Microsoft is planning to bring together its PC, console and smartphone platforms under a single unified operating system, according to a report from tech blog This Is My Next.

Its source claims that Microsoft intends to "harmonise" Windows PC, Windows Phone and the Xbox operating system within the next four years.

This Is My Next noted that that timeframe would align with the end of the Xbox 360's reported 10-year life cycle and Windows 8's mooted three-year run in 2015.

However, that date is at odds with other recent reports pointing to a 2013 launch for a new Xbox system.

The site's sources also indicate that Microsoft will ditch the Windows brand in favour of something completely new when it makes the shift.

It's certainly a radical concept, but comments made recently by the head of Microsoft's phone division, Andy Lees, add some credence to the claims.

Speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference earlier this week, Lees discussed bringing all its various hardware form factors together under a "unified ecosystem".

"We're aiming to provide coherence and consistency across the PC, the phone and the TV, particularly with Xbox," he explained.

"That's through providing new types of scenarios. Things like the way in which we make the user experience more common - as you saw yesterday with the demo of the user experience you have on Windows 8, Windows Phone and also on Xbox - but also through sharing key pieces of technology."

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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