Windows 8 Gets Possibly Free "Blue" Upgrade in 2013, May Split From Server Tree
November 29, 2012 1:20 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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RE: Win 7 Desktop option
11/30/2012 9:47:17 AM
"You have understand the reasoning. The present configuration is NOT because it works well on the desktop. The present configuration is because Sinofsky argued toe-to-toe with Ballmer to convince him that the only way Win8 tablets and phones were going to sell would be basically leveraging the monopoly by forcing users to learn the Metro UI so that when they go into a store for their next phone/tablet they'll choose the Metro one because they don't want to have to learn a new UI."
Thank you! Win8 is a strong arm move that has nothing to do with any kind of desktop OS "upgrade," but is, instead, a touchscreen OS for tablets and smart phones forced onto the desktop. Thus, it's a compromise OS, not one optimized for desktop PC use. Note that the Microsoft Win8 TV commercials show only touchscreen devices being used.
Usability Expert: Windows 8 on PCs is Confusing, a Cognitive Burden
"Windows 8 is optimized for content consumption rather than content production and multitasking. Whereas content consumption can easily be done on other media (tablets and phones), production and multitasking are still best suited for PCs. Windows 8 appears to ignore that."
Windows 8 — Disappointing Usability for Both Novice and Power Users
Repurposing vs. Optimized Design
RE: Win 7 Desktop option
12/2/2012 2:56:39 AM
You are commenting on a Win8 x86 article.
Your expert is reviewing a WinRT ARM tablet that is Metro only.
The ARM tablets are equivalent to Android and iOS. All of the negatives apply to these two tablet families also and probably explains their (iOS & Android) total failure in the marketplace.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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