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Apparently, with Windows 8 iterations, Microsoft has taken two steps forward, but will now need to take one step back. In case you haven't heard the news, the Windows 8 OS hasn't been doing great. In fact, there are even some in the industry who have claimed the new OS is hurting the PC business. Luckily, Microsoft is an amazing group of people who learn from mistakes and who listen to their customers.
Their next version is internally codenamed "Windows Blue," but it will likely be released as Windows 8.1. With this version, the company plans to step back and reevaluate things a bit. They aren't completely going back to the drawing board mind you. Instead they plan to reintroduce some of the familiar functionality of Windows 7 and attempt to bridge the gap between the past and present a bit more solidly. Microsoft realized that the radical overhaul of their familiar OS has been a bit abrupt and they intend to move forward while reintroducing some old-school continuity.
This isn't to say they won't also be adding new features with the new Windows 8.1 update. Of course they will, but they are striving to make the transition easier. The company in Redmond hasn't outlined any specifics just yet, but they are quickly making it apparent this move is important to them. Here's a quote with a few more details,
In an interview, Reller said Microsoft still realized changes need to be made to make Windows 8 easier to navigate and capable of taking full advantage of technology improvements that have come out since October.
"Are there things that we can do to improve the experience? Absolutely," Reller said "There is a learning curve (to Windows 8) and we can work to address that."
For now, Microsoft isn't saying what kind of changes will be introduced with the release of Blue, which the company plans to anoint with a different name when the update is available. Microsoft also isn't saying whether it will charge existing owners of Windows 8 devices to get the fixes in Blue. The company plans to release Blue in time for the holiday season.
Reller said more details about Blue will be released before Microsoft holds a developers conference in San Francisco in late June. Some of Blue's features are expected to be previewed at that conference.
"I view this as a relaunch of Windows 8, finally giving everyone a fully baked version," said technology analyst Patrick Moorhead. "It has been a very rough road for Microsoft so far."
If Blue is meant to make people more comfortable, the changes may incorporate more of the elements from earlier versions of Windows.