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Windows "Blue" Will Be Free Update to Windows 8, RT Users

By - Source: Microsoft | B 33 comments

Microsoft said the Windows 8.1 update will be free to all Windows 8 customers.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc said on Tuesday that the upcoming Windows 8.1 update will be free to Windows 8 customers through the Windows Store. Previously, it was assumed that customers would be required to pay at least $40 for the update, the same price they paid for the upgrade from Windows 7 before the end of January 2013.

The news follows a Q&A session with Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Windows Tami Reller during the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston. She told investors that Microsoft has sold more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses thus far, and that more than 70,000 apps are available in Windows Store. There are also a larger number of touch-based laptops on the market now starting at $400 USD.

She also took a moment to talk about Windows "Blue" which will be a free update to Windows 8 and Windows RT-based devices. She said the updates will be made available through Windows Store to make the transition extremely simple and painless.

"Tami reiterated our goal of delivering continual updates to create a richer experience for Windows customers," LeBlanc said. "Windows 8.1 is part of that and continues the journey we first began with Windows 8 last fall. Windows 8.1 will help us to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers— both consumers and businesses alike —need and will just expect moving forward."

He added that additional information about Windows 8.1 will be released in the coming weeks. Consumers can also expect to see a public preview of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT starting June 26 during Microsoft's BUILD 2013 developer conference in San Francisco.

Microsoft has seemingly come under fire from all angles since the release of Windows 8, with OEMs complaining over declining sales and consumers complaining over the new interface and changes to the core platform. The update is rumored to address a number of issues consumers have faced with the new platform including a lack of a Start menu and booting up into the desktop.

However, despite the complaints from customers and OEMs, Windows 8 has definitely caused an increased trend in the PC market to break away from the standard box and clam shell form factors.

"Our OEM partners have delivered tablets, touch laptops, and convertibles that bring the vision of Windows 8 and mobile computing to life," he said. "They have introduced some incredible (and unique) new form factors like the Dell XPS 12, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, the Sony VAIO Tap 20, or the recently announced Acer Aspire R7."

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    halcyon , May 15, 2013 6:30 AM
    So...basically its SP1 or am I misunderstanding something important?
  • 17 Hide
    PraxGTI , May 15, 2013 6:56 AM
    This just in, Microsoft decides to not charge you for a SERVICE PACK.
    There was much rejoicing (yay).
  • 11 Hide
    irish_adam , May 15, 2013 6:33 AM
    @portentous
    I think you are over estimating the advantages of windows 8, Its not that people aren't smart enough to learn how to use windows 8 its just that there is no point. Every time i have upgraded my OS there has been a reason behind it be it performance or better driver support. Windows 8 offers me nothing over windows 7, why should i bother learning a whole new OS for nothing? I'll just stick to windows 7 until i actually have a reason to upgrade.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    Cryio , May 15, 2013 6:06 AM
    I can't wait .
  • -2 Hide
    portentous , May 15, 2013 6:24 AM
    Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).
    I am expecting an increase uptake of new laptop/PC towards the end of the year, with the release of Haswell and this re-tooled Windows8.1.
  • 17 Hide
    halcyon , May 15, 2013 6:30 AM
    So...basically its SP1 or am I misunderstanding something important?
  • 11 Hide
    irish_adam , May 15, 2013 6:33 AM
    @portentous
    I think you are over estimating the advantages of windows 8, Its not that people aren't smart enough to learn how to use windows 8 its just that there is no point. Every time i have upgraded my OS there has been a reason behind it be it performance or better driver support. Windows 8 offers me nothing over windows 7, why should i bother learning a whole new OS for nothing? I'll just stick to windows 7 until i actually have a reason to upgrade.
  • 1 Hide
    the great randini , May 15, 2013 6:37 AM
    sweeeeeet! I love free upgrades =)
  • 17 Hide
    PraxGTI , May 15, 2013 6:56 AM
    This just in, Microsoft decides to not charge you for a SERVICE PACK.
    There was much rejoicing (yay).
  • 1 Hide
    ameera bates , May 15, 2013 7:03 AM
    As someone who uses a tiny netbook, Windows 8 significantly faster than windows 7 in terms of startup and shut down. It's also faster in terms of internet browsing. Honestly, if you can work a smart phone, you can work a Windows 8 computer. It's really not difficult. However, the little edge in speed isn't really a reason to upgrade to Windows 8 unless you're like me and a tiny bit makes a huge difference. Also, I haven't had an audio issue with Windows 8. The only thing that's been a real pain is the resolution of my netbook not being compatible with Windows 8 apps. If it's really bothersome, just downscale the resolution. The image is a bit fuzzier, but you won't be bothered by incessant pop-ups saying that your resoution is too low to run an app. Hopefully, Windows Blue resolves this issue altogether. Regardless, I look forward to seeing the reviews on Windows Blue.
    Btw, I don't really want to run the Windows 8 apps... I just really hate that pop-up when I try to open Chrome.
  • 1 Hide
    Tarl Dichari , May 15, 2013 7:29 AM
    Windows 8 is snappier, faster and uses less resources than Windows 7. It boots quicker and shuts down faster than any other OS ever. I can not stand the Metro interface....so I installed one of the many START button programs and have been enjoying Windows 8 since it's release. It is a GOOD thing that MS is fixing the START button issue with the upcoming release. They should have allowed that option to be enabled from the get go. As too boot times. I use an SSD for the OS......but from the BIOS screen to the desktop for me, 9 seconds. :) 
  • 3 Hide
    Bloob , May 15, 2013 7:50 AM
    Blue is more than SP1 in that it is supposed to bring more unity to Win8, RT and WP8.
  • -2 Hide
    macpeteo , May 15, 2013 7:52 AM
    So, people who just want to "use" their computer to get work done and not be "GEEKS" about it are IGNORANT because MS is forcing them to relearn Windows all over again!!!? Is that how a reputable company is supposed to operate?! And to top it off, some of the reviewers here are blaming Apple for what "dumbing down" the customer?!!!!
    Unbelievable!
  • 0 Hide
    anonymous_user , May 15, 2013 8:24 AM
    Quote:
    So...basically its SP1 or am I misunderstanding something important?

    I can't say if its the same or not, however Microsoft is not calling it a service pack:

    http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-windows-81-is-an-update-not-a-service-pack
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , May 15, 2013 8:45 AM
    a service pack by any other name.... service packs or updates add functionality and/or fix problems but still use the same software backone ... am i missing somehtign because as said this is just a service pack
  • -1 Hide
    rantoc , May 15, 2013 9:28 AM
    Considering how amazingly many copies if win8 they have really sold in used machines (not counting sold discounted copies to oem's that's still in a computer who haven't been sold just to raise the "sales number" for the sake of appearances) i'm sure this is world wide news... /yawn
  • 3 Hide
    DukeOvilla , May 15, 2013 9:54 AM
    There has seemed to be allot of debate over Windows 8, even though it's thus far just as successful as windows 7 (profit wise). Guys, if you take a look, without the metro stuff, it's like a faster, smoother, and more intelligent version of windows 7. Not to mention it's way lightweight in comparison. What's the big deal, it's almost I identical to Windows 7 when you put the start button back in with Start8, which only costs 5$.
    My only issue with windows 8 is this, the Metro APPS suck. I'm ok with the UI. I uninstall all of those crappy full screen applications, and install ones worth their salt.
  • 1 Hide
    computerguy72 , May 15, 2013 9:59 AM
    drwho1 - I have a SB Premium FX and it works in Windows 8 flawlessly using the SB drivers. FYI I still have 2 computers on Windows 7 and both of them have the Premium FX too and they do in fact show more than 1 device and those work exactly the same as they do with Windows 8. On the boot time Windows 8 is faster no matter how you time it. You're the first I've seen to even suggest it's slower. On mine it's roughly 20% faster on the boot time. On the games etc. I have a large number of commercial games and *zero of them require running as admin. In this regard it's also identical to Windows 7. You seem to be in the great minority on these particular issues.
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , May 15, 2013 10:05 AM
    I think some of you are too young to remember "Are you good enough for Grape Nuts?"
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , May 15, 2013 10:10 AM
    [Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).]
    Windows 8 is so advanced that even Microsoft themselves do not know how to write proper app for it. All heavy weight software from Microsoft still has to run in "desktop" mode, including MS Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server Manager etc. No wonder Windows store is so barren. This is indeed an OS at least 10 years ahead of its time!
  • 6 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , May 15, 2013 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    Having used Windows 8 since its beta release. It's definitely a better OS than 7. Sure the learning curve is there, I guess MS over-estimated the IQ of the general public (I blame Apple for that).


    I think its more accurate that MS under-estimated the willingness of the general public to have crap shoved on them that was inappropriate for the desktop.

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