Microsoft will offer device makers a version of Windows free for use on phones and tablet smaller than nine inches in screen size, Microsoft executive VP Terry Myerson said on Wednesday.
The announcement, which didn’t include more details, was made onstage at the Build conference in San Francisco.
Also at the event, Microsoft announced a personal assistant, dubbed Cortana, that will be part of the Windows Phone 8.1 update that comes out later this spring. It is due out first on new devices, starting in late April or early May.
Microsoft told developers it would start supporting Windows Universal Apps that work across Windows Phones, PCs and Tablets and — eventually — on Xbox as well.
Nokia showed up, too, announcing the Windows Phone 8.1-powered Lumia 930 device as well as the lower-end Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 models. The 930 is headed first to Europe, starting in June, with Nokia’s current U.S. efforts focused on the recently introduced Lumia Icon for Verizon and the Lumia 1520 phablet.