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Reports: Windows 'Blue' Is Coming Next Year

Press reports suggest the next Windows client operating system from Microsoft, code-named "Blue," will see daylight sometime in mid-2013.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley gave one of the earliest reports on Windows Blue in August. On Wednesday, Tom Warren of The Verge confirmed the Blue OS, citing reports from unnamed sources.

Officially, Microsoft so far has said nothing about Blue, so the OS is still at the rumor stage. However, work on the next OS typically proceeds at Microsoft, even though Windows 8 was just released last month.

According to Warren's sources, Blue will be a low-cost OS that will get updated frequently for phones and other Windows-based devices, perhaps updated on an annual basis. If consumer users have a pirated copy of the OS, the upgrade will get blocked. Microsoft will compel developers to create apps for Blue, rather than Windows 8, by ceasing to accept Windows 8 apps in the Windows Store. However, Windows 8-based apps will be backward compatible with the new Blue OS.

Microsoft's Blue OS concept, according to Warren's sources, is to produce an OS that will be more competitive with OSes released by Google and Apple. Foley speculated in August that Blue could be called "Windows 9" or go by Windows 8 version numbers, such as "Windows 8.1." She claimed that Microsoft's strategy with Blue will be to aim more at incremental OS releases, somewhat like Apple's strategy with its iOS releases.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 Vince Maier Maryland

Sounds like Microsoft is going backward when it come to all this change to woindows 8 seem to me that who ever is head od developement for windows 8 has got there head stuck there. I go along with James Dean and what he had to say. Also with windows Surface Microsoft is not pushing the Table had enough I have only see one add on the Surface who ever is running that need to have adds everywhere if Surface is going to go anywhere.

Thu, Nov 29, 2012 James Dean Dallas (Cloud) Texas

If Microsoft continues to "follow" instead of lead, (ex: Windows 8) none of us MCSEs need worry about a future OS until our Apple certs complete. MS is in a downward spiral. Windows 8 should have been about integrated active HD desktop animations running embedded apps. Intuitive, easy to see controls, The ability to run mulitple OS apps of today as well as full body programs of yesterday. Builtin compatibility to run custom-designed applications that use to run on Windows 2000 or Windows 98. It should have been about increased security from the keyboard, or swipe- all the way to the browser. I could go on but hey, what do you say to a bunch of Microsoft space cadets with Apple envy who wish they worked at Google and spend too much time on Facebook while twittering their legacy away. Do I sound disappointed? You bet I am.

Thu, Nov 29, 2012 Cliff M

Kurt wrote "Microsoft will compel developers to create apps for Blue, rather than Windows 8, by ceasing to accept Windows 8 apps in the Windows Store. However, Windows 8-based apps will be backward compatible with the new Blue OS." I don't think Windows 8-based apps can be backward compatible since one has to move forward from Windows 8 to Blue. I can only speculate what the upgrade process from Windows 8 to Blue might be, but I can see it would be good to be forward compatible so that already downloaded Windows Store apps would continue to work post-upgrade without uninstall/reinstall. Otherwise, it seems much more important for Blue applications to be backward compatible so that apps compatible with both systems can be purchased from the Windows Store.

Thu, Nov 29, 2012 Charles Wilde Mountain View, CA

One possibility is that Windows will go the subscription route. Adobe has released their entire Creative Suite on a low price monthly subscription basis and appears to be doing quite will with that. A great way to policy piracy and make the product more affordable.

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