The biggest takeaway Microsoft is hoping to deliver this week, sources say, is that Windows 10 is built on a single, common “core” (known internally as “OneCore”) that will work across a variety of devices, from phones, tablets, PCs, large-screen displays like the company’s Perceptive Pixel multitouch-screen devices, and ultimately, Xbox.
OneCore implies more than just the common kernel that Microsoft touted as part of its Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 stories. In addition to the OS kernel, OneCore also includes the dynamic link libraries (DLLs), application platform layer and other pieces of the operating system. Microsoft’s pitch to developers with Windows 10 will be they can target the same core environment with their apps, and those “Universal” apps will work across a range of screen sizes. These apps will be available in a single store, rather than separate Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox stores.
Microsoft has been hinting about all this for years now, but they’ve never managed to pull it off. If they do pull it off tomorrow, they’ll be the first to have a completely unified platform on all consumer-oriented device types. Apple has both iOS and OS X, and Google has Android and Chrome OS – and both of them seem to be taking steps towards unification, albeit in different ways.
Whether or not this is actually what will turn things around for Windows in mobile is a whole different girl scout cookie.