Windows Blue Preview Coming Next Month

We've heard a lot about Microsoft's next move for Windows -- we'll find out a lot more when a preview version launches next month.

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REUTERS / Lucas Jackson

We’ve heard a lot about Microsoft’s next move for Windows, including a possible return of the Start button and the addition of more core functions to the operating system’s modern side.

Now, Microsoft is promising to reveal a lot more next month, when it’ll release a preview of the software, codenamed Windows Blue. In a blog post, Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green says the preview will arrive in late June, timed with the company’s Build conference:

We know people choose Windows because it’s important to their lives and their businesses. They trust and rely on Windows for serious productivity and more and more serious fun. We are proud to keep evolving Windows in way that brings forward over 25 years of computing and create the platform for tomorrow. As with every radical change, learning is a process. We are getting smarter every day about how to help people learn and make the most of their devices. From work in Windows, to online content, as well materials and demos at retail we are constantly improving and moving forward.

Ed Bott observes that the letter has an “almost apologetic tone.” It also hints that Microsoft wants to beef up the modern side of Windows 8 while making changes that are more accommodating to desktop users. All the whispers we’ve heard about Blue so far strengthen that notion. It won’t be long until we know for sure.

4 comments
ChristopherThomas
ChristopherThomas

Microsoft should develop an OS for the PAD systems and a separate one for desktops. I feel they have lost desktop users after XP. I will continue with XP and someday I may have to totally convert to OSX or Linux.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@ChristopherThomas Here's what I don't get about the "two separate OSes" argument: It would eliminate the possibility of interesting hybrid devices, like Surface, and it would make touch screen laptops and all-in-ones rather impractical. Also, if MS made a tablet-only OS, it's not clear why anyone would buy it.

luscusrex
luscusrex

" if MS made a tablet-only OS, it's not clear why anyone would buy it."

For the same reason that they buy Android Tablets and phones.  Google Android just trudged on until they got it right, and produced an elegant OS and a mediocre laptop OS (just the opposite of Microsoft). So if your pockets are deep enough and you stay in the race listening to the consumers, you will eventually come up with a decent product.

newmanjb
newmanjb

@luscusrex Android tablets have gotten better over the years, but the reason they are grabbing so much market share is because they are a cheap alternative to the iPad (which still has about 50 percent of the market and most of the profits). There's a clear reason why you'd buy an Android tablet instead of an iPad, and it largely has to do with cost savings, with the exception of a small group of people who are just really into Android.

Not sure a Windows tablet that doesn't run legacy apps, has fewer apps than Android or iOS, and is more expensive than Android, brings to the table. Windows RT is essentially that operating system, and no one's buying. Office doesn't seem to be a very big motivator.

I think the potential for MS is to create a solid, hybrid operating system for devices that can function as laptops or tablets, making them ideal for a mix of work and play. It also needs to do a better job of walling off Metro so it doesn't get in the way of people who just need the desktop. Seems like we're going to see a lot of improvements to that end in Blue.