Microsoft plans to merge Windows desktop, mobile and tablet operating systems

It appears that Microsoft's vision for the future includes complete integration of its Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone operating systems into a single platform, if the company's senior executive is to be believed.

Speaking at a technology conference, last week, Microsoft's head of devices, Julie Larson-Green, hinted at integrating its three operating systems, which run on different devices, into a single platform. Right now, each platform has its limitations with Windows RT or Windows 8/ 8.1 not featuring the capability to natively run Windows Phone apps, or vice versa.

"We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three," said Larson-Green, speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference.

"We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But it also comes at the cost of flexibility," added Larson-Green. "So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path."

It's not the first time that we're hearing about Microsoft's intentions to merge platforms. Microsoft's Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group, had talked about the decision to merge its Windows Phone Store and Windows Store into a single entity, as per a recent report.

The Microsoft executive had previously hinted that he saw the future of Windows RT in phones and small tablets. Myerson had also said that all apps brought to end users should be available on all devices.

Following the report, Microsoft had unified its Windows and Windows Phone developer registration, enabling developers to submit apps more easily. It also decreased the cost for developers, while still offering them two different dashboards for the two platforms.

It was speculated that Microsoft could also adopt a system similar to Apple's iTunes App Store for iOS that offers apps for the iPad, iPhone and universal apps that run on both devices. It could display apps built for each respective platform depending on the device the Store is running on. Even if phone apps don't run on Windows tablets, it could just display their tablet versions.