Home > Microsoft > Microsoft Adds Yet Another Mobile OS Microsoft Adds Yet Another Mobile OS Submitted by fran 2010-06-24 Microsoft 12 Comments This is getting ridiculous. Windows Embedded Handheld? And to make it worse, there are two different versions of Windows Embedded Handheld coming out, each based on a different underlying OS. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 12 Comments 2010-06-24 4:55 pm fretinator I like Microsoft Small Business Biz-talk Backoffice Sharepoint Portal Enterprise OEM Compact Embedded Windows Phone 7 Handheld Edition It’s the bestest! 2010-06-24 5:04 pm fithisux I like Microsoft Small Business Biz-talk Backoffice Sharepoint Portal Enterprise OEM Compact Embedded Windows Phone 7 Handheld Edition It’s the bestest! I fix it for you : Backoffice … [Starter, Basic, Premium, Ultimate, SPx] …. Sharepoint …. Edition They sound like souvlaki sellers here in Athens. 2010-06-24 5:09 pm Nelson And how many of these are consumer facing product names? Not many. Not even Windows CE. People know Windows Phone and Windows Mobile. 2010-06-24 9:44 pm Karitku Well average american can’t vote if there is more than 2 parties, too complicated. And to make it worse, there are two different versions of Windows Embedded Handheld coming out, each based on a different underlying OS. This would be huge problem if this was Linux, but it ain’t so there is no problem. Microsoft can handle backward compatible quite nicely, no need for trolling. 2010-06-25 1:56 am Soulbender So I guess all the different mobile Linux systems isn’t a problem either then. 2010-06-25 2:15 am Nelson So I guess all the different mobile Linux systems isn’t a problem either then. I don’t think it is. However, these are two different situations, unless you specifically talk about a commercial distribution having multiple confusing commercial Linux offerings. Most of the variations of non Desktop Windows are focused at very specific hardware partners, and like I said, only two are ever exposed to the everyday user. Windows Phone (and Windows mobile under that umbrella) The rest are specialized solutions, and the variations exist because WinCE is built for ARM and WinNT is built for x86. Overtime I expect that line in the sand to disappear as NT is written with portability in mind, but that’s probably why. Some embedded hw partners need x86 and the legacy support (plus running the plethora of desktop windows apps), and others like arm for the power efficiency among other things. Can some consolidation be done? Sure, but it’s not as bad as it seems. 2010-06-25 12:20 pm ricegf It’s not the *same* problem. IMHO, Microsoft has far too many operating systems aimed at the mobile market for a single company. The various Linux operating system products are, for the most part, produced by different companies. Here are the mobile OS products of which I’m aware, based on the article as well as Wikipedia’s “smartphone” entry. Linux-based OS are asterisked: Google – *Android*, *Chrome* HP – *webOS* Nokia – *MeeGo*, Symbian Samsung – *bada* (LiMo) RIM – Blackberry Apple – iOS Microsoft – Windows Embedded Compact (formerly Windows CE), Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Phone 7, Kin, Windows Embedded Handheld I, Windows Embedded Handheld II, Windows Embedded Compact 7, and Windows Phone Classic. If my list is correct (and the fact that I’m struggling with it just emphasizes the problem), Microsoft has more mobile-targeted OS products than mobile Linux has major forks among the rest of the major players – 8 to 5. Yes, 5 mostly incompatible Linux products from 4 companies isn’t optimal – but Linux is free, so it’s *normal*. Having 8 mostly incompatible products from 1 company is just puzzling. (The “I” and “II” I added to distinguish the two versions of Windows Embedded Handheld mentioned in the article as having the same name but different cores and APIs. I can’t find any other way to differentiate them. Hope I missed something.) Not trying to troll. Feel free to point out errors in the above. I’m really just puzzled by Microsoft’s shotgun approach. They’ve always excelled at two things IMHO, developer relations and marketing. This looks like poor marketing, at best. Or maybe I’m just getting old. 2010-06-25 7:00 pm JeeperMate Having 8 mostly incompatible products from 1 company is just puzzling. Should they be compatible with one another? Is Android compatible with Chrome OS/BlackBerry/iOS/MeeGo/whatever? I don’t think so. Thing is, as some have mentioned (at least someone has), while other companies are trying to sweep specific markets, Microsoft is trying to grab them all, from handhelds to mobile portables, from consumer devices to industrial, from set-top boxes to in-car navigation devices. It wants all the pie for itself — I’m not trying to pass judgment here. I don’t think it will make any sense to build a single operating system that’s meant to be run on different form factors and/or purposes, neither will to make several operating systems meant for different form factors and/or purposes while still maintaining compatibility with each other. What would the point be? Unless you want to manufacture smart ‘utensils’ (e.g. a microwave oven that does video streaming, a mortar that does video calls and satnav and whatnot), you only need to keep your eyes on two: Windows and Windows Phone. Edited 2010-06-25 19:03 UTC 2010-06-25 8:25 pm ricegf You may be right – certainly you are about Microsoft wanting to own every piece of every pie. 😀 I would point out, though, that MeeGo is indeed a single operating system that is targeting each of the markets that Microsoft is targeting with 8 largely incompatible efforts – see http://meego.com. They also have 30+ major corporate partners, from Intel to Nokia to Novell to Electronic Arts to BMW, who believe they can cover the embedded market with a single API and product (though with different graphical shells, all based on QT 4 of course). So, to your question, “Should they be compatible with one another? “, I’d have to reply with a similar question: “Why should they NOT be compatible with one another?!?” It looks much like internal groups such as NT and CE at Microsoft are targeting overlapping markets with incompatible products; lack of executive leadership results in this mess rather than lack of technical talent. Just my opinion, of course. I could be wrong, but I’ve watched this happen to other corporations many times (remember the 68000 / 88000 wars at Motorola, for example?). 2010-06-28 4:11 pm Bill Shooter of Bul Really? Just Windows and windows phone? What about whatever the Kin runs? Its different than windows phone 7, and new. Also, MS has also said that windows mobile 6.5 will stick around for some phones ( like the HD2 )! Way back when, I was a developer that had to support windows mobile apps. It wasn’t too difficult with only one OS to aim for. The code from the windows codebase could mostly be shared, but the UI had to be simplified. I think anyone writing windows mobile apps today would have somewhat of a difficult time explaining to customers what devices their apps were compatible with. We could just tell them to not get a HP Jordana, cause it was slow as heck. 2010-06-25 12:02 am WorknMan I remember reading the linked article several days ago, so I knew about it already. And then I saw the headline for this story, not realizing at first that it pointed to the same article I had already read. And I was like “Holy crap, they’re adding 2 more??” 2010-06-25 11:19 am vodoomoth I guess if [the people who get to decide things at] Microsoft are doing this, it’s because it works for them? We may be wondering how on earth they can handle what looks like a nightmare to us. What if they [think they] can in fact handle that with no problems? If they’re wrong, time and the market will serve them a hot spicy lesson they’ll smile and pretend is yummy. If they’re right or hopeful or reckless or… whatever, I can only say “Good luck Microsoft!” or “Enjoy your mobile casket”.