Windows Phone 8: new larger form factors, Windows 8: new smaller fo rm factors, Microsoft: device convergence
I copied and pasted my comment from today's post about the new resolution support. It is important to note that everyone seems to focusing on the increased resolution support but not the new form factor (or rather 5-inch+ screen size) support.
Does everyone realize that this is quite clearly to supports phablets and smaller tablets?
Here’s what we know:
Microsoft wants to extend functionality of Windows to 7 inch tablets. HTC wanted to make a 4.7 inch (lets call it 5) phone but did not due to lack of support for higher resolutions. There is also rumors of an "Xbox" tablet in the works.
Now that all the systems (including the new Xbox) is on a single kernel the developer experience can be converged more and more so that it is truly "code once run everywhere" (at least in terms of Windows devices). My predictions is that Windows Blue will introduce more "WinRT" APIs to BOTH Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (not necessarily all but definitely more). Perhaps even the ability to Windows Phone 8 apps on Windows 8.
What does this mean for the next generation (half-generation?) of Windows devices?
The idea is to allow for middle-sized devices that can run both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps. This way the app store is already filled up and these devices have a strong start. My guess is that developers (which I am) will be able to target this middle ground devices and have apps running both on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. That means the back-end can be coded once and then we just need to check for the current size and run the appropriate UI code. Similar to how Windows 8 apps behave when snapped. We have already seen this in action with the new Ubuntu platform.
This way when developing apps we could choose to just aim at one of the platforms. The key part will be this: in order to account for usage on phones and computers/large tablets there will be incentive to develop the applications so that they scale up or down to the devices needs. This way developers on either platform become developers on the other. If they want to have a great experience within their app they well need to develop for everything.
For Microsoft this means killing two birds with one stone: get more apps in the marketplace (W8 → WP8 and vice versa) AND provide a consistent unbroken experience for their users