Microsoft Confirms It Will Offer Users Their First Taste Of Windows Blue In Late June

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Microsoft, Technology
Tags: ,

20130508-211035.jpg Windows 8 launched to mixed reviews just over half a
year ago, and Microsoft has dutifully pushed out
nearly 740 tweaks and updates over the intervening
months. Even so, rumblings of a sizable update
(codenamed “Windows Blue”) have been making the
rounds for months now, and we’ve finally got a firm idea of when to expect the first public preview. Microsoft Windows chief Julie Larson-Green
confirmed at the Wired Business Conference today
that developers would be able to download and install
the Windows Blue update preview in late June to
coincide with the company’s BUILD developer
conference. The update will be “available to everyone that has
Windows 8 in the Windows 8 store,” she noted to
Wired senior editor Michael Copeland. “Just click on it
like you would any app and it’ll update your system.”
It’s hardly a shock considering that a June preview
release date has been rumored for over a month now, but it’s likely welcome news for users who haven’t
quite fallen with Windows 8 and its dramatic design
changes. At this point, many of Blue’s juiciest details are still
shrouded in mystery — we don’t even know what the
update will even be called. People are already
bandying about the name Windows 8.1 and Larson-
Green wouldn’t refer to it as anything the “update to
Windows 8,” though she may have just been dodging the question as the onstage conversation was just
about to wrap up. Microsoft seems content to keep
most of Blue’s changelog under wraps for the time
being too — CFO Tami Reller pointed to a slew of
necessary (if vague) changes in a Q&A that was
recently posted to Blogging Windows: It will deliver the latest new innovations across an
increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes,
display, battery life and performance, while creating
new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide
more options for businesses, and give consumers
more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the
customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening
to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. That said, it seems very likely that at least two major
Windows 8 sticking points will be addressed in the
coming update. According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley,
the traditional Windows start button is expected to
make its triumphant return, as is the ability to boot
directly into the Desktop view rather than having to futz around with the UI-formerly-known-as-Metro. As it happens, June is going to be a pretty busy
month for Microsoft and its hardware partners –
Larson-Green noted that the era of smaller Windows 8
devices is nearly upon us, and that portability mavens
will be able to get their hands on the first such device
in June as well.

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