In a recent interview posted by Microsoft (MSFT), company co-founder Bill Gates had much praise to offer Microsoft’s upcoming Surface tablet. Gates called the new slate an “unbelievably great product” and said it is far more than just a tablet. In a less widely reported portion of the interview, however, the former Microsoft boss had an insight to offer that sheds further light on Microsoft’s future plans.

According to Gates, the code-sharing between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is just the beginning. Eventually, the two platforms will merge completely.

“We’re certainly sharing between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 – sharing the user interface, sharing some of those development tools, and over time we’ll just get to do more and more of that,” Gates said according to The Register. “It’s evolving literally into being a single platform.”

Windows 8 and Microsoft’s debut Windows hardware device, the Surface tablet, are both scheduled to launch on Friday. BGR also reported that Microsoft is working on a Surface-branded smartphone that could launch early next year.