Windows Blue Said to Be a Wave of Microsoft Updates

The rumored "Windows Blue" may not just be an emerging flagship operating system from Microsoft, but it could also be a wave of more frequently issued updates to various Microsoft products, according to a press report.

Veteran Microsoft blogger and Redmond columnist Mary Jo Foley offered some new details about Blue, based on an unnamed source, in a Thursday blog post. In addition to being a new OS, Blue may turn out to be a platform update for Windows Server, Windows Phone, Internet Explorer and various Microsoft services (such as and SkyDrive), as well as integrated Windows 8 apps, such as Bing, Calendar and Mail, according to Foley's article.

Blue is also the code name for a Windows 8 "feature-pack" update. That update is expected to arrive either this summer or in the fall, according to Foley. Changes to the Windows 8 kernel could facilitate easier porting of Windows 8 applications and Windows RT applications to the Windows Phone platform, and that capability could be enabled through the Blue update, according to speculation by Foley in a Friday blog post.

The Blue updates could be pushed through the Windows Store, according to Foley's source, and they might be released on a yearly or more frequent basis. The aim for Microsoft would be to ensure backward compatibility with Windows 8, according to Foley.

Microsoft has typically released its new desktop operating systems every three years or so. Consequently, the Blue wave release approach would represent a major shift for the company, as well as for busy IT pros trying to keep pace.

Analysts at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash.-based independent consultancy that tracks Microsoft, have recently speculated that Windows 8 could have yearly interim updates (such as R2 and R3 releases) instead of more traditional service pack-type OS updates. Microsoft's R2 interim releases tend to include new product features, and not just the functional improvements that are found in service packs.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Feb 20, 2013

The update process is fairly secure and uses SSL to communicate the updates. The updates themselves are also digitally signed. So unless the endpoint is already compromised, it would be difficult to spoof. Of course anything is possible. Also updates are communicated on the second Tue of each month (patch Tue), unless there's a critical patch which needs to be immediately pushed out (aka out of band update). I certainly agree though that Microsoft has been doing many baffling and irritating things these past couple of years.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 Ken McAvoy Melbourne Australia

I have long wished Microsoft would stop forcing updates down the throats of end users on an almost daily basis. Apart from being intrusive and actually causing problems (users turn the PC off in the middle of an update) it also lends itself to web hijacking - cloning Microsofts web site and installing bogus updates. Annual releasing of a major update set - makes more sense , guarantees the code is legitimate and hopefully better tested with more lead time and ensures the web does not melt down with this incredible waste of internet resources repeatedly downloading updates on a machine by machine basis. When XP is wound up by Microsoft they intend to stop all updates online but by rights legal XP Users should be entitled to a full DVD of all updates before Microsoft switches the OS off -especially as many people have NOT warmed to W7 or W8 despite all the marketing fluff trying convince us all otherwise. Microsoft have in the past 10 years really done some incredibly dumb and irritating things - it's as if they are trying to encourage us to find an alternative. If Microsoft are seriously considering a rolled up and more professional way of delivering Updates via DVD through legitimate reseller options I think thats a nice turnaround and may be a big help to the industry especially the comms group struggling with internet overload.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 ibsteve2u Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Re: "The Blue updates could be pushed through the Windows Store..." Store? Huh...too early to get my back up, but.."updates" through a "store" makes it - in the terms of the automobile market - sound like the Microsoft model will be shifting from "buying" to "leasing", but you'll also have to "buy" manufacturer fixes for safety and maintenance issues that become apparent after you drive your O/S "car" off the lot whereas the automotive industry throws out those "recalls" for free. Throw in the "tend to include new product features" and you're leasing a car that is intentionally obsoleted once or twice a year. But...that's all nothing but pure speculation, currently - an exercise in predicting "worst case scenarios" that would indeed cause me to shift operating system vendors.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 Col. Panek

Maybe future computers will come with a coin slot. Well, not mine.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 EVVJSK

Agility and Nimbleness are words not often used to describe Microsoft. Maybe changing that will benefit Microsoft in getting back into the mobile game in which they fell behind. I think many of us anxiously await a Microsoft that delivers refinements for Windows 8.

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