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Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday unveiled plans to unify all Windows operating systems for client PCs. Starting from the upcoming Windows 9, one OS will power personal computers, tablets and smartphones. The plan is expected to cut-down the costs of development and unify user experience within Microsoft’s eco-system.

“We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts and investors.

Nowadays Microsoft has three major versions of operating systems designed for different kinds of devices. Windows 8.1 powers desktops and laptops, Windows RT is designed for ARM-based personal computers and tablets, whereas Windows Phone was developed for smartphones.

Unification of all three operating systems will require the next-gen Windows to support loads of different hardware and deliver the same experience on different classes of processors, graphics adapters and so on. Not only this will make the OS bulkier (in terms of requirements for storage space), but this will also mean that the platform will be designed to ensure good user experience on low-cost hardware, meaning that there will be no “beautiful” Windows Vista- or Windows 7-like things. Still, unification also means that all three major form-factors will be able to run the same applications.

“We will unify our stores, commerce and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user experience and a broader developer opportunity,” said Mr. Nadella. “We look forward to sharing more about our next major wave of Windows enhancements in the coming months.”

In fact, the plan to unify all operating systems was clear starting this March when Microsoft announced the DirectX 12 application programming interface. The API will work with all kinds of hardware, including PC hardware, tablet hardware, smartphone hardware as well as the Xbox One game consoles. This will allow to create applications that will run on mobile devices, PCs and the console.

Previously it was expected that Microsoft will unify its Windows RT and Windows Phone operating systems, whereas personal computers will be powered by a different OS. However, it looks like starting from Windows 9 “Threshold” the world’s largest maker of software will adopt the “one size fits all” strategy.

It remains to be seen how Microsoft plans to ensure good user experience on one operating system that has to support three types of devices.

Tags: Windows, Microsoft, Windows 8, Threshold, Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows 9, Windows 8.1

Discussion

Comments currently: 7
Discussion started: 07/25/14 12:58:56 AM
Latest comment: 08/17/14 04:40:15 AM
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1. 
This all-in-one approach with its bulkier/low-bar requirements reeks of having all of the downsides associated with other past product failures that focused towards a cost/corner-cutting strategy.

This seems to have as much of a chance of being a "good idea" as a car company striving to manufacture a high-performance sports car that is also capable of pulling a boat and supporting a full family in their cross-country vacation travel....
2 0 [Posted by: BN Johanson  | Date: 07/25/14 12:58:56 AM]
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Don't take the Xbitlabs commentary as accurate or well-researched here. (See my comment below)

Not that Xbitlabs is alone in picking up this story without researching it, but the speculative commentary is wildly misleading.
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 07/25/14 03:51:09 AM]
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2. 
How many more times will they try and destroy their customer base before sanity returns?
0 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 07/25/14 02:35:25 AM]
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3. 
Wow... so much speculation presented as fact here:

"Unification of all three operating systems will require the next-gen Windows to support loads of different hardware and deliver the same experience on different classes of processors, graphics adapters and so on. Not only this will make the OS bulkier (in terms of requirements for storage space), but this will also mean that the platform will be designed to ensure good user experience on low-cost hardware, meaning that there will be no “beautiful” Windows Vista- or Windows 7-like things."

Um, why is this presented as a fact? "Will require," "will make," "there will be no," etc. Why the speculation, when Nadella himself clarified what he meant by "one windows" later on in the very same call?

See here for a better explanation of Nadella's comments: http://winsupersite.com/w...uddies-one-windows-waters

2 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 07/25/14 03:47:56 AM]
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Thanks for the linkage bluvg

Re an OS that is bulkier.....thats just nonsense, there will (IMHO) be different versions of the same OS for different platforms

Just imagine W9 (similar to W8) on a phone, it would need a 120GB drive !!!

Xbit need to re-write this 'news'
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 07/27/14 02:08:45 AM]
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4. 
I believe that "unification" actually means all developing platforms unified: Code once, run anywhere.
0 0 [Posted by: bl4ckdr4g00n  | Date: 07/25/14 08:15:56 AM]
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5. 
This is a very sad pipe dream that Microsoft just cant seem to stop sucking on. I cant even imagine how you explain to people that this humongous thing that is Windows is now in a phone and will be the optimal software for that device. Same thing for tablets. These products are not only very different in form factor, but they are used radically differently. So to think that you can slap on that big ugly chunky blocky crap that was to be called Metro, and get people to like it already not working. Microsoft Phone is barely selling. Surface almost has to be given away to get them off of the shelves.

Microsoft needs to look around. The two big players in the market have operating systems that were designed from the ground up to work on cell phones and tablets. Apple is pretty much the only other player that also sells desktop and laptop machines, and they have OSX for that vs IOS for their phones and tablets. Closest thing Google has to an operating system for laptops and desktops is Chrome, and its pretty much a shell of what any other operating system is. And its nowhere near being as complex as Android is.

Microsoft might wake up someday. But many more billions of dollars will go up in smoke first.
0 0 [Posted by: The Old Fart  | Date: 08/17/14 04:40:15 AM]
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