One Ring to Rule Them All: Microsoft Phone Summit Unveils Unified Architecture, Features
Microsoft has taken no rest in shouting from the rooftops its recent wealth of innovations, including the unveiling of its new Surface tablet. Today, Microsoft's echoes rebounded further, as it hosted the 2012 Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco. Live streamed over its MSDN Developer network, the Summit featured a number of powerful innovations for those seeking to learn about the future of Microsoft-powered devices. This was not a meeting to discuss Windows phones. Just as with the Surface announcement, today was all about Microsoft's overall direction for years to come. Here's a rundown...
One Ring to Rule Them All
So where is Windows 8 going? A shared architecture between all devices, whether nailed down to your desk, snuggled away in your laptop case, or in your hand in a restaurant. This shared Windows coding core is soon to replace the computing heart of the 1.3 billion people who currently enjoy their Windows-based experience.
Having a shared architectural kernel will provide developers a "much wider range of phones with a wider range of capabilities and a wider price point," according to keynote speaker Terry Myerson, Microsoft Corporate VP of Phone Development. Developers who work in a Windows 8 environment will be able to quickly move their coding to a Windows 8 Phone environment - and vice versa.
This new, deeply integration common coding structure allows the authoring of drivers to be done one time, then optimizing it for all Windows 8 devices. Native Code Developers will be able to develop games based on a new shared platform, including use of XAML, HTML5, VB Code, Native C+ and C++ coding structures, Direct X, Direct3D, speech-based input, the .Net engine and common graphics drivers, all on a secure Cloud-based compilation environment. Use of Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 for all device coding will allow for integrated experiences from phone to tablet to PC to website.
Create a game or application for Windows 8 environments? Quickly port the code over to Windows 8 Phones. The game Marble Maze was shown both on a slate and a Windows 8 phone, with each experience looking equally rich and smooth. Porting the game to work on both devices, according to Belfiori, required only a few additional lines of code.Continued on the next page