It may have taken Microsoft a while to deliver what they promised at their developer’s conference last year, but with the introduction of the Windows Phone 8, the company has finally managed to offer a tightly integrated mobile and desktop experience. Having introduced their Surface tablets alongside, Microsoft is preparing itself well for a cross-platform market. If they manage to unify these platforms, their operating systems will gain an edge over the others like iOS and Android.
Support for execution of native C and C++ code will be shared by Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 through its shared Windows NT core. With the main focus being on supporting developers in order to beat iOS and Android, this will help developers build apps for both the platforms, enabling them to write once and publish on both platforms. Unlike in the case of Android devices, developers will not have to test the software against several variables, something which is very inconvenient. Windows Phone already has 100,000 apps according to recent statistics. With Windows Phone 8, the gaming experience will be further enriched, owing to graphic driver support and DirectX. IE 10 will also offer complete HTML5 support on all devices, initiating cross-platform development of Metro apps. It should be noted that the presentation layer, however, has been separated from the original code.
Microsoft’s Larry Lieberman, senior product manager, stresses on the fact that the company is looking to grow with the help of the diversity and potential that their ecosystem holds, building and mainly attending to their developers. They are looking forward to unblocking and pulling together a particular set of code assets in order to target more than a single operating system, as in the case of Windows 8 and WP8. He stated that the company’s short term focus will be to offer Metro apps being designed for Windows 8 on Windows Phone 8 as well.
The tablet version of Surface, running on Windows RT, mainly focuses on mainstream users who are looking to buy the iPad or an Android tablet. To get iPhone and Android users to switch, Windows Phone 8 will have to offer apps that help promote it, be it among users who are buying a smartphone for the first time or seasoned users. Developers will be asked to build apps running on laptops and desktops powered by Windows 8, and further use the code to build apps for phones and tablets as well. However, Lieberman has admitted that atleast initially it will not be possible to run a single app across two different platforms.