updated 11:40 pm EDT, Tue September 13, 2011
Windows 8 and WP8 link, 2 Tangos seen
Beliefs that Microsoft would try to unite Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 may have been borne out by Microsoft's own employees. A recently departed Windows Phone program lead's resume mentioned by name early looks into "Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 OS convergence." While it doesn't prove that the next OS (codenamed Apollo) will necessarily integrate the two sides, it hints Microsoft has at least seriously considered the option.
Such a move could provide a rare level of integration between desktop and mobile platforms and, under Windows 8, may be possible. The OS is already built to support the ARM processors Microsoft needs for phones and will have a development environment friendlier to mobile than earlier versions. Windows Phone 8 will also be Microsoft's first real opportunity to change the architecture of its current mobile platform.
Apple, unlike Microsoft, built its mobile OS off of the roots of the desktop and would theoretically have an easier time integrating the two. As of Lion and iOS 5, however, the two are distinct and show no immediate signs of getting closer other than minor interface elements. The Cupertino company's attitude towards mobile is the polar opposite of Microsoft's and envisions a "post-PC" world where Microsoft has been insisting the PC is still relevant. Microsoft's bet on Windows 8, regardless of whether or not Windows Phone 8 merges, is that it can get buyers interested in tablets based on an identical interface in desktops and notebooks.
Other sightings have also supported interpretations of Microsoft's final Windows Phone 7 update, Tango. A new job listing references Apollo as well as Tango1 and Tango2, alluding to a staggered release. Tango1 is expected to be a minor regional expansion with extra languages, while Tango2 will be the more substantial update with new features and support for the cheaper devices that Nokia, ZTE, and others use to develop low-end phones for the developing world.
Most anticipate Windows Phone 8 arriving in late 2012, not long after Windows 8 itself is available. Both Tango updates could arrive early into 2012. [via ZDNet]