Microsoft shoots for write once, run anywhere
New APIs and code changes should bring mobile and PC Windows closer, and CFO hints at full convergence
Published: 13 February, 2013
Microsoft has been bringing its mobile and PC operating systems closer together since unveiling Windows 8 and now is indicating that it will converge them completely in future, enabling 'write once run anywhere'.
That dream has never completely worked out, despite repeated efforts like Java, and even Android applications ideally need tweaking to run equally well on small and large screens. But Microsoft has firm control of its platform and bringing W8 to small displays could be a strong differentiator for developers and consumers.
CFO Peter Klein told the Goldman Sachs technology and internet conference this week: "We've done a lot of the hard work in the developer platform. We are well set up to respond to demand as we see it" for different sized devices. This was in line with comments made recently to ZDnet, by Windows CMO Tami Reller, who said W8 was designed from the outset to run on many different screen sizes, including small handset-class ones, and at many resolutions.
More important than the OS are the application programming interfaces which underpin services like Xbox Live and Skype in the Microsoft environment, pointed out Klein, and those APIs will help achieve cross-platform software. "We are getting closer and closer every day to write once and run anywhere," he said.
It emerged recently that a set of Windows and Windows Phone updates, under development now and codenamed Blue, will include new APIs and core-level changes to increase the commonalities between the two platforms, according to ZDnet.