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While Microsoft Corp. has officially confirmed that it plans to update a bunch of its services and programs with a set of new features and capabilities collectively known as “Blue”, the company has never revealed anything beyond that. Meanwhile, unofficial sources have discovered that Blue updates will not turn Windows 8 into Windows 9, but the version will be officially called 8.1.

A screenshot allegedly made on a system running Windows operating system version 6.3 build 9375 (newer than the one that recently leaked onto the Internet) clearly points to Windows 8 top-level branding and Windows 8.1-branded refresh. According to renowned Microsoft experts Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrot, the Windows 8 with Blue updates are indeed called Windows 8.1. Given that Windows 8 is a product that Microsoft will sell for years to come, the company will continue to advertise Windows 8 brand, even though the OS itself will get better over time, just like it always did.

Microsoft is now expected to release Windows 8.1 to manufacturing sometimes in August, 2013, which will give PC makers plenty of time to prep their all-new PCs for the holiday season, reports ZDnet. Moreover, given the fact that Intel Corp. wants to limit initial availability of its fourth-gen Core i-series “Haswell” chips this summer due to an USB 3.0 erratum, launching the refreshed OS this Fall seems to be a nice coincident for both companies.

Since Blue includes updates for numerous operating systems, services and devices that Microsoft has to offer, it is logical to expect them to land to Windows RT and Windows Phone platforms as well. The Blue update for Windows RT will be referred to as “Windows RT 8.1”, according to ZDnet.

While the full picture of Blue updates remains generally unclear, the enhancements of Windows 8.1 over Windows 8 have already been published:

  • New split-screen App options.
  • Improved modern UI PC settings.
  • New tile sizes.
  • New search interface.
  • Enhanced SkyDrive.
  • Internet Explorer 11.
  • Swipe up from Start Screen to access list of apps.
  • More personalization options.
  • Picture frame mode.
  • New gestures.
  • New App: Calculator.
  • New App: Alarm.
  • New App: Sound Recorder.
  • New App: Movie Moments(video editing application).

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8, Blue, Windows RT

Discussion

Comments currently: 24
Discussion started: 04/05/13 07:35:47 PM
Latest comment: 05/22/13 10:46:46 AM
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[1-12]

1. 
Not good enough.
6 1 [Posted by: DIREWOLF75  | Date: 04/05/13 07:35:47 PM]
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show the post
0 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/06/13 07:12:56 AM]
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For M$:
Add the start button, start menu and option to ditch crappy metro interface, and we will consider..
2 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/08/13 03:14:39 AM]
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I have to agree, Microsoft seems to have forgotten the last 20 years of service. Not only have they totally forgot where their home user base is but they also have forgot the corporate user base. I have been using Windows since Microsoft came out with Windows 3.1, basically went to Windows 95 and have actually owned all of the Windows versions since then. So now it its 2013 and Microsoft decides to totally forget its user base?? It is the same as Ford or GM saying that all it's new vehicles have gone from gas engines to all electric. I for one would rather have the basic Windows desktop, or should I say, have the option to choose that over this new "tile" display. What they have not taken into consideration is that there is a huge percentage of the market out there that doesn't want the change, and especially doesn't that to have to learn a new system all over again.......so I say "NOT GOOD ENOUGH"....
1 0 [Posted by: nubzster  | Date: 04/29/13 12:52:03 AM]
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2. 
WINDOWS 8 - OPINION

The new Windows 8 start screen and desktop app are cumbersome and require extra steps for the user to gain access to anything other than MS suite products or partners. It comes across as an attempt by Microsoft to carve out territory via MS start screen apps that point users toward their MS suite of services. I would have thought that all the anti-monopoly suits that MS has faced would have given them reason to avoid such steering. Anyway - I see more trouble ahead for this operating system. Oh yeah, almost forgot - purchased a new upgrade desktop for my 74 year old mother-in-law and unfortunately it came with W8. Poor judgment in retrospect – as she was totally lost until I took a plane in to help her out. Funny thing is the new W8 start app screen is being totally ignored in favor of one tile which simply launches the good ol familiar W7 desktop screen.

Really MS – the 8 start screen this is a serious miss!!!!!

Also her Cannon L80 laser printer is now obsolete with no available printer driver from the OEM or MS and of course will require the purchase a new printer. Another MISS by Canon and MS…………

So my take is it is an engineered failure - Scrap 8 and go back to what consumers want free choice and functionality……
11 0 [Posted by: Ten Wise Temple  | Date: 04/05/13 07:50:39 PM]
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In actual fact you don't even need a tile to swap to the desktop. Just hit the Windows key (two to the left of the spacebar), which toggles between Metro and the desktop (and back again). Hope this helps your mother-in-law!
0 0 [Posted by: Andy Briggs  | Date: 05/03/13 06:41:18 AM]
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3. 
I don't see why they don't just copy ideas from Ubuntu and make an interface like Unity. There's no point in having a fullscreen interface. A side panel that scrolls and has a convenient dash is significantly more intuitive, not to mention Unity is very pretty while Windows 8 UI looks horrifying ugly. It works on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops too. Heck, even the window themes in Windows 8 look horrible. It's more of a downgrade from Windows 7. They might as well repackage Windows 7 with the kernel in Windows 8.
4 0 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 04/05/13 08:05:30 PM]
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One day, Microsoft will roll out a Linux distro and call it Windows NT2.
5 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/06/13 06:59:24 AM]
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4. 
You can always download windows classic start. There is an article about it here
2 4 [Posted by: techeee  | Date: 04/05/13 09:41:06 PM]
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or start8 both are good. But I'll just stick to windows 7, thanks. windows 8 was just too much work trying to make into 7, when I could just install 7.
2 0 [Posted by: evernessince  | Date: 04/06/13 05:20:09 PM]
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5. 
Dear Gay Microsoft,

Here is idea, while your installing Windows 8, a fking GUI option will appear states do you wish to install Windows 8 tablet mode or Desktop Mode, or any other web 2.0 shiity names.

depending on the user decision one mode will be metro, the other will boot str8 to desktop with the classic start menu.

BAM, problem solved.

i dont know why your hiring your current staff and not me ....
7 0 [Posted by: medo  | Date: 04/06/13 06:37:50 AM]
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But if you did't install their tablet mode, how would they ever sell you "apps" from their Windows store?
5 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 04/06/13 06:53:13 AM]
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simple... an apps menu in the start menu... which was accomplished by classic shell
0 0 [Posted by: Patrick Frank  | Date: 05/22/13 10:46:46 AM]
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6. 
so instead of them calling it Windows 8 SP1 they call it Windows 8.1, which is basicly what it is, is a service pack with a diff name.
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 04/06/13 03:54:42 PM]
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Don't forget they get to charge you for it!
4 0 [Posted by: evernessince  | Date: 04/06/13 05:21:10 PM]
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7. 
Interesting to see IE11 there, rather sooner than I had expected. A more frequent release schedule for IE might help make it more competitive.
1 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 04/07/13 12:05:20 AM]
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ie is soo far behind chrome and firefox they can release ie every 3 months for the next 2 years and it isn't going to make up the ground that chrome and firefox has on it now. going from chrome or firefox back to ie is like going from blu ray to VHS.
2 2 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 04/07/13 04:38:14 AM]
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8. 
^ All the hate ..............but MS really do know better than the consumer............wink.jpg
1 1 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 04/09/13 01:43:13 AM]
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how about you go and fuck yourself little kid. MS knows better than you but not better than billions. so go and suck MS dick else where.
0 1 [Posted by: yaz  | Date: 04/14/13 11:03:18 AM]
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9. 
still no start shit, fuck MS, im not updating, sticking with win7 until those assholes put an option to restore desktop experience back and shove their metro and app shit in their asses.
1 1 [Posted by: yaz  | Date: 04/14/13 11:04:17 AM]
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Well well well. Having some anal issues, are you?

Maybe if you grew up, you might deliver a good contribution to a discussion. Now you are only a major waste of bandwidth
0 0 [Posted by: BitMan  | Date: 05/17/13 03:31:27 AM]
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10. 
There is no way I can roll this out to end users. I've been doing this a long time and I have never been more frustrated than I am right now. MS has completely turned its back on the business user (which by the way has been paying your bills for years now). Piss enough of us off and see where it gets you. There is absolutely no way I can roll this out without a start button. It’s not for me but for our users. This is a fail by MS, no doubt about it.
1 0 [Posted by: rocket1150  | Date: 05/09/13 06:41:07 AM]
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11. 
BRING BACK THE START BAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 0 [Posted by: Charlie Renton  | Date: 05/17/13 01:22:06 PM]
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12. 
I installed "Windows 8 Start Menu" and never looked back. Now i have a start menu like Windows 7.. Plus it's free http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php
0 0 [Posted by: jesseeads  | Date: 05/18/13 01:13:25 PM]
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