There's much talk in the development sector of the ‘write once – run anywhere’ concept and as we know, this is far from being a new notion. But with devices (particularly tablets perhaps) becoming really affordable now, and mobile devices from nifty netbooks to high end Smartphones and BlackBerry-style unit proliferating like wild fire, it is arguably something users are becoming more mindful of.
Early next month I am at Qt Dev Days in Munich (no honest, I don’t usually accept offers to go to Munich in Oktober) and no doubt there will be much talk of Nokia Qt Software’s take on the purported benefits of its cross-platform application framework. The company (if you buy the proposition) reckons that they their framework allows developers to build applications and user interfaces once, and deploy them across many desktop and embedded operating systems without rewriting the source code.
So with beer in mind - - sorry, I meant -- so with consistent user experiences in mind, where should we look next?
Well, with Windows 7 cooking up a storm you’d expect Microsoft to have something baking in the oven on this topic wouldn’t you? It was only a couple of weeks ago that the formerly code-named “Quebec” project became the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 Community Technology Preview.
So you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from giving your PC the best energy boost it has felt since XP (or so we’re told) and you want to make sure you feel the Windows 7 love, well, everywhere right?
No problem, Redmond’s latest baby delivers the latest Windows 7 technologies to OEMs, enabling them to bring specialised devices to market with the unique flavour of Windows 7’s own special sauce.
Kevin Dallas (for it is he) who goes by the designation of GM for the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft is quoted as saying, “The availability of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP empowers our worldwide ecosystem of OEMs, partners and developers to take advantage of the next-generation platform’s enhanced Windows 7-based features and provide feedback prior to its general release to manufacturing.”
Ah, don’t you just wish you were in a job where you too could ‘empower a worldwide ecosystem’ eh? This guy must feel like General Zod when he gets up in the morning don’t you think?
But seriously, Microsoft is keen to push the ‘familiarity’ aspect of the Windows 7 operating system into a highly customisable and componentised form, enabling OEMs in markets like industrial automation, entertainment and consumer electronics to bring that consistent user experience to users, consistently, everywhere.
The argument holds water I suppose. If Microsoft makes embedded Windows 7 an easy route for the OEMs to consider; then the OEMs think they can spend more time on their core competencies and create product differentiation. The OEMs love Windows 7 all the more and everyone is happy, right?
Well, that’s the theory anyway.