Microsoft Confirms Plans to Unify All Operating Systems

Microsoft to Have One Operating System for All Client Computers

by Anton Shilov
11/25/2013 | 11:11 PM

Although all modern operating systems that Microsoft Corp. sells relines on essentially the same Windows 8 kernel, the OSes are actually pretty different and in many ways incompatible between themselves. Earlier this year a rumour transpired that Microsoft was going to unify Windows RT and Windows Phone to get a single operating system for mobile devices. Apparently, the latest plans to unify all client OSes, not just two of them.


“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 is a world where there is a more mobile operating system that does not 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 are continuing down that path,” said Julie Larson-Green, executive vice president of devices and studios at Microsoft, during her conversation with financial analytics at UBS Global Technology Conference.

Unification of operating systems and programs is just what the doctor ordered to Microsoft, who wants to maintain its leading eco-system. Unfortunately, Ms. Larson-Green did not reveal when the unified OSes emerge and how the unification can be done, considering the major differences between a desktop and a smartphone operating system.

Earlier this year a number of interesting rumours emerged on the Internet regarding Microsoft further plans regarding OS development. 

According to several posts on forums made by the owner of Wzor web-site, a well-known blog dedicated to Microsoft’s new products and unofficial news about the company with excellent track-record, over past several weeks, Microsoft plans several major changes in the coming years. First of all, the company will cease to release service packs, but instead will offer brand-new operating systems with fixes and new improvements every year; the next major improvement is called Windows 9. Secondly, the firm will merge Windows RT and Windows Phone platforms into one hybrid operating system. Thirdly, the company will reconsider the very nature of “big” operating systems for desktops and notebooks.

The first step that Microsoft plans to take is to regain the lost ground on its home turf, personal computers. In 2014 the world’s largest software developer is projected to release Windows 9, which will be among the last operating systems for PCs as we know them. The OS will be fully modular, but will return Aero interface in a new form. At present it is unclear whether Windows 9 will more resemble Windows 7 tailored for a touch-screen, or Windows 8 fixed for classical usage.

The next step of Microsoft’s come-back will be creation of unified operating systems that is used for smartphone and tablets, e.g., merge Windows RT and Windows Phone. Given the fact that Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 already share Windows NT core, the idea seems to be a very rational one. Previously it was reported that the new OS will materialize only in 2015. It remains to be seen what user interface will the new OS utilize, but most likely it will not be Metro UI in its current form.

Finally, Microsoft plans a major breakthrough with what is currently known as Windows 10. The operating system will rely on cloud technologies and will feature all-new user interface that could be controlled using eyesight. The very first Windows 10 concept assembly for internal use at Microsoft will become available on September 1, 2013, next week. What is unclear is whether Windows 10 is due in 2015, a year after Windows 9, or will be available only in 2016, in case the software giant has Windows 9.1 in plans. Given that a lot of Microsoft innovations are curtailed by hardware manufacturers, it is more logical to expect a cloud-based modular OS with all-new UI and numerous advanced capabilities to arrive rather later than earlier.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.