back to article Gates: Microsoft will merge Phone and Windows platforms

The code-sharing between the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems is just the start of a long-term plan to merge the two into a universal OS, company cofounder and chairman Bill Gates has promised. "We're certainly sharing between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 – sharing the user interface, sharing some of those …

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Anonymous Coward

"an unbelievably great product, really amazing,"

Well he said it ! - unbelievable

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "an unbelievably great product, really amazing,"

boy they really seemed enthusiastic in that video. NOT

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Flame

Pass me that spliff Bill...

Must be some good shit!

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Pint

Re: Must be some good shit

Probably they fume it in the Microsoft Retail Outlets otherwise I see no future for the Surface

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Anonymous Coward

No shit

I think this meeting of O/Ss has been fairly obvious for some ime hasn't it? Mind, that obviously isn't going to mean download once run anywhere - either technically or licensely (sorry) - for some time yet.

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Re: No shit

And that was the idea behind .Net - "write once run anywhere" (now where have we heard that before?)

Somehow I think porting a major app from Windows PC to a phone is going to take a little more than just switching CLRs

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Windows

A bit sad to drag him out TBH

...to try and shift this snake oil.

Gates changed the IT industry. The only way Balmer is doing that is by driving MS nearer to bankruptcy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A bit sad to drag him out TBH

Not the first time:

- Gates introducing Vista

- UMPCs and Vista: "pushing the limits"

- "Dramatic" Zune product line advances

- Gates on the vision behind Zune.net's social features

Strangely enough, I can't seem to find anything with him talking about Windows 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A bit sad to drag him out TBH

Gates was lucky, if IBM hadn't believed his bullshit about him having a great new OS for them then he would have fizzled out when computers stopped booting into BASIC.

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Re: Gates on the vision behind Zune.net's social features

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/01/03

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Re: A bit sad to drag him out TBH

Its ok - Tax payers around the world are forced to fund MS so the 'cancer' will still keep going strong, they will keep suppressing innovation for mankind...

What I mean is the fact that schools, hospitals, police, etc are all using Windows desktops still when there is absolutely no need (better) free alternatives exist - this is due to the fact they got a monopoly during the 90's when competition didn't really exist and use tactics outlined in the Halloween documents (at the end of the 90's) to keep their position by ensuring that competition cannot viably exist. (according to the EU in an illegal way)

i.e: rule not by making a better product but by controlling and hijacking existing standards...

And before anyone says - 'that was ages ago' - look at the recent legal attacks against Android.

And things like

http://techrights.org/2012/06/05/uefi-tax/

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-22/tech/31085744_1_windows-phone-microsoft-charges-patents

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/microsoft-to-stop-linux-older-windows-from-running-on-windows-8-pcs/9589

Most Microsoft 'customers' didn't choose Microsoft, they had no choice - ask yourself why ?

And I pity those that haven't broke free yet as their future is Windows8....

At least if the tax payer was funding a Linux based company any improvements would benefit computing as a science for the entire of mankind - rather than be a cash cow for Microsoft's lawyers in patent trolling.

Tax should be used to benefit society not a shit American company.

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What he actually meant to say is 'we are really going to show the world just how much bloatware its possible to put on a phone'

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Mushroom

If this is true...

IF, a big one at that. I'll probably go to Linux. Or just give up on computers all together. Don't get me wrong, this is like them removing the steering wheel from a car and replacing it with an AI driver. It's not like I'd have a choice to drive anymore, and it's not like I have a choice to use a PC if this happens. :(

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Re: If this is true...

I live in a Windows world and would never buy the jailware produced by Apple.

That being said, I recognize that Jobs (and even more so Woz) are geniuses with code and OS while Gates is at best a workable hack. If Jobs couldn't unify the two interfaces (and you know if he could Apple wouldn't have a different interface on a tablet/phone and PC), there's no way in hell Gates (or any of his teams) will.

Louis Sullivan had it right back in 1896: That form ever follows function. This is the law.

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Stop

But only if...

you are a cretin that likes your 24in desktop system being made up of tiny mobile phone javascript applications.

It's like Windows 95 Active Desktop all over again... Wasn't that supposed to change the world too?

This is just usual hyperbole from Microsoft ahead of any product launch..

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Re: But only if...

I disagree. Active Desktop was actually useful. It was great for things akin to what Windows 7 gadgets are... Or at least were until Microsoft killed them off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But only if...

Active desktop was one huge security backdoor headache.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But only if...

Even by the standards of Microsoft software, Active Desktop was a resource hog.

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Re: But only if...

Active Desktop was actually useful. It was great for things akin to what Windows 7 gadgets are

Some of the ideas behind it might have been okay - nabbed from OpenDoc/Taligent - but the implementation was, as was so much of Windows rushed, botched and buggy.

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WTF?

share and share alike

They'd better be careful that they don't end up also sharing user-bases, ie none.

Can I get a cab for two to oblivion please?

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Coat

Re: share and share alike

I think you'll find several of them in c:\windows\Options\Cabs

Yep that's my 42" long, if you please.

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Stop

I'm more inclined to believe the Saleforce.com CEO quoted on the reg a few days ago - this is the last version of Windows - certainly the last version any one will care about.

More and more business is done in a web browser, and the OS is becoming irrelevant for 90% of users.

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Mushroom

"can any of these companies translate market leads in one sector to the others?"

No. And here's why.

Microsoft have been trying to leverage their de-facto PC monopoly into mobile for over nigh-on 15 years, with very little success, I don't see that changing. Ever.

Apple have niched themselves nicely into the high end, they are not about to start flooding the market with cheap tat, nor license their OSs to box-shifters to do likewise. They are what they are, somewhere between high end and aspirational fashion accessory for hipsters.

Google stand the best chance of the lot, except for the sheer legacy that Microsoft has built. Remember that Win 7 will likely be the OS of choice in the business world for the next decade. Android isn't a platform that could replace that, and neither is ChromeOS. Google would have to build something specifically to target the PC market, and whilst they have PC user's eyes with the Apps platform, GMail and search, I can't see that they'll even give it a second thought. Let Microsoft deal with the messy business of PC device driver compliance.

My prediction is a gradual, lesser reliance on the PC, as the main battle has shifted away from people's desks to anywhere their attention is drawn to a screen. And of the big 3, Google is better suited to fight that battle.

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Anonymous Coward

@ twilkins

I think Win7 will be the last OS people care about. It will last long enough to get people on a web infrastructure and cost nothing more, cuz we already have it. :)

Why give MS more money?

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Re: @ twilkins

Ummm, I think you will find that if your webtopia vision comes to fruition, you will simply be trading a a one off payment to MS with being nickle and dimed forever by whoever is providing your web functionality.

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Re: @ twilkins

Errrr, no. You need an operating system to run the hardware, nobody is suggesting your basic hardware interface (drivers, desktop, etc) will be web based, but as people increasingly use applications that are web based, the OS becomes a commodity. There are free OSes available - Linux, etc that will will comfortably allow you to connect to a network, use a local printer, run things off an SSD/HDD, etc.

By forcing silly interface changes on users, the already high cost of implementing a windows upgrade goes stratospheric. Re-training, app upgrades, the windows license itself, all easily avoided.

As a long time Windows user (since 3.0), I find myself being drawn to Linux. Primarily because many of the business apps I use (my accountant is now entirely web based, I use Google Docs for general office type stuff) are not tied to Windows. I certainly won't be upgrading to Windows 8 - as an Android user there is little for me to gain from using a new interface that has nothing in common with either my 20 years of experience or my other devices.

My prediction - Windows 8 is going to flop, big time. It's been conceived to help Microsoft's market strategy (merge platforms) rather than it's users and it comes at a time when people are focussed on the bottom line.

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FAIL

Sorry, Microsoft

Your attempt to embrace and extend phones will fail. People don't want to run a full desktop OS on their phone. Don't try to sell a Swiss army knife to people who need a screwdriver.

This is the mistake they always made in their tablet designs (and continue to make, with Surface Pro) These are different markets - tablets are for people who are content consumers, not content creators. Microsoft always tried to make their tablets all things to all people, eventually Apple showed them the proper recipe of making a successful tablet by making something serves some people's needs without trying to make something that would keep even power users and content creators happy.

Had Microsoft built a tablet like the Surface RT two years before the iPad, they would own the tablet market now and be cannibalizing their own PC sales instead of letting Apple, Samsung and Amazon do it for them. Now they are too late and have no chance of being first in either the phone or tablet market, and could end up where Zune did.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry, Microsoft

>tablets are for people who are content consumers, not content creators.

That may be true, at present, but it is only some forms of content that require a keyboard to create. It doesn't seem that Touch UIs for some forms of content creating applications have fully matured yet, such as CAD or even file management. Some people already use machines that convert from laptop to tablet form- my automotive mechanic, for example.

Conversely, one often wishes to enter text into 'content consumption' device, such as a mobile telephone, games console or television (now that they video-on-demand services to search through) and finds the text entry system far from perfect- a qwerty keyboard, even a mediocre one, would be better.

The lines between what are now called 'tablet' and 'laptops' might get a bit fuzzier. Whether it will go MS's way is different question.

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Had Microsoft built a tablet like the Surface RT two years before the iPad

They did try. It's just they were awful.

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Sorry, Microsoft pt 2

Your attempt to embrace and extend phone OSes to the desktop will fail. People don't want to run a super light OS on their fully functional desktop. Don't try to sell a screwdriver to people who need a Swiss army knife .

etc., etc.

So in the end, not only will MS piss off phone users, they'll piss off their monopoly market too.

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Funny, nobody mentioned it yet

Linux& Unix did it from the start. Unless you are completely fooled by the virtual machine on top of it or no virtual machine at all (NDK) , Android _is_ Linux. In fact, it could be given as example of what Linux really is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Funny, nobody mentioned it yet

Thanks, General Disarray ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Funny, nobody mentioned it yet

And OSX and iOS are Unix.

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Re: Funny, nobody mentioned it yet

Unix indeed. OS X is one of weirdest complex mixtures to date. I bet ballmer would personally fire you if you dared to suggest mixing 4 separate major operating systems (freebsd, bsdlite, next layer, carbon) adding a hybrid micro kernel while on it.

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Painfully obvious that MS are starting panic - wheel out Bill to boost Windows 8 and Windows Phone which are both sinking before they even ship.

It's worth noting that in the early years of the 21st Century Microsoft did come close to winning the Mobile OS race. Psion walked away, Palm never got to grips with Smartphones and Symbian took a long while to never-quite-make-it. Windows CE/Mobile found its way into a *lot* of devices.

Unfortunately Microsoft crippled this nascent Smartphone dominance by insisting that they wanted a common UI across PC and phone. So Windows Mobile was lumbered with a "Start" button, task bar and everything being driven by the stylus and tiny little icons/menus/etc. Which left the way wide open for Apple & Android who had "touch friendly" UI from the start.

Now Microsoft are going in the opposite direction and crippling their PC operating system by insisting on making it like a Phone.

You have to laugh.

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I absolutely agree with you, trying to shoe-horn a desktop UI onto a phone was brain damaged and the reverse is equally so. Say what you like about Apple, they didn't make that mistake.

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WTF?

"Unfortunately Microsoft crippled this nascent Smartphone dominance by insisting that they wanted a common UI across PC and phone. So Windows Mobile was lumbered with a "Start" button, task bar and everything being driven by the stylus and tiny little icons/menus/etc. Which left the way wide open for Apple & Android who had "touch friendly" UI from the start."

Hey, I remember that! One interface to span phones, home and office, otherwise known (mockingly) as "Ce, Me, NT".

And now it's deja-vu all over again, with Metro... er, Windows 8 Modern, in two confusingly similar, but barely compatible versions:

Desktop ( Hey! With third party software, it's nearly as easy to use as Version 7!).

And Window 8 Modern RT for the phone and tablet. (Unless it's using an Intel processor, then it's the desktop version, but HEY! They look alike!)

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What Microsoft doesn't seem to understand

People don't buy Windows because it's "good" or "innovative" or whatever. They buy it to run 1990s software they spent lots of money on. Now if Microsoft could come up with a clever way of making that old software accessible on mobile devices, they have a good chance. Otherwise they will need to compete on a market that's already full.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What Microsoft doesn't seem to understand

People don't buy Windows, it just comes on the computer they can afford to buy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What Microsoft doesn't seem to understand

As already said, people don't buy windows - they have it forced upon them by OEMs. As a result, they end up "needing" it for stuff they already have or want because of MS' oligopoly.

Businesses do buy OS separately, but they really don't like change when it has to be rolled out of thousands of desktops and all sorts of stuff tested, possible changed at vast expense, and staff re-trained for whatever the GUI muppets have hit upon this time.

Windows 8 will be a "success" because OEMs will ship it, and have not a lot of choice. But I don't see it getting much love from most users.

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Silver badge
FAIL

If even ol' Billyboy needs to be trotted out for this sad parade then you know it's really bad...

...and Ballmer feels the fire, I'm pretty sure. now very close to his feet - a year or two, you angry chair-throwing incompetent loudmouth, you have about 18-24 more months left at the helm, mark my words.

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Web infrastructure OS

The web isn't an OS. The beauty of the web is that it is well documented, standardised medium for developers to write code to exploit. That's the beauty. Sort of middleware of a kind.

App culture is breaking out of this by using the network and subverting the web. I am very, very concerned that Microsoft are seemingly going down the Apple route on this. The sooner apps are consigned to the dustbin of history and we get back to having our nice clean, egalitarian web the better.

In the meantime, computing devices need to run OSes to provide the background for running the applications to connect to the web don't they? In which case you can stay on win 7 and 7- (I'm on XP, Vista and 7 btw), or you can "upgrade" at great cost in all ways to MacOS, or at great shoe-horning effort to a Linux distro or just bite the bullet and go for 8. That would seem, objectively, to be a bit of a no-brainer, should you need a new PC at least.

Flash - yes

Office - yes

strange little business application - oh yes indeed sir...

Add to that, the fact that there is going to be harmonisation of look and feel, and eventually, when mobile computing is up to it, actual convergence of the OSes Microsoft produce if BG is to be believed, should leave pretty much everything else in their own stagnant little ponds (from a business perspective at least)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Web infrastructure OS

"or at great shoe-horning effort to a Linux distro"

I've met some people who didn't like modern Linux distros after trying them. I've yet to meet any that couldn't actually install them.

The year is 2012 not 2002.

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Stop

Re: Web infrastructure OS

"Flash - yes

Office - yes"

Sorry, neither is true anymore.

Flash is pretty much dead as far as the future goes (Adobe already hit the kill switch on Android, soon will kill it on the desktop) and browser-based Office-like packages pretty much made MSO obsolete for ~90% of every day users.

"strange little business application - oh yes indeed sir..."

Perhaps, it depends on the app = lot of these can be easily turned into a cloud-based application.

I will hold on to my PC but it's mainly due to its form factor eg 27" monitor, full-sized keyboard and because of some specific tasks eg compositing or virtualization (very fast CPU and GPU, plenty of memory etc.)

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 is FECKING SHITE !

Ahhh said that now and feel better, just needed an antidote to all the MS sponsored crap and hype in the news.

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile in a parallel universe ..

Wayback in 2003, Microsoft achieved dominance in the mobile consumer electronics market with TRON, the real-time OS, or they would have if they didn't perceive it (and everything else) as a threat to the Windows platform.

Microsoft vs. TRON

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Stop

And the band played 'believe it if you like'.

Heard it all before. WM6, .net, silverlight...

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Coat

Re: And the band played 'believe it if you like'.

Shouldn't it be

'Another one bites the dust?'

Ok, mines the one with Slackware 1.1 on Floppy disks in the pocket.

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