It's a new world at Microsoft these days. The latest proof points: Company officials are talking about both the next wave of Windows releases (Blue) and the next Windows developer conference (Build 2013) in a timely manner.
First up is Build. The next Microsoft Build conference is happening June 26 to 28 in San Francisco. Registration for it will open on April 2 at 9 am PDT. According to Microsoft's Build site, early bird registration (for the first 500) will be $1,595. Full registration will be $2,095.
That seems like perfect timing if rumors about Windows Blue and its timing have been on the money (which they have, so far). Windows Blue could be ready for a preview build of some sort right around late June. Word is there would be two Blue milestone builds, followed by a public preview and then release to manufacturing around August 2013.
(Update: The not-so-perfect part about the timing, as a couple readers have noted, is that Build 2013 is overlapping with TechEd Europe, which is June 25 to 28 in Madrid.)
There've been a lot of leaks about Blue -- including this past weekend's leak of a recent internal Windows Blue build that shows off some of the user interface changes coming to the next version of Windows. It's also known that other "Blue" wave products are in the pipeline, including Windows Phone Blue, several Windows Server Blue variants, and Blue versions of Windows apps and services like Skydrive and Outlook.com.
But the way we've known all this -- up until today -- has been thanks to leaks and tips. Now Micorosft officials are starting to tell the Blue story publicly, as a March 26 blog post from Corporate Communications Vice President Frank Shaw make clear.
Shaw's post reiterates a lot of what I've been trying to make clear in my posts about Blue, namely, that Blue is about more than a set of interrelated products that are timed to ship within a specific window (pun intended) of time. Blue is also significant because it signifies a move by Microsoft officials to turn Redmond into a devices and services company that is delivering updates in a more timely fashion.
"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," Shaw noted. (There's that collaboration theme, again.)
It should be an interesting Build this year, with plenty of new goodies to keep the (hopefully this time) less soggy developer masses busy.