On Tuesday, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has told journalists and analysts during the FY14 Q4 earnings conference call that his Microsoft has planned to merge all of the major Windows OS releases altogether into single platform that fits all kinds of devices with different screen sizes.
This decision to move to single platform is backed by an app called “Universal Windows Apps” tool that is revealed during BUILD 2014 back in April and it would allow Windows developers to write a single app for computer, smartphones and the Xbox One console! A unified store is expected to be announced in April 2015 as part of the “Threshold” release of the Windows OS platform.
“This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes,” Nadella explained. “We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes. 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.”
He clarified that Microsoft will continue to offer different versions (SKUs) of Windows such as Windows Pro, Windows Server and so on, but they will essentially be identical at the core. He also acknowledged that the stores will be unified, as will commerce and developer platforms.
Nadella also mentioned that the company will be talking more about the future of Windows in the coming months, and what the next installment will bring to customers. Currently, Microsoft is expected to ship Windows 8.1 Update 2 in August or September, followed by a possible Windows 9 public beta in Q4 2014. After that, there may be an Update 3 in 1Q 2015 if the Windows 9 public preview isn’t available.