Since we first started hearing about Windows Blue, the news about what it is and what to except has changed significantly.
At one point it was believed that Windows Blue would essentially be “Windows 9” and that Microsoft would switch to yearly updates going forward. Now it seems more likely that Windows Blue is more like Windows 8.1, and these yearly updates will be more minor than anything.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to gather up what we think we know about the upcoming Windows Blue and Windows Phone Blue in one post.
Windows Blue – When it it coming?
That’s a good question. Windows Blue for Windows 8 is now believed to be on its way sometime later this year, likely towards the holiday season. Before then, Mary Jo Foley at ZNET indicates that the current Microsoft made Windows 8 apps will all receive updates in preparation of Blue.
The apps included in this update will be Mail, Calendar, Music and Games, among others. These updates could be coming as soon as next week’s Patch Tuesday.
As far as Windows Phone Blue is concerned? It could be arriving around the same time, but past reports have also indicated that Windows Phone Blue could be delayed into early 2014 instead.
In the meantime, several Windows Phone 8 minor updates are expected to roll out beyond the already released Portico.
What Might Windows Blue Bring?
Officially we can’t even say that Windows Blue is real. Sure, there have been job postings from Microsoft that hint at its existence, but Microsoft has yet to give us any real information.
We do know that Windows Blue is not a major new version of Windows, and instead brings a few new features, app updates and bug fixes. Think of it as a “Service Pack Plus”.
We know that Blue affects both Windows Phone and Windows 8, as well as other Microsoft products and services.
It is also believed that Windows 8 could see the unification of Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, as well improved focus on search. Other rumors include more customization options for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users – such as more options for resizing tiles and changing backgrounds.
Anything else that Windows Blue might bring? There is continued talk that 7-inch Windows tablets could be waiting on a few changes that come with Windows Blue before they start rolling out. One will hope that part is true, as Microsoft really needs cheaper, smaller tablets if they want to compete at this point.
The Big Takeaway
I wanted to gather up a clear picture of what Windows Blue is and while I tried my best to include when we expect it to come and some of the features that it will bring, the bottom-line is it is easier to tell you what Windows Blue isn’t than what it is.
It isn’t a whole new version of Windows 8. It isn’t something that needs brand new hardware to work. It likely isn’t a paid upgrade either, and is really more about giving mobile-like upgrades to the Windows desktop, tablet and phone world.
What do you think of Windows Blue based on what we currently know: excited for it, dreading it, or completely indifferent?