updated 10:22 am EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Microsoft CEO confirms future convergence of operating systems in conference call
Microsoft is still planning to unify its operating systems in the future, CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed. As part of the conference call with analysts following its latest quarterly financial results release, Nadella advised that Windows 9 will be a version of the operating system which will work with universal apps, namely apps which work across multiple platforms and devices.
"We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes," said Nadella according to Business Insider. "In the past we had multiple teams working on different versions of Windows. Now we have one team with a common architecture. This allows us to scale, create Universal Windows Apps." The move will also see the company "unify our stores, our commerce, and developer platforms."
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Universal apps could in theory make Windows Phone a more attractive proposition to consumers. Unlike iOS and Android, users would be able to buy one version of an app on desktop or a Windows Phone device, and would immediately have access to the same app on the other platform, complete with the same functionality and user data, and without having to pay for two separate versions.
Microsoft has already started work on providing developers the tools to make the same app run on Windows as well as Windows Phone. In April, the company revealed a set of APIs which allowed for code to be easily shared between the different app versions. The Windows app stores have also been updated to allow for Universal Apps to operate, with harmonized pricing between the desktop and mobile versions.