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Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows RT: one faces the chop

by Mark Tyson on 25 November 2013, 15:46

Tags: Windows 8, Windows Phone

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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.



HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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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.
iOS and Android both manage to make a "phone" OS run fine on a tablet, so why the heck can't Microsoft? Windows RT always struck me as a pointless product - heck there's even been other comments today that you can get a "proper" Windows tablet for the price of an RT device, and I can't think of any reason - other than perhaps slightly better battery life - why I'd pick an RT device over "proper" Windows.

Windows ARM tablets just need a version of the phone OS that can deal with the larger screen.
Yes, but where Apple were quite clever was with a clear differentiation between the desktop Operating system, designed more for keyboard/mouse, and the tablet/phone OS designed more for touch screen.

Microsoft's 'one size fits all' trying to bring the touch screen paradigm to the desktop was probably a mistake, and as the spokesperson says, made it hard to differentiate between them.
Now if ONLY Microsoft could then clearly separate its mobile and desktop OSes, completely removing Metro from desktop life.

A man can dream.
If RT and Phone aren't headed for a merge I will eat my shorts, it seems like a 100% logical move to me and it's probably just down to internal politics and competing teams.
crossy
heck there's even been other comments today that you can get a "proper" Windows tablet for the price of an RT device, and I can't think of any reason - other than perhaps slightly better battery life - why I'd pick an RT device over "proper" Windows.
Asus Transformer Book T100TA. Windows RT is dead. Let us all move on.