Microsoft has already confirmed an “internal set of plans” called Blue, but no other details on the project have been provided until now.
Tami Reller, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, confirmed in an interview posted on the official Windows blog that a Blue upgrade was coming “later this year,” while also revealing a few details about the upgrade.
Reller said that Blue would serve as the foundation for a wider array of devices, most likely smaller tablets, suggesting that 8-inch tablets powered by the new operating system were indeed on their way.
“Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs,” Reller said.
“It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play.”
While Reller provided absolutely no details on the launch date, sources familiar with the matter hinted that Windows Blue could arrive in beta version in June at the BUILD developer conference. The full version of the operating system is in the pipeline for an August or September release.
Several builds have already been leaked, giving us a glimpse into the changes that could be brought by this new Windows version.
It appears that the Redmond-based tech giant is working to improve not only the user interface, but also the Metro environment, with some sources hinting that an option to skip the Start Screen and boot directly to desktop is also possible.
Last but not least, Windows Blue is also rumored to witness the return of the Start button, as Microsoft has expressed its intentions to listen to customer feedback and make future products a bit more familiar.