Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green has hinted at the demise of its cut-down tablet operating system Windows RT, telling analysts that the firm will not have three operating systems in the future.
"We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," Larson-Green, the firm's vice president of Devices and Studios, said at a UBS conference.
Larson-Green also admitted Microsoft hadn't done a good enough job of differentiating the full-fat functionality of Windows 8 from the cut-down Windows RT, particularly with the Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets. "I think we didn't explain that super well," she said. "I think we didn't differentiate the devices well enough. They looked similar. Using them is similar. It just didn't do everything that you expected Windows to do.
"So there's been a lot of talk about [how] it should have been a rebranding. We should not have called it Windows. How should we have made it more differentiated? I think over time you'll see us continue to differentiate it more."
She suggested Microsoft's future would see it looking at the convergence of its operating systems. "We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path," she said.
Larson-Green's comments match up with previous Microsoft rhetoric on the topic of operating systems, with the firm's One Microsoft strategy seeking to unite various areas of the company under one roof, both in terms of personnel and technology.
Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox One games console both run on kernels that are derived from that of Windows NT, showing the potential of convergence and compatibility of apps between operating systems.
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