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Windows Blue: New Windows due for release in mid-2013??

It’s been just about a month since Windows 8′s official release, but Microsoft is already hard at work on its successor. Of course, this isn’t really a huge surprise. What is surprising is that Microsoft may be gearing up to launch the new version as early as next year.

According to reports, Microsoft is planning on ditching the traditional big-bang release model in favor of a more frequent annual release cycle. The next iteration of Windows, codenamed “Blue”, is reportedly scheduled for release in mid-2013. Now, please don’t panic… information to hand indicates that Microsoft plans on making the upgrade very cheap, or even free for current Windows 8 users – and it will be backwards compatible too.

So far, these reports are unconfirmed but, if you think about it, it does make a lot of sense. For Microsoft to be anywhere near competitive in the tablet sector, they will need to match both Android and iOS’s annual upgrade models. And one thing is certain, Microsoft desperately wants (needs?) to be relevant in this lucrative arena.

I’m all in favor, on the proviso that annual upgrades remain free of charge for current users. If Microsoft does decide to apply charges for each new upgrade, I’m not going to be a very happy camper… and I suspect I will not be alone. However, I also suspect that Microsoft is determined to see Windows 8 succeed and smart enough to recognize the inevitable negative impact any such ongoing charges would almost certainly create.

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About the author - Jim Hillier
Managing Editor/Contest Coordinator of Daves Computer Tips - Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30 years of experience. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s. He progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PC's in the 1990s. Jim currently uses both XP and Win7. Jim has a passion for free software and hopes to share that passion with others during his tenure here!
 
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Why not make them as SP1, SP2 etc instead of upgrades until they make some really big changes.

If Microsoft had any brains, you would backtrack and release a new version of Windows 8 for desktops and laptops with the traditional desktop and start button. I don’t know a single user who plans to upgrade to Windows 8 with the new user interface, including myself. Unless Microsoft satisfies these users, they will lose much of their base of users. No large users, such as cites, who are now using Windows XP will ever consider upgrading to Windows 8 as it stands now.

I am not all surprised that anyone still running Windows XP is unlikely to jump at Windows 8 since they are not exactly an organisation that likes to run up to date software. I really don’t understand why people make such a fuss about the new design of Windows 8 given that all the features they are used to in Windows 7 are still there. Maintaining two separate current versions of Window would I think add to it’s cost and would offer no consumer or commercial benefits. People who currently have no interest in using tablets or smartphones will have little incentive to consider it, but they form a rapidly diminishing market, and while I don’t think the tablet heralds the death of the PC, it is I think quite likely that tablet/smartphone users will soon be in the majority, and most of them will eventually expect their PC’s to integrate with their mobile devices and even static devices such a Television and Radio. For those people who are totally wedded to the desktop (like myself at the moment) it is but a click away, and as one article here shows, is easy enough to set up as the default. OK Microsoft could have appeased us by adding a slightly more obvious way of doing this but by doing that they would know that many people would not explore the modern interface at all, and consequently would not see the benefits of purchasing a windows tablet or smartphone, rather than an Apple or Android.

What I predict will happen in coming years is that users will gradually move towards one OS infrastructure for all their devices and that people who love their iPhones will be drawn to use MAC as the OS’s converge (and that is starting to happen on Macs), people who love Android will be drawn to the new Android OS (even though we know it isn’t there yet, you can be sure it will be soon, and will probably be the first more or less fully converged system, aimed at the huge email, web searching and media consuming, market. Whilst the introduction of Windows 8 doesn’t guarantee Microsoft’s survival in that market, sticking with Windows 7 and a separate mobile interface would almost guarantee it’s demise.

They have provided two huge incentives for purchasers in that Windows 8 (even in desktop mode) is a much faster system that will run on much older legacy PCs that most previous systems have done. Ask yourself which is the least expensive route for a company, adapting to using Windows 8 or replacing hardware? This will what will eventually motivate them to upgrade.

Couldn’t agree more! I am actually in the process of compiling an article regarding the so-called ‘missing’ Start button. The Start button is still there, in the same spot, and still takes just one click to access the Start menu. In fact, the Start menu in Windows 8 is more customizable than ever.

Stay tuned!

Do you think the air heads at Microsoft are getting a clearer picture of their latest farce, Eight? Here’s some food for thought. The younger generation is already happy with the limited Internet access via cell phone and tablet. Thus, Desktop and Laptop sales are going to decline as they age (no replacement). Die Hard users of these machines don’t appreciate the touchy feel of Eight, and many still use the doomed XP (with April 2014 as it’s termination date).

Simple forward thinking sees a large downfall for Microsoft sales. Nice name for the next instalment, Blue, as MS does not want to end up in the RED, Mindblower!

Hey MB – Here in OZ, “Blue” is slang for mistake… to make a “blue” is to make a mistake. Do you reckon that might be appropriate? :)

Nice one Jim. Whatever the name, there are too many unhappy users. Change is good, but change for the sake of change, bears dislike, distrust and kills the bottom line, Mindblower!

It is also interesting that people who embraced changes as fast as they could happen, have matured into people who want to maintain the status quo.

LOL.

Why is it that our youthful, carefree, try anything attitude inevitably matures to stick in the mud?

Jim, referred through seeded article on Newsvine. A couple questions. Considering purchase of Win8 with Touch Screen (TS). So far am unable to find a TS keyboard. Is there such an animal in retail yet? Also please provide insight on cell phone – tablet – PC interfaces, wireless or docking stations, or even the inductive chargers. Am thinking Cell phone can dock on tablet or pad (IPAD of XYPAD), and XYPAD can act as keyboard when linked with Win8 PC. Has this been developed yet? Can you give us a critique? Unsure if now is time to purchase or wait for new developments.

gbswales: ‘yesterday’s liberal is today’s conservative’

Hi BD – I’d love to be able to help but, unfortunately, my knowledge in that area is very limited to say the least.

Not sure what you mean by “Touch Screen keyboard”; do you mean a virtual onscreen keyboard?

Perhaps Dave, or one of our more gadget-minded team members, might have some better insight for you… stay tuned!

Cheers mate… Jim

Yeah, but not onscreen as imagined. I figure a keyboard will come about that won’t need classic pushbuttons, instead it’ll be a touchscreen. Thanks for getting back to me. If I find anything useful, I’ll place a followup comment here. Cheers!

Hello BD,

A lot of things going on here…
Touch keyboard? There has been some research on keyboardless touch typing devices – I believe it was a laser based device that projected a keyboard onto any flat surface – but nothing in production that I’m aware of. The closest would probably be the keyboard of the new Microsoft Surface.

Inductive chargers?
There are quite a few mobile devices using this technology, but the big hindrance is a standard. The second fly in the ointment is size. The required inductive circuitry adds bulk and that isn’t necessarily a good thing in this “thinner” “lighter” age. I imagine we’ll see a standard very soon, followed by a mass acceptance of this in the near future.

Docking phones?
The closest I’ve seen are phones that dock to a tablet, but you’re definitely limited by processing power of the phone.
http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/12/asus-padfone-review/
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/a-complete-guide-to-the-motorola-atrix-the-only-phone-laptop/

Technology is moving very fast, but you can’t wait for it to catch up with you – there’s always something better around the corner and you never know what will “stick”. I suggest you look for a laptop that will suit your needs now and not worry about what’s coming around the next bend.

Windows, windows everywhere, but not a change in sight ! I love win 7, and hate win 8 almost as much. I was lucky my brotherinlaw bought a computer with Win 8 and I was’t roped into a change. I’ve tried it and though it is faster than 7 in some ways, it is not either intutitive or even logical. Of course older XP people felt the same way about 7 when it came out. It seems Microsoft introduces a system, perfects it, and drops that for a new one every few years after a million updates. Maybe Chrome is the future. Until then, or until Win 7 is as out of date as XP was, I will keep using 7. I just can’t see having to give up anything, surely not two versions of photo shop and half of my AV stuff to chase around a cluttered screen looking for the controls I used to use without a thought. Better luck with Blue.

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