Windows Mobile 8 = Windows 7 Lite?


Mary Jo Foley’s post speculating about Windows Mobile 7 coming in Q1 2009 says:

From recent executive remarks, it sounds like Microsoft is trying to get Windows and Windows Mobile to be more in sync.  Might this mean with Windows Mobile 8 — which Microsoft has told certain folks will be built from scratch — Microsoft might make Windows Mobile a “real” version of Windows, with the same core as Windows client?

I heard from someone at Microsoft probably 5 or 6 years ago that this was the plan.

Windows Mobile currently runs on top of Windows CE which essentially supports a subset of the full Win32, etc. APIs, so doing native (C++) development for Windows Mobile is similar to desktop development (just a little more ‘cramped’).  There is also the .NET Compact Framework, similarly a subset of the full .NET Framework.  There are also Windows Mobile specific APIs at the native and .net level.  Some of the internal sub-systems, for memory, processes, etc. are quite different.

To make Windows Mobile a ‘real’ version of Windows at the core is therefore a lot about how much Windows CE is API-wise (inc. .NET) and sub-system-wise, similar to the Vista kernel.  After that, we have the shell and applications.

The shell clearly cannot be Aero, and the UI experience expectations for mobile has been clearly set by the iPhone with everyone else playing catch-up.  The mobile device really needs a bigger or paper-like-expandable screen at some point – there’s only so far you can go with zooming.

Applications can be split between Office (and other productivity or line-of-business apps) and all the other software+services things that are required activities in this era.  No doubt Windows Live pieces need to be upgraded and combined with great UI.

Why not make Windows Mobile a .NET-only platform with WPF for the shell with add-ins for all MS and 3rd-party applications?  The mobile space is not big enough that breaking compatibility is such a big deal.  It truly can’t be long before Microsoft partners with nVidia and produces a Microsoft ‘mPhone’.  An investment in small WPF mobile versions of Office would be a re-usable investment allowing for web based Office running on Silverlight!


Microsoft 2.0 – Short on Technical Tea-Leaves

I’ve literally just finished reading Mary Jo Foley’s book, Microsoft 2.0 – How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era.  I picked up a copy at my local book store yesterday.

The books shows that Mary keeps on top of things and clearly edited the book right up to publication to get things in, falling just short of know the name Live Mesh to a Microsoft project she mentions.  Along with describing the Live Mesh project, she mentions cloud OS, virtual computing, Silverlight, etc., as largely separate items – the things I’ve been blogging about as converging in a ‘Live PC’ in my initial Live Mesh series.

Perhaps it’s just me – someone who drinks down Microsoft information like water in a desert – but I was gagging for some new information.  Other than a few research project names, I didn’t learn anything new from the book.  That’s not to say that other will not.  I was hoping she would give more technical predictions – some juicy possibilities to think about.  There needs to be a technical insight/predictions volume in a 2.0 edition.  It wasn’t very business-audience focused either – more of a very long blog post.

The book is good if you want to understand the current key players, organisational basics and business breakdown of Microsoft at this moment in time.  It is not a tea-leaf prediction factory at all, though it does pose questions about how things like a Yahoo acquisition and Ray Ozzie’s low-key leadership will or will not affect things.  As much as the book wants to ask what the new Microsoft will look like, it’s largely about what it’s like in 2007.  Mary wasn’t able to get official sanction or information from Microsoft for the book and perhaps that has crippled what could have been a more useful resource.

I have to say that there’s a lot of repetition in the book and various spelling/grammatical errors.  Hey, we all do those, but no-one’s paying me to do this or paying someone else to proof-read it.  I believe at one part of the book it reads that Microsoft did buy Yahoo.  Mary is also the queen of footnotes it seems.

The book does set Mary up as an information tracking authority though and she vows to keep information coming at it has a number of posts already.

Back to more technical reading…

Apple Irony

Apple is again running a new clever and contrite ad on involving two ad spots synchronised.  It pans Vista because of apparent remaining glitches a year after release and users downgrading to XP.

I thought I’d head over to to see if they had any other amusing ads.  I went to this page, only to be presented with a Quicktime upgrade window that hung IE7…

Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2

This week, during the Keynote for the Microsoft TechEd 2008 Developer conference (with TechEd now being in two parts – developer and it pro), it was announced (with little detail) that Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 is due for release by the end of this week – nothing as of Friday at 19:00ET.  There will (as with Beta 1) be a go-live license available.

One of the big Silverlight projects mentioned at Mix08 was the MSNBC Olympics site which will present ‘gazillions’ of hours of event video.  It was thought that this would be a Silverlight 1.0 solution, but the TechEd keynote also included the news that it would be running on Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2.

I believe we’ll be seeing the dual release of Silverlight 2.0 RTW and WPF SP1 RTW at the same time, towards the end of the summer, along with various developer tools.

I’d suggest staying tuned to Scott Guthrie’s and Tim Sneath’s blogs.


Scott’s blog was updated as predicted and here are the links…

Download links:

Download of individual pieces

Other info: