Here we go again – Windows Blue?

Talk about crying wolf! The Verge is reporting that:

Microsoft is busy preparing its next-generation Windows client, shortly after shipping Windows 8 in October. The Verge has learned from several sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that the company is planning to standardize on an approach, codenamed Blue, across Windows and Windows Phone in an effort to provide more regular updates to consumers. Originally unveiled by ZDNet, the update on the Windows side, due in mid-2013, will include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform and pricing. We’re told that Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs. The approach is simple, Microsoft will price its next Windows release at a low cost or even free to ensure users upgrade. Once Windows Blue is released, the Windows SDK will be updated to support the new release and Microsoft will stop accepting apps that are built specifically for Windows 8, pushing developers to create apps for Blue. Windows 8 apps will continue to run on Blue despite the planned SDK changes.
Tell me this nightmare has an ending. So, let me get this straight.
  • Windows 8 has been challenging to sell to developers because they have been wondering whether it’s worth it to develop for this platform.
  • Windows 8 has been challenging to sell to consumers because they have been slow to adopt the new Modern UI interface.
Now Microsoft seem to be saying that they want to pull off yet another set of UI changes and updates and force encourage users to upgrade yet again after they just did in October? Who exactly thinks this is a good idea?
  • If you’re a developer, I have to believe this freezes you in place until you know what next to expect.
  • If you’re a consumer, I have to believe this freezes you in place until you know what next to expect.
  • If you’re a business, you were probably frozen anyway.
It begs the obvious question – why wasn’t this built into Windows 8 from the very beginning? Why have consumer expectations been so badly managed? It seems obvious to me that unless there is some immediate clarification from Microsoft about the EXACT implications of these new “updates”, developers and consumers will probably want to just sit tight. The absolute best case scenario here will be that “Blue” will just be a service pack and will have NO BRANDING of any kind. It should be seamless and apply to Windows 8 and require very little from consumers. If the whole thing is one large intrusive update that consumers have to try and understand (remember RT, Windows 8?), let’s just pack up and go home. Microsoft will be asking a whole lot of consumers to have to start dealing with yet another OS paradigm. Windows RT, Windows 8 and Windows Blue in one calendar year? I think people will decide to stick with Windows 7 or OSX instead. That’s my take, what say you?]]>

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