In a bit more than a week Microsoft will officially launch Windows 8.1 but ExtremeTech already looks forward to Windows 9. Expected to be released in 2014, this new operating system will reportedly be Microsoft's attempt to unify its smartphone, tablet, desktop and console platforms by offering a unified app system.
Over the years, it seems almost every Microsoft vice president has discussed how Windows and Windows Phone apps are almost compatible — but, as evidenced by the slow growth of Windows 8, Windows Phone, and their respective ecosystems, almost compatible just isn’t good enough. The thing is, everyone knows how awesome complete cross-platform compatibility would be. Everyone knows that it would be the magic bullet that would instantly give Microsoft a chance at competing against Apple and Google. This is why Microsoft keeps teasing us, keeps spinning a yarn, to assure everyone — consumers, developers, and tech pundits — that it knows how important a unified ecosystem is.
With Windows 9, I bet that Bill Gates’ 1980s dream of Windows Everywhere will finally come to fruition. Barring another civil war, I strongly expect that Windows 9 will run on smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and everything else in between, and developers will be able to write a single Windows app and have it run across every form factor.