Microsoft currently has three operating systems set up for different hardware. Should you be on a desktop, laptop or supported tablets, Windows 8.1 is what powers the system. Windows RT 8.1 is loaded on the Surface 2 and other tablets with ARM chips. Finally, we have Windows Phone 8 for smartphones.
With Microsoft working on further uniting its services and software, how will Windows operating systems look in the future? According to Executive VP Devices and Studios at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green, the company will no longer have three versions of Windows, but will unite all products under one umbrella.
Game engines are already starting to take advantage of how closely tied each version of Windows is. Now, during a Q&A held at the UBS Global Technology Summit, Larson-Green went into detail about how the company currently has all three versions of Windows, but this won't be the case in future:
"We do think there's a world where there is 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."
We've recently witnessed Microsoft working on uniting the backend systems of Windows, especially for developers. Should you be looking at building some content for either Windows or Windows Phone, Microsoft has now made it easier to develop for both platforms - cutting both cost and workload (with APIs, shared code, and more).
Should we have a unified store front for consumers, as well as everything rolling together behind the scene, consumers will see a different Windows platform, running across supported hardware. Plans still have not been confirmed as to how the company will go about this, but we could see Windows RT and Windows Phone merging, while full Windows 8 remains the flagship product for desktops, laptops and Intel tablets.
Check out the document for more from Larson-Green.