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Windows Blue (8.1): Shades of things to come?

John Boline

A lot of things have been said about Windows 8, most of them not very nice. The rumor mills started cranking with Windows Blue, or Windows 8.1. It was supposed to bring back the start button from Windows past; it was supposed to work better than the current version. Sometimes with technology, rumors are true. You get a feel for reading between the lines and can come up with a pretty good idea of what the basics will be. This has not been the case with Windows Blue or as some have called it, Windows 8. Just when you think you have seen it all, something comes out of left field. Windows Blue has not come out yet and already there are rumors of a Windows 8.2, as well as a Windows 9 release. Could this be a good thing?

Windows 8.1?

windows blue

Microsoft is currently working on two different Windows projects. Both of these projects are supposed to bring major improvements to the otherwise disappointing (at least according to bloggers and fans of Cupertino) Windows 8 released in October 2012. Windows 8.1 is expected to be released later this summer or early fall. Microsoft had indicated that they would be moving to an annual update / new release of operating systems when Windows 8 was released. Now, after many months in the marketplace, Microsoft has worked out a much more complex plan for the long-term deployments of the Windows platform. They may even delay Windows 9 with a subsequent point release of Windows 8. What is to be expected in this point release? The Start screen will be more customizable and easier to use. It is also very likely that there will be new gestures and possibly support for the Windows version of Kinect. Microsoft appears to be addressing how two or more apps share the screen as the current 'snapping' is far too limiting, especially with bigger screens.

Windows 8.2?

windows 8.2

Unnamed sources at Microsoft, quoted by the leading tech publications, indicate that the Redmond giant is also pondering the release of a second Windows 8 upgrade, possibly called Windows 8.2, which could bring a number of improvements to Windows 8.1 and will likely be unveiled in 2014. If this scenario were to happen, the release of Windows 9 during the same year won't make much sense, so Microsoft would basically have no other choice than to delay the next full Windows release. Still other rumors say that if Windows 8.1 is well received, Microsoft might rebrand Windows 8.2 as Windows 9 and Windows 9 would then become Windows 10. They have done it before (Windows 7 being Windows Vista that worked!). If Windows 8.1 does not go well, then it may release Windows 8.2 and use the next release of Windows 9 to distance itself. Keep in mind that while a lot of the people seem to be complaining about Windows 8, it is very stable and the adoption rates are not that far behind those of other Windows releases, especially when taking into consideration the economic conditions for the past year or so.

Windows 9 (or is that 10)?

windows 9

Ok, so whatever they call it. You remember all the angst about the removal of the start button in Windows 8? Well, the advance information on Windows 9 (or possibly Windows 10) is that not only will there be no start button, there will be no desktop. What? Yes, eventually, Microsoft is likely to want to remove the old desktop and Windows 9 /10 may be the platform on which it chooses to make the change. A lot of things can change between now and the release date. The earliest this version of Windows is likely to release is November 2014 and could even be pushed to November 2015. One thing I can see is the touch screen friendly Windows may bring touch screen monitors to our desktops. It could bring a divergence in Server and Desktop softwares again, something Microsoft has done before as well. The only thing certain in our future is death and taxes, and those are things not likely to change.

How can I get more information on this subject?

If you are looking for more information on Windows 8.1, 8.2 and Windows 9 / 10 just stay tuned! Tech publications like InfoWorld, PC Advisor and others are good sources too. As always, when you are looking to upgrade, make sure your applications will run on the new operating system and hardware. After all, we know what happens when we ‘assume’!

Submitted by John Boline, Service Manager, Hagerman & Company, Inc.