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Microsoft Shifting to Annual Updates with "Windows Blue"

By - Source: The Verge | B 20 comments

Microsoft is reportedly shifting to yearly updates for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, a plan supposedly codenamed "Blue".

ZDNet originally revealed Windows Blue back in August. It's supposedly the codename for the next interim release, but at the time it was unknown if this release would be the first service pack, or a feature pack that would include both a rollup of fixes and new platform features. Much of the report was speculation although sources claimed it would be released in the summer of 2013.

A new report regarding Windows Blue claims that the "Blue" reference is actually the company's code name for a plan to standardize regular yearly updates to consumers of both Windows and Windows Phone platforms. This plan will begin next summer with the next desktop and mobile OS release although this latest report seemingly indicates that it's a full-blown platform launch rather than a mere service pack.

According to the report, Microsoft will offer the next release at an extremely low price point – much like it's currently doing with the Windows 8 Pro upgrade – or offer it for free to ensure that all Microsoft customers upgrade to the latest platform. Once the new platforms are launched, the SDKs will be updated and Microsoft will cease accepting apps developed for the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms. Don’t' worry: current apps will still work in the newer release, sources said.

Interestingly enough, sources claim that Microsoft will stick with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 labels for the foreseeable future. That said, the next yearly update slated for Summer 2013 may upgrade current consumers to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, reverting back to the pre-Windows 95 numbering system. Or maybe we'll see Windows 8 Second Edition and Third Editions? Nah... it would much easier for Microsoft to keep both platforms on the name numerical system.

Lastly, sources said that consumers will naturally need a legitimate version of Windows to upgrade to the 2013 release. Those updating from a pirated copy will see their apps and the Windows Store itself case functioning. No surprise there.

Now here's something else to chew on. A recent DigiTimes report claimed that Microsoft chose Foxconn to manufacture Surface smartphones for a mid-2013 release. Coincidence? Probably not. As previously mentioned, Microsoft likely plans to launch a new build of Windows Phone 8 on the rumored Surface device much like Google does with its Nexus devices. This is probably the very OS release described in the "Blue" reports.

 

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    esrever , November 28, 2012 9:02 PM
    Windows blue would always be the color of the BSOD for me.
  • 11 Hide
    techcurious , November 28, 2012 9:08 PM
    I liked my Windows ecosystem the way it was. I love Windows 7. And I am really hating my Windows 8 installed on a second PC (I have to learn how to use it for work!). I am feeling extremely let down by Microsoft's desire to follow in Apple's steps.. Yearly incremental OS upgrades? Take away our Start Menu by force, make things harder to get to? Microsoft is betraying it's loyal desktop userbase just so it can promote it's future (OS) in the tablet and smartphone landscape. I used to confidently defend the virtues of Windows over OS-X , but now I am ashamed of Microsoft.. Yes, Windows 7 is still as good as it was and I can happily use it for the next 5 years or more.. but it's hard to argue in favour of Microsoft based on their older OS when the current direction they are taking us looks really bad. I don't care how good Windows 8 is underneath, the User Interface (aesthetically and ease of use) is equally important! I wholeheartedly hope Windows8 fails miserably.. so that Microsoft will be forced to see their mistakes, like they did with Vista (but sadly, they seem to have very short memory).
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , November 28, 2012 8:47 PM
    Why not just turn a mobile OS into a subscription style service?
  • 3 Hide
    hate machine , November 28, 2012 8:51 PM
    Tom Warren just seemed to repackage Mary Jo's article and add his own spin on the subject based on his "Sources".
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , November 28, 2012 8:53 PM
    then they are gonna release red, and yellow. Gotta catch them all.
  • 1 Hide
    stickmansam , November 28, 2012 8:59 PM
    Not surprising given that they want to compete in the mobile/tablet space and frequent updates/upgrades those markets have. Also deems quite similar to the way Apple does OSX.
    Guess we're gonna be stuck with windows 8 for quite a while on desktop. Its livable but still don't like it as much as when I moved form XP to 7
  • 11 Hide
    esrever , November 28, 2012 9:02 PM
    Windows blue would always be the color of the BSOD for me.
  • 11 Hide
    techcurious , November 28, 2012 9:08 PM
    I liked my Windows ecosystem the way it was. I love Windows 7. And I am really hating my Windows 8 installed on a second PC (I have to learn how to use it for work!). I am feeling extremely let down by Microsoft's desire to follow in Apple's steps.. Yearly incremental OS upgrades? Take away our Start Menu by force, make things harder to get to? Microsoft is betraying it's loyal desktop userbase just so it can promote it's future (OS) in the tablet and smartphone landscape. I used to confidently defend the virtues of Windows over OS-X , but now I am ashamed of Microsoft.. Yes, Windows 7 is still as good as it was and I can happily use it for the next 5 years or more.. but it's hard to argue in favour of Microsoft based on their older OS when the current direction they are taking us looks really bad. I don't care how good Windows 8 is underneath, the User Interface (aesthetically and ease of use) is equally important! I wholeheartedly hope Windows8 fails miserably.. so that Microsoft will be forced to see their mistakes, like they did with Vista (but sadly, they seem to have very short memory).
  • 3 Hide
    bigdragon , November 28, 2012 9:27 PM
    Microsoft, don't fix what ain't broke. I see all sorts of future segmentation problems being caused by this plan. I also don't see why they expect me to pay for something I already can get for free from Google and Apple. Some really bizarre thinking is going on at Microsoft no doubt spurred by Apple's insane profits.
  • 1 Hide
    internetlad , November 28, 2012 10:43 PM
    Those updating from a pirated copy will see their apps and the Windows Store itself case functioning.

    >>case functioning

    nice proofread as usual, Kevin.
  • 3 Hide
    DirectXtreme , November 28, 2012 11:23 PM
    Good thing I stayed off Windows 8. News like this leads me to believe Microsoft and PC hardware manufacturers are actively trying to mimic Apple's business model and kill off open platforms. I will stick with my x86 Windows 7 gaming computer until the bitter end.
  • 1 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , November 29, 2012 12:27 AM
    sennamonteathen they are gonna release red, and yellow. Gotta catch them all.

    http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/02/02 :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2012 12:38 AM
    do not give 1/10 of a Rat's shiny red A$$, about that App Store Metro/Modern windows 8, M$ SpamBot ads in the tiles and apps, pile of steaming terds! I will be on windows 7 and Linux! M$ closed ecosystem land grab on third party OEM hardware will end up in the same courts that the internet browser lawsuits did! Blue or any other color, if it includes Metro/Modern then it is just M$ crap!
  • -1 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 29, 2012 1:45 AM
    Windows Blue? I don't know about that, but I know alot of Win 8 users who are singing the "Windows Blues"!

    See what I did there :lol: 
  • -1 Hide
    memadmax , November 29, 2012 2:50 AM
    Updates should be security, and "feature" updates/additions to keep the OS alive and interesting.

    When you buy a upgrade OS(like going from Vista to 7 for example), it should be a platform upgrade where there is a radical change in the code base, in order to justify the upgrade. Like for better performance, compatibility, etc etc... not the other way around >_>
  • -1 Hide
    loomis86 , November 29, 2012 2:57 AM
    MS is just about dead to me. I'll hold off on my final judgment for about one more year to see if they can redeem themselves somehow.
  • -2 Hide
    dimar , November 29, 2012 3:28 AM
    MS will be ruining Windows 8 as much as possible. Next year prepare to lose the icons. Year after, MS will take the desktop away, to have the perfect metro experience. When Windows 9 gets released, MS will bring all our favorite features back to make it the most successful OS ever!
  • -1 Hide
    randomizer , November 29, 2012 6:38 AM
    Ah, look at that, Microsoft is going to screw over its developers again and W8/WP8 is only just out of the oven.
  • -1 Hide
    ojas , November 29, 2012 10:12 AM
    Why is MS after Apple's model? A three year gap between operating systems still made sense, at least there was some incentive to upgrade. I mean sure, updating WP8 yearly makes sense, but the desktop always followed a different model...
  • 0 Hide
    Northwestern , November 29, 2012 2:00 PM
    Does this mean Microsoft will follow a yearly release like it proposed back during Windows Whistler (2000/XP)?
  • -1 Hide
    hannibal , November 29, 2012 5:47 PM
    Does it allso means that soon MS has to support many more OS versions than today? I am guite sure that normal user will not buy OS upgrade every year, becausse they don't need them, so in 20 years there will be at least 20 different MS-PC os versions at the same time in the market... That would be interesting... Well propably most programs will run in most of those versions...
  • 0 Hide
    saldriass , January 25, 2013 11:04 PM
    i realy dont know if wndows blue will bring some thing new or not..but i hope it can be better then windows 8 i just found some thing about it in this site maybe u wil like to see it :http://www.windowsbleu.com/