Not long after it was first released, there were rumors that Microsoft was planning a radical overhaul of the way it updates its operating system, with a new annual release cycle codenamed Windows Blue. The plan, supposedly, is that Windows will become more like Android or Apple’s OS X, and until today we’ve been waiting for official confirmation that it’s true.
Now it looks as though Microsoft has indeed confirmed the existence of Windows Blue, albeit inadvertently, from a quite unexpected source.
According to a report in The Verge, the software giant recently posted a couple of job ads seeking software development engineers that specifically referred to Windows Blue. The job descriptions hinted at Windows Blue’s emergence sometime later this year, and although both postings were quickly removed, The Verge managed to grab a few snippets from one of the ads.
We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.
In the second job posting, Microsoft apparently confirmed that its planned OS update would extend beyond the PC experience. The ad specifically requested a professional to help it work on designing apps for ‘Windows Blue Phone’, which seemingly confirms earlier reports that Windows Blue will be rolled out across all platforms. Indeed, it wouldn’t be stretching the imagination too far to assume that Windows Blue might even come to the new Xbox, supposing there’s a ring of truth to the rumors that it will run Windows 8.
We should note that the two postings didn’t actually make any explicit reference as to what “Windows Blue” might actually be, but the most recent rumors suggest that we’ll likely find out sometime in mid-2013. The best guess is that it will be a refresh of the current Windows 8 OS, improving upon user experience and aesthetics, kicking off a cycle of regular, annual updates of Windows’ services. As to how much the updates might cost, this remains anyone’s guess, although it’s plausible that Microsoft might offer cheap upgrades for Windows 7 and Vista users as a way of boosting adoption of its new software.