One Windows OS (to Rule them All)

App windowsConfirmed – Windows RT to be cut from the Windows catalog.

I love my friends who cover Windows, namely Preston Gralla, Mary Jo Foley and Ed Bott.  They really know their stuff; and they have a number of contacts on the inside, where it counts, that provide them with some awesome insight. Today, I learned something “new.”

Windows RT is going to die.

Well, nearly EVERYONE knew that already; but today we were made aware of a couple interesting statements from Microsoft that all but confirmed it.

The Verge reported that Julie Larson-Green stated at the UBS Global Technology Conference that, “we have Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and full Windows.  We’re not going to have all three.”  Further, Terry Myerson, now heading up the Windows Group at Microsoft stated, “we should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices…all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices.”

Since Windows RT can’t run Windows desktop apps, and won’t, this indicates that the vision here is to have one Windows OS that will run on all devices, including phones, tablets and PC’s.  Since Dell has proven that a Windows Pro device can be just as miserly on battery life as a Windows RT device with its Venue 8 Pro, running Windows 8.1, it’s clear that MS is speaking directly about Windows RT.

Further, since Microsoft took a $900M charge against unsold Surface RT devices and forced Ballmer out, logic dictates that the shelf life of Windows RT and Surface 2 (not Surface Pro 2) are limited.  Consumers have repeatedly indicated that they don’t like the ARM based OS that doesn’t run standard Windows desktop apps.  This was just a matter of time on Microsoft’s part.

If I recall correctly, MJF indicated during a Windows Weekly podcast last month that this was going to happen, but the details have changed slightly. It’s easier to simply kill RT and then move Windows Phone and Windows to a single platform that it would have been to combine all three into a newer or single platform. The whole idea behind RT was to create a tablet platform, but Microsoft missed the boat when it created a separate platform instead of merging Windows Phone and RT together.

Since RT is going to die, and they’ll be merging Phone into Desktop Windows, it’s going to be a LOT easier for developers to create apps and games that can run on either platform. It’s going to make developing and selling apps a lot easier as well.

What do you think? Is this the right move for Microsoft? Why not join in the discussion below, and let us know what you think?

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