Last fall's simultaneous launch of Windows 8, the Surface RT, and Windows Phone 8 represented Microsoft's vision for its future — a unified experience regardless of whether you were using a smartphone, tablet, or full-fledged PC. As if it weren't clear enough, comments from Microsoft CFO Peter Klein at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet conference made it even more obvious that a unified future is where Windows will go. As reported by Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, Klein was asked about Microsoft's future plans to address the many different sizes that make up the phone and tablet market. "We've done a lot of the hard work in the developer platform," Klein said. "We are well set up to respond to demand as we see it" — specifically, Klein was talking about bringing a more diverse set of form factors to the market.
While it isn't clear what specific sizes Klein had in mind, it wouldn't surprise us to see Microsoft releasing a version of its OS optimized for a smaller, 7- or 8-inch size tablet. Most Windows-based tablets are running at larger sizes, and the success of the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and iPad mini indicate there's definitely a market there that Microsoft hasn't yet entered in force. Given the plans to launch Windows Blue sometime in mid-2013, it's possible that we could see the new OS debut alongside a new form factor.