It has been rumored multiple times that Microsoft may be working on a long term plan to merge Windows RT and Windows Phone in a couple of years. Windows Phone 8.1, a major update for Microsoft’s mobile platform, is expected to be released in the near future and it may bring one of the first few subtle signs of this merger. A slide has leaked online, apparently belonging to an internal Microsoft presentation, which hints at “Universal Store” applications, basically single apps that developers can create which target both Windows Phone and Windows.

Its possible that these Universal Store applications might also share a few common elements, thus allowing developers to use a significant amount of the same XAML code between both the Windows and Windows Phone apps. This would no doubt make app development a lot easier for developers, who will utilize a single Visual Studio “Shared Solution” template. Two Visual Studio projects for both Windows and Windows Phone versions as well as two installation packages will also be created in order to speed up the process even further. Not only will this move make things easier for developers, but users too will be treated to a much more consistent experience across Windows and Windows Phone. No word as yet when developers are formally provided access to these tools. [Image via AngelWZR]

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