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What is Windows OneCore and what does it mean for the future of Microsoft?

Is Windows One on the horizon?

A LinkedIn page from a Microsoft intern contains a reference to something called "Windows OneCore" which could be a rebranding of the company's plans to develop one kernel that will be used for all of Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

The "Windows OneCore" reference shows up on the LinkedIn page of Microsoft intern Sawyer Anderson, who states that among his responsibilities are "Porting trademark Windows Phone features for use in any Windows operating environment through Windows OneCore."

In addition, a Microsoft Careers listing for a software engineer states, "The XAML team is building the UI framework at the core of the 'One Microsoft' OS." One of the goals of the team is to enable "developers to create UI that works well across all of our devices: phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox."

All of this would appear to be evidence that Microsoft is slowly but surely making efforts to merge its Windows operating systems into one. Indeed, last week at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner stated that the next version of Windows will contain support for universal apps that can be used on the Xbox and large screen devices in addition to Windows and Windows Phone.

Exactly what this next version of Windows, which internally has the code name Threshold, will be called when it is released to the public is still something of a mystery. The "Windows OneCore" reference could suggest that Microsoft may launch the next version of the OS as "Windows One", much like how they named the third version of the Xbox console the Xbox One.

What do you think Windows OneCore really means?

Source: Sawyer Anderson on LinkedIn , Microsoft Careers via @H0x0d

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What is Windows OneCore and what does it mean for the future of Microsoft?

233 Comments

Windows One. Now there's an interesting but basic renaming. Better than 8.2 or 9. Wonder if they'll change WP8.1 to Lumia One? And then after these become outdated, what will they name next Gen? Because Windows Two unfortunately sounds worse

Windows One, Xbox One, and ultimately OnePhone.  Just think of the marketing (if they do it right).

As for the versions, they could give them names similar to how Nokia was naming their firmware updates e.g. Amber, Black, Cyan.

 

I wonder if the next one will be Dandelion or Denim.. Neither sounds good :P And after that, Ecru maybe?

One core to rule them all. One core to find them. One core to bring them all and in the OS bind them in the land of Redmond where the geeks lie.

Yeah, if they can truly make it so developers only have to develop one app and have it work on Windows 8/9, Windows RT, Windows Phone, and Xbox One, there will literally be no excuse for any developer not to make apps for them because that, collectively, will be one of the largest consumer markets in the history of the computing world. Heck, I'd even create some virtual machine program that brought modern apps to Windows 7 too.

Why you speaks about thing that you don't know?

Already now a developer can develop an apps that run on Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows Phone and Xbox (when Microsoft decides to enable it).

 

For example I'm developing an apps for Windows Phone 8.1 but i debug it on my Windows 8.1 (because i can't run the WP emulator), or on MSDN there are about 100 example of apps that run on Windows or Windows Phone.

^this will be awesome, and the main reason why I have a WP and a W8.1 convertible. I can't wait and hope it comes with W9.

It could actually be easier to create programs for all 4 systems (PC, tablet, phone, and tv aka Xbox) if things are similar on all platforms since you could use the same code and other things just only had to make minor tweaks for each platform.

The opposite actually. Trying programming something for windows, and phone prior to 8.1. When a programmer can work on a single compilation of his work which can distributed cross Microsoft platform... A lot better than having to make a desperate desktop application, metro app, phone app, and then since majority own iPhone or android, developers would also have to design apps for them too!

It becomes obvious why everyone neglects Microsoft. So much easier to just ignore the three platforms, and just focus on the other two. Bring the 3 together and add in Xbox one? Ha, now you're bigger than them again. It's a brilliant idea. But can they follow through? Especially before everyone stops caring or before Apple/Google distract everyone?

It's the age old PC and Xbox were depending on to save Microsoft right now. Can it become better before everyone buys iMacs?

Or will they follow the footsteps of BlackBerry? (unlikely, yeah)

How much overlap is there between what people run on their PCs and on their phones?  For me it is practically zero beyond email/calendar and mapping, and I use those through the browser on the PC even when there are standalone programs available.  Do people really use a Yelp app (for example) on their PC or do they just go to the webpage?  Whereas on a mobile I might want an app that knows my location, lets me directly upload snapshots from the camera into my review, etc.  Stuff that would be pointless to implement on a PC.

I have a lot of overlap. I use all my devices as connected remotes to one another so they can all do whatever I want or need them to do if they're the only device I have available at the time. Absolutely marvelous for people who don't stop. One note is an amazing note taker, especially when combined with the Surface. But I love that I can make edits or quickly attach something when I'm on my computer, or out on just my phone.

When listening to my music, I'd love to pick up where I left off when I was on my way home from work. So that when I sit down on my PC, I simply open the app (in Desktop!) and begin playing my music again after JUST turning it off on my phone and have it continue tracking my preferences (mind you none of the apps actually compare to desktop applications yet, but let's assume for this argument they eventually will).

Then yes, like you mentioned, Maps, Calendars, Contacts, email. Which you can open in browser as well, or use the desktop threshold apps if you prefer. (Some people prefer not to use browsers, yes)

Windows 8 is currently a beautiful project on the phone, and on the tablet, but it was never really that fluent on the PC with a mouse and keyboard. So it's nice to see they're bringing us that compatibility. And Xbox One as well? I don't own, or need an Xbox One, but I think that's awesome.

Another app I love is my package tracker app. Enter in the number and carrier then dynamic tags appear displaying all current and relevant information as well as mapping the locations. Then it syncs across all my devices and I get a notification wherever I am when a package is delivered, or has an issue.

So it's not so much as attempting to re-invent the PC, but allowing everything else you own and use to also be reliable and functional on your PC too. Plus, I love the new Search and I love the new Share. The start menu how it's currently implemented is an excellent means to gain a quick grasp of a large variety of information including weather, news, bank accounts, purchases, support, stocks, mail, texts. Sure, I can open 8 different tabs on my browser to do all of that too, but I think it's a bit more easy and convenient to tap 1 button and see it all, then tap 1 button again to resume what I was doing. Threshold once again promises to make this even smoother by not ever even removing your view of the desktop.

And then the biggest thing we mustn't forget! Video games! Can't wait for developers to begin developing in app style so we can gain complete and alternative access to our games through all of our devices. Want to play on the Xbox? Ok, want to play on the PC now? Sure. Take over that controller too. Want to use your phone to make some neat alternative connection into the game or to play the game entirely as well? (Think how Battlefield 4 attempted to implement Commander roles onto tablets)

What's REALLY cool about the Metro interface, is you can seem to seperate the input. So you can have a person playing a game on one monitor in Metro, and someone else playing a Desktop game on the other monitor simultaneously. It's fun. :) (And I have it stream tv shows to my surround sound system/HDTV at the same time too which I independently control with my phone or tablet!)

Accomplishing these kind of things has always been a royal pain in the a**. I thank Microsoft for making it easier. I guess most people don't bother going to these lengths to create true home entertainment though. Apple TV is good enough for them it seems.

You, my friend, understand Windows well. If there were a "like" button here, your comment would surely receive one from me.

Lol!!!!.... But, its not like they ever officially unveiled 3DT... We need to remember that... Companies scrap prototype tech all of the time.

Exactly. 3D touch would've been beautiful for their new sliding keyboard function. Would've been great to not have to feel friction when typing. But if it's gimmicky and not reliable, then don't embarrass yourself like Apple did with their voices assistant before Siri. "Call Adam" ... "calling 8389"

True. They don't need 3D for that. Tap on a certain corner of a tile and 6-8 subtiles appear on screen, while remaining tiles just fade out in the background.

Tap anywhere else on the tile, and the app opens up as usual.

Would be pretty amazing if implemented neatly.

Or two finger touch.  Or perhaps hold for 1 second, move icons by holding for 2.

But I'd much rather them scrap 3D touch unless it's truly ready.  A poor implementation would be far, far worse for them at this point than not putting it out.  Most people who don't already have WP were skeptical of the claims (the techies anyway), the general populace didn't care and we were cautiously optimistic.  Mix view sounds cool either way and was the only feature of 3D touch that I thought would be useful.

They cancelled a product that was going to use it not the idea of it.  I, as well as many with greater knowledge of this then myself, believethe tech was not ready or was too gimicky when the 3DT's current iteration was applied for use with the phone.  I would prefer they bring out great devices rather then something that was not ready for prime time (even if it had an initial cool factor)

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple for his second stint, the first thing he did was cut every project that wasn't relevant to the core business. This freed up people to focus and build brilliant products. Nadella is an excellent CEO and I'm certain this will show in the years to come.

Whatever it is I can't wait to get it!
...................
Mainly it needs to have better pickup "where you left off" capabilities....... For example, if I'm playing a music mix on my XB, or PC, that mix should be able to be immediately synchronized, and picked up on my WP device.....
Or, if I downloaded a song to my PC then it should automatically start downloading on my phone... This is what I need❗❗❗❗❗

Lol. They can't even get it to work on one device. I would keep my hopes low when it comes to music. They just suck at it.

That's their goal. Truly. But they have a LOT of work cut out for themselves. They have to rebuild windows... Again.. As well as every other operating system.. Again... Maybe not from scratch but it's still a gross and ambitious undertaking.

No, I think they've already done the rebuilding.. Think about it... W8, WRT, WP, And XB are now all on the same core... Although you did point out that it's not from scratch, it's not really a rebuilding, rather more of a building up to where it needs to be... The foundation is already set, current hardware, even last generation hardware, is compatible and this is it.. The device you have in your hand (if it's at least a WP8 device) is it, especially if its a second generation WP8/8.1 device like a 1520, Icon, or 930.... I think that puts MS in a good position, even giving the XB1 the capability to do as much as the next XB if they wanted it to... This new foundation can go a long, long way, even into the next decade... We probably won't see another core change until the roaring 20's.....

Ah yeah you're probably right. It's difficult to really say without actually being a part of the company. I could only hope they spend years on improving their services and offering new useful gadgets to add into their newly developed ecosystem. When compared to Apple or Googles mobile dominance, Microsoft at least has the PC... which can hardly be compared at this point to a Mac, Linux, or anything Google can offer. Threshold is a million times more seductive on a home computer than what anyone else can hope to offer at this point. My PC is my house's central hub and acts as several media devices simultaneously with multiple inputs and outputs as well as acting as a server. It was all pretty damn easy too in 8.1.. and Threshold only promises to make it even easier AND better! I'll take my $1000 super PC that's working with a variety of odd devices, over a $3000 useless mac that can perform functions only within its own ecosystem.

 

I only hope others can see these benefits. What about our HTPCs? Pretty awesome in Windows 8 compared to anything else. Love sitting across the room with wireless keyboard browsing through the metro interface like my TV is a tablet almost. The syncing while being an incredible feature, is the biggest issue though as well. If I get one skype message, it pops up on 5 devices. And I have to manually clear them on all 5. Bleh. So I look forward to it being improved, and then I'm going to have a pretty damn hard time finding something to complain about.

Also I can't stand that my 930 will track my steps and log them into Health & Fitness automatically, but Health & Fitness on any other device won't recognize the steps, nor are they loaded into the HealthVault system. Lots of issues in the Windows environment currently, so I have to wait before I can really exclaim to anyone that Windows is the way to go. But if they stick to what they're suggesting, well like I said, going to have a hard time finding something to complain about.

With Xbox Music already now you have a better option, instead of download twice a song, your collection is syncronized in cloud so you can listen the all your music in streaming, even if you haven't bought the songs on Xbox Music

That's what's wrong... F##k Streaming❕❕❕ We need our music synchronized for offline use.... Who has enough data to stream music for an hour every day back and fourth to work 5 days a week?? Do you❔❔ .... Maybe some people do, but I don't, and I don't wanna pay crazy overages!!!

As long as current devices are compatible I'm ok, I'm not buying another windows tablet because of incompatible issues NO

It'll be based off the W8 core.... We're not looking at a new core, just a much heavier unification of the current core... Remember, this was the whole point of switching XB, WP, and W, to the W8 kernel... In a sense W1 is already here.

Pretty sure we'll see another break from current WP hardware when this happens. I predict MSFT will go Intel on all their patforms including mobile.

 

I expect this is also the reason why 'under development'  flagship hardware is canceled for now as MSFT will wait for the next gen hardware.

 

Apple uses a single kernel / core for MacOS and iOS. They don't have to use the same hardware for their PCs and mobile devices. So I don't see where MSFT would have to either. Now, UX design is another thing wall together. I think what Windows 8 showed us is that you have to design your UI to meet the intended uses of the hardware. Using Apple as an example again, they knew they could bring some design elements and functions from iOS to MacOS, but they did not hide or diminish the desktop. A laptop or workstation works and is used very differently from a phone or tablet. But I digress, all I am trying to say is that using the same core / kernel does not mean having to use the same hardware. That's what API's are for.

Wait...

Microsoft is already using a single kernel that is more of a single code base than OS X and iOS. The same code and kernel that runs on Windows Server or Win8.1 desktop is the same kernel and nearly the same code that runs on WP8.1 ARM devices.  (Listen to MS Engineers when they talked about battery and performance optimizations for WP 8.1 and how the code changes directly helped the x86 and x64 code for Windows 8.1 Update 1.)

With NT, Microsoft already has the 'kernel, subsystems, and mid level layers unified and working well, now they just have to streamline, enrich and finishing unifying the upper layer application frameworks, and 90% of that work is already here with Universal Apps.

The final steps are essentially about cleaning up UI elements for the XAML, establishing controls and usability that also works well on the XBox, and adding more APIs to get the WinRT framework closer to Win32 in terms of being able to run far more complex software.

Regarding Apple and the OS X kernel...  The way iOS forks from XNU, it uses rewritten mobile and empty stub APIs to resemble the full OS X kernel functionality.  iOS is very much a reduced mobile kernel in comparison to the full OS X kernel. Just because Apple tells 'fans' that the iOS kernel is OS X, doesn't make it truly the OS X kernel.

As for supporting a diverse selection of hardware and architectures, today's generation of CS majors doesn't realize NT was designed for portability, much more so than anything else at the time and surprisingly even more so than Linux and other OSes known for portability today.

When NT is moved to a new architecture, there is very little code to change because NT's kernel is written to an agnostic architecture that is implemented in the HAL. This also allows NT to perform at native performance to the hardware and use specific optimizations without modifying the kernel code base. This means Microsoft can port it to new hardware quicker and it will inherently run faster on the hardware than other OS models.

 

Well Said! +920, it never made sense to me why they chose to build WP7.x on Windows CE. Even if they chose it for quickness, that decision was severly short sighted as they ended up on the backfoot with the WP8 + Zune transition.

already now don't matter the hardware platform, the Universal apps can run on Windows PC with x86 or x64 precessor, on ARM tablet, on ARM smartphone, on Xbox (in near future).

the Framework WinRT is designed to be hardware indipendent

How did I not see that? But also, as weird as it sounds, it is actually correct grammar. "Windows" is referred to as a separate (i.e. singular) entity, referring to the product "Microsoft Windows" so "One Windows" is the correct form. But yes, I now see the dire ridicule Microsoft would face on that one...so I retract my statement. LOL!

Actually I think Windows One would be pretty cool. However, where they go from there will be interesting to see.

Apple was in a dire situation themselves at one time...then they got noticed and turned computing completely around. Never say never when it comes to business. :)

One Core to rule them all and in the darkness bind them :P Good news though. It was the eventuality anyways. Looks like LinkedIn is the new source for possible new stuff these days.

If the platforms converge into one with Threshold, the kernel shouldn't work on 8.1. Leaves too much open for malware and viruses to the phone...which we now enjoy practically no issues that way on our smartphones. Besides, the apps that run on RT port over, which hardly use that anyway. Seems logical to me, anyway.

No, sounds like a new direction ;) what was being done before obviously didn't work. (Maybe not for you and me, but for the market at large.) So, to stay competitive, shift or change or innovation (or combinations of the three) must occur. Sort of like a 2nd chance deal :)

sorta like the "under-powered" quad core atoms that are smooth as silk... my dell venue pro 8 is my go to device for all things pc...(until I need to do some coding then it's off to my laptop connected to my hdtv)

This. Is. Awesome!!! The One project, even though is from Mr. Ballmer, is why I love Microsoft. So if this happens with Threshold, this could be big. Huge. And make it so much easier for developers to bring over its apps from one platform to ALL platforms. I seriously can't wait.

To people saying that "Windows One" sounds like a bad name, I offer you an alternative, much worse name that will make Windows One sound much better: "Onedows"

You're welcome.

Then again it could be a great name granted they handle it with precision and don't screw it up take windows back to it's roots square one

One UI experience across all device types, facilitated by dev tools allowing to buid one app for all those platforms

Is this the surprise on one of the video the tech geek was talking about, "MS can do that?". Hope it is...

You are all wrong.

 

It's nothing to do with a naming protocol for forthcoming software. It's hardware related and MSFT are transitioning all of their hardware away from duo/quad/octa core to one core. They are more efficient, cheaper to run and make and with new materials, no slower than multi-cores.

 

Welcome back Pentium, we've missed you...

Like the sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives.

I'll go stand facing a corner now for using a daytime soap opera reference...

I think Windows One showcases the possibilities of the platform, but "One Windows" sounds even better to me. Because that's what it is: "One Windows" for everything in your life.

Smells like it needs OneGoldMembership to work

And OneMonthly or OneYearly paymet which will be doubled at least OneTime.

 

If you think that platform will be free from repetitive payments, you will be surprised.
Me killing myself wont change that.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

In other words: Prepare yourselves to have to buy new hardware because they'll pull a WP7/WP8 all over again.

As far as I'm concerned, Windows One sounds horrible. Not to mention, it has been used before. Also, calling everything "One" is getting really annoying. It's not only Microsoft. It's every bloody OS and OEM.

I'll wait and see how this unfolds... Though I'm not concerned with WP. By the time Threshold arrives, I'm probably already packing for Android for lack of a good WP OEM to keep me in.

I suspect the need for new mobile hardware too, but of course, Microsoft will deny it.... Until the day that they don't.
If there's yet more abandoning of current devices on wp8, while MS moves to Threshold, there's no reason anyone should ever trust Microsoft in mobile ever again.

The thing is: Buying from whom? People don't really trust Microsoft and have even less reasons for it when they sack half the ex-Nokia work force. HTC and Samsung don't give a sh*t about WP, LG was said to be working WP but hasn't shown anything and Sony hasn't made the slightest effort to join in yet. So basically you have now no renown OEM to produce WP devices people may want to buy. Sure you have a ton of small OEMs that no one knows about and that's all very well if they only want to sell in China and India. But to sell in Europe and the US, they'll need proper OEMs, not these small brands.

Good point DJ. We as in the people that frequent WPcentral will have to think about where we will buy our next phones, especially for you and I because we love Nokia. But for the average consumer they might buy a Lumia by Microsoft phone. What stinks is we have to wait and see how it goes....

Actually people on WPCentral are more likely to buy a Microsoft phone than the average consumer. Nokia was what was selling the WPs in the first place. When people don't see a brand they recognize and trust - Nokia -they'll just go to the next one they do, aka, one that has been around for a while selling devices, namely Samedung and the others.
We'll see how this plays out but I don't predict anything other than a severe crash in WP sales in the future. Let us see.

If you want to write something, please use your brain:

when the next major update of Windows Phone arrive on the market the current WP8 will have 3 years

And how 'bout apple calling everything"i"? i-pod, i-phone, i-watch? Does that annoy you too? It's okay if apple does it but no, it's annoying when MSFT does it. Just take a chill pill, will ya?

I'm hoping for a day where I can have vine, snap chat, Spotify, Pandora etc on my windows 8 tablet and have them right on my WP and Xbox.
They should eventually combine all stores then right? Microsoft App Store, I guess?

Murphy's law. There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over. Tastes like removing all hubs and integration because non-integrated features are easier to update. And then keep updating at the same frequency.

I'll point out that the "other" RT efforts didn't really fail. Basically the windows store is what you call an RT effort and that is all MSFT has going for them right now given the desktop is basically legacy and hasn't seen a single major new app released for it since itunes and chrome, both designed to take you away from MSFT. If anything, the 200K+ RT apps as you call them are the biggest growth the windows platform has had for decades. And these are no crappy LOB apps. These are name apps which skipped the desktop/win32 long ago.

WinRT/One whatever they call it is the future because that is where all the apps are going and have been for some time. So if that is failure to you, the dead wasteland desktop is the uber-fail.

 

It doesn't mean much. Anyone who's been watching Microsofts plans for the last 12 months can see they are working to converge all their OS tech, and their online stores.

I completely forgot that the Xbox One could and would be included in this convergence plan. Did you know that the XBox One is actually running 2 different OS in parallel? It is, you know. They build a hypervisor (a virtualisation layer), that can host 2 "guest" OS.

One is locked down, that's the one that games run on and is as minimal as possible, basically the Windows Kernel plus the Direct X APIs. This is so that games built in the launch will still work in years to come. The "Game OS" guest is not a moving target.

The Tile UI that you see on the Xbox One is a completely separate OS, a very customised version of Windows, that Microsoft always planned to upgrade over time. It would seem that this OS is getting replaced with Threshold as well. This would also mean that some of the other online stores for Xbox getting merged too - the Xbox One apps will not need to be built especially for the Xbox One, they will just be Universal apps.

This goes to show what some fans of Windows Phone have feared for years.  WP is so important to Microsoft that they put INTERNS on jobs like "porting trademark features" to the new framework.

Sorry Josh, but I'm speaking from experience here.  I've been working as a software dev for 8.5 years and I consider myself a good developer (and my annual reviews support that).  I've also been part of hiring quite a few developers, both those that turned out great and a few not so great, mostly straight out of college.  I know the sort of code I personally wrote when I first started working fresh out of college or when I was an intern in college, and I know the sort of code I write now and there is no comparison.  Even a very talented developer makes lots of mistakes early on when it comes to creating really good, maintainable, and robust code.  I'm not trying to put anyone down, but no one I've seen comes out of college with the sort of experience necessary to architect and write really great code.

A few years before, one of my friend asked me that, "oh! Windows phone? So it can run exe file like Windows pc?" This post remembered me what he said...

If MS launch this upcoming feature in Window 8.0, two years back. The market share of Windows 8.0/8.1 would have been much better. It's better late than never, this feature will gonna rock the PC world.

....what it means is people post meaningless BS in their linkedin accounts to make themselves sound impressive. Trolling linkedin for stuff is about as useful as believing stuff recent grads and interns put in their resumes. Didn't you all report on the deep meaning of stuff from linkedin back when you claimed Windows Blue would unifiy everything? How did that work out for everyone? This place must be short on even the normal BS rumors. Can't you just repeat another Surface Mini rumor or invent another new phone maybe with a 4D interface if you need filler? Truly pathetic....

When it happen, windows phone's market share will drop down to less than 1%...

Is there any way to kick ms's ass to make it run fast?

One Vision :-)

Makes perfect sense though TBH I though that they'd already announced this two years ago or did I just figure this one out.

 

I just hope that they finish and start maturing the thing. enough consolidation and revisions. the API remains so inmature that it is flat out incredible this company still hasn't settled after yet another major shift.

As long as all the WP 8 hardware all get updated to whatever Threshold is, I'm cool with it.
Because the very last thing this mobile platform needs is another round of abandon-ware.

I knew it was going to be called Windows One. After Xbox One, OneDrive, One Microsoft...obviously that was the direction for Windows too and the best name for the next release of Windows. Its simple, and to the point.

Honestly it would make since being one is a positive branding like OneDrive and Xbox one. As long as they don't go crazy with it lol. My thing is what will they name it from that point going further

Great, more asinine "confusion" comments from people if they indeed call it Windows One.  I like it personally but then again I liked their idea to rename everything Live.  I thought it was pretty cool but obviously that didn't pan out.  Just call it Windows One, Office One, Xbox One, and Windows Phone One.  Get it over with lol.

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