On Tuesday, Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, finally acknowledged Windows Blue, the rumored next incremental release of Windows 8. The reveal isn't surprising given that a build was recently leaked and exposed for all to see. This includes details on what's new and what has been removed since the last retail release. You can't really leave that type of disclosure unacknowledged for long.
For starters, Shaw confirms that upcoming products won't actually use the "Blue" name – it's officially just an internal tag used for a wide set of plans. "With a remarkable foundation of products in market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as Blue," he said.
He goes on to state that customers have already experienced the "ongoing rhythm of updates and innovations" – aka new devices, services and apps -- that have rolled out over the last six months. This continuous development cycle is the new normal across Microsoft, he said.
"We’ll tune everyday experiences as well as introduce bold, connected and exciting new scenarios," Shaw added. "Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want – all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing."
That little reveal conveniently led to Steve Guggenheimer's announcement of BUILD 2013, which is taking place June 26-28, 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Guggenheimer said Microsoft will share updates and talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio and more. This will likely be when the company launches the public preview of Windows 8.1.
"It’s been a while since our last developer event in the Bay Area, and we’re looking forward to a fantastic gathering," he said. "Save the date and mark your calendar for the opening of registration next week, at 9 a.m. PT on Tuesday, April 2."
Guggenheimer also said on Tuesday that Microsoft saw more than 100 million downloads from the Windows Store in the first two months after GA, and crossed the 1 billion downloads mark in the Windows Phone Store. The company also saw a doubling Windows Azure compute usage in just the last six months.
To register for BUILD 2013, head here.