News has reached us that Windows 8 will indeed run Windows Phone apps, although the opposite won't be true; this opens up the tantalising prospect of having a single Microsoft platform, one OS to rule them all. The fact that Windows 8 will run on ARM-based hardware next year can only mean that sooner or later a company will adapt it to run on a smartphone but without compromises.
Earlier this year, Fujitsu produced a smartphone that ran on Windows 7 that was built around an Intel Atom processor which impacted badly on battery life. The similarities between Windows 8 and Windows Phone could be seen in the first video previews of Windows 8 which were shown, with its touch and tile-based interface.
And we wouldn't discount the possibility that Apple is also doing something similar; the last few months have literally been peppered with hints that Mac OS X and iOS will sooner or later merge - rumours of ARM-based laptops, the Apple Mac Store and the fact that its desktop operating system, Lion, is being sold as a downloadable file provides further indication.
A single ecosystem would make plenty of sense. It would allow users to get the best out of a single device (imagine a smartphone powerful enough to be your main computer), and would dramatically cut the device's TCO, would make the lives of developers much easier (since they'd have to focus on only one platform) and would make time-consuming things like syncing obsolete.