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Comment: Windows 8 Successor Likely To Replace Windows Phone As Well?

Having had a quick look at the Windows 8 Developer Preview over the weekend, I now firmly believe that Microsoft is gradually preparing its customers - hundreds of millions of them - for an interface that is common both to Windows-based desktop and mobile platforms.

The tile interface that welcomes you on Windows 8 is an obvious copy of Windows Phone's own user interface, which is generally considered as one of Microsoft's better attempts, certainly better than Bob. You can always bypass it via a clever registry hack but for the rest of us, it will stay there.

We already know that Windows 8 will work on all computers that accept Windows 7 already. It is likely that the OS will run on hardware as old as a Pentium 3 clocked at 1GHz with at least 512MB RAM, which is even less capable than a mainstream smartphone.

By the time Windows 8 is launched next year, it will be the OS with the largest compatibility window Microsoft has ever rolled out, but it's certainly not down to a definite push to revive old hardware.

Instead, Windows 8 could be viewed as the prelude to a merger between Windows Phone and Windows Desktop, which is likely to happen with Windows 9.

Microsoft's deliberate attempt to keep hardware requirements for Windows 8 low, dovetails nicely with its announcement earlier this year that Windows will now run on the ARM-based architecture, which is the dominant mobile ecosystem.

Add in the fact that Microsoft will add an "App Store" to Windows 8, not unlike Apple and its Mac Store, and it's quite clear that the mobile metaphor will permeate and take over from the desktop in a few years at most.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.