It would appear that Microsoft is more committed to its branding than ever, going whole hog with Metro for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Now one of the top questions Microsoft will have to answer this year is how they can keep Windows competitive while other operating systems rapidly update too. The solution could be 'Blue'.
All About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley has learned from "one very accurate tipster" that Microsoft is planning to release a major feature pack update for Windows this year, codenamed 'Blue'. That part of the story isn't news, as talk of Blue has been ongoing since last year.
However, what is fresh to our noggins is that Blue is actually being thrown around in reference to a number of Microsoft's products. Foley reveals that Microsoft is planning to update nearly all of its major products — Windows, Windows Phone, web-based services (Windows Live), and Windows Server — with their own hue of Blue. There is of course the disclaimer that these all of these product updates may not occur on the same day, but they will be more or less around the same time:
Blue represents a major change in how Microsoft builds, deploys and markets software and services. To date, many Microsoft teams like Windows, Windows Live and Windows Server have been focused on delivering major platform updates every two to three years. The challenge is to get them to pivot around yearly platform updates, the first of which will hit as part of the Blue wave.
The report also reveals that the Blue update for Windows 8/RT may no longer go through the tedious release-to-manufacturing phase, instead being pushed out through the Windows Store directly to devices. Her source claims that we should expect to see some developer-side changes, tweaks to the user interface, updates to most of the native apps, and improvements to performance and battery life. Interestingly, Foley's source says the Blue update will be particularly important for "backward compatibility with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8". We're taking that to mean the ability for developers to share even more code for their apps between the two operating systems.
Foley ends the article with more than enough confidence to give us faith this is more legit than loony. 'Blue' sounds like precisely the update cycle we've been wanting to see in Microsoft's products since the days of Windows XP, and we're especially excited to see what it could mean for Windows Phone. Any guesses?
Source: All About Microsoft