Ballmer was asked about living in a post-PC era at today’s shareholder’s meeting and according to Business Insider he said "We are driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8.” Now that’s open to speculation but we know a lot about Windows 8 and one of the biggies is that it is capable of running on ARM. There are two things that are possible. The Windows 8 core is coming to Windows Phones (replacing CE) or (or maybe related) that apps will have ubiquity and we’ll be moving from Silverlight and XNA on Windows Phones to share the same coding standards as Windows 8. You don’t need the same core necessarily in order to have apps run across screens.
Regardless it seems like this is the beginning of Microsoft bringing it’s line together. I think we’ll see a merging of cores and that brings a merging of code with it. That also means the code has one more place to go – PC, phone and of course, Xbox. This may be Microsoft actually having three unified screens with one kernel.
Excited yet? Game changing much? yup, but also speculative from a brief answer…for all we know he could have been more speculative, like stating that Windows 8 on an ARM chip is light enough to be on phone hardware, but not necessarily linking all of the code… to be continued as always.
Update: Apparently there’s some controversy over a pause or a comma. The official transcript reads “We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone. With Windows 8, you’ll see incredible new form factors powered by Windows from tablets, small, large, pens, smaller, bigger, room-sized displays.” That’s different than “We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8. You’ll see incredible new form factors powered by Windows from tablets, small, large, pens, smaller, bigger, room-sized displays.” See so it’s more about a timeline than it is about Windows 8 being the driving force.