Microsoft to follow Apple and Google by merging smartphone and tablet OS

Microsoft reportedly wants to build a new OS from the ground up, aiming to unify its tablet and smartphone platforms in 2015.

The company has been having a tough time in the smartphone and tablet world, where iOS and Android dominate the scene by a wide margin. Unlike its rivals, however, Microsoft is currently using three completely different operating systems to power smartphones and tablets. The company currently uses Windows Phone 8 for its handsets, and both Windows RT and Windows 8 to power its tablets. It now seems that Microsoft might be looking at changing its mobile strategy and unify its smartphone and tablet OS.

A new Mobile Review report claims that Microsoft has put together a team to work on the next version of its mobile OS. The new platform will merge Windows Phone and Windows RT to work on both smartphones and tablets. The new team will focus on building the platform from the ground up and the new software version will reportedly launch in 2015. The company seems to be taking a page out of Apple and Google's book by having only one operating system for all mobile devices.

Microsoft just cut the price of its Surface RT tablets worldwide by 30 percent, which might be the first clear sign that the company plans on changing what powers its mobile vision. The report further claims that the new OS might break compatibility with the previous OS, which might explain why Microsoft recently increased Windows Phone 8 support from 18 to 36 months.

This move is similar to the scheme Microsoft pulled when it dropped Windows Mobile as its smartphone OS a few years ago and focused on building an entirely new OS with Windows Phone 7. The company did this in light of the growing popularity of iOS- and Android-powered smartphones. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows Phone remains a niche player in the smartphone market, while Windows RT isn't even a contender in the tablet world. The new unified OS could be just what the company needs to compete with Apple and Google's smartphones and tablets. It just remains to be seen if 2015 will be too long of a wait for its attack.

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