In announcing Windows Phone 8 last week, Microsoft intimated that apps for the new platform would be readily adaptable to Windows 8, but one thing is for sure: Without rewriting, Windows Phone applications will not run on Windows 8.
That means whatever applications businesses may write for the phone will have to be rewritten for tablets, laptops and desktops running Windows 8.
"Developers who build applications for Windows Phone will be very well prepared for building applications for Windows 8," a Microsoft spokesperson emailed in response to questions, "and in many cases, may be able to reuse assets and business logic in building new Windows 8 applications."
But it's not a one-for-one swap for entire applications. "While Windows Phone applications cannot run on Windows 8 without being modified, developers have found it's fairly easy to port a well-written Windows Phone app to Windows 8," the spokesperson says.
That's good to know for purposes of developing potential cross-platform apps and also for preparing to deal with the intricacies of buying commercial applications that might span phones and PCs of whatever shape.
We've got an ad for that
Microsoft is working on new ways to post advertisements within Windows 8 applications. The example it uses in its advertising blog is of an application for the Seattle Sounders soccer team. In typical Windows 8 fashion the app and its options are spread out horizontally across several screen widths with the ad being placed at the extreme right end, reachable only by swiping all the way to the left.
In the example, it's an Adidas ad for soccer shoes, and clicking on the ad brings users to an Adidas shopping site. The landing page has a back arrow for returning to the Sounders' app.
Microsoft has an advertising SDK to help exploit "the potential of Windows 8 to deliver rich, brand-safe ad experiences that will add value to consumers and increase engagement opportunities for marketers," the blog says.
Microsoft has also teamed up with six ad agencies "to ideate and visualize beautiful display experiences across a multitude of marketer goals for the Windows 8 apps ecosystem. ... With these partners, we will look to create a new standard for what ads within Windows 8 apps can and will be, as well as ensure that experiences will be engaging for consumers and effective for marketers and publishers."
Huawei tablet rumor
Chinese hardware vendor Huawei will make tablets based on Windows 8, according to a story by Reuters. The story quotes the chief marketing officer of the company's Huawei Device division, which makes phone handsets and tablets. CMO Shao Yang didn't offer any details about the specs or price of such tablets, the wire service says.
When Microsoft announced its Surface tablets this week it followed speculation that the announcement would actually be about an e-reader affiliated with Barnes & Noble and its Nook tablet.
No such announcement was made and the reason it gained so much credibility is that it makes sense for Microsoft to sell an inexpensive version of Windows 8 on a touch device. If they sold in large numbers, they would help spread expertise in the Metro interface, which would only be good for Windows 8. The more people who are familiar with Windows 8 at the low end of the price scale, the more will buy at the high end.
It looks like the less expensive of the two Surfaces announced this week will be in the iPad price range, which puts it out of the inexpensive category. Still, that Surface might attract enough buyers to have the same impact on user awareness of Windows 8.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.