Blue clues: Microsoft's Windows Server Blue mentions materialize

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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