Windows 8 Gets Possibly Free "Blue" Upgrade in 2013, May Split From Server Tree
November 29, 2012 1:20 PM
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New version will bring the UI inline with Windows Phone
Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Windows 8 operating system was a bold and risky gambit, which traded familiarity for an innovative new graphically rich (some say
graphically rich) user interface. Now the veteran operating system maker is eyeing more ambitious changes, notably a shift to an Apple, Inc. (
)-like track of more frequent (perhaps annual) operating system releases.
I. Windows Blue to Land in 2013?
Originally thought to be a service pack, sources at Microsoft have been spilling word of an upcoming release called Windows "Blue" (perhaps a code-name) to
in recent months.
According to the latest rumors, the 2013 release will be inexpensive or perhaps free, to incentivize upgrades. And it will be a full operating system upgrade. In this regard, the new development cycle Microsoft is moving towards closely
-- frequent, cheap operating system upgrades.
Microsoft is also planning a move that may shock and upset some developers -- it will reportedly release a new version of its SDK for Windows Blue, and at that point will stop accepting
Windows Store apps
built on the old Windows 8 SDK. Again, this choice is a calculated tactic on Microsoft's part to push developers and users to embrace the new platform.
The new OS will also shift Microsoft's position regarding leniency for users upgrading from pirate versions. With Blue, if you upgrade from a pirated copy of Windows 8, even if you bought a legitimate copy your Windows Store and the built-in-apps will still be bricked.
[Image Source: NeoWin]
, the term "Windows 9" has begun to creep into text in Microsoft employee postings, suggesting Microsoft may official dub the upcoming OS Windows 9, when it hits release next year.
Another report from
suggests that the new operating system will move Windows 8 to using smaller
, similar to
those in Windows Phone 8
. This would seem to agree with
's sources who suggest Windows Blue/Windows 9 will be part of an effort to complete the transition of Windows Phone and Windows (PC) into a single code-base and consistent user interface. As part of this effort, Windows Phone may receive a corresponding "Blue" update, as well.
II. Are Windows Users Ready for Another Big Shift?
The news of the big shift in release cycles and upcoming new 2013 Windows release comes on the heels of Microsoft's
first report on the health of Windows 8 sales
In its release Microsoft announced that it had moved 40 million licenses in its first month of sales, despite no longer offering the free upgrades for purchasers who bought machines in the months leading up to the release (as it did with Windows 7).
will be quick to point that Microsoft reduced upgrade fees (albeit charging more of them), did not disclose its revenue associated with the upgrades, and did not disclose how many of its licenses sold to OEMs were resold.
Will Windows users embrace an Apple-like release schedule? [Image Source: Double DT]
Nonetheless, it appears Windows 8 wasn't the complete disaster some doomsayers predicted. It should be interesting whether Microsoft's next big shift at least receives as warm a welcome as Windows 8.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
PCs are still dying
11/29/2012 2:58:08 PM
The 40mil licenses sold did not reflect PC sales. Traditionally people buy new PCs to get new Windows OS. PCs Sales have declined this quarter and Windows 8 did not jumpstart sales of PCs.
This means a lot of folks bought the cheap $40 Windows 8 upgrade to put on their old PCs.
RE: PCs are still dying
11/29/2012 4:03:19 PM
Microsoft said that they've "moved" 40 million Windows 8 licenses. That means that they sold copies to OEMs to install on their PCS, whether they actually sell those PCs or not.
As you said, PC sales were down and Windows 8 did not motivate people to buy new PCs. But the OEMs still bought Windows 8 licenses from Microsoft, and Microsoft made its money whether those PCs sell or not.
RE: PCs are still dying
12/2/2012 5:46:27 PM
Its 30+ days since the release of Windows8... I still don't KNOW anyone personally who has bought a Win8 PC or upgraded.
*IF* I liked Windows8, I would have thrown my $40 x 3 PCs already. The price is best ever from MS... but the product is crap. Its still not worth $1 for me to install it.
I was running Win7 RC on 3 of my PCs till 2 months after it went to retail (in case there were bugs)... We didn't get a release candidate. Just the 8400 preview which had the better looking AERO skin before MS went out of their way to make Windows ugly.
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