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Rumor: Windows Blue Arriving Mid-2013?

What's blue and can't be seen? According to press reports, it's the next Windows client operating system from Microsoft, slated for an appearance sometime in mid-2013.

Veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley gave us perhaps the first discussion of Windows code-named "Blue" back in August. Now Tom Warren of The Verge is confirming the Blue OS, based on unnamed sources. Microsoft so far has said nothing about Blue publicly, so it's at the rumor stage at this point. However, work on the next OS typically proceeds at Microsoft, even though Windows 8 was just released last month.

According to Warren's sources, Blue will be a low-cost OS that will get updated frequently for phones and other Windows-based devices, perhaps updated on an annual basis. If consumer users have a pirated copy of the OS, the upgrade will get blocked. Microsoft will compel developers to create apps for Blue, rather than Windows 8, by ceasing to accept Windows 8 apps in the Windows Store. However, Windows 8-based apps will be backward compatible with the new Blue OS.

Microsoft's Blue OS concept, according to Warren's sources, is to produce an OS that will be more competitive with OSes released by Google and Apple. Foley speculated in August that Blue could be called "Windows 9" or go by Windows 8 version numbers, such as "Windows 8.1." She claimed that Microsoft's strategy with Blue will be to aim more at incremental OS releases, somewhat like Apple's strategy with its iOS releases.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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