Microsoft taps Win 8 mojo for mobile OS

Software giant converges PC and mobile operating systems' technology so Windows Phone 8 will share common networking, security, media and Web browsing capabilities with Windows 8.

Microsoft has announced on Thursday it will be basing its next iteration of Windows Phone on its revamped Windows 8 technology, allowing companies to have tighter integration on areas such as networking, security and file systems between both operating systems (OSes) in the future.

According to a blog post Thursday, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said Windows Phone 8 is the "most advanced mobile OS" the company has ever made, and many of its new capabilities will come from its Windows software for desktops and tablets.

He said that both OSes will now share the same core technologies, and these include networking, security, media and Web browser, and a common file system. "That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster," he added.

Some of the new features include multicore processor support, more flexible storage with removable MicroSD card support, digital wallet capabilities, near-field communications (NFC), and Internet Explorer (IE) 10--the same browser headed for Windows 8 tablets and PCs, Belfiore highlighted.

The new mobile OS includes built-in technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files, the executive pointed out. It supports the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol too, which features improved app sandboxing so the phone is better protected from malware.

The IT department will also benefit from the upgrade, as it can now manage apps and phones remotely using tools similar to the ones employed for Windows PCs, while companies can also create their own Windows Phone 8 Hub for custom employee apps and other critical business content, the vice president said.

"In Windows Phone 8, we're moving into the workplace in a big way, introducing a number of features and capabilities that companies and their IT departments demand. This is just one more benefit of sharing a common core with Windows 8," said Belfiore.

The company said it will be releasing its Windows Phone 8 SDK (software development kit) and new Visual Studio 11-based tools for developers "later this summer".

Hardware partners such as Qualcomm, which will provide the chipsets, and phonemakers such as Nokia, Huawei Technologies, Samsung, and HTC have been identified by Redmond as supporting the first wave of Windows Phone 8-based devices, which will arrive "later this year".