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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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RE: Brace yourselves....
By sguy on 2/18/2013 3:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I'm tired of people complaining about the metro UI. you say that you have 10 applications in your start menu? great! post those ten applications in the metro UI! my point is that if you don't like the metro UI at worst its a glorified start menu. If that's all you want it to be that's all it is. Everything apart from that is better. Its faster, its more lightweight than even windows 7, its more secure, and if you think about the potential the metro UI is there to unify the PC, the tablet, and the phone. It makes sense! I use windows 8 and I spend probably ninety eight percent of my time in the desktop I don't miss the start at all.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By damianrobertjones on 2/18/2013 3:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I'm the same and I use multiple VMS/RDC through the day and have ZERO issue with the Modern UI. I'm pretty much working as I did before with the added bonus of finally using the damn keyboard to get at applications I seldom used before.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By SAN-Man on 2/18/2013 3:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
I said I had 10 apps in my task menu... my start menu has far more.

Faster and lightweight? Who cares? I have a quad core desktop with 16GB and an SSD. Windows 7 is lighting fast.

I used Windows 8 for a solid 30 days. That's more than enough time.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By Newspapercrane on 2/18/2013 6:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
Faster and lightweight? Who cares?

This was the part where you lost all of my respect.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By p05esto on 2/18/2013 8:30:28 PM , Rating: 5
His point and mine alike is that my PC is so fast already with Win7 (high end everything) that I can't imagine it being any faster. Every command I do is instant, I'm the slow one, not my PC. My PC boots in about 10 seconds. So if Win8 is a micro-second faster somwhere I also don't care at all. It's all about the UI.

Anyone run Rainmeter and all of the customizations that can do? It's pretty cool and I always thought could be the future of the desktop. It's like an interactive and real-time updating desktop tailored to you. Like the MS live tiles, but only about a 1000 times better.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By StevoLincolnite on 2/18/2013 9:24:17 PM , Rating: 5
Faster and lightweight? Who cares? I have a quad core desktop with 16GB and an SSD. Windows 7 is lighting fast.

On my Intel Atom tablet? With Windows 8 it boots and becomes usable so much faster and uses less battery.

On my Desktop with a Core i7 3930K @ 4.8ghz, 2x SSD's in Raid 0, 32Gb of ram the performance difference between Windows 7 and 8 is non-existent from a perceived performance difference.

But stating that no-one cares is ludicrous, not everyone is running a high-powered Desktop, Netbooks, Laptops with 5400rpm HDD's and Atom Tablets benefit greatly from the performance improvements Windows 8 offers.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By tng on 2/18/2013 5:39:21 PM , Rating: 3
...the metro UI is there to unify the PC, the tablet, and the phone. It makes sense!
Fast only goes so far, and as for unified PC/Tablet/Phone, who cares? I refuse to use a phone as a mobile process platform and a tablet does not have enough function as a phone or a PC to be worth the time.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By TakinYourPoints on 2/18/2013 6:15:04 PM , Rating: 5
the potential the metro UI is there to unify the PC, the tablet, and the phone. It makes sense!

Fullscreen interfaces make sense with small tablet and phone displays. They generally do not make sense with large desktop and laptop displays. This is the fundamental problem here.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By JPForums on 2/19/2013 12:38:52 PM , Rating: 4
Also, note the difference in catering to low precision (fat fingers) and high precision (mouse, trackball, etc.) pointing devices.

RE: Brace yourselves....
By timothyd97402 on 2/19/2013 2:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
Bottom line it is all about choice. Many of us have no use for the non-windowing Metro UI. Many of us quite like Aero. A lot us like and use the Start Menu. Why can't their be choice? Methinks it is all about Microsoft trying to deprecate the desktop and desktop programs altogether, all the better to collect their slice of app sales revenue through their app store. The other reason is to force the public to see and use Metro, so as to sell more phones and tablets, that will then look more familiar than the competition's products.

Microsoft could have preserved choice very easily with an option to default to the legacy desktop environment perhaps with a Metro sidebar that could also be disabled if we so wished. That they chose not to do so was purely for sales & marketing reasons.

You should quit complaining about users who have bona fide concerns, needs and desires.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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