Previously the company has had separate groups of developers working on operating systems for mobile phones, tablets and traditional desktop and laptop computers. But in a conference call last night chief executive Satya Nadella said: "In the past we had multiple teams working on different versions of Windows. Now we have one team with a common architecture. This allows us to scale, create Universal Windows Apps."
"This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes," he said. "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."
The concept of "Universal Windows Apps" for different Microsoft platforms has been talked about by the company for some time. In April it unveiled developer tools that would allow the creation of software that would run on all Microsoft-powered devices. But until now it has never explicitly said that this would be accompanied by a merging of the operating systems themselves.