Microsoft plans on releasing one new Windows version every year, starting with ‘Windows Blue’ in 2013

Until now, Microsoft and Apple have had different ways of updating their desktop operating systems, Mac OS X and Windows. Apple works off a 1-2 year release cycle and prices each consecutive update $30-$50. Microsoft, on the other hand, has no set release cycle. Microsoft releases new version of Windows whenever it wants, sometimes taking as long as five years (Windows XP -> Windows Vista) or as short as two years (Windows Vista -> Windows 7); the most recent Windows 7 -> Windows 8 took roughly three years. And, for each new release, with the exception of Windows 8, users typically have to pay $100+ to upgrade. It looks like Microsoft is now aiming to change this philosophy.

Quoting “several sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans”, The Verge is reporting Microsoft is now planning on moving to an yearly release cycle for Windows, due to increased competition from Apple and Google. These yearly release cycles intend on hastening the convergence of Windows and Windows Phone, plus introduce new features. To entice users to upgrade, Microsoft plans on selling the new versions of Windows at discounted rates, such as the current $39.99 Windows 8 upgrade promotion.

According to ZDNET, Microsoft is reportedly already working on the successor to Windows 8 — codenamed Windows Blue. Microsoft “will include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform”, using Windows Blue as “the next OS that everyone installs”… seemingly indicating Microsoft doesn’t expect very many people to take the Windows 8 bite. Windows Blue will reportedly use a different SDK (software development kit) than Windows 8, and Microsoft will push developers to stop developing Windows-8-only apps and instead focus on Windows Blue. But Windows-8-only apps will still run on Windows Blue.

Despite all these changes, however, The Verge says Microsoft will likely keep the “Windows 8″ name for Windows Blue, meaning it could simply be a Service Pack. Or, if Microsoft does indeed intend on going Apple’s route, Microsoft may charge for Windows Blue.

It isn’t entirely clear if Windows Blue will be the start of convergence of Windows and Windows Phone or if it is just another stepping stone on that path.

Interesting. Times are achanging ,eople. Better get used to it.

[via The Verge, ZDNET]

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12 comments

  1. BigWill

    @Col. Panek: Right on with the Mint12. Linux (any distro) rules.
    Though I am lost as to why it ended up in the back seat in the midst of two full decades worth of Microsuck’s macro propaganda hooplah.

    Kudos to you brotther…
    When I find myself forced into dealing with Bill and his OS, I too, boot to XP.

  2. BigWill

    @chump2010: it IS stability when you own a company that produces a product that is installed by default on 80% of the in use AND new on the market.
    Going from a 3-5 yr release timeframe to an annual one? That wreaks of “wrap this shit in a different package and COUNT on cunsumer ignorance and blind faith, coz we aint got nuthin real to offer and we dont want to go out of business.

    Its time for them to stick their heads up their backdoors and JUMP.

  3. BigWill

    If Bill Gates was a car salesman instead, do you think he could get away with foregoing the year end event by painting the damn things a different color swapping tires and reintroducing the same lemons as the next year’s model?

    What he is doing with Winblows is even more absurd- yet still pales in comparison to the absurdity of peoples’ buying that crap after crap after crap.
    Einstein gives a very eloquent definition of insanity. Maybe he was also a prophet…

  4. BigWill

    Laugh my fucking ass off! Too much so for the simple abreviation.

    Windows BLUE? REALLY?
    Here comes that damn blue screen of death once again.

    A new version every year – we ALL know about what to do if at first you don’t succeed…
    yet the masses of sheeple still buy their crap OSes.

    One day people will eventually decide to rule and Open Source will OUTSOURCE big corporation…

    WAKE UP!!!! There was a time when conducting business as Bill and Steve do would land you in prison.
    Ahh, the good ole days.

  5. Peter

    To marvel at and to acclaim the “convergence” of desktop- and smartphone operating systems/environments is in my (possibly too old) eyes the wrong way. GNOME does it for Linux and MS does it with Windows. I don’t know if meanwhile Macs are just big iPhones. While it is easy to install another desktop environment in Linux, I am not aware of stable alternatives running with Windows. Even with substitutes for the start menu one is almost lost without remembering dozens of more or less intuitive hotkeys.

  6. Col. Panek

    What a bunch of crybabies.

    I have one “old” operating system (Mint12) that I know works, and is long term supported; and a “bleeding edge” OS or two, just to play with. If it only takes an hour to install it plus all my apps, and tweak it the way I like it, and costs nothing, why not? If it craps out, I have my old OS to fall back on, and all my data in a different partition. Go thou and do likewise, except pay Microsoft $40 a year or whatever. (I also have my original XP partition, just for fun.)

  7. Mike

    The consuming world is rejecting this constant upheaval–just look at the number of people sticking with XP.

    Microsoft is suffering from hubris as to the OS, and keeps on forgetting that Windows is just an OS, supposedly just there to allow us all to get down to our real work and applications, rather than focusing on what should be an invisible and silent underlying operating system.

  8. chump2010

    This won’t work…not if they are as bad at upgrading OS’s as they seem to be. No company in the world is going to want to go through the hassle of upgrading every year. By the time you test it and thoroughly check the new Windows, it may be half way through the year and the next Windows may be coming out.

    Given that Microsoft don’t allow you to keep old version application data, this will make it a hell to do any sort of upgrading.

    In other words, just like now, if you miss a version of Windows and don’t upgrade then you have to reinstall lots of your applications and application data. eg from Vista to 8 you would have had to do that…even though Vista to 7 was just a small leap and 7 to 8 again a small leap.

    This being the case…Microsoft may lose their core base – the enterprise section.

    Unless they can make this upgrading process much more seamless than it is at the moment, this will be a definite no no. I don’t know who is advising them that this subscription model (which is what they want to do) is the way to go, but whoever it is, is not giving them the best advice. Businesses want stability and changing your OS every year, is not stability.

  9. Hadron

    Times are achanging? Well, how about “No”? I find nothing more irksome to be told what I must buy. I am the bloody comsumer, the way it works is I tell a business what I want and they supply it if they want the money not the other way around.
    Microsoft have got the best racket in the world…sell an OS….push developers to construct programs (and while I am ranting, just when did programs for the PC becomes apps?) for that OS…Upgrade the OS…repeat push on developers…Upgrade OS…repeat with developers…things are now so different for the user nothing works or can be replaced because of software changes with hardware changes to match…so user upgrades….but wait, the OS gets upgraded again…repeat and rinse until the user comes to his or her senses.
    BAH!