Microsoft is set to merge Windows operating systems into one entity

CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that the three main versions of its Windows OS will be merged into one single offering.

This is the direction many have speculated Redmond was taking after the very first hints of Windows 8 and the Metro (new-style) UI trickled out onto the net, and of late further signs have showed up, such as the creation of dev tools to facilitate universal apps.

It therefore comes as no big surprise, but it's still a massive move, and a big moment for Nadella to be confirming this is indeed going ahead.

The Verge spotted that Nadella made the announcement during a Microsoft quarterly earnings call, in which he stated that his company plans to "streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system".

Those three operating systems being desktop Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox.

The big idea has always been to let developers create apps that will work across Microsoft-powered computers, tablets, phones and consoles, an obviously attractive proposition in terms of maximising a piece of software's audience. It will also help towards solving one of Redmond's biggest problems with its mobile platform, namely the lack of apps in comparison to Android and iOS.

Of course, exactly how this unification will actually be executed wasn't mentioned, and certainly there'll be thorny issues in ironing out those details (to say the least).

Note that Microsoft still plans to sell different flavours of the unified Windows OS, as ever, such as a basic home edition, pro version, enterprise and so forth. Those will likely be kept to a minimum, though, to keep everything as simple as possible.

The other major Microsoft news which has cropped up recently is that of the 18,000 job cuts which are unfortunately set to be made at Redmond over the next year.