Microsoft (News - Alert) is prepping the launch of the Windows 10 operating system, with clear sights on powering if not dominating emerging categories like smartwatches and the Internet of Things. In fact, it’s even gunning for Google’s (News - Alert) Android Wear OS, which has a head start in the wearables market.
"What is true is that we have architected Windows 10 to work across the broadest range of wearables...This is an architecture scaling from the very small to largest compute jobs," Greg Sullivan, marketing director for Windows Phone, told CNBC at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) in Barcelona.
Is Microsoft looking to lead the smartwatch field? To that, Sullivan said: "In short, yes."
Windows 10 should officially launch in the second half of this year if all goes according to plan (many are expecting it to come in October, which is the traditional Windows refresh season). The computing giant plans to leverage the OS using the old PC model, offering it as under-the-hood smarts for a range of new third-party devices.
That said, the classic PC and smartphone spaces will also of course be a priority. "There is a focus on the flagships and we will certainly be in that space," he told CNBC.
So far, Microsoft's own branded emerging device stable has been limited. It includes the augmented reality “HoloLens” technology, and the Microsoft Band smart wearable. However, going forward with Windows 10, Sullivan told CNBC that "there are opportunities which we will build on our own hardware and some with our partners."
Windows 10 also has an important improvement over Windows 8 when it comes to developers and new form factors. The Universal App platform is a write-once, run-anywhere environment that allows developers to create code that works across any Windows 10 device. This cuts down on development investment, time and complexity for app creators. Sullivan noted that the capability should be especially important for mobile platforms.
"We expect the ability to write one app in the Windows 10 timeframe to become a higher priority in the mobile space," he explained.
Edited by Maurice Nagle