Windows Phone 8 might not share Windows 8 kernel after all?

Last week, the Internet was all abuzz about a leaked presentation from Microsoft where a number of features and plans were revealed for the company's upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS. The next major update to Microsoft's mobile operating system, code named "Apollo", will have a number of new features. One of the most discussed was that Windows Phone 8 was going to share the same kernel that's being developed for the PC-based Windows 8 OS.

Now a new report on The Register web site claims this news might have been premature. The article, which cites unnamed Microsoft sources, claims that while the presentation that leaked on the Internet last week was genuine, the features in that presentation are more of a wish list for Microsoft rather than a confirmed and set in stone feature list. The current Windows Phone kernel is the same as the one developed for Windows CE 15 years ago.

However, having Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 sharing the same kernel will have some advantages. One of the biggest for Windows Phone will be increased device support. That would allow Windows Phone 8 to be used on a greater variety of mobile products, insted of being based on one hardware reference platform, like Windows Phone 7.5.

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This has always been the standing accepted information...

WP will move to the Windows 8 NT kernel.

However, WHEN this happens depends on a lot of things that won't be known until the Windows 8 code gets close to RTM.

Which means it might be WP8 or WP8.5 or WP9 that moves to the NT kernel.

Further note on WP7 kernel as illustration of timing...

WP7 was released with the WinCE 6.x kernel with some RC code from the WinCE 7.x kernel, as WinCE 7.x didn't fully release until around June last year.

We aren't even sure that Mango is fully running the WinCE 7.x kernel, as there are MORE WinCE 7.x features by default in Mango like DLNA, but the new WinCE 7.x SMP code if there isn't not active.

This could be due to the battery concerns and 'little' gain dual-core mobile CPUs offer on the WP platform at this point, or WP7 hasn't fully moved to all WinCE 7.x kernel. (The actual kernel code version is probably easy to find out now.)


Dual-Core WP7, kind of already is...

BTW The reason there is 'little' gain with dual-core, is because of the way WP7's video model shoves a lot of processing through the GPU, font rendering, image decompression, image textures, and a long list of stuff, which all are done on the CPU on iOS/Android and why they do benefit from the second CPU core.

(This is stuff beyond just the GPU rendering that people usually reference as the UI is GPU accelerated and Composed.)

WP7 follows some of the video model in Vista and Windows 7 which has a lot of GP-GPU use that speeds up things beyond just the rendering and composer.

So in a way WP7 is using using two cores in a lot of circumstances already, as it takes advantage of the GPU as general purpose processor instead relying on the CPU.

subcld said,
do we believe Microsoft Joe Belfiore or the register ?

Joe never said, runs the NT kernel. He only said, supports multicore.

You can believe both, neither or either if you prefer.
I will wait until MWC to get an official announcement.

> The current Windows Phone kernel is the same as the one developed for Windows CE 15 years ago.

LOL? They rewritten everything, that's why WM apps don't work and that's why they delayed the release.

What a crappy article.

FoxieFoxie said,
> The current Windows Phone kernel is the same as the one developed for Windows CE 15 years ago.

LOL? They rewritten everything, that's why WM apps don't work and that's why they delayed the release.

What a crappy article.


Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3, released in 2009 and a minor revision to Windows Embedded CE 6.0 which was released in 2006 and serves as the basis for Zune HD. This one indeed uses a largely refreshed kernel for increased process address space, etc. So the release of the major operating system rewrite (Windows CE 6.0) came back in 2006, that is before e.g. the first iPhone was released for perspective.

Windows Phone 7 builds on that kernel and certain parts of Windows Embedded Compact 7, but I don't think the major rewrite came with Windows Phone 7. The incorporation of some Windows Embedded Compact 7 features may have delayed it though.

FoxieFoxie said,
> The current Windows Phone kernel is the same as the one developed for Windows CE 15 years ago.

LOL? They rewritten everything, that's why WM apps don't work and that's why they delayed the release.

What a crappy article.

Technically WM apps can work, depending on what API's they use. There's people at XDA who pretty easily got Opera Mobile for WM running on Windows Phone just by copying over the EXE on a security unlocked device. The Kernel is still largely WinCE, it's the rest ontop of that that differs.

FoxieFoxie said,
....

You don't know John!
mainly I could do without him, but here he speaks the truth, without his usual editorializing to **** us off.

As ~Johnny said, the Kernel is the same, it's everything in userland that was redesigned from teh ground up on Silverlight/XNA.
I presume the idea is to get as many of the non-PC formfactors running Silverlight/XNA so when the switch to NT/WinRT happens, MS can do the heavy lifting to maintain compatability.

Windows CE kernel supports multicore, it just lacks the advanced characteristics NT core especially after NT6.2 with its new smp compiled build. Windows phone and windows 8 will share lots in terms of kernel features and stacks. So far the way current windows phone kernel provides lagless experience thanks to its WARP/DXGI implementations leaves the competition behind. It's the UX and the further seamless social/glance and go experience that will make me happier, not bold kernel statements :-)

The current Windows Phone kernel is based on WINCE and doesn't support multicore CPUs. Since Pocket now has reportedly a video of Joe Belfiore saying that MS plans to support Multicore CPUs, I would take this new source with a grain of salt. It is possible that MS will continue to support WINCE for lower end devices that will not be multicore and have the Newer high end devices supported with the WIN8 Kernel. While some would say this would fragment the ecosystem, it may not. It is possible that both systems will exist and be able to run all of the Apps in Marketplace since all third party apps run on managed code. This also makes sense if Windows 8 is expected to be able to run Windows Phone Apps as well. Time will tell.

Drewidian said,
The current Windows Phone kernel is based on WINCE and doesn't support multicore CPUs. Since Pocket now has reportedly a video of Joe Belfiore saying that MS plans to support Multicore CPUs, I would take this new source with a grain of salt. It is possible that MS will continue to support WINCE for lower end devices that will not be multicore and have the Newer high end devices supported with the WIN8 Kernel. While some would say this would fragment the ecosystem, it may not. It is possible that both systems will exist and be able to run all of the Apps in Marketplace since all third party apps run on managed code. This also makes sense if Windows 8 is expected to be able to run Windows Phone Apps as well. Time will tell.

I imagine this would be an all or nothing path for Windows Phone. It really wouldn't make much sense to double their work when the kernal should work perfectly fine on a single core as well...

Drewidian said,
The current Windows Phone kernel is based on WINCE and doesn't support multicore CPUs. Since Pocket now has reportedly a video of Joe Belfiore saying that MS plans to support Multicore CPUs, I would take this new source with a grain of salt.

Win CE 7.XXX support multicore CPUs, WinCE 6.XXX did not.
What I mean is that it would be possible for MS to have multicore hardware while stil using CE and not NT.
Time will tell......