Smartphone and PC vendors to treat WP8 differently, say sources
Daniel Shen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Saturday 4 February 2012]
Although information indicates that Microsoft's next-generation handset platform, Windows Phone 8 (WP8), will support an array of technologies and functionalities, including dual-core CPUs, NFC, mobile wallet, external MicroSD cards, Skype and Skydrive, branded handset and PC vendors are likely to adopt different approaches to the new platform, according to industry sources.
With the exception of Nokia, other major handset vendors will probably not commit resources to develop WP8-based smartphones, indicated the sources, adding that PC vendors such as Acer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell may optimize the new platform to make a comeback in the smartphone segment.
Despite the launch of a number of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango phones by HTC, Samsung Electronics and Nokia since the fourth quarter of 2011, the sales performance of Mango phones has so far lagged behind that of iPhone 4S and Android models. Although sales of Nokia's Lumia Mango phones have surpassed the one-million-unit mark, the performance of Lumia has been flat, commented the sources.
According to Microsoft's roadmap, Mango will be upgraded to Tango in March-April 2012, to Tango 2 in mid-year, and to WP8 (codenamed Apollo) at year-end 2012, with a large volume of WP8-based smartphones to hit the market in the first half of 2013, the sources revealed.
However, Apple as well as Android phone vendors will not sit idle waiting for WP8; they will also continue to upgrade their platforms in order to maintain their market leaderships in terms of functionalities and applications, said the sources.
With Nokia alone receiving a capital input of US$250 million from Microsoft for the development of Windows-based handset platforms in the fourth quarter of 2011, it remains to be seen if other partners of Microsoft, including HTC, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, will continue to support WP8, the sources noted.
Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 to have shared kernel
by Cyril Kowaliski — 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).
12 comments— Last by khands at 8:24 AM on 02/03/12
Windows Phone 8 details reportedly leak
Details of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 were prematurely outed thanks to a leaked video obtained by Pocketnow.com.
The next big iteration of its Windows Phone platform appears to address many of the early concerns and brings it to par with competing platforms. Microsoft is still fighting an uphill battle in getting its phones--which have been critically praised--into the hands of consumers. So far, consumers have by far favored Android smartphones and the iPhone.
The version, codenamed Apollo, will allow vendors more choice with how they build their phone, going back on Microsoft's previous insistence upon using a standard set of specifications. That allows the handset manufacturers to better compete and stand apart from each other with varying levels of specs.
The platform will add support for multicore processors--at a time when Android devices are already moving to quad-core chips--four different screen resolutions, a removable microSD card, and near-field communication, crucial for mobile payments.
Windows Phone 8 will also integrate with the Windows 8 desktop and tablet operating system. The hope is developers can take chunks of their code for one platform and move it to the other. Pocketnews said the company expects 100,000 apps to be available at launch, which it pegged to the fourth quarter. Windows Phone 8 will add native code support, allowing for apps that are more integrated into the devices. Skype may also play a bigger role in the operating system.
Possibly taking a swipe at Research In Motion's shrinking share for its BlackBerrys, Microsoft is adding more business-friendly features such as encryption and allowing companies to build their own proprietary apps into the phone.
The new platform will also be designed to better handle data traffic, opting to go to Wi-Fi and using proxy servers to feed pages to Internet Explorer 10, similar to how Opera Mini can achieve faster browsing times.
Windows 8 ARM devices to have a 'classic' desktop experience?
By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes | February 2, 2012, 5:01am PST
Summary: Don’t get your hopes up too high!
A new rumor (you know the drill, unsourced, unverified) has bubbled to the surface relating to Windows 8 ARM devices. The scuttlebutt is that Microsoft is planning to allow a restricted desktop experience on the ARM version of Windows 8.
Tom Warren of The Verge has the details:
Microsoft is said to be contemplating a restricted desktop for Windows 8 ARM involving trusted certificates for ARM desktop applications.
Desktop applications on Windows 8 ARM will likely be restricted to just Internet Explorer and Office, and we’re hearing the Office team has put a lot of effort into Office 15 to ensure it is power efficient for ARM devices.
OK, so this is a rumor and we have nothing concrete to go on, but the truth is that this is the sort of scenario that I was expecting, and it makes sense for a number of reasons
•Some applications just don’t work in that Metrofied workspace. They’re too awkward and too restrictive. I don’t care how well designed they are, there are times (and workflow scenarios) where full-screen apps are a time-suck.
•I predict that the ARM architecture will start making inroads into the desktop space with Windows 8. While Metro apps are fine on tablets and touch devices, they’re going to be kludgy on desktops (because if they weren’t, we’d have Metro-style apps already, wouldn’t we?).
•Enterprise wouldn’t welcome the additional training burden of switching from applications like Office to apps.
•Office is a massive money-spinner for Microsoft. Office ‘apps’ would be nowhere near as lucrative and would likely wean business off the full-blown application suite onto a cheaper platform. If users (in particular enterprise users) realize that they really only use some 10% of the features on offer in a suite like Office, they’re going too start to look for something that costs 10% of the price of Microsoft Office.
•Internet Explorer is already under enough pressure from the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox without Microsoft giving people an excuse to try something new because they’re being foisted onto a Metrofied IE.
So, while we have no evidence to support this rumor, it does make sense that Microsoft would want to retain a classic desktop of sorts even on ARM devices. While that desktop wouldn’t have any legacy support, it would allow Microsoft and other developers the chance to port their x86/x64 applications to ARM and retain the existing UI. These applications are likely to be far too power and resource hungry to run on tablets, but if ARM desktops and notebooks take off, that would be an ideal home for such hybrid applications.
Windows 8 is ready for ARM
Posted on January 31, 2012 - 11:58 by TG Daily Staff
Microsoft has reportedly finished coding a stable version (or possibly versions) of Windows 8 for ARM-powered mobile chips, such as those manufactured by industry heavyweights Nvidia, Qualcomm and TI.
"In October of last year, [Windows 8 on ARM] scared the industry because it was unstable. But what we are seeing now is quite stable," an unnamed source told CNET.
"We haven't heard this directly from Microsoft, but from [various] hardware partners. We've been promised something in the February time frame."
Of course, ARM-powered devices running Windows 8 are expected to pose quite a challenge to Intel, as they will boast significantly lower prices compared to x86-based devices.
"With [Intel-based] ultrabooks you're popularizing the idea that you have this thinner design that turns on faster [and has a longer lasting battery life]," said the source.
"But then you have Windows 8 on ARM that's built at a price point that's much lower. And does all of those things too. This is setting up the ultrabook to head right into the teeth of their [ARM] competitor."
For its part, Santa Clara has kicked off a marketing campaign aimed at countering Windows-8 ARM devices. Intel reps are stressing the lack of legacy app support on such devices, while talking up the raw horsepower of x86 chips.
Nevertheless, analysts at Nomura Equity Research project that ARM-powered processors will make serious inroads in the notebook computer market by 2013, with RISC-based chips capturing 17 percent of the market, or 49 million units in 2015.
Analysts at Sterne Agee also believe emerging market growth could shift from x86 PCs to lower-cost Windows ARM platforms.
"While PCs have seen the strongest engine of growth from emerging countries, the emergence of lower-cost ARM PC platforms in C2H12 could become a more attractive option for the low-cost geographies," Vijay Rakesh and Mark Kelley wrote in a recent industry note obtained by TG Daily.
"We believe many of the Asian PC OEMs, Acer, Lenovo and Asustek, with 10% of shipments already on tablets, are all working on Win8/ARM PC solutions, thereby lowering focus on core PCs. We believe 2012 could see 5% of NB and 2013 ~10% of NB move to ARM-based platforms."
But Pierre Ferragu, senior analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC in London, warns in a recent report that Intel’s deal with Motorola and Lenovo exposes two negative implications for ARM. First, the deal shows that Intel can be competitive in the market for low-cost, low-power chips. Second, the Street has become increasingly uncomfortable with ARM’s high valuation, and this deal might trigger broader negative sentiment. Mr. Ferragu rates ARM’s stock “underperform.”
Investors have grown too optimistic about the size of ARM’s potential market and misunderstand the company’s real potential in the area of laptops, PCs and servers, he cautions.
There's a VERY good conference call on Intel's website from last year. It was done by Wells Fargo and address ARM, specifically, and Server/Server market share,future Server share, etc.. I highly recommend listening to it.