Microsoft unifying Windows for all devices

Windows 8 on a tablet

During Microsoft's quarterly earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella confirmed that the company is set to converge its different operating systems into a single version of Windows.

It will mean that whether it's a smartphone, tablet, notebook or desktop, if the device is running Windows, everything should look and feel and behave in the same way.

"We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes," said Satya Nadella. "We will unify our stores, commerce and developer platforms to drive a more coherent user experience and a broader developer opportunity."

As well as a unified experience that should make it easy to move documents and files between applications on different devices -- starting an email on a smartphone and finishing it on a PC, for example -- the move will see Windows bring its disparate app stores together under one roof. While there are plenty of apps for the Windows desktop, the same can't be said for its RT tablets or its Windows Phone smartphones. Converging everything would also solve this issue, making it potentially possible to run all types of apps across all devices.

Apple is taking similar steps with its mobile and desktop operating systems. Although it has no plans to create a single OS for phones, iPods, iPads and Macs, a host of integration and convergence features are being integrated into iOS 8 and OSX Yosemite, due to launch in September, that will allow consumers to use their Macs to make phone calls, to use their iPhones as mobile hotspots for their notebooks and to automatically move projects from one device to another.

And, if there's any doubt that convergence is going to be a major tech trend over the coming months and years, Google's Chrome OS (the operating system powering its Chromebook notebooks) can now run a number of Android smartphone and tablet apps, including Evernote, Vine and Flipboard. At its developers conference in June, the company launched a poll asking users to vote on which other apps it should prioritize in tweaking so that they also run on Chromebooks.