Microsoft looking to cull Windows variants, Windows RT and Phone likely to merge


Posts: 2,007   +231
Staff member
The current Windows arrangement sees three different versions running on a range of devices. Windows Phone is designed for ARM-based smartphones up to around six inches in size; Windows RT is for ARM-based tablets and PCs; and of course there's...

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Posts: 2,887   +628
Good riddance. It's easy enough to do - Android has had tablet UI for a long time. Also in this lovely merger, take Metro and funnel it into the phone/tab and leave it there. Perhaps an option to install the module, if required on touch screen notebooks ...


Posts: 1,577   +628
Seriously, who didn't see that coming? This generation of products (including shoving the Metro interface down our throats) was a stopgap attempt to push into the growing touch-centric mobile environment, and normalize the user interface experience across phones, tablets, and PC.

If they can take the next logical step and accomplish what Ubuntu is hoping to, with full seamless OS and app compatibility across all 3 platforms, they could just have Windows. No Phone, RT, Pro. Just Windows, and it runs on any hardware. It's a big step, but it could be the Holy Grail for them, considering the direction that Microsoft has been pushing themselves for the last few years.


Posts: 488   +10
It should have come sooner, but it seems you can only do so much, with only so much resources targeting something. Then there was the organization of Microsoft at the time, and now the lay of the land provides less internal resistance to do these things, It would be great to see the Modern UI of Phone and RT come together and then on x86 you get the best of both worlds. Its just a matter of getting the titles to dynamically flow on different screen sizes. I figured Modern UI was mostly vector based with roots or lessons learned from WPF/Silverlight so I look forward to merge and streamline of the developer APIs so developers can write once and then tweak for the form factor.


If they are going to do this they had better make fully functional and just as useful Modern UI versions of Command Prompt, Powershell, Remote Desktop Connection, and all the other Microsoft desktop apps that run on Windows RT but not Windows Phone.

One of the best things about my Surface RT is that I can still run all desktops apps that are built into Windows by default such as the ones I just listed, not to mention you can run MMCs (Microsoft Management Consoles) on RT.


Posts: 1,754   +400
These quotes are interesting in that apparently Microsoft sees the problem with the limitations imposed by RT and mobile OS's. I've maintained since the Windows RT release that Microsoft's strength is in the open software ecosystem, and the problem with RT is that it supports no desktop software. If Windows RT was opened up to become just Windows for ARM, then IMO it should be more successful.

I don't have high hopes that's the direction Microsoft will take, but I think the direction that makes most sense is to push full Windows on all devices. Make it as power efficient as possible, especially when running Metro apps, and allow it to run the full ecosystem of software so that you can dock a phone and use it as a full PC. That's where Windows can win, because that's the advantage it has over other mobile OS's.


Posts: 1,199   +743
It's clear to me now that I had no idea there were different versions of Windows for different device types. All this time I've been wondering why my desktop has an interface designed for touch-screen devices (ie. tablets and phones) -- yet MS have completely different OSs for tablets and phones? Ok, now I'm confused.


Posts: 101   +7
I have no clue why is this news. They been saying this months ago, in fact WP8.1 shares 75% of the code with RT and support up to 10" devices.
/WP8.1 should be out Q1 2014


Posts: 1,382   +72
Just means features will be removed from each one, with likely more clicks to get started for legacy apps. By the way, did you know windows 8.1 has no programs menu for the desktop? Search and destroy.