We have heard rumours before about this or that Microsoft OS being merged or dropped but in new reports today Executive Vice-President of the Devices and Studios group at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green, has been quoted as saying Microsoft’s operating system offerings are going to be trimmed. Most commentators think that of the current Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows RT – the latter two will be merged, sharing a common app platform and making Windows on mobiles and tablets a more powerful OS.
“We're not going to have three.”
Larson-Green was talking to investors at the UBS Global Technology Conference last week. She talked about how Windows RT was confusing to some people when compared to Windows 8; “They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn't do everything that you expected Windows to do. So there's been a lot of talk about it should have been a rebranding. We should not have called it Windows. How should we have made it more differentiated? I think over time you'll see us continue to differentiate it more.”
Then she hinted strongly that one of Microsoft’s OSes will be killed off; “We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three.” Adding more meat to those bones Larson-Green said “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.”
So there is place for a mobile and a non mobile Microsoft OS, the question for most existing Windows RT and Windows Phone users will be if their hardware will be left behind by any new, merged mobile Windows OS. In recent history Windows Phone 7.X users were left disappointed by Microsoft not supporting their mobile hardware with the introduction of Windows Phone 8. Since that time many big name apps have reached Windows Phone 8.