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Microsoft Officially Confirms 'Blue' Code Name for First Time

"Blue" is the code name for "a set of plans" that will set the pace for Microsoft products in the near future, Microsoft has now confirmed.

Previously, information about Blue had been based only on anonymous sources speaking to the press. A blog post on Tuesday by Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of corporate communications, officially -- albeit briefly -- confirmed the project. Shaw noted that Microsoft previously declared its shift toward being a devices and services company, and that the next phase of that plan is being called Blue.

"With a remarkable foundation of products in market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as 'Blue,'" Shaw wrote in the blog post.

Reports by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley and others have described Blue as a wave of updates. It's also described as an update to Windows 8/Windows RT. According to those press accounts, the Blue updates will arrive sometime this summer. Screenshots purporting to show an early release of Windows 8 Blue have recently appeared in various press accounts.

Shaw seemed to suggest that Blue is more of a "continuous development cycle" across Microsoft for various products. He pointed to the recent release of updated Windows Store apps for Windows 8/Windows RT as an example of the company's new "ongoing rhythm of updates."

Still another interpretation comes from an anonymously sourced CNET report that Windows Blue will be associated with Intel's Haswell chip for Ultrabook computers. Current Windows 8 machines use the Ivy Bridge Intel processors, but Haswell promises increased power performance and longer battery spans. The new Haswell chips are expected to appear as early as June.

Whatever Blue may be, Microsoft plans to talk more about it at its upcoming conference events, according to Shaw. He pointed to the new Build 2013 developer conference coming on June 26, as well as Microsoft's Tech-Ed conferences, as places where Microsoft's new plans will be disclosed. Microsoft will hold Tech-Ed North America on June 3, while Tech-Ed Europe starts on June 25, coinciding partly with Build 2013.

About the Author

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

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Reader Comments

Mon, Apr 1, 2013 Sonjay Miami, FL

I completely agree with John's posting and have found it increasingly difficult to understand the logic in the way MS is handling its partners. The Silverlight issue has become the canary in the mine for us developers who have invested so much in SL just to have the entire technology scrapped.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 John Clay New York

Now that Microsoft is becoming "Apple" will they no longer need Partners? If they’re providing “Devices and Services” all directly to End-Users what do they need Partners for or ISV Developers. Just like Apple, Intuit for QuickBooks or Oracle they have their own in-house direct Sales and Consulting Teams. They "allow" outside consultants but it's all a show and this appears to be the direction Microsoft is heading. You wonder what happened to MS Silverlight as they killed it for use by Partners and ISV's. But at this past Convergence Conference all the new Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP migrations are being built using Silverlight. This would be in keeping with not allowing Microsoft Partners and ISV's to have access to critical development tools while Microsoft's own “in-house” teams will be supported with ongoing Silverlight updates for many years. If Microsoft is abandoning their Partners and ISV’s the deafening silence on Silverlight makes perfect sense. Microsoft just announced support for a Flash plug-in for IE10 but will not allow the Silverlight plug-in. Once again in light of their new direction to become “Apple” they won’t need to support their Partners and ISV’s with Silverlight so why not allow their competition’s IE10 plug-in and not their own technology. Microsoft releases new enhancements to their CRM Cloud customers first and leaves their Partners “On-Premises” customers out in the cold for months. In my opinion soon we’ll be seeing a pullback from Microsoft on selling Windows Server software, SQL Server Database, Visual Studio, Office products and all other software apps that run on the Server or Desktop. Eventually the only option will be Windows Azure and hosted Cloud based service offerings directly from Microsoft our through the new Microsoft App store, again just like “Apple”. If you’re a Microsoft Partner, an ISV or a Consultant you may want to start finding another line of work as soon your biggest competitor to your customers will be Microsoft’s own consultants and in-house sales teams.

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