So the blogosphere is all atwitter with news of “Windows Blue”, including our own website.  Apparently, a Taiwanese forum user posted some information purportedly about the next iteration of Windows — “Windows 9″ or “Windows Blue.”

The forum user indicated that the current alpha version is build 9622 compared to 9200 for Windows 8. The idea behind Windows Blue is that it will fix rough edges in Windows 8, give the desktop UI more of a Metro look and feel, and feature highly resizable tiling.

The consensus seems to be developing that Windows 8 has had a mixed introduction, with sales numbers reportedly not hitting Microsoft internal forecasts and the new Metro-style paradigm featuring both a steep learning curve and proving indigestible for many users who prefer the desktop paradigm.

In addition, most businesses seem to be quietly avoiding Windows 8 while focusing on getting Windows 7 deployed and wringing out ROI for the next few years.


<<Windows Blue Now in Alpha Testing, What Might This Mean for Businesses?>>


So why didn’t Microsoft get out ahead of this and say definitively that this would simply be a service pack – SP1 for example, not a new version of Windows?

Why is that important, you ask? Well, if Microsoft is perceived as writing off Windows 8 by focusing on 9 a mere two months after launch, guess what that will do to Windows 8 sales. It will crush Windows 8 sales and put many back on the sidelines to wait for “Blue”.

You have to wonder if anyone is in charge over in Redmond. Its the same exact thing that happened when Surface RT sales reportedly faltered. Microsoft began talking up Surface 8 Pro. Now the buzz seems to be: ignore RT based systems and wait for the Pro or PC makers’ equivalents.


<<Running to Stay in Place: Where’s the Surface Mini?>>


I believe it is crucially important that Microsoft steps up to the plate and confirm they are all in with Windows 8 and will only be “doing Windows 8” in 2013. Otherwise 2013 may turn out to be worse than they could have imagined.

Please share your views in our discussion below.

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  • JohnnyG

    Perhaps Microsoft hasn’t felt the need to qualify it because they figure that most people are intelligent enough to figure out that it’s just a damn service pack. They’ve just gotten in the habit of giving code names to major ones. (e.g. Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). It provided a whole host of new features, but it wasn’t a whole new OS. Just a big service pack.)

    What’s particularly annoying to me is that every friggin time Microsoft does anything, the whole world wants to weigh in on whether it’s a smart move or a misstep. It’s good that they have a thick skin. How the heck do you run a company when, no matter what you do, someone wants to tell you how it’s a major mistake – at least until it isn’t?

    At the end of the day, what Microsoft is doing with Blue is adding enhancements to Windows 8 – not abandoning it for crying out loud. Any other perception just boils down to people not using their brain and accepting rumor (no matter how unfounded) as fact.

    • Bay

      JohnnyG, I quite agree that this “Windows Blue” thing may be a service pack. But what does it cost Microsoft to make a statement that it is, especially when Windows 8 sales are struggling a bit? Nothing. Sometimes perception can become reality and folks without your understanding might wait for “Windows 9” or “Blue”.

      And about the world weighing in, well, when you are that big and public, don’t you think the world is entitled to weigh in? Especially since you have their billions they paid for your products parked in the bank?