Dell recommends Windows 8.

Windows Blue: What's in Store?

Susan Fogarty, Editor in Chief, IT Migration Zone | 2/19/2013 | 54 comments

Susan Fogarty
A refrain that's becoming fairly popular among enterprise Windows users is that they will wait for the next version of the OS before they consider upgrading. Of course, holding off because your systems are simply not ready for an upgrade makes perfect sense. Stalling in the hopes that the next Windows will have major, significant changes from Windows 8 appears to be a losing battle, however.

Murmurs about the next Windows release have blossomed into full-fledged rumors and news stories in the past few weeks. Sometimes called by the code name "Windows Blue" and sometimes "Windows 9," the terms seem to be merging to describe the same development path.

As Michael Endler wrote in InformationWeek:

Rumors have been circulating for months that Microsoft is prepping an update called Windows Blue, and chatter has recently suggested not only that the release will include interface tweaks but also that Redmond intends for Blue to galvanize adoption. Blue is essentially vaporware at the moment, based on gossip and tips more than anything Microsoft has said. It's not even clear if Blue is a codename for Windows 9 or some kind of service pack.

It seems as though Blue is actually more than "vaporware," because Microsoft posted a job opening for an additional Windows software engineer in test on the Microsoft Careers site last week, according to an article by Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet. The job details have already been removed, but Foley reported that the position would focus on features comprising "the centerpiece of the new Windows UI," including the start screen, application lifecycle, windowing, and personalization. "Windows Blue promises to build on and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide," Foley quoted from the post.

So if you were hoping the next version of Windows would be a radical departure from Windows 8, or it would revert back to something just like good old XP, that seems unlikely. It looks as if the company's plan is to tweak the UI and "build on and improve upon" what exists, not completely throw it out and start over.

Blue is expected to debut in late summer or early fall. It will be a cross-platform update to Windows 8, Server 2012, Windows Phone 8, and services like SkyDrive and Outlook.com. This marks a change in how aggressively Microsoft develops and delivers software, according to Paul Thurrott at the Supersite for Windows. Instead of major releases every three years with services packs in between, Microsoft intends to update major platforms around the same time on an annual schedule.

ZDNet's Foley suggests that we "think about Blue -- and Lilac and Fuchsia or whatever Blue's successors are codenamed -- as updates to Windows 8, rather than as Windows 9, 10, and beyond." That would require us to begin thinking about Windows as we do iOS -- something users can download and update themselves without a lot of IT oversight and no application incompatibility. If enterprise-class software were that easy to use, Microsoft could have it in the bag.

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PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   7/30/2013 3:49:45 PM
Re: Win Blue
But their model has always been to push out unfinished products and let the users sort out the issues. Presumably with W8 they did not have a wide enough user base to solve all the problems for them. They don't have the resource to put it right themselves so they make a few changes then hope for greater traction in the market to gain sufficient users to put it right.......or am I being cynical again?
SaneIT   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   7/1/2013 8:00:32 AM
Re: Win Blue
Well I guess it could be both.  What I fear is that they made a couple small concessions and they are selling it like they have addressed all the issues brought up six months ago.  This is and especially bad time to trip up on an OS release, Microsoft has enough competition right now that it could actually do some damage.
PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   6/29/2013 7:00:34 PM
Re: Win Blue
@saneIT when you say 'haven't tested 8.1 yet' do you mean you have not or MS have not? Sorry, couldn’t resist that! The entire thing seems a bit of a hasty botch to me! ANd it will be down to the users to sort it out for them. Assuming there are users!
SaneIT   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   6/3/2013 7:31:44 AM
Re: Win Blue
Blue was the working name for Win 8.1, they just announced recently that it will be called Windows 8.1 and listed a large number of patches included.  They went about half way to brining back the start menu which I think is going to get some people excited but it's probably going to end up frustrating them again since from what I hear (haven't tested 8.1 yet) is that a start button like icon is there but it just takes you back to the Modern UI start screen.
PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   5/31/2013 9:07:43 PM
Re: Win Blue
So, is the new W8.1 a replacement for Blue? Or is it actually Blue by a different name / number?
SaneIT   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   4/1/2013 7:31:59 AM
Re: Win Blue
@PositivelyKeith, I have trouble justifying a phone's hardware or OS based on games.  I can't say that I've never played a game on my phone but it's not the biggest factor when I'm looking at phones.  I have been frustrated by the lack of productivity apps that worked on one phone but not another though.
PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   3/31/2013 7:00:22 AM
Re: Windows Blue: What's in Store?
If all Blue is going to be is a service pack then I am afraid MS will have missed a great opportunity and will upset a lot of people. Many have not, and will not, gone to W8 and so a service pack will only appease those that have gone over to it. It will have no impact on the rest of us unless it includes some fantastic must have features that will encourage us to upgrade.
PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   3/31/2013 6:56:04 AM
Re: What's Blue to You?
Don't go down the colour route with me as I am partially colour blind! Great thing is it means I don't have to make a decision when I go fashion shopping with my wife. Any wrong colour choices are down to her and the girls, not me!
PositivelyKeith   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   3/31/2013 6:53:37 AM
Re: Win Blue
@SaneIT sometimes the newest games try to be too clever and don'work as well as the older ones do! My only problem with running on Samsung is that the Harbor Master game I loved on my short lived iPhone is not yet available on Android!
Susan Fogarty   Windows Blue: What's in Store?   3/27/2013 1:33:00 PM
Re: What's Blue to You?
I think those are some very pertinent thoughts about colors -- for a guy ;)

And thanks for the update on Windows Blue!
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