Microsoft CEO confirms plans to unify Windows into one huge OS

By April Taylor , Jul 23, 2014 06:55 AM EDT

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that his company plans to consolidate all of its Windows versions into one huge, unified platform.

While the confirmation is welcome, the news doesn't come as such a big surprise. Microsoft has been edging closer to this achievement for a while, as the company has made notable efforts toward bridging the gaps between the different versions of its Windows platform. The company currently has several versions of its OS: the full-fledged Windows, Windows RT, and Windows Phone.

In the future, however, Microsoft wants to have one unified platform to rule them all, making it easier for both developers and consumers. Back in April at its developer conference, the company announced some developer tools designed for "Universal Windows Apps," giving the first concrete hints toward this move. Those tools aimed to enable developers to write apps once and make it compatible with all major Windows versions and Xbox. On the other hand, consolidating the OS itself is a more complex matter, but the company's CEO has big plans in this department.

"This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes," Nadella told analysts on the quarterly conference call, as cited by Business Insider. "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," Nadella further explained. "Now we have one team with a common architecture. This allows us to scale, create Universal Windows Apps."

So far, under former CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has offered several operating systems and their apps that were not always compatible with each other. A unified OS should make things far easier, but Microsoft will still offer different editions of its platform. More specifically, Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise editions, for instance, will still be on the table, but they will be more similar under the hood.

Moreover, the company will also unify its stores, commerce and developer platforms, Nadella further added. These changes will take effect with the next major version of Windows, i.e. the upcoming Windows 9.

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