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Microsoft's device chief sees a future without three versions of Windows

Spaniard

Active Member
Microsoft's device chief sees a future without three versions of Windows | The Verge

Microsoft currently ships Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Phone software on a variety of devices, but it’s heading towards a future where just a single version of Windows will exist. Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference last week, Microsoft’s head of devices, Julie Larson-Green, hinted strongly that the software giant is finally working to merge its core operating systems. "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," says Larson-Green.

A SINGLE WINDOWS WORLD IS WHERE MICROSOFT IS HEADING

The comments follow a similar message delivered by Windows chief Terry Myerson, who sees phones as the future of Windows RT. Microsoft is initially working towards building a single app store for Windows and Windows Phone. The two operating systems’ applications are separated by two differing stores, and Microsoft started taking the first steps to unify them recently with a simplified developer registration process. Other improvements are expected in the coming months as Microsoft continues to tweak Windows 8.1 and ship its upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. "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," explains Julie Larson- Green. "So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path."

While Microsoft continues to merge its Windows operating systems further, Larson-Green hinted at wearable computing as an important phase for the company. "So sensors are going to become a big part of how you think about things," says Larson-Green. Microsoft is rumored to be testing a smartwatch with a 1.5-inch display and Surface connector. With the Nokia acquisition that work could potentially intensify as the Finnish smartphone maker has created its own smartwatch concept. Microsoft is also rumored to be working on Google Glass-like eyewear.

Describing sensors that alert you when a bus is running late or remind you to complete daily exercise, Larson-Green says Microsoft can bring together sensors and software in new ways. "Just as the mouse was an invention, touch was an invention, there will be the next new way to interact", explains Larson-Green. "And that's why we've been focusing on natural user interface for a while, working on that."
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Well, it makes sense, doesn't it. I fear they're going to be beaten to it by Apple though... for me the eventual dream is to have a phone with everything on it, that simply docks to a bigger external monitor and it works just like a normal PC. Total portability, it's gotta come one day!
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Well, it makes sense, doesn't it. I fear they're going to be beaten to it by Apple though... for me the eventual dream is to have a phone with everything on it, that simply docks to a bigger external monitor and it works just like a normal PC. Total portability, it's gotta come one day!
Wasn't that something that other FirefoxOS or Ubuntu was working towards? Also, I think the idea of having one OS is a bit too fanciful. Enterprise will always have a very different set of requirements as compared to SMEs and the consumer space. I can see the unification of the latter two but a distinction remaining between them and the large enterprise sector. Of course, MS could be referring to one overarching OS architecture, which would be like a plug and play scheme where capabilities of the OS would be dependent on the hardware being used. But then again the problem with that is that OS would be very large especially for consumer and SME end-users.

My personal preference would be to have a Win 8...9...whatever - Enterprise OS (which would drive large enterprise systems and desktop devices - well, till most of the current legacy software is ported "in their fullness" to the RT platform) and a Win 8...9...whatever RT OS (which would drive tablets, phones and hybrids (like the Surface).
 
I really hope Apple wont be first. But its easy to see that they are working towards the same goal..
Unfortunately Apple will be first. I'm not anti-Apple, but I know that if Microsoft were to do it, they would do it "right" (from a technical point of view). What Apple is doing is dumbing down the OSX experience to match what is capable with iOS. Their converged platform will be less capable than OSX was at its apex (Snow Leopard) but more capable than iOS at 5.

Microsoft squandered a decade in the mobile space. They've "rebooted" their mobile platform 3-5 times in 12 years (depending upon how one counts).
 

bluegrass

Well-Known Member
I have seen a lot of changes in my 44 years servicing computers. The staff of about 120 people that I service today, has changed from about 5 laptops just a few years ago to over 50 users on laptops today. Computing future in the workplace and at home will keep changing rqpidly in the years ahead. I am almost 10 years beyond what use to be normal retirement and find it difficult to stay up with all the changes. There is now way woking for a very conservative head of IS where I work, would consider placing a Surface in the hands of any of our users let alone windows 8. I'm just now finishing upgrading all of our users to Windows 7. I hope I see the day that I can do everything with a very smart phone. I'm about to purchase the a 6 inch Nokia 1520 or 2520 which will put me closer to that goal. I would need a way to miracast the phone and hang a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to the phone. I'm already doing a lot of computing tasks with my phone. I have a computer triangle of Window 8 smartphone, Surface Pro2 - 256/8 gig, and a Windows 8.1 desktop. I'm spending less & less time on the desktop these days. My goal is to do all of my heavy computing on the Surface such as video & website editing & leave the desktop envirenment. When I finally get my hands on a docking station that will just about put the final nail in the deskop coffin. BTW for those of you who aren't aware, solid state disks, such as are used in the Surface computers are a huge computer speed jump from rotating disk drives.
 

TheCudder

Member
Rather than one device for all, I thought Microsoft's intentions with Windows 8 and beyond was to create an easy & seamless way to move work (and play) from one device to another. Since Windows Phone 7 & Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I envisioned a world where you could be working in Excel, working in Photoshop, working in SAP, working in (insert app here) on your Windows Phone or Windows Tablet, and when you reach your desk or Office you swipe the file/app over to your desktop and continue working --- same look, same applications. No need to dock, no need to stop, just swipe & go. Similar to the way the Wii U allows you to swipe a game from the hand held controller on to your TV.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
I really hope Apple wont be first. But its easy to see that they are working towards the same goal..
Yup the first thing that showed up on my radar was the notification centre...



I'm pretty confident the next version of OS X will have some of the iOS 7 look about it too.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
I like the concept of the notification centre as long as it is a unified thing across devices. While I know MS is trying to bring out a similar thing with the next update to Win 8 Phone, I wonder if they would have one for their non-phone OS (regular + RT). That would be really helpful. Have something like a communication hub which would connect to Mail, People, Messaging (or Skype), Social Networks (if connected), Phone (yes, I would like text messages to also appear on this), Calendar, System Information (at a glance) etc. Oh yeah... and it should be a live tile!
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
Rather than one device for all, I thought Microsoft's intentions with Windows 8 and beyond was to create an easy & seamless way to move work (and play) from one device to another. Since Windows Phone 7 & Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I envisioned a world where you could be working in Excel, working in Photoshop, working in SAP, working in (insert app here) on your Windows Phone or Windows Tablet, and when you reach your desk or Office you swipe the file/app over to your desktop and continue working --- same look, same applications. No need to dock, no need to stop, just swipe & go. Similar to the way the Wii U allows you to swipe a game from the hand held controller on to your TV.
Well, look at how Surface is being used in the hands in actual consumers. Many of the user reviews you can find out there talk about how liberating it is to get rid of--desktop, laptop, Kindle, Nook, iPad--for the one hybrid Surface, though complete consolidation is happening for Pro users and not so much the RT users yet.

I'm looking at the "death" of the desktop from the point of view of a PC gamer, however. I just don't see that happening anytime soon because it has been the modus operandi of PC gamers to upgrade desktops piecemeal over the years, as towers are necessary for ventilation in the best gaming rigs. When PC games especially require iteratively high performance, there is no mobile design under the laws of physics that can keep up with the necessary power input and yet still remain "mobile." Hmm.

BTW for those of you who aren't aware, solid state disks, such as are used in the Surface computers are a huge computer speed jump from rotating disk drives.
That's why I have an SSD in my desktop for gaming and a whatever-TB HDD for storage. :D
 

Ruffles

Active Member
I'm not sure where people are getting the idea that Apple will do this first. I've seen nothing from them to indicate that they are heading that direction. In fact, I'm seeing the opposite. They seem to be investing in the cloud concept where all your data will live there and you access it with distinctly different devices with distinctly different apps. There seems to be no movement towards combining mobile and desktop functionality into a single device.

This is the key vision difference between MS and Apple. MS is working on a single device that can be your touch/tablet device when mobile and a desktop replacement when docked. I love this concept and it's why I choose MS.
 
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