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Microsoft exec hints at Windows consolidation, death to Windows RT

by Doug Drinkwater

November 25 2013

Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green says it is unlikely the firm will have three different operating systems in future
Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green says it is unlikely the firm will have three different operating systems in future

Julie Larson-Green, the new head of Microsoft’s Devices and Studios group, has hinted that the Redmond giant could consolidate Windows Phone and Windows 8 and maybe even kill off Windows RT in future.

Neowin reports that Larson-Green was speaking on the operating systems during a question-and-answer session at the UBS Global Technology Summit in Sausalito, California over the weekend. [A transcript of the conversation can be found here on Microsoft’s website].

“We have the Windows Phone OS.  We have Windows RT and we have full Windows.  We're not going to have three,” said Larson-Green.

“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.”

(Worth reading: Looks like Microsoft will persevere with Surface tablets and Windows RT for a few years yet & Microsoft to merge Windows and Windows Phone divisions?)

The Microsoft exec also admitted – like others have in the past – that the software firm made errors in the branding of Windows RT.

“So the goal was to deliver two kinds of experiences into the market, the full power of your Windows PC, and the simplicity of a tablet experience that can also be productive,” said Larson-Green.

“That was the goal. Maybe not enough -- I think we didn't explain that super-well. I think we didn't differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn't do everything that you expected Windows to do.”

This omission will likely fuel speculation that Microsoft could – as predicted by some analysts – kill off or merge Windows RT, the ARM-based operating system that has struggled for sales and tablet vendors.

However, while that may just be food for thought at the moment, the merging of Windows Phone and Windows looks inevitable going forward. Indeed, the company has already made steps towards that by merging its Windows Store and Windows Phone Store accounts for developers.

(Using or planning to buy a Windows 8 device? Sign up for the free TabTimes for Windows newsletter for news, reviews, apps, insights and advice)

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