Strange things are happening within Microsoft. The software giant is fighting multiple fronts: PCs, smartphones, gaming and soon, tablets. There's just one tiny problem: fragmentation and a lack of total synergy between its Windows 7/8, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox platforms. A brand new OS that unifies all of those could be Microsoft's savior.
According to ThisIsMyNext, Microsoft's Andy Lees ultimately envisions one "single ecosystem" to be deployed across all hardware — meaning one OS that'll work on all smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs and gaming consoles. Maybe all of this has something to do with that little tip about PCs running Xbox 360 games natively?
The Need for Interconnected Devices
Microsoft's vision isn't new. Companies have been trying to create synergy for years. It's just been easier to develop for each platform separately. Lees says that Microsoft "won't have an ecosystem for PCs, and one for phones, and one for tablets — they'll all come together." He's right. There's no better time to start working on an OS that'll connect everything. We're seeing a shift in how people want to use their gadgets.
People want their gadgets to connect to one another — hassle free. They want to be able to sync their phones to their Xboxes and to their tablets, without needing to go fiddle with some extra piece of software. Functionality and direct synergy needs to be built-in, from the start.
Instead of trying to patch and force existing platforms to play nice with each other, a new OS and suite of devices that run on it from the beginning could be the break Microsoft needs to leap ahead of its competitors.
Microsoft's Preparations Hint at Single Ecosystem
It certainly seems logical. As of late, Microsoft's been pushing redesigns for the UI on Xbox 360 and Windows 8 that borrow heavily on Windows Phone 7's live tiles a.k.a. MetroUI. But those elements are only skin deep. The new Xbox 360 dashboard might look similar to the MetroUI, but it doesn't run on Windows.
The most outrageous part about this is that ThisIsMyNext thinks that the new "super OS" will kill off the Windows brand in four years time. The goal, as Lee says is to provide "coherence and consistency" for all devices.
If (and that's a big IF) Windows does get the axe, it'll supposedly coincide with the end the Xbox 360's 10-year lifecycle and Windows 8's three-year run.
At first thought, it seems preposterous that Microsoft would seriously consider laying the Windows brand to sleep. Windows is a very powerful brand that's been around for over 25 years, it'd be silly to throw it all away. However, we also see the possibility that Apple might kill its OS X brand and replace it with iOS. With OS X Lion bringing so many iOS elements to it, it's believed that iOS will live on where OS X dies.
Microsoft built its brand selling Windows. Maybe it's time for something fresh. Xbox worked. Zune didn't. What's next? I'll tell you a secret. The thought of a completely new OS really has me pumped, and that's a first in a long time. Windows 7 is great, but it's still Windows. What I want to see is something completely new and revolutionary like the iPhone and its iOS when it debuted in 2007.