What's new

Microsoft Windows 'Blue'; It's Kinda Like Windows 8 Second Edition...


Editor in Chief

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.

Source: Yahoo!


Active Member
I'm so sick of hearing people say Win 8 is hurting the PC industry. Win 8 has sold just as well as Win 7 did 6 months into it's life cycle. No one that needs a pc is walking into a store with money in hand and after looking at a Win 8 machine, changing their mind and leaving empty handed.

The reality is that the PC market is in a slump. This would be the same even if MS didn't release a new OS. For most people, there is simply no reason to upgrade. PC's that are 2-3 years old with Win 7 run just fine. People are instead buying new mobile devices like tablets and phones. For a lot of people who only browse the web and check email, that's all they need. This combined with the crappy economy is the reason for the slump - not Microsoft.


Editor in Chief
For the record, my article was not taking a shot at Microsoft. The facts regarding public perception of Windows 8 and how well it is doing are only represented by the numbers. Even Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows 8 adoption hasn't gone as well as they hoped. I agree with Ruffles that there are a number of mitigating factors causing this. I also agree with Ruffles that Windows 8 is not hurting the PC industry. It is a bold and necessary move for Microsoft to try and bridge the gap between the traditional PC and touch-based computing.

The PC market is in a slump and so is the economy; however, numerous reports and analysis show that average consumers are having a bit of a hard time getting used to the abrupt changes in Windows 8. By no means is it the fiasco that was Windows Vista, but it has not done nearly as well as Microsoft wanted it to. Ultimately, Microsoft chose to make some changes to Windows 8 in order to improve it and I applaud them for adapting to the market.

In the long run, Microsoft will find a way to rise to the challenge of the new mobile computing focused world. If you look at the history of Microsoft, this almost always happens this way. They create a bridge OS which is reviled in the press, and then the next iteration after that is improved and everyone applauds them. It's either strange or planned how this cycle continues... :)


Active Member
Good points. I didn't mean for my reply to sound so harsh. It just seems that everywhere you turn, tech bloggers are hating on MS and trying to blame the slump on Win 8 when the numbers really don't bare that out. Just look at some of the posts here. People claim that MS never focus tested win 8 etc. and that booting to the start screen and removing the start button somehow renders a machine unusable. People just seem to hate on MS because it's the hip thing to do.

Win 8 is different. That's a given. You can find the same types of comments about previous versions of windows. When Win 95 came out, tech bloggers said clicking a start button to shut down your computer was stupid and confusing etc. Yet, here we are today and no one is pining for the 3.11 interface.

I think for the vast majority of people, it takes all of 10 min of playing with Win 8 to become comfortable with it. They ask the salesperson "Where's the start button?" and he shows them the windows key and they say "Weird. Wonder why they changed it." and the salesperson spouts something about live tiles and that's it. They move on.

Essentially, we have something new and different introduced during a down economy with new cheap devices (tablets & phones) and even though MS is having record profits and sales are just as good as previous versions of windows 6 months after release, everyone wants to say it's a failure and Blue HAS to return the start button and boot to the desktop or MS is done.


Super Moderator
... numerous reports and analysis show that average consumers are having a bit of a hard time getting used to the abrupt changes in Windows 8.

I would like to add to this part of the conversation. I find it funny how people have no problem making the effort to adapt to Linux, OSX, iOS, Android and Chrome. Yes they do experience a learning curve but it is accepted and it is not uncommon in this day and age for people to move rather seamlessly between two or more of these OSes on a regular basis (e.g. Windows PC/iPhone). Yet Windows 8 which is more similar to previous versions of Windows than any of these other OSes is derided as being "too different." The change from a Start button to a Start screen or the addition of live tiles and gestures shouldn't be such a huge obstacle of change to overcome given that these concepts are in daily use in other OSes. This leads me the conclusion that people are more likely to complain for the sake of complaining (as they do with every version update to every OS) than because of actual issues, which are usually overcome without even an acknowledgement as people just move on to the next complaint.

To be sure Windows 8 has its issues but it is silly that things like Start buttons are shouted about the loudest. Then changes are demanded to go back to old things rather than discussing things like missing and unfinished features and how they could be improved. It is like complaining about the change in the icon image for the calculator in iOS rather than discussing the lack of a file system.

I strongly believe that if you take a step back and look at the whole of Windows 8 it is more similar to what has come before it than the alternatives to it (OSX is going to have more of a learning curve for a Windows 7 user than Windows 8). The changes that have been made are not wholly new ideas but implementations of things which the majority of users are already familiar with (apps, gestures, app drawers/home screens/Start screens, etc.). There is nothing wrong with discussing the differences in the new OS but whining about them, demanding reversions to old features and denouncing the changes as the work of the devil and the reason for the crash of the PC industry is just a waste of breath. Not everybody is going to be happy with change but at the same time most of the changes aren't as radical as people try and portray. If millions can manage to make the change from PCs to Macs or iOS to Android then there really shouldn't be any problem transitioning from Windows <=7 to Windows 8.

Users within an OS will complain, users comparing different OSes will complain and even when one OS copies something good about another users will complain that the useful feature was simply a copy. If half the energy that went into complaining went into discussing and improving (constructive criticism) instead we would all be better off. There is simply no way to prove that removing the Start button from Windows was the reason for a double digit decline in PC sales that was already in progress or that its inclusion would somehow have reversed that.

Blue is simply part of the ongoing product improvement process (Mango, Tango, Apollo...). Yes things will be fixed and some things may even be reverted. It does not denote failure any more than 5 previous versions of iOS or "4" (J=10) previous versions of Android indicate failure though.



Editor in Chief
You make some great points JP. I think the real reason is probably a combination of a couple of things. One, it's human nature (for most average folks) to resist change when it affects them directly. Even though Windows 8 does a great job of bridging two different operating systems together, it received a knew-jerk reaction that was unfair. Second, the media always likes to drum up drama, and especially when Microsoft is involved for some reason.

I am reminded of the Netscape fiasco of the nineties when Microsoft was assailed from all sides because they were the big dog. It seems really strange to me, but it appears (at least in global media) that people like to build things up only to tear them down again. You see it with companies and with celebrities.

Conversely, we also like to see an underdog succeed, or see a fallen hero come back from the brink and redeem themselves. I look forward to the day when Microsoft takes on that role.

Oops, I think I co-opted/hijacked my own thread and got a bit philosophical there... ;)