Julie Larson-Green, executive vice president of the Devices and Studios unit within Microsoft, said during the UBS Global Technology Summit that Redmond could soon revamp its operating system lineup and cut down the number of available platforms to only two.
At this point, Microsoft has three OS versions on the market, each aimed at a different device category.
Windows 8.1 is designed to be used on desktop computers and laptops featuring x86 and x64 processors, Windows RT 8.1 is only aimed at ARM devices such as Microsoft’s own Surface RT, while Windows Phone 8 is supposed to bring the power of the modern OS on smartphones.
Recent reports have hinted that Microsoft could actually merge not only the app stores, but also the operating systems completely in the next full release of Windows, which could happen in late 2014 or early 2015.
Now JLG confirmed during a Q&A session that Microsoft would indeed keep only two operating systems on the market, but she refused to provide any specifics.
“We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We’re not going to have three. We do think there’s a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn’t have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we’re continuing down that path,” she said.
While it’s not exactly clear whether Microsoft plans to retire Windows RT completely or only merge it with the phone platform, the company has already made the first step towards such an approach.
Windows Store and Windows Phone Store developer accounts have recently been merged, so those who want to create apps for Microsoft’s operating system can do it without registering for two different accounts.Share on Facebook