All versions of Microsoft Windows to become one

"This isn't even my final form," says cross-platform operating system
This is Windows 8.1, not Windows 9. Hey ho.

Microsoft is set to create a "single converged operating system" by merging its different versions of Windows into one.

That means that instead of having separate teams working across Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox, there will be a single, unified version of Windows with a common architecture.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed the news during the company's quarterly earnings call, adding that the move will allow developers to create "universal Windows apps" that work across mobile, console and desktop versions of the OS.

Microsoft will still sell different editions of Windows – Pro, Enterprise, and a Bing-heavy variant for cheaper devices – but the underlying architecture will be more similar. The move also means that Microsoft will "unify our stores, our commerce and developer platforms," according to Nadella. Which is good news for Windows Phone fans – previously, they've been left lagging behind the likes of Android and iOS, waiting for key apps to launch on the platform.

A universal Windows architecture will make it much easier for developers to create Windows apps that'll also work on handsets running Windows Phone. Nadella's keeping schtum on when, exactly, Windows will move over to its new cross-platform incarnation – but the launch of Windows 9 seems a fairly safe bet.

[Source: Business Insider via The Verge]