Windows Blue continues to buzz strong once again, ever since we learned that the update would be affecting both Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and a variety of other Microsoft products. Couple this with rumors of Blue possibly helping to close the gap between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 through a unified store-front, and there is a lot to be excited about.
Up until now we’ve been told by unofficial sources that 2013 will be the year of Blue, but now it seems that this might not be true for Windows Phone 8. According to well-known Microsoft tech-writer Mary Jo Foley, she has now received word that the Windows Phone Blue team is actually a bit behind right now when it comes to developing this new update.
Due to this delay in development, it isn’t entirely clear if Windows Phone 8 will get Blue this year, or if it will be delayed into next year. This could be a major setback to the whole Blue effort, as many of the Blue features seem to be about bringing the platform together, including the rumor that Windows Phone apps will be able to run inside Windows 8, possibly snapped to the side (similar to Ubuntu’s new tablet UI).
Of course just because a team is “behind” doesn’t mean that they can’t put extra resources and effort into catching up. Additionally, we have no clue when Windows Blue was originally targeted for. Perhaps it was supposed to be around summer? This delay could just mean that Windows 8 Blue will arrive first, and Windows Phone 8 Blue will arrive around the 2013 holiday season.
Again, that’s just speculation. Windows Phone 8 is a solid OS, but an update like this is important if Microsoft wants to keep showing off its A-game in the mobile arena. Even if Blue doesn’t surface this year for Windows Phone, you can likely expect at minimum an update like Portico sometime this year that will add one or two small features along the way.
The Windows Blue project continues to give us more questions than answers, as we still really know little about what this ‘expansion’ will mean for the future of Windows upgrades. Will there still be service packs? Will the existence of these feature upgrades make ‘core’ versions of Windows more spread out than the usual 2-4 years?
Hopefully we get some light shed on the answers to these questions, sooner rather than later. What do you think of Windows Blue based on the limited knowledge we know of the project so far? A good move for Microsoft or not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.