Microsoft Shifting to Annual Updates with "Windows Blue"

Discussion in 'Windows 8 News' started by Nibiru2012, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Moderator

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    From: Tom's Hardware 11-28-2012

    Microsoft is reportedly shifting to yearly updates for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, a plan supposedly codenamed "Blue".
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    ZoomZDNet originally revealed Windows Blue back in August. It's supposedly the codename for the next interim release, but at the time it was unknown if this release would be the first service pack, or a feature pack that would include both a rollup of fixes and new platform features. Much of the report was speculation although sources claimed it would be released in the summer of 2013.

    A new report regarding Windows Blue claims that the "Blue" reference is actually the company's code name for a plan to standardize regular yearly updates to consumers of both Windows and Windows Phone platforms. This plan will begin next summer with the next desktop and mobile OS release although this latest report seemingly indicates that it's a full-blown platform launch rather than a mere service pack.

    According to the report, Microsoft will offer the next release at an extremely low price point – much like it's currently doing with the Windows 8 Pro upgrade – or offer it for free to ensure that all Microsoft customers upgrade to the latest platform. Once the new platforms are launched, the SDKs will be updated and Microsoft will cease accepting apps developed for the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms. Don’t' worry: current apps will still work in the newer release, sources said.

    Interestingly enough, sources claim that Microsoft will stick with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 labels for the foreseeable future. That said, the next yearly update slated for Summer 2013 may upgrade current consumers to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, reverting back to the pre-Windows 95 numbering system. Or maybe we'll see Windows 8 Second Edition and Third Editions? Nah... it would much easier for Microsoft to keep both platforms on the name numerical system.

    Lastly, sources said that consumers will naturally need a legitimate version of Windows to upgrade to the 2013 release. Those updating from a pirated copy will see their apps and the Windows Store itself case functioning. No surprise there.

    Now here's something else to chew on. A recent DigiTimes report claimed that Microsoft chose Foxconn to manufacture Surface smartphones for a mid-2013 release. Coincidence? Probably not. As previously mentioned, Microsoft likely plans to launch a new build of Windows Phone 8 on the rumored Surface device much like Google does with its Nexus devices. This is probably the very OS release described in the "Blue" reports.

    SOURCE
     
    Nibiru2012, Nov 29, 2012
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  2. Nibiru2012

    Victor Leigh

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    Only once a year? So what happens in between updates? The usual patches, I suppose?
     
    Victor Leigh, Nov 29, 2012
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  3. Nibiru2012

    Octagon

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    "Those updating from a pirated copy will see their apps and the Windows Store itself case functioning." - I read that as "cease functioning" and find very strange since it actually means two things. First, "we know we are being pirated and are happy to tolerate that for 11 months". Why? Second, "when we find you are a pirate, we will take the Windows 8 specific goodies from you, but will acknowledged your prior rights to pirate keeping the rest of the system working". Strange.

    "standardize regular yearly updates to consumers of both Windows and Windows Phone platforms" - taken literary, this is a promise that things like Windows Phone 7.8 will never happen again. Nice.

    "Only once a year? So what happens in between updates?" - I guess this is what should be expected from second digit updates like 8.1: changes that do not add or modify features so that changes to the SDK are required.
     
    Octagon, Nov 29, 2012
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  4. Nibiru2012

    Ian Administrator

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    The more frequent OS updates work for Linux and OS X, so I guess there's no reason that it can't work with Windows 8. I quite like the idea that we could end up getting Windows 8.1, 8.2 etc... on a more regular basis - assuming the upgrade cost is very reasonable and that there are worthy improvements.
     
    Ian, Nov 29, 2012
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  5. Nibiru2012

    Victor Leigh

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    The best upgrade cost would be 00.00usd but that's hoping for too much. Maybe they will let us deduct the cost of those small incremental updates from the final cost of the next major upgrade.
     
    Victor Leigh, Nov 29, 2012
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  6. Nibiru2012

    lucasbytegenius

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    So this was the "big update" I heard about. It's basically an annual service pack.
     
    lucasbytegenius, Nov 29, 2012
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  7. Nibiru2012

    Octagon

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    Very unlikely. The "big update" did not change anything in the SDK. It was just a regular bug fixing update, only a big one.

    In its current form, Windows 8 is the Windows kernel finally isolated from the rest of the code base, face lifted COM from 1993 forming the Modern UI, and patch layers allowing XAML and .NET to use that. Of course, there is also Classic Desktop standing nearby. That may look outdated, but in fact them all are mature technologies proven to be sufficient and tuned over time to use the good parts and avoid bad ones. Linux and iOS are UNIX from the beginning of the Universe and both work nicely. Thus, I guess the foundation is good enough.

    The Modern UI is, or looks, not that good because it is just that which can be achieved on a typical tablet hardware, and not too much can be achieved now. It does not matter here if "can be" is understood as "in principle" or "by Microsoft". However, hardware is evolving fast and Modern UI must follow.

    Thus, I guess the 1 year upgrade cycle is exactly what is needed. I predict that within the next 11 months Android 4.2 will proof that multitasking on a tablet is a good idea and Windows 8.1 will allow for it.

    The OS X and especially Linux updates are all different starting from are almost daily updates for distros like Arch or Gentoo and ending with the slow pace of Debian. There are no stable, testing, and unstable branches of Windows, and that alone makes it impossible to compare Windows and Linux updates.

    However, all these differences just mean that the way you do updates never leads to problems. Windows 8 is safe anyway.

    The price is the key here. If it is reasonable, like the current promotional upgrade price, then there will be no reason to pirate Windows, at least for a machine one is going to use, not just to play with for a while. If the price is not reasonable, it will lead to direct comparison with the very reasonable OS X upgrade price.

    Yet another key question is not 100% answered - what will get yearly upgrades? It looks like everything (phones, tablets, and desktops) will, but that has not been said loud enough.
     
    Octagon, Nov 30, 2012
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