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Microsoft Envisions One Windows OS To Rule Them All

By - Source: Geeky Gadgets | B 71 comments

And in the darkness bind them.

Microsoft's vision of one interface isn't exactly fresh news, as we saw Windows chief Terry Myerson make this revelation back in September. Currently, Microsoft has three consumer operating systems: Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Phone 8. The latter mobile phone platform is expected to be upgraded to v8.1 in the spring, launched along with a new Windows Store and Windows 8.1/RT update that will mark the beginning of the company's unified approach.

Microsoft's head of devices, Julie Larson-Green, hinted to this approach while speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference last week. "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," she said.

Microsoft couldn't be any clearer than that, and it fits within the company's new One Microsoft push. "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," she added.

As it stands now, Microsoft has created a unified design style across desktop, mobile and console, but the app ecosystem is divided between x86 and ARM-based architectures, as well as form factors. One of the biggest complaints thus far is a lack of a common store shared between all three platforms. However, the Spring 2014 updates will supposedly tear down the walls between smartphone, tablet and desktop.

In addition to the One Platform talk, there's speculation that Larson-Green eluded to Microsoft's unannounced wearable tech projects including the supposed Surface smartwatch and the Xbox-targeting, Google Glass competitor. She began saying that sensors -- which have really beefed up in phones like the Motorola MOTO X and LG G2 -- are going to become a big part of how we think about things.

"So some of the things we've been talking about -- you see all these fitness devices that people wear on their wrists and they do some interesting things," she said. "What's the extension of that? What are the sensors and things that we could build that would help you in your daily life, from telling you that you didn't quite do your pushups as far down as you really thought you could go, to letting you know that your heart rate is too high and you must be stressed out, take a deep breath, to letting you know when your bus is running late at your bus stop and -- your bus stop is running late. And that's why we've been focusing on natural user interface for a while, working on that."

Earlier in the Q&A she hinted to wearable tech again, saying that mobility will continue to change, expand beyond the smartphone, tablet and ultra-thin notebook to the home, and to the body.

"It's going to continue to evolve. It's a very exciting time to kind of have this services strategy where you can get access to all the data and information that you care about, the people, the documents, your entertainment, all the things in your life from whatever is most convenient to you at the time," she said. "And so looking at the family of devices, mobility is a huge part of how people live and work and interact today. So we'll be there with those devices."

To read the full Q&A with Julie Larson-Green, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , November 26, 2013 4:38 PM
    So we're purposely trying to turn my desktop computer into a glorified smartphone. We're not just trying to make Windows look like Windows Phone, we're actually trying to make the two into one OS. Awesome. Thanks, Microsoft.

    "One of the biggest complaints thus far is a lack of a common store shared between all three platforms."
    Really? That's the biggest complaint? How many people have you heard saying 'Man, I wish there was another proprietary software store installed on my system right now, especially one that I can use from my phone, too'?

    I'm gonna go fire up the good old IBM PS/2 Model 80... times like this I need the sounds of a massive chunk of DOS-powered hardware spinning up. Remember MFM disk drives? They were never trying to smartphone-ify those.
  • 12 Hide
    John Bauer , November 26, 2013 6:17 PM
    This is what I fear.

    Microsoft is trying to become Apple.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 26, 2013 4:26 PM
    Thank goodness for Start8 and retroUI, keeping the benefits of Window 8(.1) while having the GUI of Windows 7.
  • Display all 71 comments.
  • -3 Hide
    vaughn2k , November 26, 2013 4:30 PM
    This would be fun to watch.. ;) 
  • 32 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , November 26, 2013 4:38 PM
    So we're purposely trying to turn my desktop computer into a glorified smartphone. We're not just trying to make Windows look like Windows Phone, we're actually trying to make the two into one OS. Awesome. Thanks, Microsoft.

    "One of the biggest complaints thus far is a lack of a common store shared between all three platforms."
    Really? That's the biggest complaint? How many people have you heard saying 'Man, I wish there was another proprietary software store installed on my system right now, especially one that I can use from my phone, too'?

    I'm gonna go fire up the good old IBM PS/2 Model 80... times like this I need the sounds of a massive chunk of DOS-powered hardware spinning up. Remember MFM disk drives? They were never trying to smartphone-ify those.
  • 8 Hide
    Mike Friesen , November 26, 2013 5:07 PM
    And in the darkness bind them. Hahaha, best thing I've read today.
  • -1 Hide
    tomfreak , November 26, 2013 5:17 PM
    They do have a interesting position, dominance in PCs, have a consoles, tablet/phone OS. I would hope they have a unify store front where I buy a PC App and get an App for all platform as well. For ex. buying a game on PC get u an Xbox/phone copy.

    I'm not sure how they gonna make this work well on all the diff platform. I'll sit tight & wait and see how they do it, instead of having a negative view b4 OS come out

    oh btw, brace myself, expecting incoming win8 hater storming in here for their unreasonable hatred that they keep singing again again and again for 9999 times.
  • -1 Hide
    f-14 , November 26, 2013 5:19 PM
    when pigs fly to the moon.
  • -4 Hide
    SchizoFrog , November 26, 2013 5:19 PM
    It's a joke that people keep harping on about the changes MS are trying to make to bring them back in to the game. Remember when MS didn't try to change things? Along came Apple with the iPhone and iPods and revolutionised the way we use mobile phones and listened to music on the move, not long after Android came along too.
    What is it exactly with a modern MS OS that you can't do that has you complaining all the time?
    Personally I like changes to technology, not just advancements along the same paths but complete changes in direction and I think the next few years is going to be very interesting.
  • -3 Hide
    w8gaming , November 26, 2013 5:39 PM
    The biggest obstacle to this vision is Windows desktop OS takes more than 10Gb of storage. Mobile phone still stuck with 16Gb storage mostly. And there are so much overheard in the desktop OS which is fine on deskto due to the powerful CPU while the most expensive mobile CPU is still at Atom level of performance. The mobile phone will have to cost twice or more than a mainstream desktop in order to run this One Windows OS comfortably.
  • 12 Hide
    John Bauer , November 26, 2013 6:17 PM
    This is what I fear.

    Microsoft is trying to become Apple.
  • 3 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 26, 2013 6:47 PM
    Googles Chrome OS will capitalize over Microsofts mistakes in the coming years with its OSes.
  • 9 Hide
    tobalaz , November 26, 2013 6:56 PM
    Even Apple knows that there's a difference between a desktop/ laptop OS and a phone/ tablet OS.
    MS will never become Apple because they've yet to get a mass of mindless cult like followers!
  • 9 Hide
    runswindows95 , November 26, 2013 7:02 PM
    If they do this, they should make a Pro / Enterprise PC version that allows the Start Menu to be the default GUI instead of Metro. Until then, I see many companies sticking to 7.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , November 26, 2013 7:25 PM
    Screw one OS, I want one place to store all my media!
  • 4 Hide
    BringMeAnother , November 26, 2013 7:34 PM
    Give power to smartphones and don't give away functions from desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    toalan , November 26, 2013 7:39 PM
    I bet microsoft is really regretting Win RT and windows phone, if you could do it all over again I am sure MS would have just used x86 across all devices + win8. Nobody would have guessed that Intel would be able to pimp out a quad core atom that is competitive with ARM in terms of power consumption. Intel used to be butt buddies with MS, not sure why they did not clue MS in. Now you have full windows 8 tablets starting at $300 with a quad core Atom, where is there room for RT, in the near future once atoms go into phones where is there room for windows phone?

    MS should just dump RT and windows phone now, they will eventually dump it in favor of win8. A single device that runs win8, stick it into a docking station and I get a laptop/desktop experience, on the go you get a phone/tablet experience, no bloody files to sync across devices, or sh*tty MS office alternatives, or sh*tty mobile games. Put thunderbolt it and 99% of people will be happy as pigs in sh*t.

    Windows x86 has the largest market share of any OS (not counting linux on routers), it is huge advantage, Win RT and windows phone does not leverage that advantage. Why fight an uphill battle when you can charge downhill with the might of all the legacy windows x86 apps behind you.
  • -3 Hide
    toalan , November 26, 2013 7:42 PM
    I bet microsoft is really regretting Win RT and windows phone, if you could do it all over again I am sure MS would have just used x86 across all devices + win8. Nobody would have guessed that Intel would be able to pimp out a quad core atom that is competitive with ARM in terms of power consumption. Intel used to be butt buddies with MS, not sure why they did not clue MS in. Now you have full windows 8 tablets starting at $300 with a quad core Atom, where is there room for RT, in the near future once atoms go into phones where is there room for windows phone?

    MS should just dump RT and windows phone now, they will eventually dump it in favor of win8. A single device that runs win8, stick it into a docking station and I get a laptop/desktop experience, on the go you get a phone/tablet experience, no bloody files to sync across devices, or sh*tty MS office alternatives, or sh*tty mobile games. Put thunderbolt it and 99% of people will be happy as pigs in sh*t.

    Windows x86 has the largest market share of any OS (not counting linux on routers), it is huge advantage, Win RT and windows phone does not leverage that advantage. Why fight an uphill battle when you can charge downhill with the might of all the legacy windows x86 apps behind you.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , November 26, 2013 8:01 PM
    x86 OS across all platforms would be awesome actually.

    I want an X86 phone with Win8 on it. The ram would be intense, but let's just do it anyway. Put a big battery on that baby.
  • 4 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , November 26, 2013 8:52 PM
    Is the version that's supposed to rule them all Windows RT? Cause if that's the case I'm switching to Linux.

    IB
  • -3 Hide
    John Bauer , November 26, 2013 9:25 PM
    Quote:
    Even Apple knows that there's a difference between a desktop/ laptop OS and a phone/ tablet OS.
    MS will never become Apple because they've yet to get a mass of mindless cult like followers!


    I'm sorry, but yes, Microsoft does
  • 0 Hide
    m32 , November 26, 2013 9:55 PM
    I keep debating to upgrade to W8. I'm glad I keep getting reminded not to. As a geek, we want to upgrade to the next thing. I've never had nothing wrong with W7 in the 3+ years I've been using it. I just have to wait or wait for Microsoft to get a change of heart. You can't do whatever you want and have my support.
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