Windows 8 Coming To The Phone?

Windows 8 is shaping up to revolutionize the idea of Windows and bring beyond the desktop and laptop this time around. There has been a lot of buzz about what platforms this will include. We all know about tablets but rumors circulate about gaming consoles, TVs, and even phones all using Windows 8.

Recently several sources throughout the net are claiming that Steve Ballmer let slip news that Microsoft will indeed put Windows 8 on phones as well.

The alleged slip occurred at the company’s shareholder meeting when a shareholder asked if we were in the post-PC era. Steve said that no matter what era we are in it will always be the “Windows Era” and then he was quoted by several sources saying “We are driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8”.

Microsoft has talked before about unifying the mobile and desktop environments, which seems to be a key part of giving all Windows and Windows-like products familiar Metro-style interfaces. Many have speculated that Microsoft will go even further by having just one core (based on Windows) for all these different Metro-like devices as well.

Many of the articles around the net are talking about how this new ‘revelation’ means that there will still be differences in the technology but that Windows Phone will use the same NT kernel instead of the CE kernel. They also go on to say this would make porting apps easier between different platforms, though this is really a moot point.

As it currently stands it is a very easy process to convert apps from Phone 7 to Windows 8’s Metro even though they are running the same core.

So Steve Ballmer’s quote seems pretty cut and dry. As a result of the quote many sites are ablaze with speculation at what the unification will look like in Windows. There is only one problem that I can see, the quote isn’t true. Although Steve Ballmer did pretty much say what was quoted, it has certainly been taken out of context.

According to Windows Guru, Paul Thurrott, we have information that clarifies what was really said. The original words spoken by Ballmer were actually, “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.

We are in an era in which the range of smart devices is just continuing to expand.”

When read with the appropriate break, it certainly makes for a very different interpretation. So at least for now, there is no confirmation that Microsoft is ditching its CE core for NT. For some of us who have used Windows CE this might be a bit disappointing but if you’ve used Windows Phone 7 it actually runs very well and is a solid operating system.

Microsoft knows this business and if removing CE in favor of NT is the right move, it will eventually be made.

For now we just need to be satisfied that Windows 8 is expanding into new territory such as tablets and take it day by day. It is clear that Microsoft sees that the future of computerized technology goes far beyond the desktop and laptop. The company likely spends a lot of time researching its options to stay relevant in an ever-changing world of tablets, smartphones, and multimedia consoles.

I have no doubt that in time Microsoft will completely unify its offerings simply for ease of use and developer ease of use alone.

Do you think that Windows 8 will still come to the phone and is just waiting for a proper announcement? Should CE be abandoned in favor of NT unity? Share your thoughts below.

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