I've mentioned more than a few times the fundamental difference in Microsoft's approach versus its key mobile rivals in that it has separate platforms for tablets and smartphones – Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
But with both being announced within days of each other, there's obviously a lot of crossover, and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates suggests that's only going to increase until the pair are “a single platform”.
In an interview for Microsoft's in-house Next series, Gates was asked about the two OSes by the slightly suspectly accented Steve Clayton – and specifically the consistency in look and feel between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
As you'd expect, it was very much a soft-ball question leading Gates gently into a comfort zone, but the answer went further in suggesting the overlap between the two platforms was something Microsoft was trying to maximise than you might expect – in fact, Gates even suggested openly that the two might not exist as single entities in the future at all.
“Well, we're certainly sharing [code] between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 – sharing the user interface, sharing some development tools, and over time we'll just get to do more and more of that. It's evolving literally into being a single platform.”
Does “literally” mean the next release of Windows will be a double-glazing effort aimed at both phones and PCs? It would certainly make a lot of sense, after all Windows RT is already most of the way there.
Gates is inevitably also asked about the Microsoft Surface tablet, which (also inevitably) he calls “an unbelievably great product”.
He says he has a black one – no fancy colours for him. To be fair, he hints that's because it was one of the first models off the production line, but somehow it does feel about right. Bill Gates messing about with a cyan tablet? It just seems weird for some reason.