By Barry Collins - Posted on 2 Apr 2013 - pcpro
Windows Blue is the next version of Microsoft's OS, changing the way the software giant releases updates - here we reveal what's known about the next version of Windows and what it means for users.Microsoft has officially confirmed Blue, which is an extensive update to Windows 8 that brings more improvements than a basic Service Pack, without being a full new version of the OS.
Windows Blue will mark a shift to annual updates, similar to how Apple releases OS X versions. It's expected to be a cheap upgrade, if not free, for Windows 8 users.
Blue looks set to arrive this summer, with Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice-president of communications, saying the company planned to reveal more about it at its Build conference at the end of June.
Shaw said the "continuous development cycle" introduced by Blue was "the new normal across Microsoft", confirming the update model will apply to products beyond Windows 8.
He added: "we’ll tune everyday experiences as well as introduce bold, connected and exciting new scenarios. Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want – all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing."
Shaw stressed Blue was merely a codename, saying in a blog post that the "chances of products being named thusly are slim to none".
Instead, the first Windows Blue update will almost certainly be labelled as Windows 8.1
. Screenshots have appeared of builds sporting the Windows 8.1 moniker and ZDNet's Microsoft-watcher, Mary Jo Foley claims her sources have confirmed the new version will be called Windows 8.1. Similarly, the ARM-based version of Windows will tick over to Windows RT 8.1. Full blog and links