Windows 8.1 (codename Windows Blue), expected to arrive later this year, is said to bring a major change in the overall approach of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

The software titan itself has confirmed that it wants to take user feedback into account, and plans on making it next OS release high on the user friendliness factor.

And with the release date of Windows 8.1 fast approaching, analysts and market watchers have been increasing their focus on the upcoming upgrade to Microsoft’s latest platform in their bids to gauge just how much of an affect it will have on the overall market.

As far as David Johnson, a Forrester analyst is concerned, Windows Blue is all positive. It could actually offer Redmond a better chance to put some needed excitement in the market.

Talking to Forbes, the analyst said:

“Blue gives Windows 8 a better chance of adoption. But the success of that strategy depends on whether enterprises accept the new value in each update, and has much to do with the amount of differences from release to release. That’s the central question.”

Central question, indeed!

How the market actually responds to Windows Blue will be clear by the time this year is out, but one area that Redmond seems to have cornered is the availability of smaller and more affordable Windows-powered devices, particularly tablets.

Microsoft will unveil the Windows 8.1 public preview next month at the BUILD developer conference in San Francisco. The final version of the upcoming refresh is slated for later this year.

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