One Microsoft Push May Leave a Unified Windows in Its Wake
Microsoft is looking to consolidate its Windows PC and mobile ecosystem. Does it spell the end of Windows RT?Discounting its enterprise-flavored server offerings, the Windows ecosystem currently consists of Windows RT and Windows Phone for ARM-based mobile devices and Windows 8.1 for x86 systems. According to Microsoft's Julie Larson-Green, executive vice president of Devices and Studios for the tech titan, the company is looking to pare down that trinity as it continues its massive "One Microsoft" corporate reorganization. Responding to a question about the Microsoft's Surface RT strategy during last week's UBS Global Technology Conference, Larson-Green hinted at a unified Windows platform. "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three." The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker is already showing signs that a single Windows ecosystem is the way forward. Microsoft recently ramped up efforts to unify Windows and Windows Phone app development. A newly instituted developer registration scheme effectively gives Windows Phone developers access to Windows Dev Center resources, and vice versa. And Microsoft needs to streamline its Windows portfolio if it hopes to continue to make gains in the mobile market, according to Canalys Research Analyst Pin Chen Tang. "Having three different operating systems to address the smart device landscape is confusing to both developers and consumers alike," Tang said.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet, which runs the ARM-compatible Windows RT version of Windows 8, failed to live up to expectations, let alone pose a threat to Apple's iPad. Despite its splashy launch alongside the company's Windows 8 operating system in 2012, the consumers largely gave the device the cold shoulder.