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Microsoft Confirms 'Blue' Project

Microsoft confirmed today that it has an internal plan, code-named "Blue," that will set the pace for the company's products in the near future.

The Blue project, previously described in press reports based on anonymous sources, was briefly confirmed in a blog post by Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of corporate communications. Shaw noted that Microsoft previously declared its shift toward being a devices and services company, and that the next phase of that plan is being called Blue.

"With a remarkable foundation of products in market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as 'Blue'," Shaw wrote in the blog post.

Media reports by Redmond contributor and long-time Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, as well as other reporters, have described Blue as a wave of updates. It's also described as an update to Windows 8/Windows RT. According to those press accounts, the Blue updates will arrive sometime this summer. Screenshots purporting to show an early release of Windows 8 Blue have recently appeared in various press accounts.

Shaw seemed to suggest that Blue is more of a "continuous development cycle" across Microsoft for various products. He pointed to the recent release of updated Windows Store apps for Windows 8/Windows RT as an example of the company's new "ongoing rhythm of updates."

Still another interpretation comes from an anonymously sourced CNet report that Windows Blue will be associated with Intel's Haswell chip for ultrabook computers. Current Windows 8 machines use the Ivy Bridge Intel processors, but Haswell promises increased power performance and longer battery spans. The new Haswell chips are expected to appear as early as June.

Whatever Blue may be, Microsoft plans to talk more about it at its upcoming conference events, according to Shaw. He pointed to the new Build 2013 developer conference coming on June 26, as well as Microsoft's Tech-Ed conferences, as places where Microsoft's new plans will be disclosed. Microsoft will hold Tech-Ed North America on June 3, while Tech-Ed Europe starts on June 25, coinciding partly with Build 2013.

About the Author

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

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