Blue clues: Microsoft's Windows Server Blue mentions materialize

Blue clues: Microsoft's Windows Server Blue mentions materialize

Summary: We've heard about Windows Blue and Windows Phone Blue. Now we're getting a few tidbits about Windows Server Blue, the next release of Windows Server expected this summer.


Microsoft's oncoming "Blue" wave is going to wash over Windows Client and Windows Phone. But there's also going to be a Windows Server Blue release, too, as I blogged a couple months ago.

Until now, there's been almost no public information about the server version of Blue. But Microsoft watcher Stephen Chapman has dug up a couple of public mentions that seem to point to the Server variant of Blue.

As Chapman highlighted in a March 21 post on his MSFTKitchen blog, a former Senior User Experience Lead for Windows Server mentions — on his resume — work he has been doing since August 2012 on "design and user experience delivery of Windows Server and System Center Datacenter Management Portals for Windows Blue."

Another Microsoft employee who has been working on the Workflow Manager Azure Service mentions on his resume his work on shipping MSDTC features in Windows 8 and Windows Blue. MSDTC is Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator, which is both a Windows and Windows Server service. MSDTC tracks all parts of the transactions process, even across multiple computers.

I've heard very little about Windows Server Blue, beyond the fact that it will be on the same ship pace as Windows client Blue (so annually, instead of once every three years).

One of my contacts said the thinking inside Microsoft around Blue on the server side is to focus on making Windows Server the best platform for building cloud services for both Microsoft customers and partners, and for  Microsoft itself. Cloud customers are more interested and willing to take delivery of new features and releases than enterprises running the server typically are. So the supposed plan, going forward, will be to deliver,  annually, new server features that matter most to those building and deploying in the cloud.

Chapman also unearthed a video clip from an employee-only session at Microsoft's recent TechFest 2013 research fair where a member of the FreshPaint team briefly demos the next version of Microsoft's FreshPaint, which is expected to be available for Windows Blue and Windows Phone Blue. There are no new revelations specific to Blue itself in the demo clip, other than Chief Technology Officer Eric Rudder noting that Microsoft will be extending touch in a more dramatic fashion with the next version of Windows.

Windows Blue and Windows Server Blue are supposedly coming to market late this summer and will be optimized to run on smaller screen sizes. Windows Phone Blue is expected to follow some time after that, though possibly not until early 2014. One of the alleged goals of Blue is to bring the developer platforms of Windows and Windows Phone closer together to allow developers to make fewer modifications in writing apps that will work on both platforms.

Topics: Windows Server, Cloud, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Smaller screen sizes

    "Windows Blue and Windows Server Blue are supposedly coming to market late this summer and will be optimized to run on smaller screen sizes."

    Does this also mean lower resolution? Its crazy that I cant run Metro apps on my 50 inch plasma screen at home - just becuase its only a 720p screen. Windows 8 as of today demands 768 pixels in heigth to allow windows 8 apps to run...
    • RE:

      Aren't metro fullscreen apps already atrocious enough on a small monitor?
  • Blue clues: Microsoft's Windows Server Blue mentions materialize

    Looking forward to trying out Microsoft Windows Blue and seeing how it integrates with the rest of the Blue products. Microsoft Windows refresh for everyone! :)
    • Loverock-Davidson....your french fry's are over cooking

      Please pay attention to what your doing and get off the computer.
      Over and Out
    • Yep. refresh..

      take every thing down at once.

      Definitely a feature.
  • Why?

    Do I need Metro on my server UI? Why do I need a server UI that can run better on smaller screen sizes? I can understand the unification of the kernel and core APIs but the Metro on 2012 server already looks like...and it is useful as...
    • RE:

      Maybe some of these Microsoft fanbois and employees here can give you some reasons on why you need Metro for your server UI. I can't come up with any reasons myself.
      • That's the 007th time you said that.

        Orders from Cupertino, I assume?
        William Farrel
      • Nope they haven’t

        …so far…but I am still waiting for them to finish telling anybody who doesn’t like Windows 8 that they are haters, morons and idiots before I get my answer.

        Then again nobody really told me a good reason why I need to use Metro on my desktop either, or why having some flashing rectangles and plenty of empty space on a 30” monitor is ergonomic and useful.

        I will just have to wait a bit more I guess. Who knows, maybe by then Windows 8 will be a success and I will not have to ask these questions anymore.
        • mil7....METRO is a TOTAL FAIL as a UI

          and those never ending flashing tiles makes a lot of sense on a server....I run two 24 inch monitors and I can tell you Metro isn't ment for that purpose......I can just see someone doing something on a 30 inch touch screen.....touch screen desktops really makes sense ............
          Over and Out
          • Yes, but you see…

            You, zealaudio, myself (and many others in this forum), we are all haters, so our opinion doesn’t count. We have to hear from the “experts”, the Win-Fan-Club boys who even have 12 year old children that “know” how to use the new Metro UI and by implication because their children and/or their wife can use it, it should also be useful to me too.

            So I am waiting to see if anybody tells me that any of their family members finds the Metro UI useful especially in a server context, because their 8 year old runs Windows Server 2012 on their PC and they use its Metro capabilities to keep in touch with friends, i.e. something you definitely need from a server box.
          • No, your opinions DO count, and are welcomed

            as long as they are honest.

            If you come to troll because MS shut down your pirate PC business because of activations, or that they didn't hire you, or for some from something so simple as making a product that competes with your favorite brand, then how can anything you say MS related be trusted?

            It seems that many of the "haters" ALWAYS happen to have horror stories ready at hand, horror stories that always run contrary to what actual users of those products experience, stories like their 8 year old runs Red Hat Server on their PC and they use its command line interface to keep their web servers up and running 24/7, or that they setup their parent's Apple xserve before naptime on a Sunday afternoon.

            Yup, works both ways.
            William Farrel
          • RE:

            Oh, shut up. We all know you are a big Microsoft fan and that anything anyone else says even remotely negative (although true), that you're going to troll them up and down.
          • Thanks

            For taking the opportunity to answer my post, although I still cannot understand how can you manage to miss answering any of the points, while at the same time add a lot on insults and wrong guesses as to my background. On the positive side of things, you did come with some “fantastic” classifications for all Win8 “haters” out there and now at least we know “their profile”.

            I can only conclude that you must be either a certified lunatic or just high on illegal substances, in either case I see that Windows 8 “modern” UI suits you perfectly.
          • @mil7

            I am no MS fanboi(I hope others agree). I hate Apple and you can put me in Apple haters club. But I prefer not to be in MS fan club :)

            Call me crazy or think that my reading comprehension is low, but as far as i can see, there is no mention, at least in this article, that Windows Server Blue is a metro tiled interface. Or was there?

            If they made Windows Server Blue with tiles, I guess it will have the power of apps management for all the clients under it as well as give power over BYOD regarding what apps needs to be there and so on.

            But lets hope they will not do tiles in Servers :-)
          • You obviously

            Have not used Windows Server 2012…and as far as your logic goes “why put tiles in the server”…unfortunately that was MY thoughts too… but guess what, the Win8 and WinServer12 are using the same UI.

            So what makes you think that Blue will be any different?

            Plus of course I didn’t say that I know that Blue will use rectangle-crp-UI…in general I doubt if they are going to “fix” the problem in Blue-Server if they do not see that it is a problem and they madness prevails.
          • Where you talking to me?

            "taking the opportunity to answer my post, although I still cannot understand how can you manage to miss answering any of the points, while at the same time add a lot on insults and wrong guesses as to my background."

            I have never been insulting to anyone here (intentionaly) except those like zealaudio/toddybottm7 that are here looking for that type response, nor was the "hater" post person specific, but in reference to the many phoneys here, with their imaginary scenerios.

            Honest critique is healthy for things, dishonest critique is an insult to people's intelligence.
            William Farrel
        • You've said something interesting

          That not many seem aware of - they prefer to complain about the lack of start button.
          Indeed why there is so much wasted display space with windows8, it's bad on a 30 inch display, worse on a small display - and computers seem to be getting smaller.
          Microsoft has made the same mistake with windows phone, placing a vertical bar of nothing... oh wait there is a little arrow there.
      • Windows Server doesnt need a UI

        You can run Windows Server completely sans UI. The new design will be for built in displays which are like 4" displays so we can go in and locally look via a small touch screen and troubleshoot without the need for a keyboard and mouse hookup to the server which is really neat.
    • Simple fix for you:

      Run your servers headless and avoid a GUI completely.