Will Windows Phone 8 Mark the Beginning of the Unification of Mobile and Desktop OSes for Microsoft?
Just after Microsoft had demonstrated some of the key features to the Windows Phone Mango update, dubbed as Windows Phone 7.1 or 7.5 by many blogs, rumors on the Internet are turning to what will succeed Mango. It is now believed that the next version, codenamed Apollo, will debut a whole new era of Windows Phone under the Windows Phone 8 moniker. Apollo will begin to unify Microsoft’s mobile and desktop operating systems as we’ll begin to see stronger ties between mobile and desktop operating systems.
According to WMPU, Windows Phone 8 will begin to use the same APX app format as found on Windows 8, and the mobile platform will also be ported to the NT kernel.
The move to begin unifying or merging features in mobile and desktop can also be seen with both Apple and Google. Apple is expected to show off key features of iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion at WWDC early next month where there would be some crossover between the two. Google, which builds Android smartphones and the Honeycomb tablet operating systems, had announced that it intends to merge the OS between phone and tablet with the next Android release, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.
Given Microsoft’s push to support ARM processors on the desktop-class Windows 8 operating system, the move can have interesting implications on the company’s strategy in the future. After having struggled to gain momentum in the tablet and mobile space, Microsoft may begin to entice hardware-makers to create hybrid devices that leverage both or either operating systems. Perhaps a Windows Phone device with a powerful ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU–Qualcomm is the official chip partner for Windows Phone–can run Windows Phone 8 on the device, but similar to the Asus PadPhone, be docked into a larger tablet display that can power an ARM-based Windows 8 tablet on the go.
Rumors of the Apollo update for the Windows Phone platform surfaced late last year when ZDNet‘s Microsoft guru Mary Jo Foley tipped that the platform would arrive late 2012. This is the first time, however, that we’re hearing the speculated features for the platform.