When it comes to operating systems, the generally accepted method is to have one mobile OS and one desktop OS. These can be related, but they are also kept separate.

This is what we see for both Google and Apple. With Apple we have OSX for desktops and iOS for mobile devices. On the Google front, Android powers tablets and smartphones. Google is pushing its cloud-driven Chrome OS for desktops and laptops.

And then comes Microsoft, which is doing things a bit backwards. You have a tablet and desktop OS with Windows 8, and a smartphone OS with Windows Phone 8. Is this the right path going forward, or should we see a closer merger between these efforts?

Honestly, I would like to see Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT come together. I know what you are thinking, using a desktop screen on a smartphone would be more than a disaster. The solution, as mentioned yesterday, has to do with removing Windows RT’s desktop mode.

If Microsoft can put together a real Metro version of Office, there is really no good reason for ARM devices to use the legacy desktop for any reason. Let’s push forward and leave the desktop behind on Windows RT.

With Windows Phone 8, we saw a positive step towards unity thanks to the use of NT technology. Is it enough? I think the idea of maintaining separate markets and ecosystems is quite confusing and unnecessary. As it stands, porting from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 is easy, but with Windows 9 and Windows RT 2, what if Microsoft phones, tablets and PCs all share the same ecosystem?

It seems to work okay for Apple and Google, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here.

Windows RT 2 and Windows 9, Simplifying Microsoft’s Ecosystem

By relying fully on RT technology in Windows RT 2, we get a truly mobile OS that wouldn’t have to be so massive. Right now, I can guarantee you that quite a bit of the huge file size bloat from Surface RT is due to the legacy desktop code.

If Microsoft re-writes Windows RT 2 from the ground up to rely only on Metro, you will get a versatile OS that is app compatible with Windows 9 but otherwise is flexible enough for smartphones and tablets. This would also make it easier for vendors to make devices as small as 3 1/2-inches or as big as 20-inches+. Right now, Windows RT’s desktop mode is hard to use on smaller screen devices, and Microsoft says it will never let Windows Phone run on a tablet.

Is there a downside to ditching Windows Phone and creating a new Windows RT version that runs on both ARM tablets and ARM phones? The biggest I see is that Microsoft would once again probably require new hardware for Windows Phone 8 owners, meaning yet another instance of leaving users behind like with what happened with Windows Phone 7. Also there is likely other factors that I might be missing that makes this idea impossible or impractical.

So how likely is all of this? In time I think that Microsoft could unify its PC, tablet and smartphones under one OS– but it is the desktop mode that is holding all of this back. As for merging Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT? I think it is possible, but probably not all that likely. Still, it is at least an interesting and fun thought.

What do you think, should Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 merge efforts or not?

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  1. Honestly, if WP9 is again a reboot, the platform is finished. Consumers won’t care how it is different. They just want it to work

    • yeah except there is absolutely nobody to pick up windows and especially MS thrown…. android is far behind when it comes to a unified PC OS. it works well with phones, it is acceptable for tablets but there is no way android can move into company wide deployment and even serious productivity users…
      Apple has OS X but seriously that stuff is showing some age too…. it’s a great OS don’t get me wrong but certainly not future proof in that current form….
      and yet apple will never ever be over 50% market share, they simply can’t possibly replace every other constructor by themselves…. a lot of pros need an upgradable system, a lot of geeks want to build their own stuff… it is plain too expensive for a lot of people and companies with very little gain… and finally the most important a market where apple leads with the same way of doing there closed system as today is not in any constructors interest…. PC with windows is there to stay for several generation because it is in nobody’s best interest to have apple go up and android is not ready yet and doesn’t have any real third party support for professional apps… and Linux is still dealing with the same issues It was dealing with a decade ago….

  2. I think this is what they should do:
    Make windows store apps compatible with the windows phone ones, like iPad and iPhone. What Microsoft really lacks is unity. Even wp8 and wp7 apps are different. If they could make it all compatible, it would work so much better!

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