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New Windows Phone update is also in store

Windows 8 sales have been mixed, with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seeing strong OEM support and moving a lot of licenses, but struggling in sales -- particularly among enthusiasts.  At the root of the controversy is the rich graphical GUI formerly known as "Metro", which today is referred to as Windows 8 UI.  

There've been unconfirmed rumors that a Windows 8 update code-named Windows Blue was in store for later this year or early next year.  Now those rumors have seemingingly been confirmed, and Microsoft has dropped an indication that it make respond to criticism and tweak the UI.

In a job posting, first noted by Charon at, Microsoft seeks an experienced software engineer, writing:

We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

In a second post, Twitter user @h0x0d (Walking Cat on Twitter) notes a second post, pertaining to Windows Phone Blue:

Windows Phone Blue

Excel MX is expected to OneNote MX and Lynx MX as a touch-optimized offering available from the Windows Store.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley indicates Microsoft is gunning hard to try to deliver the UI and services overhaul by the end of this upcoming summer.  The refresh is expected to be the first cross platform push for Microsoft's new unified strategy; Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Hotmail, and SkyDrive will all receive similar makeovers.

Windows 8 UI critics shouldn't get too excited -- the new UI isn't expected to bring back the "Start" button, a perpetual criticism of the Windows 8 UI.

A major focus of the Blue update is to improve APIs to make it easier to design an app that works with only a few modifications, on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2 via Twitter]

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Not holding my breath....
By jnemesh on 2/18/2013 2:23:56 PM , Rating: 5
Until they fix the core problem with Windows 8, the shift to closed ecosystems and locked down hardware, any cosmetic fixes will be worthless. I am not holding my breath for a "fixed" Windows. At this point, ESPECIALLY considering what they are doing with Office 2013, it is painfully obvious that Microsoft is heading downhill, FAST! I will be migrating over to Linux and truly open platforms. I am sure others will follow, sooner or later, depending on how attached they are to Microsoft's dying proprietary systems.

RE: Not holding my breath....
By damianrobertjones on 2/18/2013 3:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about?

Windows 8, as far as I can see, is still perfectly open as usual.

Steam have a store, EA has a store, Ubuntu has a store, Apple has a store, Android has a store so heck... MS has a store! I'm glad that they do!

RE: Not holding my breath....
By Fritzr on 2/19/2013 7:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that MS has followed Apple's lead and the only source of Metro software is the MS Appstore. This will change when the Win version of jailbreak & unauthorized appstores finally appear.

Win8 does support generally distributed Win7 apps for Win8 desktop, but for Win8 RT Microsoft is the only source of legal software.

Having a store full of curated software is nice. Requiring that no software be installed that Microsoft has not pre-approved is bad.

Yes, you can buy the SDK and compile apps for personal use, but you are then unable to share them with anyone else who does not have the ability to recompile and generate a key.

Note: This restriction is only on Metro Mode, but becomes a serious for Win8 RT owners.

RE: Not holding my breath....
By GotThumbs on 2/18/2013 3:28:35 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree, I can see why MS has taken this approach. Apple has for years, run a closed ecosystem and they currently have Billions in the bank and millions of blind followers. Problem is that many of us have avoided anything to do with Apple specifically because of Apples level of control.

Free thinkers are not anxious to give up their freedoms and I believe MS will have less takers for the new OS and they will simply stick with W7.

Personally I think they are going to alienate those of us who are clearly not blind followers and can easily load a linux OS with very little pause.

RE: Not holding my breath....
By Ramstark on 2/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: Not holding my breath....
By ET on 2/19/2013 6:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
OMG, and I thought DT was all about people who actually know what they talk about...

How did you get that idea? :)

Any post which has anything to do with Windows 8, on any site, will get a large number of irrational haters. It's true for a lot of other subjects (Apple comes to mind) but the Windows 8 flame is just so incredibly effective in drawing the hater moths.

By TakinYourPoints on 2/18/2013 6:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has for years, run a closed ecosystem

On mobile devices, not the desktop. The store is a recent option but there is nothing to keep one from installing whatever they'd like in OS X.

I believe it will remain the same with Windows, even though their push for a fullscreen "mobile" style UI is much more aggressive than what Apple is doing with OS X. At worst Microsoft will allow for the whitelisting of registered developers, but again I don't think they'll restrict application installation anytime soon.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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