Microsoft to consolidate Windows OS

Consolidation of the Windows operating systems for desktop, mobile phones and tablets is coming soon, according a senior executive of Microsoft Corp.

Currently Microsoft has Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows RT, but the company is “not going to have all three” operating systems in the future, said Julie Larson-Green, executive vice-president for devices ad studios at Microsoft. As to when this might happen, she did not say.

Microsoft’s three operating systems run on different devices. Each of the three has their own limitations. For example Windows RT does not have the capability to natively run Windows Phone apps.

But speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference last week, Larson-Green indicated this situation may end soon.

Larson-Green said the decision to merge the three into a single OS is driven by “flexibility and cost.”

“We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows,” she said answering a question about the future of Windows RT. “We’re not going to have all three.”

She also said that Windows Phone is gaining traction outside the United States. The mobile OS appears to be doing better in unsubsidized markets. For instance, Windows Phone has won 20 per cent of the market share in Italy, she said.

The Microsoft executive also indicated that the company is keeping a close watch on the wearable technology market. In recent months, there have been reports that Microsoft is tinkering with a product similar to the Google Glass as well as a large display smart watch that can connect to its Surface tablet.

Larson-Green hinted that Microsoft is interested in sensors and their application in “fitness devices that people wear on their wrists…”

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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