Windows 8 Successor, Already in the Works?

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Windows 8 Developer Preview | Windows Team Blog

After it was officially released last October 26, many users believe that it will take a couple of years before Microsoft release the operating system’s successor. However, there were speculations that the company is changing its game plan.

Meet Windows Blue

Prior to the release of Windows 8, it was rumored that Microsoft is also working for its successor. Dubbed as Windows Blue, many unnamed sources confirmed the existence of the purported software. It was also believe that the OS will be released in mid-2013, which represents a new strategy for the company.

Instead of waiting for a few years after rolling out a new OS, CEO Steve Ballmer and his team might move to annual refreshes. This comes in with redesigned user interface, new features, and more affordable upgrade pricing structure. Simply put, Microsoft will be adopting Apple and Google’s strategy. As stated by Stephen Baker of NPD Group:

I think the world is different than it was 10 years ago, and everybody has to change. Microsoft has already started down that path with Windows 8 to begin with: Different interface, something that’s a lot more focused on touch, a lot more integrated with tablets and its cellphone operating system. There’s no reason they wouldn’t go toward an OS upgrade schedule that looks more like what the rest of the industry is already doing.

Moreover, the so-called Windows Blue will standardize features across the desktop OS and Windows Phone for more cross-platform integration. It was rumored that Microsoft plans to encourage developers to create apps for the rumored software instead of building only for Windows 8.

However, it was previously reported what the OS would represent. Some say that it will be just a small update or a service pack, bringing in bug fixes and minor tweaks, much more like Windows 8.1. However, some say that it will be a major upgrade that represents Windows 9.

But of course, Microsoft remains mum about it. Baker added that it is unlikely for Microsoft to release a new version of Windows next year, especially if it happens to be a dramatic change.

Nowadays, nobody does radical, big-bang departures like Windows 8. Everything is incremental. The reason you do a lot of small upgrades is to give people more time to adjust to changes.

So far, nothing is written on stone whether the next Windows version is a major or minor update. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to know what the software iteration would bring.

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