At a developers conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft revealed that its flagship Windows 8 desktop operating system will share a common core. This should help developers create and port applications between desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones easier than they previously could.
Redmond also revealed a number of new hardware and software features for its coming mobile update. These include:
- Support for dual-core processors on the phone.
- A Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in a SIM card to enable mobile payments and other tap-and-verify applications on the phone
- The new OS will incorporate the Navteq mapping technology from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for turn-by-turn directions and location services
- Support for three different screen resolutions on devices.
Microsoft says that Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Samsung Corp. will build and offer WP8 phones worldwide. The Verge reports, however, that the new features in WP8 will not be backwards-compatible with existing Windows phones.
Why this matters
Microsoft needs to make it as easy as possible for developers to port Windows apps between platforms as they try to compete with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Android in mobile. The software giant has already made a major leap into the mobile hardware market this week with the unveiling of its first tablets.
- Poll: Microsoft's Surface-Level Tablet Specs
- Microsoft Surface: Where's the 4G Wireless?
- OS Watch: Windows Phone 8 Specs Revealed
- Nokia Loses Its Mobile Crown
- CES 2011: Microsoft... That's It?
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile