Not always do you see Microsoft talk about future strategy in such detail, but the company was in a candid mood at the 2013 financial analyst meeting that took place on Thursday.

Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft’s Operating Systems division confirmed that offering a common experience across all Windows devices is a priority for the company right now — and this means desktops, tablets and smartphones could be unified.

The senior executive explained that users should be provided with the same apps no matter what Microsoft platform they are using, and this means that the separate app stores could be merged in the very near future, probably with Windows 9:

“We really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices. We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices.

Each of our devices require a tailored experience to be really special for the customer, whether that’s a three-inch phone, or it’s a 9-inch tablet, or a 14-inch clamshell, or a 60-inch television playing Xbox games, we want to facilitate the creation of a common, a familiar experience across all of those devices, but a fundamentally tailored and unique experience for each device.”

In fact, this is what a development team in Redmond was working on:

“We had a core team that will bring those silicon interfaces together, bring those developer platforms together, approach delivery of apps to the customers in a common way. We have one team delivering the core services that will light up our devices. And then we have satellite teams each focused on each of the device categories, so each of them can be reflective of what the customer expects in that place.”

Myerson also confirmed in his keynote that Microsoft was moving in very fast with this vision.

Although it may take a while for this to become official, but there have been plenty of rumors before this that Windows 9 could merge Windows RT and Windows Phone platforms together. And considering this has become a priority for the company, a feature like this could be here sooner rather than later.

Have anything to say on this important confirmation? Fire up a comment below!

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  • Ray C

    I would love to see RT and Phone merged. I always thought they should have re-named Windows Mobile to something else, so they could an O/S that’s for phone and basic tablets to differentiate itself from it’s PC OS and work tablets. They could even call it something without Windows in the name. It made sense with the first couple versions and generations of phones and tablets, but now that people know that Microsoft is in the mobile game, they don’t need to have the name Windows as a part of everything.

  • John

    Does this mean that all Windows platforms would use the same APIs, or that apps would run on all windows devices.

    • Ben

      “We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices.”

      Sounds like both. Although it’s interesting to see how it tallies with this:

      “We want to facilitate the creation of a common, a familiar experience across all of those devices, but a fundamentally tailored and unique experience for each device.”

      So essentially you have a single application, and a single API that can be installed on any device, but while offering a similar UI on each device, presumably it has to be coded to change what features are available in the UI (and possibly different functionality behind the scenes) depending on the device in which it’s installed. So developers would write one UI, but all the various elements would presumably have to have metadata saying “Hide on device types A, B and C; show on device types X, Y and Z.”

      That does sound very complicated, and hopefully they’ll allow developers to specify “Don’t run on devices A, B and C” if it’s a feature-rich application that would be crippled in functionality if it could be run on lower-end devices.

    • WillyThePooh

      That really means x86 programs are in the past and they are moving to use modern apps.

  • Mike Greenway

    Say you can develop a program that runs on phone, tablet and 24″ desk top. Can you see the phone app on the 24″ monitor? Is it the same size as it is on the phone or stretched to fill the screen? either way it would look bad. It is like this web page, it fits perfectly on older monitors but doesn’t properly use my wide screen real-estate. So you write the app to say if it is on devise x use one UI and on device Y use another. I’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

    • Ray C

      I don’t think you need an app that runs on all 3. Windows Phone and RT are merging. All 3 are not. Just like you have an iPhone and and iPad version of some apps. They have have a Windows RT/Phone version of an app and a full Windows 9 version of an app. All they’re trying to do is make it easier for developers to go ahead and develop one while they develop the other.

      • WillyThePooh

        But the article gives me an impression that they are going to merge all 3 together, not 2.

  • WillyThePooh

    It makes sense to merge winRT and WP8 app store as they are both using ARM and CPU performance are similar. Win8 can run much more powerful apps that will not fit the less powerful ARM CPU.