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.