Windows 8 Windows Blue is real! Under a tight lid!


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Windows Blue is Real!

We're told that the Bing team is working closely on Windows Blue to improve search in a significant way. A number of scenarios are being targeted, including the ability for users to search for a movie and have apps surface that content and provide a quick way to play it. The current implementation of search in Windows 8 supports deep search within apps, but users currently have to select those apps to search within them. Blue will expand on that, providing apps are updated to support it, by extending the search abilities of the OS. – Source: The Verge @ Microsoft preparing Windows Blue public preview with significant search improvements | The Verge

Constant media rumors in the tech world are giving credence to the idea that Microsoft will release an update called Windows Blue or Windows 8 Blue at some point in 2013. From a technological and IT sales perspective, this would be a feature-related update similar to a “service pack”, but with a brand name. Why a brand name? If Microsoft is planning to deliver future operating system feature improvements under a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, this could be one way to go about it. Speculative rumors indicate that the Windows Blue update could range anywhere from $19.99 to the original upgrade price of Windows 8 at around $40 USD. Some other sites seem to think it will be free. It is important to note that the subject of these rumors is almost entirely coming from Win8China, which in the past, has made some accurate predictions. But without an official announcement, there was no way to know if “Windows Blue” even exists. Until recently.

Here’s what we’ve got from Win8China:
IE11 ¾ªÏÖ Windows Blue ÖÐ - Windows8Ö®¼Ò£¬Win8Ö®¼Ò

And here’s what we have from some random guy at NeoWin:
Windows Blue News Update (Milestone Preview, IE11) - Neowin Forums

He says:
Windows Blue development has passed Milestone 1 (no details as to what that entails). The next milestone is called MP, or "Milestone Preview" because Microsoft will release a preview version of Windows Blue after meeting that milestone. The Milestone Preview will precede the final product by "a few months," so developers and early adopters can work with it. Win8China claims that RTM is scheduled for June 7, at which point Blue will be made available on MSDN, followed by general availability in August. Blue will be free to Win8 customers.
Windows Blue will be faster, use less power, and run with a new, smaller kernel, version 6.3 (recall that Win8 runs kernel 6.2). The UI hasn't changed -- no Start button, no Aero. Windows Blue will support more screen scaling -- presumably for smaller (and larger?) screen sizes. There's some talk of "multi screen applications," although in the context it isn't clear if that refers to Metro apps. Not much change for PC and mouse users.
And one guy who talked about it went bottoms up: After talking in great length about the update (or upgrade, depending on how you would classify it), he redirected his entire website to, disappeared from Twitter, and generally fell off the face of the blogosphere.

Our old friend Paul Thurrott, from Supersite for Windows, has had a critical view of Windows 8’s shortcomings:

Microsoft hasn't taken very obvious and logical advice to fix Windows 8... on an ongoing basis. Instead, they're just doing what they've always done: Methodically prepare, test, and then release a big-bang, monolithic update. The only difference is that they're doing it in one year instead of three.

Of course, Thurrott implies in this message that something is intrinsically wrong with Windows 8 - or that it has serious shortcomings.

Why would Microsoft want to get customers used to something like Windows Blue?
IT managers and directors often talking about waiting for “Service Pack 1” or “Service Pack 2” for new product adoption. They are often skeptical of Windows releases until some serious patching takes place. With the introduction of Windows 7, those same types found themselves leaving their company in the dust and with a 10-year old OS called Windows XP by waiting for Service Pack 1. Microsoft may want to move away from this tradition and look at bringing back more than just security updates into their service pack roll-ups. Feature improvements and kernel updates could be deployed directly over the Internet, for a small fee.

With video games and software suites being sold by companies like Valve and Adobe as downloadable and directly over the Internet, Microsoft would have very little to lose by making Windows a subscription based service that you pay to update once in a while. Few people with tablets want to go to the store to buy books, movies, or music anymore. Why would they want to go to the store to upgrade or add features to their operating system?

While Microsoft purposefully limited service packs to a roll-up of updates (a lot of people used to look forward to them for feature and performance updates), maybe they are looking at Windows Blue as a way to provide new features once more. The last big service pack that everyone in the IT world seemed to be excited about was actually Windows Vista Service Pack 1, an update which actually replaced and upgraded the entire Windows kernel, making Windows Vista much more palatable for adoption.

Find out more of the strange at Windows 'Blue' rumors fly fast and furious | Microsoft windows - InfoWorld
This was a translation from another forum, of the improved features which will be coming. Also from the Chinese site. As the article says, they have been correct, more than wrong, in the past.

1. The kernel has been further optimised, with an even faster boot speed and system response.
2. The kernel is smaller. It is surmised that the tablet/portable section, in the 64Bit, could account for half, and will adjust according to first installation demand.
3. There will be lower power consumption. As the CPU is the primary power user, Microsoft's process and thread optimisation of the own system kernel, will not have a very significant impact on this.
4. Interactive upgrade. (Not sure what that means!)
5. Ability to open multiple applications, ie.
6. Metro / Modern applications can be scaled to within the size of the screen.

There doesn't appear to be any mention of the return of the legacy start menu.