Will the next version of Microsoft’s Windows just be called Windows?

As Microsoft prepares to combine its Windows RT tablet operating system with Windows Phone, Microsoft executives are stuck with a tricky decision on branding for an upcoming OS that runs across both tablets and phones. Apple has iOS and Google has Android, and both operating systems run across tablets and phones instead of laptops and PCs. Microsoft has Windows RT which runs on tablets, Windows Phone for phones, and Windows 8.1 for tablets and PCs. It’s a bit of a confusing mix for consumers to understand, but there are signs Microsoft might be moving away from using lots of different Windows names.

Microsoft’s latest commercials for the Lumia 930 don’t even mention Windows Phone at all. In fact, Microsoft refers to Windows Phone simply as Windows. Microsoft enthusiast Michael Gillett noticed the unusual ad, but there’s plenty of evidence elsewhere. HTC’s new One M8 for Windows also drops the Windows Phone name in favor or just Windows. Likewise, Microsoft’s latest Cortana ads don’t even mention Windows Phone apart from a small URL during the entire 30-second spots. Promotional videos for the latest Lumia 530Lumia 730, and Lumia 830 handsets also fail to mention Windows Phone. Either Microsoft has learned that mentioning Windows Phone doesn’t matter to consumers, or it’s experimenting with branding ahead of a decision on the name for the combined version of Windows RT and Windows Phone. Read more

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