back to article Nvidia boss: Windows 8 will run Windows Phone 7 apps

Nvidia has been outlining a future that sees a Qualcomm/Nvidia duopoly providing processors for every computing platform, which will share apps as well as chips. Nvidia's CEO has been briefing journalists, including C-Net's Roger Cheng, pointing out that the company's Tegra chipsets are already powering half of the Android …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Aren't Windows Phone 7 apps ...

    Aren't Windows Phone 7 apps just pure Windows .NET apps, and therefore inherently portable to anywhere that .NET is available? (Sorry if I have misunderstood/misremembered the .NET PR)

    In which case why would anyone be surprised at this?

    I feel I must have misunderstood. Help me (or flame me, as per your personal preferences).

  2. Ru


    Don't most of the other smartphones run TI's OMAP processor? Maybe the percentage is low enough that we've already got a duopoly; I'm too lazy to look.

    It is interesting to note that a future where Qualcomm dominates is not necessarily good news for ARM. I believe that the Snapdragons are mere ARM *compatible*, but the actually cores are all Qualcomm's own work. One way or another, Qualcomm are looking to cough up far fewer royalties in the future.

    Not that it really matters; this crystal ball bullshit won't come true until high quality tablet PCs are sold at bargain basement prices like the touchpad, and I don't see that happening any time soon. The price of smartphones has stayed more or less static; given that no-one in the industry (bar, perhaps, Apple) get the tablet market, the chances of decent kit getting cheaper seem slim.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      No they are not.

      There is a compact framework that is a small subset of .NET.

      Anyway, it doesn't matter, as REAL consumers never actually buy Windows Phone 7 anyway, it's marketshare is in the tens of real users and almost all of Microsoft's numbers are shipped units which include tens of thousands of review handsets and developer bribes to support it's failing mobile platform.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        no real consumer = no true scotsman

        that is all.

      2. n4blue

        Sorry but it does matter

        Even if your pathetic fAndroid or iSheep assertions about WP7's market share were anything close to the truth, that's not the point.

        There are tens of thousands of apps already developed for the WP7 and its Metro UI. Making these work in Windows 8 will instantly give the new OS tons of useful touchscreen apps.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Just to point out.

          10,099 fart apps does not make tens of thousands of apps.

          The Windows Mobile marketplace is utter pants, and worse then even bada. I doubt even the biggest Microsoft fanboy would actually WANT a Windows Phone 7, it really is a doomed platform.

          I'm guessing they will be trying to convince braindead American Xbox Live gamers to buy them soon because of the lame Xbox tie-in that offers very little in the way of anything useful (other than branding).

          1. Asgard

            @App on phones, tablets and desktops.

            I wouldn't be surprised to find Microsoft working on a way to get phone and tablet apps on desktops as well, because its already been done on Android where C++ NDK developers can compile for multiple processors into the same app. So they can (if they wish) already include ARM and X86 code in the one app. The thing is with apps on tablets they already have to cope with larger screen layouts, so they are mostly like a desktop app anyway.

            So it does make sense to compile for all sizes of devices in one go and Windows 8 has already had demos running on all sizes of devices, so its not to far of a stretch to see them include x86 and ARM code in the one app.

            Also from an application developers perspective, as they already have to deal with the pain of different screen resolutions (between phones and tablets) then its actually good news for a lot of developers that they can also sell their apps to desktop users as well (to get more customers), without much more extra development work being needed. :)

            I bet Intel are worried though, as all of this work is opening up a migration path away from x86 just at the time the ARM A15 is about to enter the market, which at up to 16 cores at 2.5Ghz is a direct competitor to anything Intel have, yet the A15 also uses far less electrical power and so single and duel core versions of the A15 will also end up in phones and tablets.

            I find it fascinating watching how mobile devices are growing and converging with desktops. Its also kind of exciting times watching how technology is changing so fast. :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ MS hating Coward

            as apposed to the 90,000 "fart" apps an malware on android?

            You obviously havent used WP for any length of time, maybe go crawl back under your AC rock

            I have a HD with WM and a HD2 with WP and Android, an you know what, i cant even remember the last time i booted that Android. WP works, it works well and after a bit of getting used it, ill stick to my WM / WP combo

            why WM? because its a beast, it may look crap, it may run crap, but theres nothing it cant do

        2. Levente Szileszky

          RE: Sorry but it...

          ...really does not matter as long as nobody gives a shit about MS' next 'me-too' OS aka Windows Phone 7. It's out and its sales numbers are miserable, downright pathetic. He is indeed very close to the real numbers - are you one of those 25 people out there using WP7...?

          If so just why on Earth would you want to use some idiotic, limited app on your Windows PC when there are literally gazillions of well-working Windows applications out there?

          I know Nvidia's CEO is a habitual loudmouth and regularly says hilarious, stupid things at the scale only the good ol' Kutaragi-san was able to beat but seriously, it's more idiotic than the faithful iCrowd's persistence of being raped with overpriced apps dictated by the Puritan-in-Chief instead of using the internet and Flash for free...

          ...just why would I want to use stupid apps on my Windows workstation is beyond me.

          1. n4blue

            market share?

            I just don't understand why people see market share as an indicator of quality. Surely the last 40 years of tech history have taught us that? Betamax, Macintosh, Palm... need I go on?

            If market share were such an indicator, why did Windows Vista still have a greater share than all OSX versions combined as recently as last April, nearly 4 years after its release?

            Secondly, WP7 in no way could be called a 'me-too' OS. Metro is genuinely innovative and even in its first version WP7 had features that are only now being added to iOS 5.

            WP7 apps on a Windows workstation? I agree - I would have no interest in that either. However, give me a touchscreen netbook that can run OneNote, Outlook and Excel and then throw in the Picture and People Hubs from WP7 and the eBay and IMDb apps and I will be happy (and I won't care if I'm one of 25 or one of 25 million).

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Not any more. Windows 8 will ONLY run Windows Phone 7 apps. :-)

            Look, there were lots of Windows programs up to Windows XP. Then Vista came out and lots of those programs wouldn't run on Vista. Even more on Windows 7. And no one's writing for Windows Vista or 7 because they hate 'em.

            Incidentally, there are many Palm programs that I'd love to run on a desktop PC, but that was never allowed. The same with Windows CE, the previous mobile edition. There were and are desktop-based emulators of the portable devices, but only for software development use, specifically not licensed or permitted for using just because you wanted to run the mobile device programs at home.

            So, in fact, why would that change now? Windows Phone programs will run on desktop Windows if Microsoft allows it. Will they? When it means that you don't have to buy a Windows Phone?

      3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Microsoft's numbers are ...

        > Microsoft's numbers are shipped units

        I got the distinct impression that Microsoft's numbers were shipped _licences_ and certainly not the much lower number of the phones built, licenced and sent to warehouses.

        After all Microsoft's product is the licence, why would they care about any other number ?

    2. Monty Burns

      Why does it have to be a "Tablet PC"?

      I'm running two 22" HD Iiyama multi-touch screens on my desktop..... why do you need to buy a tablet PC to go touch when a simple monitor swap will do?

      I personaly am gagging for Windows 8 "metro" and i'm also looking forward to real Kinnect integration for my 7MC box.

      1. Ru

        Re: Why does it have to be a "Tablet PC"?

        The article, and the devices mentioned, are quite oriented towards the smartphone/tablet market... they talk about low power chips combining a processor, graphics core and radio hardware into one package. There's no need to use quite the same kit for desktop hardware, which has a much more generous space and power budget. Furthermore, neither nvidia nor qualcomm are likely to care very much about the desktop processor market, at least not any time soon.

        I see your point, though I can't muster any enthusiasm at the drive to use small screen, handheld device interfaces on large-screen, self-supporting displays. I too gag at the thought ;-)

    3. introiboad


      You are right. Qualcomm licenses the ARM ABI (instruction set, bus, etc) and then writes the Verilog on its own.

      I believe than other than them and Xscale (now Marvell) no one else does it, licensing instead the full cores in netlist or source form and then adding a bunch of peripherals around them.

  3. Neil Alexander
    Thumb Up

    Frankly I wouldn't be surprised

    ... if this happened. I used to write programs years ago using .NET Compact Framework in C# for Windows Mobile devices, and the same executable file would often run just perfectly on a Windows desktop.

    Even the architecture bridge may not be necessarily a problem, if Microsoft are planning on making sensible use of the Common Language Runtime.

    1. Armando 123

      I'm calling BS

      No offense, but "the same executable file would often run just perfectly on a Windows desktop." can't be true because NOTHING runs just perfectly on a Windows desktop.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I would have been more interested if Windows 8...

    ... could run Windows XP applications without any problems. And if Windows 8 64bit could run Windows XP 32bit applications without any problems, then I would upgrade all of our machines!

    slightly offtopic, anyone knows if Windows AppStore (whatever they call it) is accessable from everywhere? or is it like Apple's accessable from few countries?

    From my experience, with Apple you can't even create an account if you are not from an allowed country, and without an account you can't even get the free stuff, let alone buy the good stuff. With Android you can get the free stuff from anywhere, but you couldn't buy stuff until the made that announcement sometime ago where they said that they can process payment from 130 countries. How about Windows, are they doing with Apple is doing or are they doing what Android is doing?

    1. n4blue

      following Apple again I'm afraid

      Unfortunately the WP7 marketplace is not available in many countries. I don't know whether the coverage is greater or less than the Apple App Store.

      The next WP7 release after Mango is supposed to be targetted at emerging markets and simpler phones, however, so my guess is that MS will have to ramp up the coverage for that.

    2. cloudgazer

      In practical terms the Apple stores are available anywhere

      Step 1: Buy a $ iTunes giftcard online from a reseller

      Step 2: Create an iTunes account with a valid US address, any one will do.

      Step 3: ....

      Step 4: Profit! - or rather shop, but you get the idea.

    3. Arctic fox

      RE "I would have been more interested if Windows 8.."

      From what I have seen written about MS' plans with the official mango release it will also include the official launch of WP7 phones in a large number of European countries where, although you can buy the phones, the local languages and access to the app-market have not hitherto been supported. I have not seen however whether or not that will mean wider availability of "Zune pass".

  5. Anonymous Coward

    "compact framework that is a small subset of .NET."

    Well if that is the case and if it is a true subset rather than a subset with extensions, surely the original "claim" still holds, ie .NET apps from WinPhone 7 run on .NET on some other box, subject to all the usual .NET version (in)compatibilities?

    I do realise that due to the negligible market share of WinPhones the question is indeed largely hypothetical, but these questions need answers.

    Or maybe not.

    Penguin. Compatible to an extent with both Android and that other thing. But not .NET (ignoring Mono, which everyone is afaik).

    1. Filippo


      That's correct. Most of the time, .NET compact apps work fine on the desktop. That's certainly true for the old Windows Mobile; I don't know if it remains true for Windows Phone 7, but if it isn't already, it's certainly something Microsoft could easily do.

  6. Inachu


    I am sure Microsoft will block the ability to have people run phone apps on their pc.

    They will pose stupid questions like....Why would you want to?

    Would be nice if I could run my iphone/ipad apps inside of itunes on my pc.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    I should hope so

    Windows Phone apps are XNA or Silverlight based, both .NET API frameworks. I assume they should be portable to Windows 8 in much the same way as Android apps run on phones and tablets.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @Ru 18:41: History evolves (backwards, sometimes)

    "low power chips combining a processor, graphics core and radio hardware into one package. There's no need to use quite the same kit for desktop hardware, which has a much more generous space and power budget."

    There's no *traditional* need to use non-x86 kit for desktop hardware.

    There's not going to be an ongoing *requirement* next year for all desktops to continue using Wintel boxes either, especially in the volume consumer market or the braver edges of the enterprise desktop market.

    And when that non-x86 kit comes out and does the same kind of stuff as the x86 kit (albeit perhaps with a slightly different GUI), and when it does it at a substantially lower cost to buy and run (hardware costs less, no Windows licence to pay for [1], etc), things are going to be looking different than they do today.

    It's soon going to be an interesting time to be a certified Microsoft dependent channel partner dependent on shifting x86 desktops. The days of a 2/3 year refresh cycle are gone, the days of worrying about the costs of power and of rolling upgrades are on the way.

    If only the Shark had lived to see 2012.

    [1] The Windows OEM/system builder licence is the single most expensive component (or maybe 2nd most) in most typical volume desktop PCs.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The achievement is nice, but is it worth it?

    When solely looking at the technical aspects here I think MS are doing ok. Sure, nothing too complicated to setup a framework and then have it support multiple platforms, but IMO MS does some good and interesting things when it comes to GUI designs.

    But is it all really worth it ? I wonder.. When looking at the specs of a regular WP7 phone I can't help feel unimpressed. Nothing bad about the smartphone aspect; I think that comes down pretty decent. You have your applications which you can use, you can share your data online and use that same data on your PC. Enough connectivity to go with it, all in all not too bad I think.

    But what about simple phone features? You know; having a browser to check up on the files on the phone, being able to use an mp3 file not only to listen to but also as ringtone or how about assigning this music to a special contact? And for that matter being able to easily transfer stuff to and from the phone using bluetooth or USB... You know; stuff you'd want to do with a cellphone.

    Believe it or not; all of that is not possible with a WP7 phone; though support for mp3 as ringtone is coming with the next update though. Heck; doing something as basic as turning wifi or bluetooth on and off requires you to skim through the phone settings every time; you can't place a shortcut somewhere for quick access.

    And although Win8 has yet to come I have to admit that so far I'm not really impressed with that one either. The new metro GUI? Not for me; I'm pretty happy with Aero on Win7. Being able to access .iso images out of the box? I could already do that when I was still back on Windows XP.

    Or what about the ribbon interface in Explorer? I don't think its going to be as bad as some others think (hey, each to his own!) but it would not be a strong argument for me to want to move to Windows 8.

    The only thing I'm curious about are the possible new developments with systems administration (which is also my profession). But that is going to hit TechNet sooner or later anyway for all of us to read and catch up to. And heck; sometimes such developments will even be made available on other ("older") platforms as well. Take for example PowerShell. Released in 2006 (the XP / Vista era) yet also made available for older Windows 2003 servers.

    So quite frankly I think the achievement is pretty good, but having said that I also wonder if its worth it. Right now I'm a very happy Win7 & Office 2010 user and unless MS starts to drastically change their policies like (wh)Oracle has I see no reason for change.

  10. GrantB


    I am trying to think of apps on my iOS device that I would want to run on my desktop... I can't think of any off hand. For instance there is a RWC2011 app that I have.. but sitting at my Win7 desktop, I am not going to run the same app - I would just use the website in Chrome and use the extra space.

    Most 'phone' apps are going to assume (quite rightly) that the device is mobile and has hardware like cameras, accerometers etc as well as a small screen. Apple can get away with some cross-over between Lion and iOS as they certify apps can run on 4" iPhones, 10" iPads and that the MacBooks running Lion have most of the same hardware.

    Could work out quite badly for WP7 in comparsion; if a full-fat Windows 8 OS indeed runs on a mobile device (which it will) and can run mobile apps, then why would developers target a much smaller WP7 market and build any apps that use any phone specific API call? Companies like Nokia might be best to stick Windows 8 on highend phones with enough memory and CPU.

    I still think WP7 is doomed to be squeezed out between W8 on desktops, tablets and highend phones, and cheaper OS's for low-end phones (Android/Bada/Symbian etc). That is a niche that won't be profitable for MS to continue investing billions into developing and supporting WP7

  11. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

    Not Surprising.

    Windows Phone Apps run on Silverlight so it's not a big thing to run them on the desktop. As it stands you need to do practically nothing to your Win 7 code and recompile to get a WPF windows app out of it.

    The WinPhone silverlight is a true subset of WPF/.NET. I'm quite surprised that anyone would be surprised by this.

    P.S. I am a Windows Phone 7 developer... The reason there aren't more apps is that people are too cheap, it takes a lot of work to develop apps and I'm not making any money. My next project is cross-platform

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Good point. Mobile apps are priced cheap or free. Have been since the PalmPilot at least, a device that cost a lot less than your PC, also had a lot less memory and smaller screen, so people weren't willing to pay a lot for application programs. I myself still feel in my gut that spending more on the software than on the device is wrong somehow. But that means that doing the same thing on a mobile device earns the programmer-vendor a lot less than the PC edition. If every iPhone user buys your program then you can still make good money... but would you -want- the PC edition to be available at the exact same price? When you can probably charge $50 insead of $5 and still sell a heap of licences? No, and for that reason, the $5 mobile edition won't run on PCs.

    2. Angus Millar

      @ GrantB

      "Apple can get away with some cross-over between Lion and iOS as they certify apps can run on 4" iPhones, 10" iPads and that the MACBOOKS RUNNING LION HAVE MOST OF THE SAME HARDWARE."


  12. Angus Millar

    @ GrantB

    Apple can get away with some cross-over between Lion and iOS as they certify apps can run on 4" iPhones, 10" iPads and that the MACBOOKS RUNNING LION HAVE MOST OF THE SAME HARDWARE.


    1. GrantB

      My post was not written well, true, but...

      Take an iOS application like the Google Maps app that is built into iOS. You can use a two finger pinch gesture to zoom. It uses the GPS built into the iPhone. It might well use the accelerometer ( I don’t know).

      That same app can run on a cheap iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and (in theory) on something like a MacBook Air running Lion. The newer MacBooks have multi-touch pads and can support the same API’s.

      A similar application written for WP7, might run on an W8 desktop or laptop, but a typical business laptop (like my HP ProBook running WP7), even if it has API support, does not have GPS or accelerometer (though just checked and surprised to find multi-touch gestures mostly works).

      So being able to run a WP7 app doesn't mean it has any use on the PC, and in most cases you would just be better to run the same app in a browser if it doesn't use mobile hardware.

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