Windows RT and Windows Phone to merge, but it won't be soon

Windows RT and Windows Phone to merge, but it won't be soonWindows RT has been a bit of a problem child for Microsoft, and it's led to all sorts of speculation about the platform's future.

The latest gossip is that RT will be merged with the smartphone-only Windows Phone OS, not with the next Windows (Phone) 9 generation of releases but with the one after.

That's what regular Microsoft leaker WZOR is telling Winbeta, anyway. The reportedly trustworthy source says Windows/RT/Windows Phone 9 will arrive in a year's time, and will be structured roughly like it is now.

Generation 10, however, will see major change. WZOR reckons Windows 10 will be a full cloud OS, with the first concept build due to be presented internally at Microsoft next month.

The important point, though, is that Windows RT and Windows Phone will be combined into a single platform covering both tablets and smartphones. In other words, Microsoft will fall into line with the more conventional wisdom followed by both Android and iOS.

However, the change isn't exactly going to come quickly, as even assuming the shortest lifecycles we're likely to see, Windows Phone 10 is a minimum of two years away.

That's a long time in the mobile world, and Microsoft can't afford to show anything less than full commitment to its unloved tablet OS in the meantime. That required commitment starts with Windows RT 8.1, which Microsoft has just sent out to manufacturers ahead of its wider availability in the autumn.

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4 comments

barrybarryk  Aug. 28, 2013 at 16:07

I don't really think this is a rumour. Microsoft said this was going to happen when they begun the process by using large chunks of the RT kernel for Windows Phone.

As for a "full cloud OS", while that might have been the plan 6 months ago, no one is going to accept a cloud OS from an American company anymore

JanSt / MOD  Aug. 28, 2013 at 18:33

Yep, Barry - Germany and most continental Europeans would laugh M$ right out of the door.

On the other hand: it hasn't harmed Google, Android, Chrome etc that Eric Schmidt is a kind of modern day Goebbels without the whimsy - dictator loving, NSA-embracing, Kissinger Groupie that he is... His "New Digital Age" reads like the Project for a New American Century. Only scary! He wasn't kidding when he said, kids will need new identities once the webz has grabbed them...

tapi  Aug. 28, 2013 at 23:57

yup, it's been the plan all along. Share the kernel and introduce interfaces that'll merge.

What I would like someone to do though is define "full cloud OS" I'm sure it means something different to everyone else as to what I'd expect.

Cloud OS = operating system for running a cloud?
Cloud OS = device management with the OS running on a remote system?
Cloud OS = an OS, like any other - apps running remotely?

barrybarryk  Aug. 29, 2013 at 13:35

Yep, Barry - Germany and most continental Europeans would laugh M$ right out of the door.

On the other hand: it hasn't harmed Google, Android, Chrome etc
On the enterprise side of things it definitely has. For the first time in about 5 years lots of companies are now actually paying attention to where their data is going and whose servers they're relying on. Probably not in the US itself but in the EU there are harsh penalties for breaking the privacy and data protection laws, and oddly enough feeding it all secretly to uncle Sam is one hell of a breach

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