Microsoft planning to unify all versions of Windows

Microsoft planning to unify all versions of Windows
We've been hearing various rumors about the next major version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, and the prevailing idea has been that Windows Phone and RT would merge. But, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said those plans are more ambitious than we thought, and that Microsoft is working to unify all versions of Windows into one single OS.

During the Microsoft earnings call from earlier today, Nadella laid out the general plans, saying: 

Nadella didn't give a lot of details, but did say that the engineering team has been unified within Microsoft, so there is now one team building one version of Windows that will be for phones, tablets, PCs, embedded, and even Xbox. He said that the UI will scale across all screen sizes, and he also mentioned the universal app development that has already been released. 

Basically, it sounds like Microsoft is planning to converge Windows the same way that Canonical has been working towards with Ubuntu. There will be one OS code base that changes based on the screen size - phone, tablet, PC, and TV - and universal apps that will also adapt to each different screen. Combining this idea with other recent rumors, it sounds like the Windows Phone and tablet UI will stick with the Metro look, while PCs will go with the traditional desktop. We'll surely find out more before the rumored announcement in April 2015. 

source: The Verge & Neowin



1. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

ABout time but I dont plan on using a windows phone anytime soon.

13. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

You have one life to live treat yourself don't cheat yourself, WP redefined design language, its a trend setting OS. Its good to see Windows lead the way in terms one One experience across devices. Android has taken note with its upcoming One Android.

16. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Android One actually is Google's program to help OEMs make ultra-cheap smartphones with as good as possible user experience.

19. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

That's why I said Microsoft is leading the way, though Android one is for entry-level and low-end Android devices it runs stock Android. its a build up towards the future where you have one experience across Android. Watch and see skins are becoming a thorn in Googles side.

25. mousesports

Posts: 286; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

get a life and a great GIRL

2. aldridhl

Posts: 76; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

MS has a history of leaving earlier adopters behind. This is most likely going to happen to wp8. The only question is when.

15. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

What history is that?, tell us.

34. Trolloftheyear

Posts: 66; Member since: Jul 16, 2014

They don't have bad history(look at XP). But W8 may not be supported for long. 8.1 will.

3. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I thought that was part of the plan behind Windows 8. If they're talking that further, I guess I'll be looking for a different PC next time. I want a desktop based OS for my PC, not one watered down for mobile.

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Windows 8/8.1 (and Windows 9) aren't watered down They are more powerful actually compared to Windows 7 on desktops since Windows 8 brings better performance, new features, and DX 11.1, 11.2 and 12 Also 8.1 show that MS are moving back to Windows 7, e.g. start menu button, boot to desktop default on most PCs, right click start menu options Windows 9 is rumored to be even more like 7, e.g. more of classic start menu (no longer full screen), metro apps running in resizable windows

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

My point was Window 8 is setup more for touchscreen based systems, and currently, WP and the like aren't able to handle full desktop apps. That was the whole point of the Surface series tablets over standard Windows tablets running RT. Unless they change mobile devices to handle full Windows, the only way to unify all devices into one OS, they'd have to limit the desktop version. My main gripe has been finding what I need in Windows 8. It seems no matter which part I use, start screen or desktop, I'm constantly having to do a search to find most anything. Whereas with previous versions, it was for the most part easy to navigate. The performance gains are nullified by the time it takes me to find what I need. I'm not saying that Windows shouldn't go the direction they're going in, just that I probably won't be along for the ride. If it doesn't serve my needs, I'll find something that will, end of story.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

What I think MS are gonna do is allow desktops/laptops/tablets have both desktop and metro, and then limit phone/mini tablets to only metro Is Windows 8 really that hard to navigate? The only thing that confused was the charms bar, because that new, I didn't think shut down/sleep would be in the charms bar settings (which MS has fixed now, its in the metro menu as well) All the old ways of doing thing using desktop instead metro are still there, e.g. the desktop control center And the desktop is nearly exactly the same

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Previous versions were not 'easy' to navigate. You got used to navigating is all. Think about it, if the design of windows, was this way since 95, and became the #1 os in the world (still is today), and then all of a sudden then went to win xp...the world would push a fit. Some tips for you. There is no need to search. And if you do, just charm bar and search fast and accurate as hell and includes web search, or if you dont have touch, windows key and just start typing, literally just start typing. Again this is so easy, it defys logic. Just hit this button and start typing? Anything? Yup just type it will do the rest. This is easy not hard. If you have a desktop, and you have updated to 8.1, your pc now boots to desktop. Apps? Alphabetical order in the start screen. Right click the start button, bottom left, and everything you need is there, at least everything any power user would need. Anything beyond that, if changing to a new layout is hard, then changing to a new OS is even harder. The difference, is you will be so willing to change OS that literally phsyc wise, your brain will be looking to forcefully learn. So a new OS may be easier to jump ship on, but it no way will you be flying all super fast, until you learn it. So take that same mentality and apply it to win 8. If you watched the intro as it setup your pc, the 3 things it showed is all you needed. Also if you go to control panel (right click the start icon), all settings are there, it will automatically if need be jump to the metro settings just in case you are lost in metro and need legacy look. You talk about gains etc, but do not talk about any difficulty that would be associated with an entire new OS and design and layout and and and and and.... Also remember, settings for any app, any screen is the charm bar settings. It is literally the easiest unifcation for settings anyone could ask for, if that is hard, then MS should give up because people are well derp.

38. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So I shouldn't switch to something else because other people say it's not difficult to use and I should just suck it up, is that right? Sorry but I would never presume to tell someone how they should handle their lives. I usually try to give people another point of view. Yes I realize that switching to another OS is going to be a lot of work, but it's called an investment. I have never even looked at another desktop OS, and I feel that maybe there's something out there that'd fit my needs better. To me that's worth the effort, especially if I don't lime the direction they're heading. And like it or not, but I'm not alone in not being happy with 8/8.1. Everyone here always talks about how we're in the minority here on PA and regular people don't see things the same. Well just because some of you like this new direction doesn't mean everyone will. You act like if everyone just listened to you everything would run fine. Well sorry but I don't like where they're headed, and I have the update and don't see a lot of improvement. What I want is all this start screen BS gone, completely. If I could put W7 on there I would, unfortunately HP isn't offering drivers for W7. The further I go with 8 the more problems I have with my main use for it, video capture. The company producing my capture device stopped supporting Windows after 7, so as I go along I'm running into audio issues (app and system volume the same so if I mute the video capture I also must the entire machine, audio sync issues that weren't there before) and stability issues that I haven't had with previous versions. And I've looked around and apparently no one is producing capture devices that support W8. You and I've had this discussion before, and it's going to end the same. You're not going to change your views and neither am I. So no sense beating a dead horse. I've laid out my issues with W8, if you don't agree with them fine, but your last post was essentially what you said the last time we argued, so it's just going to be a repeat of the same.

39. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is not about changing views, it's about reality. You talk about how difficult it is to find things. ok solution. right click your start menu, all IT type of things are there, including shutdown. If right click vs left click is 'huge' then so be it. Second you stated you search for things, like say perhaps settings. Again every app uses the settings charm bar, for app developers, this is the same thing as android samsung phones using a menu key to access settings. Easy, it is how android and future OS's will handle things. Again, if you still cannot find something, using either the charm search and typing, or clicking the keyboard start key and start typing, is again hard difficult or 'just' not your direction then fine. But the 8.1 and now threshold which is what this article is really about, is super hard then dear god how much 'easier' can something get? Device drivers are about the company making the device and not really MS fault, to some extent yes. 9/10 running in compatibility mode resolves it, especially since the core of win8 is win7. What video capture device do you have? And just to point it out, you are so willing to put the time and investment into another ecosystem, stating that you never had an investment into the MS ecosystem. And that learning a new OS etc, will be just as hard if not harder and with other quirks than win8 has. Your experience with win8 will be the same on pretty much any OS. Just ask apps that broke when kitkat came out etc etc.

43. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

When did I say I never had any investment in the Windows ecosystem? That's the whole point, that's all I've invested in. Tell me which is easier, going right to the shortcut for the program in the program section of the start menu, or typing in a search. The first can be done with a mouse only, the second involves typing in what you're looking for. While it might not seem like much, it takes more time and relies on you remembering exactly what the program was called. Where in the previous versions, it went by the name of the company providing the software in the list. The capture device I'm currently using is by Startech, who uses Grabee software. There are other devices which are similar to the point that the hardware is physically identical, but none of them uses their own software for their devices. The only one that do run almost 4 times the cost of the others. In the past it hasn't been an issue, but since they've dropped support, it is. Whether you think W8 is perfect or not is irrelevant. Looking at the backlash over it shows the majority feel as I do. So should MS simply ignore what the majority feels and tell them to deal with it? How is that smart business? MS likes the new tile format, many customers don't, isn't it about what the customer wants? And that's where it's going, as they've said they want to kill off desktop in the past. As I've said, if that's what they want, fine, more power to them. It's not what I want, so why continue to use something I don't like? How is my not using Windows hurting you, what investment do you have in me using it? If there isn't any, then why keep badgering me about it? I've stated my views, nothing more. I haven't told anyone they need to drop Windows, I simply said what I plan to do. There are plenty of people who agree with you, and plenty who agree with me. Neither is wrong, because each side is dealing with their own situation. I'm not looking for help, because I've dealt with MS, the OEM, and the software provider, and all are pointing the finger at each other. So my only solution is to spend upwards of $400-500 dollars on something where hardware and software are handled in house, or find an OS that will work with my current hardware.

45. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

If you want to go by symantics, no 'not everyone here' as you stated hates metro ui. And a lot of the gripes about win8 was addressed with 8.1, which was better mouse support. Ok lets talk about clicks...ease of use, because we are talking about easy. Easiest of use will be the desktop, or the taskbar. So lets talk about the start menu. When you go to the start menu, your focus is entirely lost on the desktop. So now, you press a click, open the start menu, you now press a second click to look at all programs, then proceed to look for the folder, then the app.exe. So about 3-5 clicks give or take depending on how the start menu is setup. Quick launch? 2 clicks. Now compare it to win8. You click the start button, you are now presented with a start tile screen. Like the quick launch you can pin stuff here. Again 2 clicks, and if you need to find it like you do in the start menu, you get 4 clicks, because there is no longer a folder like in the start menu. (taskbar works the same, so one click again) If you are basing an entire OS switch because of finding a program in the start menu, the envy of android is customizing right? Then fine get a start menu back here is the link. I could care less what your investment is, I use android, I use ipads, I use windows. But when you create fud, like stating that win8 is in any form watered down or going to be, when in all reality it is faster and better, than windows 7 (save the ui for you) then it is pure fud on your part. When you complain about the tile interface, and act like MS is going that direction and not listening again, fud, lies. They listened, they gave desktops straight to desktop bootup, the new update will now include a start menu. "Unless they change mobile devices to handle full Windows, the only way to unify all devices into one OS, they'd have to limit the desktop version." Again spreading 'I think this even though I don't know' information. Windows 8 in many benchmarks is the same, faster than windows 7. Currently 80%+ of the code from one app can go from windows 8 to windows rt to windows phone. Also I searched for that software, and support for even a download was minimal at best. I searched for a Linux driver, nothing, ios? good luck. Maybe I spelled it wrong. All I got on google and bing was grabbee not grabee. And all websites for that were 'iffy' sites imo. Perhaps you could shed some forum links on this driver problem.

46. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's amazing how you can read something completely different than what I wrote. I didn't say that "everyone here hates" it. If you can show me where I said that, I'd love to see it. I said in general there was a backlash on W8. Not here on PA, in the real world. Also, you say that they are listening and gave users back the start menu, but that was after the backlash. And before they did that, there was talk about wanting to get rid of the desktop and focus on the start screen/tile UI. Finally, just because I use android and like it's customization, does that mean I have to also want it on my PC. No, I want something familiar that I don't have to relearn everything every time an engineer gets a wild hair up his a$$. You pointed out that if someone went from Win95 to XP that they'd pitch a fit. But that's what they've done here. Instead of easing people into the changes in Win8, they dumped them all in and said this is it. So why are you surprised that's what's happening when you used that very same analogy. I get what they want to do, replace the program section of the start button with a separate start screen. But is it not OK that I prefer the previous version? Do I have to like it because this is what they put out? You don't seem to be able comprehend why someone wouldn't like Win8. But it's not for you to do so. Have I ever told you that you shouldn't like whatever you like? No, I simply explained that I don't and my reasoning for it. If you can't accept that reasoning, then what else is there to say? And you may not care about what my investment is, but here's the thing, I have to. The way I spend my money doesn't affect you, but it does me, which is why I do care about this. So on that note, you have your opinions, and I have mine, end of story. Unless things have changed and I have to follow your will, I think we're done here.

4. guest

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Music to Intel's ears.

29. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Good point, and true. Might we see Intel powered smartphones and phablets that can be set in a dock once you reach your desk, thus effectively acting as your desktop as well? I know Ubuntu was aiming to do this, but being able to do this with Windows would have much broader appeal.

32. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Ubuntu is a JOKE.....

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Oh no, better buy a laptop quick before this monster is released. Whatever it turns out to be I'm sure it won't be any better than Windows 8.1, probably even more tile-based and annoying...

8. TheMoltenD

Posts: 109; Member since: Jul 13, 2014

Whats wrong with 8.1 after you install classic shell?

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Just pin your programs to the taskbar, like the Mac OS X dock, its faster than the start menu (classic or metro) Then use win+s for the programs you use less often and right click the start menu for things like control center, run

17. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I don't use the start menu at all. I just live on the desktop. Still not as good as Windows 7 IMO...

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

But do you have reasons for your opinion? If you do then please explain If you just live in desktop then you shouldn't have noticed much difference since the desktop is almost 100% the same The only differences I can think at the moment are no Aero theme and removing win+tab (but there's still alt+tab)

23. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I'm pretty satisfied with it I guess. My only significant gripe is that the start menu is gone and the replacement seems a lot less intuitive...

35. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

But you said you don't use the start menu?

44. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Sorry. In that comment I was talking about the little option thing in the bottom left and right corners. In the comments before that I was talking about the page with all the tiles on it. Aren't they both called start menus?

40. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I am like you, on my desktop i spend 99% of my time there, from visual studio work to blender 3d work and games, but i hated the start menu of old and love the new one, its out of the way, i hated the 'menu' like system that could get long and useless, to me the start tiles are easier for quick launching stuff that i dont want clutting my desktop or taskbar. right click start menu, will probably solve 90% of some issues that people had. Also searching is tons easy, just hit your start key and start typing and bam internet and pc search all in one.

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