Earlier this week, a veteran Wall Street analyst said in a note to clients that development of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, under newly installed Microsoft mobile chief Terry Myerson, was reporting to Windows chief Steven Sinofsky.

After reading the note, I set out to verify the information, but it turned out it wasn’t true. Microsoft flatly denied that the reporting structure had changed, and the analyst later acknowledged it was incorrect.

But now it’s becoming more clear how that rumor might have come about.

A pair of reports today reveal new details about Windows Phone 8, the next version of the Microsoft mobile operating system — including what appears to be a substantial amount of commonality under the hood with Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s PC operating system.

First, PocketNow posts details on a Windows Phone 8 video, featuring Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore, reportedly created for the company’s partners at Nokia. One of the tidbits from the site.

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.

Longtime Windows author and reporter Paul Thurrott follows up with more details, with the PocketNow post opening the door to share info he had been keeping secret. He writes …

Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo, will be based on the Windows 8 kernel and not on Windows CE as are current versions. This will not impact app compatibility: Microsoft expects to have over 100,000 Windows Phone 7.5-compatible apps available by the time WP8 launches, and they will all work fine on this new OS.

Windows Phone 8, as its name suggests, will also be tied closely to the desktop version of Windows 8 in other ways. They’ll be launched closely to each other, and will share integrated ecosystems, thanks to the shared underlying code, components, and user experiences.

We already knew that Windows 8 and Windows Phone would look very similar, with the Metro style and tile-based interface. It only makes sense that the commonalities will go much deeper than that. Here’s hoping it’s a good change for users of both.

Update: Matt Rosoff of Business Insider has more on the internal rejiggering, quoting a source familiar with Microsoft’s plans “who says that the Windows team is already exercising a lot of control over Windows Phone development, although the company hasn’t formally combined the groups.”

Comments

  • Guest

    This is very cool. Sharing the underpinnings of what has historically been a desktop OS with a phone OS will provide many gains for both.

    • Guest

      Sort of like OS X and iOS or Linux and Android? Welcome to the party MS. Years late as usual.

      • Anonymous

        not really – they don’t integrate well – just use the same cloud

        • Guest

          Your point was shared underpinnings. Each of those mentioned leverage that from their general purpose parent OS. MS is the one late to the party.

          • Guest

            According to Wikipedia, Windows CE has shared Windows’ underpinnings since its first release in 1996. That’s before many GeekWire readers were even born.

        • Anonymous

          actually who cares? This is not the 90’s and cross platform applications are no longer the future. The future is in experiences customized for the hardware at hand while sharing the same data and content. And like always MS can’t wrap their mind around anything that didn’t come out of their own labs. It is a sad state of affairs when a UI that had absolutely no consideration for usable screen real estate and design principles that have evolved over the course of decades is being hailed as an innovative and modern. 
          Yes, through the power of business deals and leveraging made up statistics about platform market share, MS will manage to put this crap on a lot of devices but it will never be good and it most definitely will not be innovative. 

        • Anonymous

          actually who cares? This is not the 90’s and cross platform applications are no longer the future. The future is in experiences customized for the hardware at hand while sharing the same data and content. And like always MS can’t wrap their mind around anything that didn’t come out of their own labs. It is a sad state of affairs when a UI that had absolutely no consideration for usable screen real estate and design principles that have evolved over the course of decades is being hailed as an innovative and modern. 
          Yes, through the power of business deals and leveraging made up statistics about platform market share, MS will manage to put this crap on a lot of devices but it will never be good and it most definitely will not be innovative. 

      • Anonymous

        not really – they don’t integrate well – just use the same cloud

      • Yetter

        Not even close to the same thing.  Swing and a miss, please play again

        • Guest

          Really? In what way are they different?

  • http://blog.findwell.com Kevin Lisota

    This has been in the works over there for 8+ years.

    • Guest

      Deciding what brand of grape juice to stock in the vending machines at MS has also been in the works for eight years. Indeed few things happen in less than eight years. Hence the reason they’re losing on so many fronts.

      • Guest

        You seem very upset with Microsoft, Ben. What did they do to you to deserve such scorn?

        • Guest

          More disgusted than upset, Paul. What have they done to deserve such scorn? Let’s see. P*ssed away their former dominance over the last decade plus, despite starting with more cash than their next ten competitors combined and spending more than those annually on R&D. Undermined their competitive position in the industry to such an extent that there is now widespread concern (in the media, from analysts, and amongst investors) about their ability to survive in the future. Blown any realistic chance of a resurgence. Effectively snuffed out current and future growth through idiotic and failed investments. Turned themselves into an industry laughingstock via repeatedly high profile failures and misses. Ceded the tablet and mobile market, where they had a ten year head start, to others through arrogance, overconfidence, and repeated competitive misjudgment of epic proportions (“iPhone is too expensive and will never get significant share”. “iPad is a toy”). Destroyed half their shareholder value. Lost their multi-decade industry market cap and profitability lead. Laid off employees when they failed to heed signs of the ’08 recession early (like Google and most others did) and their “beyond the PC” growth strategies continued to fail. Hurt partners who bet on them and are now losing out to those who went with competitors instead. All this while the management team ignored mounting external criticism and instead blindly proclaimed confidence in their strategy and the company’s execution. Ballmer is still calling for the magical turnaround to come later this year, just as he has every year for the last thirteen. But it’s never coming, at least not with the current CEO or board. Steve Jobs was right. David Einhorn is right. Legions of MS critics past and present are right. Ballmer needs to go.

          p.s. Paul, did you notice the recent layoffs for marketing? Remember our bet about significant layoffs before fiscal year end? Looks like I won.

          • Guest

            That’s all well and good, Eustace, but what did they do to _you_ to earn such scorn? All of these complaints would be valid if you were an investor or an executive with something to contribute.

            What did Microsoft do to _you_? You seem to be personally offended by Mr. Ballmer’s leadership. Why?

            Sincerely,
            Paul

            P.S. Congratulations on the win!

          • Robert Radina

            Don’t underestimate the impact of the FTC investigation and ongoing oversight.

  • Yetter

    Very exited about all things Win8

  • Guest

    This was tipped by posters to geekwire months ago.

    Nothing new here.  Move along.

  • Guest

    You have to think Sinofsky is going to want some of that Android patent revenue that is currently going into E&D and then being incinerated. Especially with Windows revenue and profit in steep decline.

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