Windows Next: Just call it 'Blue'?

Windows Next: Just call it 'Blue'?

Summary: Windows 9 might not be Microsoft's next version of Windows. Instead, 'Blue' could be the interim release that shows up first.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

It's been a couple weeks of Microsoft naming madness. To top it all off at the end of last week, there were new leaks about the next version of Windows unearthed by various sites.


It's not surprising Microsoft already is working on whatever version of Windows follows Windows 8. It'd be way more surprising if the company wasn't doing this.

But already there "Windows 9" references, including new ones unearthed by Microsoft Kitchen's Stephen Chapman and Win8China (as cited by the WinUnleaked site).

I've heard the next version of Windows is not going to be Windows 9. Instead, I've heard from a couple of my contacts that some kind of an update is coming next year. The Windows release codenamed "Blue" -- mentioned by Win8China last week -- is likely the codename of this interim release, my contacts claim.

I'm not clear if Blue is simply what we in the Windows world typically call a service pack, which is a rollup of fixes and updates. Or maybe Blue is more of a feature pack, which would/could include be a rollup of fixes plus some new features.

The word seems to be, whichever it is, that Microsoft is moving away from the big-bang Windows release schedule to which it typically has adhered, and is now attempting to move toward something more like what Apple does, with point releases.  I'll be curious if Blue eventually gets a version number, like Windows 8.1 or 8.5 or something. And if we'll see Blue materializes in the summer of 2013, as I've heard from some of my contacts....

What's interesting about "Blue" as a codename is that it deviates from the city-name pattern that is used by many Microsoft divisions. (The corporate-codename thinking, supposedly, is city names are less likely to be something for which Microsoft will/can get in naming trouble, though that isn't always true.) That said, the Windows team has for the past couple of releases used numbers (7, 8) rather than city names as codenames.

Another fact of potential interest to other codename buffs: This isn't the first time Microsoft has used the Blue codename. The Azure folks have used Blue before, as has the MSN team.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


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).

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  • Likes/dislikes

    News about important imminent advances in computing and OS functionality I like ...
    ... rumours about crap MSFT marketing for products 2/3 years hence I dislike :-(
    • I see. Well it's no wonder then that you think summer of 2013 is 2/3 years

      hence. Thanks for sharing your brilliance, that's some true troll wisdom there.
      Johnny Vegas
      • I Think He Still Does Not Get It...

        So, I am going to spell it out for him. 2013 is approximately four and one half months from now!!! Class dismissed!
        • wow

          not sure what's worse, johnfenjackson's English writing skills or your English comprehension skills.

          "2/3 years" means 2 or 3 years.

          "2/3 OF A YEAR" would mean 8 months.

          four and one half months from now would be about 1/3 of a year.

          that "s" at the end of the word "years" makes all the difference. Class dismissed!
          • ?

            Who said that they thought he meant 2/3 of a year? :S
            James Forward
    • This is about a change in OS upating

      It'll be interesting to see what all is included in Blue
      • No more keyboard

        I'm more interested in what's the next bit of control they will be taking away from us.
        • Control

          Since when did we wage slaves ever have any control?
          Antaine O'Labhradha
        • ...

          What control was taken away? In fact, they not only did not remove any controls, they ADDED controls known as TOUCH CONTROLS. Stop smoking, start focusing, and then maybe you can contribute to the conversation.
    • If you don't like a topic,

      don't read it. Others do like the topic.
      • That's a great mindset

        If you live in a fascist or communist country...
        • you mean

          like the linux community???
          • Now now

            Linux is socialist, not fascist or communist - get it right.

            And socialist is only a perjorative in America, anywhere else it's just normal ;-)
          • Linux

            "And socialist is only a perjorative in America,"

            We simply rename it: Medicare, Social Security, Farm Subsidies, SBA...
          • Spelling Police

            It's "pejorative".

            I think Microsoft is becoming sexy again, after a long period of being carped at. And I think they've seen what's going on around them and realised they had to buck their ideas up or face steady decline.

            I like the inter-connectedness of the new OS across the different platforms.
            I don't particularly care about Apple or Linux on a pc, cos Windows is much cheaper at the moment than Apple and I've never seen a computer running Linux.

            The notion of "brand loyalty" is, to me, absolute nonsense.
            I buy what I like best at a price I want to pay.
            I don't particularly care who sells it. As long as it's easy to use, convenient, looks good and is secure as possible.
            For all I care Apple and Microsoft could merge to become AppleSoft and I wouldn't care as long as I liked the product and the price..
            Antaine O'Labhradha
          • Applesoft?

            I think Gooplesoft would be best :)
            Stephan Sevenyoln
    • Wait...

      Did you just say that the summer of 2013 is 2-3 YEARS away? Really? So you must not know that we are in the summer of 2012 and the summer of 2013 is actually 1 year away. And your horrible math skills are why you dislike Microsoft? Wow... just wow.
      • You could also think he meant

        2/3 of a year away (as in 8 months away). But you just had to rag on someone again, didn't you.
        • Who is ragging?

          The OP said "2/3 years hence" so it is doubtful that he was talking about two-thirds of a year. But it's nice of you to leap to his defense.
    • Its not earth shaking news no, but...

      ...from your commentary "rumours about crap MSFT marketing for products 2/3 years hence I dislike" clearly indicates there is a lot more to your post than a complaint about the lack of critical newsworthiness of the article.

      Its obvious that once you admit that your opinion is that MSFT marketing is crap that the fact is you dont want to hear anything about Microsoft at all, unless its about their demise.

      If that dosnt blow what little credibility you may have thought you had, referring to it as a product 2/3 years hence, when the article clearly stated the product name is likely in reference to something being released next year, your credibility truly dos stink. Mindless complainers from all camps should just go away.

      They contribute nothing and most of the time what commentary you do provide comes across as uninformed, juvenile and biased to the point of being worthless jabber.