Microsoft outlined its vision for a single ecosystem on Tuesday.
The vision, one ecosystem for phones and PCs was outlined by Andy Lees, the company’s president of the Windows Phone Division. Lees spoke at a keynote address during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Lees explained that there are key trends that are fundamentally changing the world of devices and form factors. “It starts right at the core of the devices themselves, the core technology,” he said. Lees reflected on Microsoft’s first Windows 8 demo at CES. “The motherboard was smaller than a phone” said Lees. “You can put all of the key things required to run a computer into a single chip.” The system-on-a-chip transformation will assist in the form factors of PCs explained Lees.
Another advantage of system-on-a-chip architecture is that the “price comes down dramatically” said Lees. “A year ago all smartphones cost over $400 when they left their hardware manufacturer.” Lees revealed that the cost has dropped to around $200 now and that next year, phones capable of running Windows Phone 7 will be down to around $100-$150. Lees moved on to discuss Microsoft’s vision of a single ecosystem. “We won’t have an ecosystem for PCs and an ecosystem for phones, one for tablets. They’ll all come together,” he explained. “It’s not that this is about replacing the PC, and that’s why our strategy is that these new form factors are within a single ecosystem and not new ecosystems themselves.”
“Windows has always spanned different PC form factors. And with Windows 8 we’re going to take this to a whole new level including tablets. Now, a lot of people have asked me, are we going to produce a phone that is a tablet? You know, are we going to use Windows Phone 7 to produce tablets? Well, that is in conflict with this strategy. We view a tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilize networking tools, to get USB drives and plop them into the tablet. To be able to do things like printing, all of the things using Office, using all of the things you would expect from a PC and provide a hybrid about how you can do that with the tablet, as well.”
Lees promised more info on the best of the PC and tablet at the BUILD conference. “Our strategy is not just limited to that. We are aiming to provide coherence and consistency across the PC, the phone and the TV, particularly with Xbox. That’s through providing new types of scenarios, things like the way in which you make the user experience more common.”