Microsoft is working on a project codenamed “Menlo,” which will attempt to make Windows a unified experience across various devices, Mary Jo Foley reports.
Essentially, it appears Menlo will be Microsoft’s attempt to limit its long term fragmentation. Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s next mobile OS, looks much different from Windows 7. Menlo seems to be trying to make them converge.
Mary Jo admits this is early going in her reporting and she’s not exactly clear if that’s what Menlo is tasked with. But it definitely involves the mobile space.
Mobile and tablet style computing are poised to rapidly expand in the next decade. Microsoft has the advantage of being the incumbent in the computing space. But, that advantage will be squandered if its desktop computing software and applications aren’t available on mobile devices.
Here’s Mary Jo’s explanation:
Because Microsoft has a far bigger pool of Windows apps than Windows Mobile/Windows Phone apps, it would make sense for the Redmondians to be trying to find a way to enable that base of business/consumer apps to run on Windows-centric phones and tablets.
If Microsoft can successfully pull off this sort of integration it will help it protect its Windows franchise which is where Microsoft still makes its money.