This is Microsoft’s next biggest product. Its code name is Windows Blue and it’s an update that will launch this summer under the Windows 8 umbrella; offering a plethora of new personalization options and intuitive tweaks to enhance user experience.
Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s corporate Vice-President of Communications, unveiled the news on their blog. “We’ll tune everyday experiences as well as introduce bold, connected and exciting new scenarios. Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want – all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing,” he said.
The new software is expected to be free or very cheap for those who already have Windows 8, which is good news for those who just want to revamp their user experience. It isn’t, however, just another launch. It’s a change in the way software will be announced and released from now onwards at Microsoft. It looks like Microsoft might have taken a page out of Apple’s book; there’s no need to bet on a completely new OS, you just have to improve the one on offer and cash in on the updates. According to ZDNet, the new operating system will be called Windows 8.1 (rather than Windows 8.5), a strategy that fits in with previous Microsoft launches.
A leaked ‘working’ version of Windows Blue gave a glimpse of what the new operating system would be capable of. One of the biggest nags for users is the lack of display control of tiles in the main screens, which would be solved thanks to the new tile sizes available through the new update; allowing users to create ‘super-tiles’ or thumbnail sized ones depending on their preferences.
Users will be able to personalize the colours and layout of the screen backgrounds and the ‘Start’ menu, as well as having the option to snap app windows side by side (without having to sacrifice the width of one of them). The new Windows software will also have Internet Explorer 11 and it’s been hinted that users might have the possibility of synching their internet tabs within different devices.
Although the new updates are attractive for users that want more from their Windows 8 experience, the price tag will still be the most decisive factor for its success with cash-strapped tech lovers.