With Windows 8 already out in the hands of manufacturers and set to become available for download for MSDN and TechNet subscribers tomorrow, Microsoft is said to be focusing on the development of the next version of Windows, recently said to be codenamed Windows Blue.
Originally said to be Windows 9, codenamed Windows Blue might end up as a minor update for Windows 8, and not the full-flavored platform that we believed it to be.
Apparently, Microsoft is set to move away from the usual release cycle of its new Windows versions and adopt a new one, similar to the one it has set up for Windows Phone.
To be more precise, the company is expected to start delivering regular updates for the platform, similar to the previously launched Service Packs.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that the first such update would be set to become available in mid-2013, and that Windows Blue might be the codename for this software release.
Provided that it indeed becomes available in the summer of 2013, the platform could feature an interim platform number, most probably Windows 8.1 or another in the 8.x line.
Nothing is confirmed on the matter, but all these pieces of rumor seem to be pointing in the same direction, namely that Microsoft is ready to move away from its usual development schedule of Windows.
Even the fact that it might have chosen the Windows Blue codename for the platform, which does not designate a city, is a shift from the previously used pattern, although the latest Windows releases had numbers attached to them instead of codenames.
For what it’s worth, Windows Blue might be only a Service Pack for Windows 8, set to fix issues in the platform and add some new functionality, and not the minor platform release mentioned above.
Other than the mentions in Microsoft’s employees’ social accounts, there’s no solid proof that Windows 9 is in the pipeline, yet it should not come as a surprise if it were.
Even if it moved away from the previous release pattern, the Redmond-based software giant might still plan the launch of major Windows iterations, the same as before. However, with no official confirmation on all these, we’ll have to take the info with a grain of salt.