Microsoft vows common apps, developer tools across all Windows platforms

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Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone Corporate Vice President Terry Myerson promised the company will introduce common applications and developer tools across its Windows Phone and Windows platforms.

Speaking Thursday at Microsoft's financial analysts meeting, Myerson said the company is organizing its operating system groups around three tentpoles: Commonality, the cloud and tailored experiences for devices. "The first of those is that we really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices," Myerson said, according to The Verge. "We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices." While Myerson did not elaborate on the concept, his comments suggest that Microsoft is working to make Windows Phone applications compatible with Windows 8 tablets, similar to how apps written for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone also run on its iPad tablet.

"The second belief is that all of our devices are becoming more cloud-powered," Myerson continued. "So whether we're branding them Windows or Xbox, we really need one core service which is enabling all of our devices." In a July memo outlining a company-wide reorganization that focuses on delivering services and devices for individuals and businesses optimized for use at home, at work and on the go, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that moving forward, Microsoft will offer "a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell."

"Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world," Ballmer wrote. "Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it."

Myerson added that Microsoft will continue leveraging a common Live Tiles interface across Windows Phone, Windows and its Xbox multimedia console, but will work to customize the experience for each device. "We want to facilitate the creation of a common, a familiar experience across all of those devices, but a fundamentally tailored and unique experience for each device," he said.

Myerson suggested that the future of Microsoft's ARM architecture-optimized Windows RT operating system lies with the phablet form factor. "The ARM devices in particular in phones have incredible share given their battery life and the connectivity options available with the system-on-a-chip ecosystem," Myerson said. "Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets, expect us to see many more ARM tablets--Windows ARM tablets--in the future."

Earlier this month, Microsoft reached an agreement to purchase Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) mobile phones business and a license to its patents and mapping software for $7.2 billion. The blockbuster deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, promises to give Microsoft the flexibility to accelerate the development of Windows Phone-powered devices and possibly Windows RT-based products, allowing the company to compete more effectively against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which in 2011 acquired Motorola's mobile phone business for around $12.5 billion. Microsoft also will continue to license the Windows Phone OS to other manufacturers.

For more:
- see this ZDNet article
- read this Verge article

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Microsoft's sweeping reorganization shifts focus to services, devices
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