and verification for compatability plus actual deployment costs once a decision is made.

      The vast majority of people probably don’t even know much of anything about Windows 8, or at most they may have seen some superficial ads.

      • moog
      • 8 years ago

      6 more months of dogfooding and bug fixing to go!

    • Arag0n
    • 8 years ago

    So… if the release date is in september, 6-7 months from now, it’s very likely it does, or if not, that the next revision in 6 months or 1 year does, that a Windows Phone will be able to be pluged into a docking station and be used as normal windows desktop with metro interface.

    Dear microsoft… make it happen!!! Please! PLEASE! A phone that can be docked to be used as a normal PC, I’m pretty sure that in 2 years from now, ARM processors should be more than capable to offer this expirience under 2W power.

    Sure I won’t be able to play batteldfied3, sure it won’t play crysis2, but it should have plenty of shooter games that look pretty good, plenty of casual games and a more than decent web-browser and office apps. I just pray for Visual Studio for Metro, so I can develop and deploy apps in the phonte itself! Make it happen, please!

    I want my next phone to be my next computer also!

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      ^^This. Exactly what I’ve been wanting ever since Palm cancelled the Folio.

      • Decelerate
      • 8 years ago

      If it can run Diablo 3 it will be a homerun of a product.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        The dual-core ‘sub-2W’ DX11 Bobcat that AMD announced yesterday should do a fine job of that. If not, there’s always the 5W quad-core version…

      • srg86
      • 8 years ago

      The last thing I’d ever want would be my desktop to just be a phone!

        • khands
        • 8 years ago

        I feel like it’s an inevitability at this point πŸ™

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        If you have the Metro interface on the handheld ‘module’ and the classic Windows GUI on an external display, what would be the problem?

          • srg86
          • 8 years ago

          Because I like to build the system I use and not be locked into the hardware, if I wanted that, I’d buy a Mac.

          Also the puny processors in them compared to what I’d get on a desktop. I also don’t care about my main PC always being with me.

          To me, it’s a nightmare scenario. Boring dull useless little pieces of plastic.

          Although I may not be able to afford proper workstation grade components, I use my main PC like a workstation.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      So you want your next computer to be locked in to a carrier, require a contract (or be an illogical purchase without a contract due to unsubsidized price versus subsidized+contract price when you ‘need’ service anyway), have preset hardware, and software that puts you at the mercy of a carrier?

        • LaChupacabra
        • 8 years ago

        It would also be free if you buy a slightly older model. You could have your pc with you wherever you go (and not dependent on any kind of virtualization). You could also buy an unlocked version if you want to keep carrier agnostic (everyone is going LTE now). The benefits of this system far outweigh it’s downsides, especially if whitebox phones ever become a reality.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        That stranglehold is dying already, and will only continue so long as people fall for the ‘free heroin!’ pitch the carriers offer. For three years, I’ve been buying phones for my staff outright, and then letting the carriers bid for my business.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 8 years ago

          Getting non-contract service doesn’t even cost less than getting a subsidized phone+contract, so where is the financial logic in buying phones outright? The only reason to do so is if you desparately want a certain phone model that a carrier you want to use doesn’t offer.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        I got an unlocked att world phone samsung focus for 200$ brand new. how is that an illogical purchase? next computer cost me 200$ and it can make calls too? Sure! i’ll take that! will i have it as well as a power machine? yes. but i’m not at the mercy of a carrier now.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 8 years ago

          It’s illogical because you’re still paying the same for service as someone who got a subsidized-priced phone.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            i hear some carriers, like tmobile will give you a discount if you have your own phone and are non carrier subsidized. With virgin canada, whom i’m with, they’re willing to discount my plan 20$ a month for 3 years below the regular price if i signed a contract and didn’t get a phone with them. that WOULD save me money. BUT, i don’t want a contract, and so i don’t mind paying for it. if i was interested, i COULD get it cheaper.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]A phone that can be docked to be used as a normal PC, I'm pretty sure that in 2 years from now, ARM processors should be more than capable to offer this expirience under 2W power.[/quote<] You'd be surprised. If Windows 8 Phone does come out at the same time, you will likely already see such a thing for phones this year. Quad-core Cortex A15s are just around the corner and existing platforms like Tegra 3 are already designed to output up to 2560x1600. In two years, they'll all "dock" wirelessly.

        • Arag0n
        • 8 years ago

        I’m asking the full experience, be able to work with my docked phone that backups online or in a home server, and carry it with me wherever I go as a normal phone. Its a pain in the ass to carry laptops at flights, or moving between cities often. I want to just buy a dock station for home, another one in my other home, and can swap my phone with the others base when I need to visit family and work in their home for phew days.

        So I don’t need performance to be ok to use it, but ok to work with it, document edition, code writing, compilation and internet browsing.

      • stupido
      • 8 years ago

      Just buy a [url=http://www.telit.com<]GSM/GPRS module[/url<], put into your gaming PC and enjoy the gaming power of your PC coupled with a mobile phone... πŸ˜€ sure, some modding shall be required, but that wouldn't be a problem, wouldn't it? damn, I have used such module (in the previous company where I worked)... even more, it was connected to a small 16bit micro (MSP430) via RS232, so it is not rocket science... πŸ˜€ and works like charm...

      • d0g_p00p
      • 8 years ago

      This pretty much is what I have been saying. By having Win8 run native on ARM I don’t think it’s too far fetched to see a phone running Win8 being used as a laptop replacement. Use your phone through out the day and when you get home plug it into a dock and have it attached to a external monitor, keyboard and mouse. If MS is smart about this they can be first to market and really show that you can use your phone as a secondary computer. If not this generation then hopefull we will see this the next 2 – 3 years out.

        • Voldenuit
        • 8 years ago

        It would make more sense to sync data across your devices through the Cloud, rather than to use a single device for all your computing needs. Being beholden to the space, power and computing limitations of a phone doesn’t seem to offer many advantages to me when having the docking station limits your mobility anyway.

      • xeridea
      • 8 years ago

      Save the premium price for a docking station, limitation of only metro ui and apps, and deplorable performance and get you an AMD nettop for $200. Your gonna need to buy monitor, keyboard, etc anyway.

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