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There’s little doubt that Windows 8 hasn’t been a tremendous success, and you could say the same for Windows Phone 8. The next Windows could be very different, and not just because it’s new, but because it’ll be a true cross platform OS.

We’ve heard that before, mind you, but this week, Microsoft started cementing more details on what it says is the future of its operating system in what its calls the “Universal Windows Platform”.

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Cemented at Microsoft’s Build developer conference, the company talked up how the next generation of Windows would be completely connected through Continuum, with the Universal Windows Platform being there to make sure an app that runs on one Windows 10 product will work on another, be it a phone, a laptop, a tablet, a desktop, a console, or something else altogether.

For this to work, a smartphone will have a version of Windows 10 as would a laptop, but depending on what is plugged in at the time, the interface of the operating system would change, essentially making the phone and the laptop run the same OS and support the same software.

This means that your information, your bookmarks, and your apps would be linked across devices, and provided you own devices that run Windows 10, they could also run the same apps.

Whether they run well or not depends on the hardware, mind you, but it at least means that more compatibility should exist.

Microsoft appears to be helping this, too, with an initiative designed to get more software makers working away for Windows 10, allowing developers to bring iOS and Android apps over to Windows 10 easily, meaning you might not have to wait months to a year to get an app the iPhone gets.

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Also interesting is cross platform design, and because the phone will run the same operating system as the laptop, you could plug in a monitor and keyboard — or wirelessly talk to another screen and keyboard — from the phone and gain a full desktop for the phone. If you’re heading to a business meeting, this might cut down on the sort of thing you’d need, with a phone able to act as a laptop or desktop simply by having a keyboard and TV around.

This also has been designed to work with Microsoft’s HoloLens, the augmented reality holographic computer the company announced a few months ago, though there’s still no release date on this.

Not like Windows 10, however, which is slated for release in winter, which means it shouldn’t be too far off.

We’re excited. Are we supposed to be excited about an operating system? Never mind. We’ll just have to deal with it.