Back in January the CEO of Intel said he was looking forward to Intel putting Windows 8 on smartphones. This was taken at the time of confirmation that Microsoft’s next generation OS could indeed be a cross-platform operating system and replace the still-new Windows Phone OS.
Then earlier today Steve Ballmer told the Microsoft shareholders meeting that “We’ve got broad Windows initiatives driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8.” which got a lot of people very excited.
Now the PR people have clarified what Ballmer meant and said that Windows 8 will indeed NOT be coming to phones…
“He was making a statement along the lines of what we’ve already publicly stated around providing a consistent experience across various devices but all carrying the Windows name.”
What does this mean? We in all probability it means very little. It is going to mean more work for Microsoft in that they will still have multiple operating systems across their different platforms for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox to manage and maintain. It does mean though that Windows Phone won’t be susceptible to the same types of malware attacks that could face Windows 8 in the coming years though. This is not only good news for consumers and businesses, but also great news for Microsoft overall as a malware threat to the platform could finish it off completely.
It does make sense for Microsoft to have a cross-platform user experience, whatever you think of Metro, and the debate will roll on about whether a UI design that works well on a smartphone is actually suitable for other platforms. I will say again though that many aspects of Metro are set to change for the beta and we mustn’t judge what we currently see based on something that isn’t even a beta.