Microsoft Reportedly Initiates Plan To Merge Windows RT And Windows Phone

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Brace for impact! A grand revolution is coming to the Windows platform. Reports are coming in that Microsoft has initiated work on several notable changes for upcoming versions of its flagship OS.

And prime amongst them are the updates reserved for its mobile platforms.

Microsoft insider MSFTnerd wrote on Twitter that Terry Myerson, the man in charge of the operating systems division inside Redmond has finally decided to slowly merge Windows RT with Windows Phone in the coming future.

Slowly, in this case, being a period of around two years.

As it stands, Microsoft plans to use the GDR update cycle to deliver these improvements to users, with things kicking off with the first such release that is on track for an early 2014 launch.

The famous tipster wrote:

“Windows will be developed in 2 separate but synced branches, namely Windows for SoC and Windows for datacenters, with the latter to come in two different versions (x86 and ARM).”

Three different GDR updates are said to be in store for 2014, with each one bringing the two platforms closer to one another. Redmond is obviously yet to comment on these rumors, surely not so early on, but this is not the first time people have talked about a merger of the Phone and RT platforms.

There may surely be some behind this — how much, only time will tell.

But with Windows RT pretty much becoming a niche platform of sorts, with hardware partners shying away from the Windows on ARM concept, it only makes sense.

NOTE - If you would like to find out more about the next version of Microsoft Windows - Windows 9, here are some links you should probably check out.

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  • Ray C

    Niche platform? How bout we see how generation 2 and 3 of Surface go before we start calling this a Niche.

    • Fahad Ali

      It is slowly becoming one, though. Nokia will join the RT party soon, but as long as Surface (and Lumia tablets) sell moderately well, and the Windows Store apps keep on offering ARM support, then it may not.

      But there is a definite assault incoming from Intel and its Atom solutions. And they will compete with Windows RT on price and battery points. In which case there is a possibility, no matter how small, that the RT platform may be confined to the enterprise and business space exclusively.

      Microsoft seems to be aware of this, and this merging of the two (similar) worlds is absolutely the right and most logical step forward.

      As for two or three generations of Surface, yeah, valid point, and that is why I said becoming a niche platform. It’s not there yet, and if Microsoft plays its cards right may never be there either. Just need to watch out for Atom, though.

  • Mark Longley

    I think the OEM’s will be back on board before long, once they come to terms with the direction MS is going with this mid-to-long-term project.

    I believe RT will slowly become the ‘consumer Windows’ of the future as more professional apps become available; I am confident – though in a minority – it will be successful. I have just pre-ordered my wife a 64GB Surface 2 after scanning her Dell Laptop and realising she only runs ONE legacy app (accounts) which she will continue to run from her office. Everything else will run on RT (shame about the lack of digitizer layer for stylus).

    With the eventual merging – and it won’t be that long – of RT/WP, legacy x86 apps will become a thing of the past for the majority. So I think that RT has a definitive future. Obviously enterprise will take much longer.

    I have the latest iPad (company provided) and also run a Thinkpad Tablet 2 with 8.1 preview. Using the iPad is genuinely like the equivalent of trying to use a prosthetic arm compared to the experience of the TPT2 – it just flies; and if it wasn’t for the company-provided app everything I need would run on RT

    The next couple of years are certainly going to be interesting ;)

    • Fahad Ali

      True, this is the way Microsoft is heading right now. The next couple of years surely are going to be interesting, no two ways about it. ;)

  • Damian Vansen

    Makes sense based on the industry having one OS for PCs and a lightweight OS for mobile devices. Apple has OS X and IOS, Google has Chrome OS and Android. So Microsoft will have Windows 8 for PCs/Surface pro and Windows Phone for phones and Surface RTs (hopefully RT will be renamed with something more understandable). Having Windows 8 take up half of Surface RTs space has really hurt its reputation.

  • Mike Greenway

    If the report is true, what would that give me as a surface 2 owner?