Microsoft’s phablet comments stir rumors of WP8/RT blending
Microsoft finds itself in an unusual position in the tablet market. Unlike iOS or Android, where while apps may be optimized for phone or tablet form factors, or even refuse to run on one or the other, a large portion have no problem working on either. For Microsoft, there’s a brick wall around its WP8 devices, another around RT models, and a third around gear running full-blown Windows. We’ve already heard of efforts to streamline development between these disparate sectors, but could some of those walls themselves be coming down? It’s an idea being talked about this morning, following some comments by a Microsoft exec at yesterday’s financial meeting.
Executive Vice President Terry Myerson talked about expansion into the phablet space, saying, “Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets, expect us to see many more ARM tablets, Windows ARM tablets in the future.”
Now, he’s not making anything too clear here, but the gist of that statement may be seen to imply that this “extension into tablets” by nominally phone-devices could lead to such hardware running the company’s Windows ARM platform: RT.
Microsoft’s talked about its desire to see the same apps available across all its devices, and maybe one way to help achieve that goal would be rolling up Windows RT and Windows Phone into the same basic platform. They certainly have enough common code and structure to begin with, and this expansion into phablets by devices like the Lumia 1520 might be just the catalyst Microsoft needs to get moving towards such efforts.