Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:07 UTC, submitted by ronaldst
Windows This is the kind of news just tailor-made for OSNews. After 16 years of trusty service, the venerable Windows CE will be history as far as Microsoft's mobile operating system offering goes - the next major version of Windows Phone will use the NT kernel from Windows 8. As a heavy former Windows PocketPC Mobile CE Ultimate SP2 Edition user, this makes me sad. As a fan of the NT kernel, this makes me happy.
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back to the future
by fran on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:30 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Windows 8 code will thus be evolutionary and not revolutionary.
From Wikipedia "Windows XP, the successor to Windows 2000 and Windows Me, was the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on the Windows NT kernel."

Back to the future

Reply Score: 2

RE: back to the future
by BluenoseJake on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 02:54 UTC in reply to "back to the future"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Maybe the kernel will be evolutionary, but the userland could be (but maybe not). A modern OS is more than just the kernel, and we haven't seen Windows Phone 8.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: back to the future
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 05:22 UTC in reply to "RE: back to the future"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Maybe the kernel will be evolutionary, but the userland could be (but maybe not). A modern OS is more than just the kernel, and we haven't seen Windows Phone 8.

"Modern OS" these days seems to be a term for an OS which has had its GUI butchered and mutilated to work especially well with smaller touch screens (ie., phones, tablets), at the expense of traditional desktop users. In some of those cases, it works. In all of those cases where it works, it's running on one of those portable touchscreen-based systems (iOS, Android, etc.). In those cases where it's running on a traditional desktop computer (Ubuntu's Unity, GNOME 3, Windows 8), it fails... miserably.

Sure, being an OS designed for a phone, Windows Phone 8 should probably work out. But I'm not sure that I'd call it a "modern OS" just because, well hey--it's following the recent trend of going all touchscreen! Sure, it's something new, and modern in many ways (ie. the slimmed down and more modular nature of the kernel vs. its CE counterparts), but to me it just yet another OS. Only maybe it'll work better on its native devices (cell phones) than its big brother Windows 8 will work on its native systems (desktops, laptops, netbooks).

Edited 2012-02-03 05:34 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: back to the future
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: back to the future"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Let me add, or correct myself, since I forgot to in my original post:

"...but to me it is just yet another specialized OS."

We seem to be going from general-purpose and specialized (ie., locked down). I call this a restriction, not a modern feature, and refuse to call an operating system doing this "modern" in any way, shape or form. [And yes, these "mobile" based operating systems seem to all lock down the system quite a bit compared to the traditional OS counterparts.]

Edited 2012-02-03 07:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: back to the future
by BluenoseJake on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: back to the future"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I'm not trying to discuss the merits of a walled garden phone OS over a general purpose OS, or your rather strange definition of "modern" I'm just saying that just because it will use the NT kernel, doesn't mean it couldn't be revolutionary, because an OS is more than just the kernel, it's also the userland, drivers, and built in apps, as well as other many other things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: back to the future
by fran on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 12:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: back to the future"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

My thoughts on this is that Windows NT is really used as the basis for Windows releases since 2000.
Almost everything Microsoft has done since 2000 on Windows is NT based.
Really nothing new here.
The only reason we did not see architecture portability was not so much the technical challenges to port it but the Microsoft/Intel alliance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: back to the future
by Neolander on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: back to the future"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I propose that the expression "Modern OS" be used to describe an OS whose oldest component's design is less than <insert arbitrary and obviously biased number> years old.

Anything else is just too subjective without extra context information : in some cases, it makes sense to use quite crude and dated OS designs by desktop standards (e.g. no user-mode processes, no multitasking) in order to fulfil some engineering criterion, typically a performance one.

Edited 2012-02-03 17:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: back to the future
by bassbeast on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 09:10 UTC in reply to "back to the future"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Actually even farther back for us greybeards, as Dave Cutler originally envisioned WinNT to be a portable modular OS that could be run on whatever arch you desired. for those old enough to remember there was a MIPS and IIRC a Sparc as well as an Alpha WinNT.

The problem which MSFT is seemingly ignoring is NOT the OS, its the apps. Frankly they better have a different enough name for Win 8 Tablet edition or whatever to make sure the consumers know this is NOT Win x86 or you are gonna see these devices returned by the truckload. i should know because last Xmas a local retailer was selling "Windows tablets" which had an OS that looked like WinXP but said in the corner "Windows Compact Edition" but frankly nobody knew what that meant. he got so many returns he ended up having to stick a sticker over the Windows label and sell them as generic tablets for a loss.

MSFT better remember that for 20 years now Windows has been Windows has been Windows. thanks to backwards compatibility folks have been able to keep the vast majority of their favorite programs and when they find their favorite Windows programs won't actually run on windows they'll be taking that sucker back. it'll be great for us geeks though, imagine how many tablets we'll have at TouchPad firesale prices!

Reply Score: 2

Native code support! Huurrraaayyy!
by moondevil on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:34 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

And they are actually supporting native code as well, as I have been hoping since I learned about WinRT.

Now it is possible to proper make use of native code across mobile devices.

I might just be getting a WP8 phone whenever they came out.

Reply Score: 3

About time...
by ronaldst on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:37 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

we explored fullscreen UIs. Now I want to see how MS will pull off complex apps in Metro style.

It feels so weird all this alternate design coming from a engineering oriented company. This year is gonna be sweet! ;)

Reply Score: 2

not entirely true...
by poundsmack on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:39 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

" After 16 years of trusty service, the venerable Windows CE will be history as far as Microsoft's mobile operating system offering goes..."

In high end phones we will be seeing the Windows NT kernel, but NOT in most low power embedded stuff. that will still be using the real time kernel of WinCE. And that's going to be that way likely forever (which in computer years could be weeks, months, or years...)

Reply Score: 2

No more PowerPC?
by pilotgi on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 00:15 UTC
pilotgi
Member since:
2005-07-06

From the article:

"It may have taken ten years of cleaning, but NT is now ready to power everything Microsoft does - server, desktop/laptop, phone, and I'm fairly sure the next Xbox will run Windows Nt as well (the Xbox and the Xbox 360 currently run completely custom operating systems)."

I'll believe that when I see it. Every major gaming console uses PowerPC architecture, so they're going to have to port everything over if they want to use NT.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No more PowerPC?
by zima on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 00:47 UTC in reply to "No more PowerPC?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll believe that when I see it

There you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT_4.0
(and also 3.51 - PowerPC NT has only been around ~15 years; so yeah, you could easily miss it)

Dropping it was a matter of market realities, circumstances. NT was always quite portable (in fact, it didn't start on x86).

Reply Score: 3

RE: No more PowerPC?
by malxau on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 01:59 UTC in reply to "No more PowerPC?"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

I'll believe that when I see it. Every major gaming console uses PowerPC architecture, so they're going to have to port everything over if they want to use NT.


1. As others pointed out, NT has already been ported to PPC.
2. As the Xbox link points out, the Xbox doesn't need 'everything', but a surprisingly small subset.
3. MS has been porting 'everything' to ARM recently.

The real challenge in doing this is not the hardware architecture issue, but getting NT to a point where it does not become overly burdensome on a console. Consoles strive to have as low overhead as possible so games can squeeze the most out of the hardware. Phones are quite different, where (currently) many applications are written with heavyweight abstractions (Silverlight, Dalvik, WebKit, ...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No more PowerPC?
by zima on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE: No more PowerPC?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Of note here is how Microsoft does experiment, quite successfully*, with ~"heavyweight abstractions" on their console (also on phones, with essentially the same thing) - in the form of XNA.

*sure, "serious games" don't come out of it - but a) quite a few of those indy ones are still rather nice b) it's much more decent than experiences historically given to indy devs on any other console.

Reply Score: 2

no such thing as "unintentional leak"
by gus3 on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 00:15 UTC
gus3
Member since:
2010-09-02

Unless it's a stolen video, the odds are very slim that the video's release was unauthorized. M$ was hoping the word would get out, and various sites would start chattering about whatever the latest topic was.

I think you've been played this time, Thom.

Reply Score: 1

giffypop17 Member since:
2009-03-09

Unless it's a stolen video, the odds are very slim that the video's release was unauthorized. M$ was hoping the word would get out, and various sites would start chattering about whatever the latest topic was.

I think you've been played this time, Thom.



Agreed. People have been speculating on why a lot of analysts have been so bullish on Windows Phone for a few months now. Nokia itself didn't explain it. This is what a lot of them likely knew or suspected.

This leak was MSs way of saying 'This is what they knew. This is why WP8 will kick butt.'

Reply Score: 1

David
Member since:
1997-10-01

"Windows PocketPC Mobile CE Ultimate SP2 Edition." Just so you know how bad it is, I seriously spent several minutes trying to figure out whether that's a real Microsoft product name, or a parody of a Microsoft product name.

Now, I'm 90% certain it's a parody.

Reply Score: 3

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Yeah, that was a joke the real name is

"Windows PocketPC Mobile Phone CE Series 6.53 Ultimate Millenium Edition Serice Pack 3"

Anyways, NOKIA IS SO FUCKED! This new kernel will have even higher hardware requirements (no doubt about that in my mind, way more than the cut down single core CE kernel without a lot of the features)
So Nokia will have to use Symbian for low end smartphones for all eternity (or until they are bought by MS, which is more likely)
Ballmers and Elops evil plan is clear now.

Reply Score: 1

fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Yeah, that was a joke the real name is

"Windows PocketPC Mobile Phone CE Series 6.53 Ultimate Millenium Edition Serice Pack 3"

Anyways, NOKIA IS SO f--kED! This new kernel will have even higher hardware requirements (no doubt about that in my mind, way more than the cut down single core CE kernel without a lot of the features)
So Nokia will have to use Symbian for low end smartphones for all eternity (or until they are bought by MS, which is more likely)
Ballmers and Elops evil plan is clear now.


Hardware is not a problem anymore.
The stuff is becoming dirt cheap.
In October Sitara ARM® Cortex™-A8 started to sell at $5
http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/dsp/platform/sitara/whats_new.page?DCMP=d...

Ok it's not a dual core or quad core but it gives you a market trend.
Not unrealistic to predict quad core Arm chips going for $15-$20 in one years time.

Edited 2012-02-03 12:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

NOKIA IS SO FUCKED! This new kernel will have even higher hardware requirements (no doubt about that in my mind, way more than the cut down single core CE kernel without a lot of the features)

"Even higher" ...WP7 is basically on the lower end of (so called "smartphone" at least) hardware, and still its performance (in UX) is praised.

They'll be fine, NT itself isn't really that heavy (and userland will be tailored to phones after all); how "light" CE is comes from, after all, the same thing how DOS is light (yes, an extreme analogy, but you get the idea) ...and it maybe makes some technical approaches more awkward (perhaps even resulting in "slower"), not so easily doable as with NT.
(also, Symbian appears to improve decently nowadays)

Reply Score: 2

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

"Windows PocketPC Mobile CE Ultimate SP2 Edition." Just so you know how bad it is, I seriously spent several minutes trying to figure out whether that's a real Microsoft product name, or a parody of a Microsoft product name.

I preferred the Windows PalmPC CE Enterprise Mobility Plus Edition - it had a better look and feel.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by DDevine
by DDevine on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 00:49 UTC
DDevine
Member since:
2011-12-28

I find WP7 Mango very good. I hope it stays wonderfully snappy/responsive if they offer a software update to WP8.

I'm sure the hardware could handle it even though it is only a single-core Snapdragon. I don't tolerate out-of-date software so I really hope I'm not forced back to sluggish Android. I can't afford to pay $500+ for a quick Android phone. I buy whatever is quickest for under $200...

What's the update policy for WP8? Will older devices get it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by DDevine
by zima on Thu 9th Feb 2012 23:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by DDevine"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

With such major underlying OS change, I kinda doubt present handsets will get an update...

...OTOH MS kept the hardware very homogeneous, so it shouldn't be much of an issue and they will be supporting native code applications (which might somewhat help with performance) and there aren't too many WP devices around - which means they wouldn't lose that much sales but they would earn large amount of positive attention.
Oh well, time will tell.

Reply Score: 2

Skype integration
by pgquiles on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 01:23 UTC
pgquiles
Member since:
2006-07-16

making Skype calls virtually indistinguishable from regular calls

Congratulations, only 3 years after the N900 did that.

Sigh.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Skype integration
by Nelson on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 02:13 UTC in reply to "Skype integration"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't really blame them, if we're going by the quality of the Skype client on Windows / Linux .. the code had to be damn near undecipherable when it got into the hands of MSFT after the acquisition.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Skype integration
by _txf_ on Sat 4th Feb 2012 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Skype integration"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I don't really blame them, if we're going by the quality of the Skype client on Windows / Linux .. the code had to be damn near undecipherable when it got into the hands of MSFT after the acquisition.


I imagine that Skype's code is indecipherable by design. I saw a presentation that showed the methods skype uses to prevent any tampering:

http://www.secdev.org/conf/skype_BHEU06.handout.pdf

Reply Score: 2

RE: Skype integration
by Radio on Sat 4th Feb 2012 13:24 UTC in reply to "Skype integration"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

And I am sure the carriers will be thrilled by the news, and push WP8 a lot.

NOT!

Reply Score: 3

Good Call
by kateline on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 06:24 UTC
kateline
Member since:
2011-05-19

Good prediction, Thom. I've always wondered why MS didn't built it on the NT kernel.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good Call
by kaiwai on Sat 4th Feb 2012 01:20 UTC in reply to "Good Call"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Good prediction, Thom. I've always wondered why MS didn't built it on the NT kernel.


I'd say because the changes required were only just completed in the last couple of years. It would be interesting though to see what has been 'left out' when it comes to the Windows NT core - what actually makes up that core when compared to a traditional Windows build.

Reply Score: 2

I agree with Thom
by Hussein on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 10:40 UTC
Hussein
Member since:
2008-11-22

This is exciting news indeed. WP8 might just be when Microsoft turns the table on Android and iOS. This will not only simplify porting between Windows Phone and Windows but also from other OSes. Exciting times are ahead of us. GO MICROSOFT!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: I agree with Thom
by geertjan on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 12:45 UTC in reply to "I agree with Thom"
geertjan Member since:
2010-10-29

Although this is an interesting move from Microsoft, I doubt this will change much for Windows Phone's popularity. First WP7 was going to be the game changer. Then they said WP7.5 was really going to be the OS that could make a dent in the competition. And now it's WP8 that's really REALLy going to be the one to change it all? It's always the next version.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I agree with Thom
by twitterfire on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE: I agree with Thom"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

It's always the next version.


Would you prefer instead to live with the crap forever?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I agree with Thom
by glarepate on Sat 4th Feb 2012 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I agree with Thom"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Would you prefer instead to live with the crap forever?


Actually I'm doing just fine without it. (-;) The low quality hasn't impacted me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I agree with Thom
by kaiwai on Sat 4th Feb 2012 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE: I agree with Thom"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Although this is an interesting move from Microsoft, I doubt this will change much for Windows Phone's popularity. First WP7 was going to be the game changer. Then they said WP7.5 was really going to be the OS that could make a dent in the competition. And now it's WP8 that's really REALLy going to be the one to change it all? It's always the next version.


The issue with Windows Phone 7 has less to do with the software and more to do with the horrible hardware specifications - I mean come on, selling 16GB phones when you can buy up to 64GB iPhones? the fact that phone vendors only launch in 5-6 markets and here I am stuck at the bottom of the world still waiting for the Lumia 800 to come to New Zealand. What Microsoft needs is to exert more pressure on the phone vendors to ship globally on day one and if need be to ship directly to the customer or work through retailers rather than directly with carriers.

It really is pathetic that here I am in New Zealand, Lumia launched in October 2011 and yet we won't get it here until March - in other words it took 5 months for a phone to finally appear in New Zealand. I'll just clue Microsoft in here for a second - if the end user can't get it NOW they're going to go for Android or iPhone no matter how much the virtues of Windows Phone 7 is promoted.

Reply Score: 2