icrosoft 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.
YEARLY UPGRADES WILL BE THE NORM FOR WINDOWS SOON
We understand that you will need a genuine copy of Windows to upgrade to Windows Blue. Built-in apps and the Windows Store will cease functioning if a copy is upgraded that is pirated. Sources tell us that Microsoft will likely keep the Windows 8 name for the foreseeable future, despite the Windows Blue update. A big part of Windows Blue is the push towards yearly updates for Microsoft’s OS. Microsoft will kick off an annual upgrade cycle for Windows that is designed to make it more competitive against rival platforms from Apple and Google.