Home Your IT Mobility Microsoft’s new direction for Windows Phone

Microsoft’s aim of a common apps platform from Windows Phone to servers may see Windows Phone and RT merge very soon - the delay in releasing Windows Phone 8.1 may just be a cover to enable that to happen.

Of course, this is what I believe may well happen. There has not, however, been any official comment from Microsoft, so it will be interesting to see if I am on the money here.

I have never understood why Windows Phone and RT were separate products – iOS and Android do not have different base versions for smartphones and tablets. It does not make sense supporting so many versions of Windows, although Apple has an OS X store as well, but iOS/OS X integration is another story.

Terry Myerson, former Windows Phone chief, is now in charge of the newly formed ‘operating systems group’. He recently commented, “The future of Windows RT is in phones and small tablets. Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets [phablets], expect us to see many more Windows ARM tablets in the future."

He also said that Microsoft is planning to combine its Windows Phone Store and Windows Store into a single app store. He did not reveal how the single store would work, nor whether Windows Phone apps would run on Windows in the new model. "We really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices. We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices," he said.

Developers I spoke to at Microsoft TechEd recently made it clear that they could now develop the one app to scale from the phone to the desktop and that added more incentive to develop for the Windows environment.

Alas, this means Windows Phone devotees will have to wait until March 2014 to find out what version 8.1 will bring – RT based or otherwise.

The planned Nokia 1520 Phablet and the Sirius RT tablet  may be delayed further until Windows Phone and RT are merged - although there are persistent rumours that Nokia may launch a version anyway on 22 October at an event in Abu Dhabi.

Sorry if you are impatient but that may be a very good thing. The initial results for Intel’s ARM twisting, power sipping, Atom processors are blowing the Apple A7 out of the water in most tests. Given Apple can’t or won’t update the A7 until the next model in late 2014 there could be some very nice Windows/Intel Atom smartphones and tablets with higher resolution, bigger screens, more power and vastly increased Windows functionality coming to market. See iTWire article here.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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