“Blue” Updates Will Transform Windows 8 into Windows 8.1 – Reports

Major “Blue” Updates Will Not Mean New Software Names

by Anton Shilov
04/05/2013 | 06:22 PM

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:

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.