Out of all of the things that came out of the leaked Joe Belfiore was this tidbit:

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.

I’ve been emailing with Doug Smith about this and I don’t think he gets why I have to change my pants every time I read that sentence…but I know you get it, right? 

Here’s some of what I wrote to Doug:

Think about it…one OS to rule them all. Expect Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 720 to all have the same kernel and be able to deploy apps across them all.

Every app that gets written for W8 will come to WP8. You can use the same app across all your screens. Not a similar app – just an app with a changed resolution but full features. Mind boggling

Android doesn’t make it on a PC. Apple has two OSes for Macs and Pads. MSFT is about to have such a light OS (which is a full client OS) that is now fully portable and the core can be dropped anywhere. We’ll be looking at 1.5ghz and above ‘phones’ that are optimized for phones but capable of doing everything. That makes the MS ecosystem something really special.

It wasn’t working so I took one last shot:

It may not mean a ton to you but this kernel thing is epic…I don’t mean that as a MS fanboy though. Last year I remember writing about how Apple had to merge iOS and OSX or allow them to work on both chipsets because it’s a huge shift from using one OS to another based on form factor compared to using one OS that’s modified for the experience. Take Photoshop for example – you will be able to run the full version of Photoshop on a tablet…FULL VERSION. OK and now you pick up your phone. They can give you as much of that same experience as they can fit on a small screen but from a capability perspective they can do 100% of the same things and it’s less about their code and more about UI. The capabilities of the OS are about to explode as the walls fall with this shift.  MS can worry less about multitasking and the like because W8 already deals with this as part of their tablet push. Keep going and add peripherals – the same ones as your PC . And data syncs across all your devices (as do contacts, etc). It’s something we’ve never had before.

He’s not there yet. Probably because his iPhone’s screen is so small that he has iPhone thumb and can’t make it through all of my emails, but that’s a separate issue. Someone help Doug and the Doug’s around the world understand why the game just changed.


  1. I was also blown away with that.

    What that means is that all those dozens, or hundreds, of thousands of windows developers, will be able to make some smaller adjustments and have their windows app ported to WP. It won’t cost them much in money or time, so i reckon many will do it.

    it WILL be epic, i believe.

  2. Err… iOS runs on OSX… A lot of the same protocols and frameworks from OSX are in iOS, but the apps are different. That’s the only difference at this point. To think that apple will stay the course and allow ms to leap forward like that without an answer when apple has the most to lose and Microsoft the most to gain is ridiculous. Look for OSX 10.8/11 and iOS 6 to introduce some cross platform stuff like you’re talking about.

  3. If it’s One OS to rule them all, One OS to bind them, then this is seriously huge. Maybe it *is* the MS response to OSX & iOS. But as always, I will adopt a hopeful wait-and-see attitude.

    C’mon MS, do eeet!

  4. David, I have a Titan and a Focus, and I’m with Doug. I don’t get it either. I thought Apple already had this. My friends have the apps on their Iphones, Ipads, and Macs. If this isn’t the case, then Apple’s PR has worked wonders again.

  5. I am with you David. Seriously eventhough iOS and OSX share the same, I can’t run the app I bought from iOS AppStore on Mac and the same is true the app I bought for MacBook on iPhone or iPad. Because even though they share the same protocols and musings, they are not the same. It is similar as the apps I bought for Windows Mobile can’t work on Windows Phone even though both share the same Windows CE currently. But on the contrary, the apps I bought for Win8 might work on Win Phone 8 because both share the same environment. And more over apps written for iOS devices are not the same as the apps written for MacOSX because the Objective-C platform on Mac supports Garbage Collection and iOS – no at least until now.

  6. I do not do a lot of computing. Mostly just web. But I have learned how to switch between my phone/tablet and PC, over the years.
    E-mail, docs, excel, photos, video, music, etc…I can switch up pretty easy.
    Maybe that is why Doug is not impressed, we are not new at this and learned how to deal with cross platform issues.
    Now for new users, like my kids, I have encouraged to go to the “Cloud” as a resouce. But even they know how to cross platforms.
    I understand you excitement, but it is really just simplifieing the issue.
    Kind of like owning an iPhone, having the easy way handed to you without having to think about it, or problem solve.
    I am OK with a light challenge. You need to learn for when the answers are not just handed to you.

  7. It’s not so much an upfront change for the users, but for the developers, in that there will be much more functionality easily available on all form factors of Win8 without a lot of extra development.
    Which means, eventually, for the end users, more apps with more fuctionality which matches the experience from phone, to tablet/laptop/desktop/server.
    This will be huge for business users. The universe will change.

  8. I’m more impressed with the potential to integrate with hardware. Think about it. A network printer wouldn’t need a different driver. You could scan directly to your phone.

    Also, this phone would appear on your network as just another machine. You wouldn’t need to sync. You could just copy it over the network.

    If MS accomplishes what this article describes, this will truly put a computer — a fully fledged and realized computer in your hands.

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