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Windows Blue: Microsoft's Plan To Release a New Version of Windows Every Year

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the operating-systems-shouldn't-have-subscription-fees dept.

Windows 712

MrSeb writes "Way back in August, three months before the release of Windows 8, we learned about the existence of a project at Microsoft codenamed Blue. At the time it wasn't clear whether this was Windows 9, or some kind of interim update/service pack for Windows 8. Now, if unnamed sources are to be believed, Windows Blue is both of those things: a major update to Windows 8, and also the beginning of a major shift that will result in a major release of Windows every 12 months — just like Apple's OS X. According to these insiders, Blue will roll out mid-2013, and will be very cheap — or possibly even free, to ensure that 'Windows Blue [is] the next OS that everyone installs.' Exact details are still rather vague, but at the very least Blue will make 'UI changes' to Windows 8. The sources also indicate that the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 SDKs will be merged or standardized, to further simplify the development of cross-platform apps. Perhaps more important, though, is the shift to a 12-month release cadence. Historically, Microsoft has released a major version of Windows every few years, with the intervening periods populated with stability- and security-oriented service packs. Now it seems that Microsoft wants to move to an OS X-like system, where new and exciting features will be added on an annual basis. In turn, Microsoft will drop the price of these releases — probably to around $25, just like OS X."

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712 comments

This is a good thing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120551)

for Windows users.

Re:This is a good thing (5, Insightful)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120601)

It would be better if they could get one good one to work well and stuck with that but I suppose it is more about sucking as much blood as possible out of the punters...

Re:This is a good thing (4, Insightful)

Diss Champ (934796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120789)

Indeed, their problem is that enough people have decided that they did get one to work well enough, and only buy a new OS when they buy a new computer, that they are concerned about future OS sales. Computers are not getting 'better' as quickly as in the past to the view of the average user, and so there is less reason to buy a new one every few years. The ego upgrades are going for phones instead. To combat these factors, a strategy of convincing people somehow that upgrading their OS is something they do regularly for a nominal fee is indeed probably a good way to keep sucking blood from the users.

Re:This is a good thing (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121017)

That's nice for the consumer side, but I daresay the enterprise and OEMs (who have to support said enterprises) will scream bloody murder at being pushed in that direction...

Re:This is a good thing (4, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121083)

They could go the way that Ubuntu does... say that they'll release patches for every 3rd version as long term support. The other two are consumer grade, but have shiny new features...

Re:This is a good thing (2, Funny)

clarkn0va (807617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121037)

I'm still holding out for Mojave.

Re:This is a good thing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121109)

I can't see this working well. The masses and in particular businesses have a hard time upgrading for various reasons. It is such that they tend not to unless forced or a new computer is necessary. Manufacturers and in particular the companies designing the chipsets and selecting the chipsets for use in a particular system don't take into consideration future support. They don't provide adequate support beyond the period the system is for sale which is generally less than a year. Unlike with 100% free operating systems that are shipped with systems not dependent on proprietary drivers there is no assurance the hardware will even work with the next version of the operating system.

ThinkPenguin's the only company whom really has a system worked out that can work well with this approach on a massive scale. They only ship free software friendly hardware so there is some assurance the hardware can be supported going forward without a commercial industry supporting it. Apple's a niche player and has similar issues with support long term as Microsoft does. While it works for the niche that they have it doesn't work well for the larger population. Apple would have an impossible time gaining mass adoption with its current approach. Trying to do with Microsoft Windows what Apple does with OS X in a niche market is never going to work well for users.

Re:This is a good thing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121115)

...a strategy of convincing people somehow that upgrading their OS is something they do regularly for a nominal fee is indeed probably a good way to keep sucking blood from the users.

Yes, great strategy. MS learned it from the master bloodsuckers at Apple.

Fortunately their chief bloodsucker is in the ground, and he's not going to rise again.

Re:This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121121)

OH You aint leein

Re:This is a good thing (1, Insightful)

Spaseboy (185521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120791)

When I report a bug to Microsoft they don't tell me to fix it myself. I'm grateful that adding new hardware to Windows is an automated process and Microsoft doesn't tell me I need to recompile the NT kernel if I want my USB camera to work. I'm particularly pleased that my integrated graphics card is supported by the OS and every application I use on it.

That's worth money to me.

Re:This is a good thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120873)

And Canonical asks users to fix bugs themselves? The Linux kernel doesn't come with webcam or graphics drivers? Ubuntu doesn't have automated driver installation? Fuck you.

Re:This is a good thing (2, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120997)

The Linux kernel doesn't come with ... graphics drivers?

Not if you have an nVidia Optimus card.

Re:This is a good thing (3, Insightful)

gorzek (647352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121049)

When did you last use Linux, 10 years ago??

Re:This is a good thing (3, Informative)

cjb909 (838363) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121147)

I was trying to put Linux on my desktop computer, but it doesn't support the wireless USB dongle I use. This was last weekend. The same dongle works perfectly in Windows.

I was trying to put Linux on my work computer, but it doesn't support my three monitor, two video card display out of the box. This was about a month ago.

I love Linux, and it's fun to use on computers that have supported hardware (I love it on my ASUS netbook), but if you don't have supported hardware, it's still a nightmare.

Re:This is a good thing (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121139)

When I report a bug to Microsoft they don't tell me to fix it myself. I'm grateful that adding new hardware to Windows is an automated process and Microsoft doesn't tell me I need to recompile the NT kernel if I want my USB camera to work. I'm particularly pleased that my integrated graphics card is supported by the OS and every application I use on it.

That's worth money to me.

I'm waiting for the part where you explain that THAT'S why you keep a 486 with a version of Linux from 1996 around just so you can look at it over and over and over again to "prove" to you how bad Linux is*, all while ignoring how it's a relatively recent "innovation" in Windows that you don't have to reboot the computer just to change an IP address.

*: For that weird definition of "is" you use that anybody who speaks English would recognize as "was".

Re:This is a good thing (2)

Minwee (522556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121149)

I'm happy that operating systems other than Windows aren't in danger of triggering a runaway quantum baryonic flux reversal capable of eradicating all carbon based lifeforms within an ellipsoid with a semi-principal axis of four point one six light years.

I'm not saying that Windows will do any of that, because everyone knows that's a load of crap, but I am very happy to loudly state that every operating system other than Windows won't.

Re:This is a good thing (4, Informative)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120839)

No it's not a good thing. Nobody needs an upgrade of his OS every 12 months (including the people who like it). Every upgrade is a hassle and potentially creates problems. The idea is crazy and doesn't make any business sense.

Apple upgrade their OS so often in order to make hardware appear to be outdated earlier than necessary, because they still make the majority of their money with hardware sales.

Re:This is a good thing (5, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121073)

Well, Microsoft has been in the minority here:

- OS X every year or two
- Android every 6 months, sometimes 9 months to a year
- iOS every year
- Ubuntu every 6 months (LTS every 2 years)

You don't have to upgrade every time Microsoft puts out a new release. If they make it easier (say via Windows Update), then perhaps it won't be much more hassle than a service pack.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121103)

Well, they appear to finally be making it easier, and are charging you for the privilege. I would guess they'll also reduce the support duration of versions to force people to upgrade.

Re:This is a good thing (3, Informative)

bondsbw (888959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121171)

I would guess they'll also reduce the support duration of versions to force people to upgrade.

Name another mainstream OS that has been fully supported for as long as Windows XP. Microsoft has been overly generous on their support of older operating systems.

Besides, at ~$25 for an OS update every year vs. ~$200 for an update every 3-4 years, I'd say that's a bargain.

Re:This is a good thing (0)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121133)

What is funny is that OS X no longer seems to be getting yearly updates. During the 10.0-10.4 era it made sense. The early versions of OS X were an unfinished joke, each update was a major improvement. The dark side of it was each update broke A LOT of low level system stuff.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120859)

How so?

This is going to cause more fragmentation since not everyone will want to upgrade each and every year so support costs will go up for companies that provide Windows products.

Re:This is a good thing (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121075)

And a completely horrid thing for business users.

Microsoft has completely lost its head. It's as if they are looking at the world around them for the first time ever and are trying to be like everyone else around them without actually understanding why they are doing what they are doing.

Microsoft needs to understand not only its current customers, but the customers they want to have. I know this is not particularly Steve Jobsian, but Microsoft needs to understand what people want... or at LEAST what they don't want.

Why is Microsoft a failure in the iPod business? Where to begin? Why is Microsoft a failure in the phone and tablet business? Well? It should be obvious -- people don't want what they have come to expect from Microsoft on their phones... rebooting, slowness, crashiness and vulnerability. If Microsoft EVER wanted to participate in the phone/tablet market, they first need to address the problems people have with their current OS and Office products. The missing ingredient? USER CONFIDENCE.

In contrast, Microsoft has done well in gaming. Extremely well. I know my tiny sample of observation isn't sufficient to form a conclusion, but I can say, the Saturday after Black Friday, there were still Wii and PS3 game units for sale where I heard store people talking about how fast XBox360 disappeared. That was huge, in my opinion.

So if Microsoft wanted to make something handheld? I'd say they should make a handheld game system. Do it up like Android. Game market online and all that... a PSP competitor. I think they'd do well. Morph that into a phone and a tablet and they have their in. But don't turn Windows into a phone or a tablet. We don't want it.

And we don't want constant changes in the workplace.

Should be Windows GOLD (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120561)

To represent the filthy lucre they expect to extract from all their steady, dependable shee^H^H^H^Hcustomers.

It's like the usual WinTax doubled.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120641)

Personally, I upgraded to windows 8 specifically because it was so cheap. At only $40, it was a steal compared what they've charged for previous versions of Windows. I'd be happy to pay $25 a year and always have the newest version of Windows.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120721)

except that it's $200+ to buy in. so no, it's not $25 a year. Just wait until...whoops, you can't do an upgrade from 2013 version to 2014 version, you have to buy new (unless you bought the $250 version). Aka what MS does today and has done for years. Of which, there's really nothing wrong with that - they do whatever they want, but it's not $40.

I find this incredibly stupid because part of the purpose of windows is stability. If it changes every year people are just going to skip versions. They won't keep up the 5-7 year long term release support in a meaningful way if they're changing it every year, most likely.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (3, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120875)

most people get Windows when they buy a new PC. So for them, the buy-in cost isn't $200+, it's more like $20 or whatever HP/Dell/Lenovo currently pays Microsoft for a copy.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121063)

No, most people don't. Are you fucking kidding me?

Most people buy a new PC less often than a car, unless it can be avoided. Or do you not understand technology? people hold onto the oldest shit that still works at the minimum requirements, forever. Early adopters are important but a very small group.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120743)

Personally, I upgraded to windows 8 specifically because it was so cheap.

You'd have to pay me a lot more than $40 to downgrade my Windows PC to 8.

I'd be happy to pay $25 a year and always have the newest version of Windows.

Most Windows user don't pay for Windows; it's hidden in the cost of the PC they buy. Few of them are going to throw Microsoft $25 every year.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120653)

So instead of $129 every 4/5 years, it's $25 each year. Yes, we're all being horribly ripped off.

Re:Should be Windows GOLD (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120905)

Ok here it goes and somebody has to spill the beans on Microsoft: I know I have talked with Upper Management.
Microsoft managment thinks the Singularity (http://www.kurzweilai.net/) is where it is at. They don't even intend to try to make a living past about 2020-2024 time frame. They figure they are out of business and thus they are maximizing their profits from their existing inventory.
As of this time the only entities continuing to be married to Microsoft are Government and their Contractors. Nobody else can or even wants to afford Microsoft. The proliferation of Android machines proves this to the limit.

The upshot of all of this is that Microsoft will do anything to force a new software license onto the end users it can do. Value to the customer be hanged they want a license fee every year. Anyone who hangs onto Microsoft is hanging onto the Titanic while it sinks. You are going to drown. The only way you can survive is to get your documents and business into a platform independent server based format. The game is over for everything else. Within a few months the Windows OS moving to Windows 9 will be so incompatable with the existing software inventory that if you are Government it will halt your mission. This is a danger especially to the US Armed Forces who depend highly on Microsoft platforms. This is a threat to the safety and security of the USA.

Anyone who delays or avoids dealing with this is sticking his head in the sand and is also a complacent threat to the safety and security of the USA and for that matter any other home nation in the world working on Microsoft stuff.

Now the problem stems from the facts of the Singularity and the complete lack of vision that people have regarding the fact that a whole new world is rising. They see the death of the old system as a threat to them. They do not see the benefits and good of the new. There is very shortly coming a world in which not one single human being needs to do any work as it will be done by a robot. This is well under way. The issue here is to get ready for the new world and to quit trying to live in the old one. This is much of why the Republican Party lost the presidential election because the world of hard work boot strap yourself up ideals is over and most so in the cities. Of course it is going to be a sledgehammer blow to the brain for Democrats who wake up and learn that their party is even further out of date. Take no solace in your victory Democrats the issues have left you too!

WOW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120563)

1st????

OS are not browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120571)

Wtf.... microsoft is not mozilla!!

I wonder if they plan metro-style changes every year then

Re:OS are not browsers (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120619)

Wtf.... microsoft is not mozilla!!

I wonder if they plan metro-style changes every year then

Never mind Blue is the color most associated with IBM

Think that's intentional?

BSOD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120733)

My first thought was "What color will they paint the screen of death?"

Re:OS are not browsers (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120665)

It's true that the desktop does not need this pace of innovation. Some stability is nice - at least a few years.

However, if they are serious about merging the desktop and mobile platforms, they will need to go to a yearly (or more frequent) release schedule. The mobile market is simply moving too fast, and the platforms are becoming more powerful very quickly.

Queue discussion about the wisdom of merging the desktop and mobile platforms...

Re:OS are not browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120761)

Queue discussion about the wisdom of merging the desktop and mobile platforms...

Cue

Re:OS are not browsers (2)

msheekhah (903443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120893)

so we're going to file the discussion in a FIFO stack?

Re:OS are not browsers (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121053)

LOL, cue indeed...

Re:OS are not browsers (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120999)

It's true that the desktop does not need this pace of innovation. Some stability is nice - at least a few years.

Which is why the new low price (disposable) all-in-one and tablet computers are being pushed so hard. Just buy a new computer with the new OS every year...

However, if they are serious about merging the desktop and mobile platforms, they will need to go to a yearly (or more frequent) release schedule. The mobile market is simply moving too fast, and the platforms are becoming more powerful very quickly.

I think that an annual upgrade cycle is something marketing (and partners/vendors/retailers) can work with: Announce the new product line 3rd quarter, release it 4th quarter, giving marketing enough time to build up a demand for the "new thing" in time for the holiday buying season.

Queue discussion about the wisdom of merging the desktop and mobile platforms...

It depends on from what perspective... It sucks right now from a useability standpoint (and a security one), but it is nice from a productivity standpoint (interoperability of applications across multiple platforms is a big deal.)

You raise many good points. I am just starting to think this through...

Re:OS are not browsers (1)

Spaseboy (185521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121047)

I would argue that no one would say their desktop/laptop is easier to use than their phone. The desktop moving to a simplified, streamlined experience is preferable to me. I was without a proper computer for about 4 months and I used my ASUS Transformer TF101 as a laptop replacement quite efficiently. Windows 8 is definitely the right directions where the OS recedes into the background.

Re:OS are not browsers (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120737)

But... it worked so well for Firefox: you know, "Follow that Chrome..."

All the users cheering happily at each new release. ...What? Those aren't cheers? um... Oh.

So... (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120575)

We're renaming service packs as major releases now?

Re:So... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120649)

it is a good thing valve has a steam client for linux

Re:So... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120865)

We're renaming service packs as major releases now?

We have Apple to thank for that.
Showing the way to innovation again.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120871)

Works for Firefox. Oh, wait...

Re:So... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120955)

Ala Windows 98 Second Edition.

There was a fairly bad backlash regarding that.

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121019)

It works for Ubuntu.

It works for OS X.

Why wouldn't it work for Windows?

good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120591)

I enjoy those news where Microsoft just follow other's trends

Mike, (3, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120621)

I wanna be like Mike!

Apple = Michael Jordan
Windows 8 = Air Jordans
Microsoft = little kid in the commercial

Re:Mike, (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120795)

This makes perfect sense - Apple gets paid to promote Windows 8, and thus Microsoft wants to buy it.

Please no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120627)

It would be a shame if Windows 8 ends up being the base for years of incremental updates. I was hoping Microsoft would revert back to a more traditional OS design after Windows 8 is a dismal failure.

oh great. and I have to support it all? (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120633)

Lovely... so it'll be like automobiles.
You'll hear about recalls that affect Windows 2015, 2017, and 2018
but luckily, I'm still running Windows 2014

people in 2029 will brag about how they wish they'd bring back "classic Windows 2019, but not that crappy POS Windows 2021 that had the noise problem"

Re:oh great. and I have to support it all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120917)

It would be complaining about Windows 8 SP 8 now working as well as Windows 8 SP 6. Or maybe they will come up with cool nicknames like Lion, or Tiger, or Liger. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

Re:oh great. and I have to support it all? (5, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120961)

You'll hear about recalls that affect Windows 2015, 2017, and 2018 but luckily, I'm still running Windows 2014

people in 2029 will brag about how they wish they'd bring back "classic Windows 2019, but not that crappy POS Windows 2021 that had the noise problem"

You don't understand Microsoft's logic. Back when they only released an operating system every few years, they included the year in the version. Now that they will be switching to an annual release cycle, they're switching to colors, using the ROYGBIV order, which is why they are starting with blue. You see, Blue comes after 8, which comes after 7, which comes after Vista, which comes after XP, which comes after 2000, which comes after the millennium edition, which comes after 98, etc. They found that people were very confused about Windows 8 following Windows 7. It didn't fit the pattern at all. Hence, they are moving to colors. After ROYGBIV they're moving to Pantone color numbers, in order from Ballmer's least favorite Pantone to his favorite.

Windows Blue every year huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120647)

I feel blue just by hearing that.

Project blue (5, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120655)

In the Stephen King book The Stand the virus that wiped out most of humanity was part of Project Blue.
Seems almost fitting somehow.

re-enable the Start Menu Please (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120657)

and allow folks to disable the "tiles" thing

or have a Command Window "charm" that can be used

Re:re-enable the Start Menu Please (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120777)

Pin the command prompt to the taskbar, problem solved. You even get a shortcut for it: Win 1-9 activates taskbar buttons 1-9.

Re:re-enable the Start Menu Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120903)

Why would I pin notepad, calculator, or any control panel item to the task bar?

Re:re-enable the Start Menu Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121061)

wow, i just learned something new, thank you!

Free...as in beer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120689)

"...Blue will roll out mid-2013, and will be very cheap — or possibly even free, to ensure that 'Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs.

Free? Really?

And which version of Blue will we get for free? The can't-do-shit-with-it ultra-lite version meant for OLPC hardware, or the all-your-data-belong-to-us personal-use cloud version?

Anyone believing that MS would ever even murmur the words "free" and "corporate use" in the same sentence is living in the cloud.

Every year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120719)

Can't wait to run Firefox 56 on Windows 21!

And this is why I will never buy it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120729)

I would never even consider buying an operating system. Hardly any software actually. The vendors don't even try to make a good product. They try to milk every penny out pf people and use ugly tactics to FORCE people to buy the damn products instead. I will GLADLY pirate your shitty piece of crap if, for some reason I would be forced to use it for something someday. Until then I'll just keep the hell away from it.

$25? (4, Insightful)

bmomjian (195858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120763)

Apple can charge $25 because they have made money on the hardware. Hard to see how MS makes sufficient revenue from this, unless they anticipate controlling more of the hardware than they do now.

Re:$25? (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120841)

I don't know. In general people don't buy Windows Upgrades because they were so damn expensive, the only time they upgraded is when they bought a new machine. A $25 upgrade might actually have some takers and make more money.

Re:$25? (0)

Ken D (100098) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120979)

and here I thought it was because most PCs that ship with Windows X barely can (or is that can't?) run Windows X + 1

Re:$25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120957)

$25 every year is not much less than what they make now, with releases spread out.
Apple just has insane profit margins.

Re:$25? (4, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121099)

OEM copies of Windows only cost about $80, and with PC's lasting about 5 years that means MS is likely to see an ~50% increase in revenue per user if the OEM price drops to near what the upgrades cost and they get a significant attach rate. For their corporate cash cows it likely means that they'll see a higher adoption of SA which will once again increase revenue. Of course this assumes they can pull it off, and actually achieve a significant adoption rate instead of just significantly fracturing the market and driving people to seek more stable alternatives.

New coke! (5, Insightful)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120815)

Coca Cola may have not done this on purpose when they released New Coke, but Microsoft seems to have caught on to the fact that they (Coke) doubled their sales after reintroducing original Coca Cola. Major UI changes..

"Here is Metro, no start menu. Oh wait here's it back. We told you we listen to our customers!"

Go home Microsoft, you are drunk. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120837)

Microsoft sold 40 million licenses off Windows 8 already - the great success must have messed up their thinking. This success may very well be temporary - corporations will probably hold back way more this time around than even with the Win XP -> Windows 7 transition (which is far from over, XP is the second OS by usage share).

I hope a bit of bitchslapping by the corporations (who won't upgrade to Win 8 for several years) will sober MS up somewhat and make them forget about Windows Blue.

Re:Go home Microsoft, you are drunk. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121069)

The major PC vendors have made it very difficult to NOT buy Windows 8. That's not the same thing as saying that Windows 8 is successful...

Windows Blue (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120849)

Of all the colors, for Microsoft to pick something associated with blue, after all the blue screens...

Re:Windows Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120947)

It will eventually replace the mental images of blue screens.

Re:Windows Blue (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121067)

And also the color most associated with Azure.

Windows Blue... (2)

killmenow (184444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120857)

then Red, White, Black, Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc.

Gotta catch 'em all!

XP User here (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120867)

I use XP in a VM whenever I have to use the one in a thousand windows program so at my present rate of Windows usage I would have to upgrade every second time I use windows. What Microsoft is missing is that most people are using windows out of inertia. Places like Staples and Walmart still sell windows laptops so people buy them. If Apple changed its whole marketing approach tonight and reduced macbooks to $350 the sales of windows machines would plummet. I am not making the Mac vs Windows argument I am saying that people usually don't care; nor am I suggesting that apple drop their prices. Gamers use windows because that is where the games are, not because of some love of windows. If all the PC games moved to BeOS tomorrow then the day after tomorrow most of the gamers would move as well.

So what MS needs to do is to find out what people really want. A good example of them not doing this would be their new tablets. Most people want enough storage to watch lots of video and some for their apps. What people didn't want was all their space taken up with MS Office on the tablet; who the hell is going to do extensive office work on those tablets? As a programmer I want tools to make my life easier. What Microsoft tries to foist upon me are tools that guide me into their suite of products such as office and SQL server. What my mother wants is a machine that is simple (like an iPad) what MS gives her is a machine that is always asking hard questions. What my mother also wants is a machine that she can't easily screw up (like an iPad). What MS give her is a machine that comes pre screwed up by the manufacturer with trialware and allows for third party crap to install itself over and over until, in the case of her browser, she has 7 inches of toolbars and one inch of browsing space.

So until MS starts actually listening to their customers and not their internal marketing departments the only customers they are going to keep are the ones who don't bother leaving them.

This will work. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120879)

If Microsoft doesn't change anything important. Apple releases a 'new version' of iOS almost yearly, but what changes? Other than toys, we don not know.

Sure will keep the script kiddies busy validating their tools agains 'new versions'. Security through churn. Interesting concept.

The year of the Linux desktop (1, Troll)

cfulton (543949) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120891)

Big companies have got to hate paying the Microsoft tax every couple of years when MS stops supporting an OS. They have to purchase new licenses and often new hardware. Why don't the fortune 1000 get together and turn Ubuntu into something they can all use?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120901)

When can I expect my copies of "Windows Does Dallas" and "Windows Strikes Back?"

Oh Microsoft... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120943)

... If I had a horse for every time you made me blue, I'd have a house full of horse sh...oes.

Windows Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42120975)

Blue Screen of Death Edition!

New Windows every year (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120983)

Wow, that's quite radical move from Microsoft actually. :)

Last years "Windows Blew" - so let's Blue again... (4, Funny)

DontScotty (978874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42120993)

Last years "Windows Blew" - so let's Blue again...

Quality naming guys!

Apt name... (1, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121011)

I can't think of a better name for a Windows project than "blue". I think it can only be topped by using its full name: "Blue Screen"

this is Win 98 all over again (3, Informative)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121025)

MS made this same announcement in '97 when they released win 98. The idea was similar to car model years, and the hope was that people would want to keep up appearances and buy a new model every year just like cars. This failed because of MS's inability to deliver on time, the OS was almost a year late in its release, so they abandoned that idea because it made them look bad. I wonder what will be different about it this time?

Bogus Plan (0)

Yebyen (59663) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121033)

"New Version" = Get another $100

While I agree that they should release a new version of Windows 8 as soon as possible, I did not pay for a copy since Windows 3.1 came pre-loaded on my 486-SX, and I don't plan on paying for another OS install until release date of Elive 3.0. I was fortunate to be blessed as a Computer Science whiz, and so I understand a thing about release engineering. This is not a chess match, it's operating systems. At some point you ought to concede that if you plan to release again in 24 hours, and again each day after that, you should not be charging your customers for what you're providing today. It's obviously not finished.

I should hope that by this time, they are so invested in your systems that they won't tolerate incompatible changes, and no amount of beautification will convince them to fork over cash for a system that's exactly the same as the last iteration.

Bitcoin plans to halve rewards every 210,000 blocks. That's an operational standard. Let's all plan on having something they want every year, and charge $100 per head. If attrition is as big as population growth, then we don't hire any new people and our fixed costs are all covered, forever.

Giving up on Windows 8 already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121039)

So basically Microsoft is admitting that Windows 8 is a huge failure and this is their way of getting us all to
shift our focus from Windows 8 and to a 'new and improved' Windows 9 (which I bet will basically be an updated
Windows 7 without the awful Windows 8 tiles.

It's their version of 'Squirrel!'

You're my boy, Blue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121055)

I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

(Aa aa aa)
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho

Now don't hang on
Nothin' last forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
(All we are is dust in the wind)

Dust in the wind
(Everything is dust in the wind)
Everything is dust in the wind
(In the wind)

(Ooo)
(Ooo)
(Ooo)

Every year? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121089)

Is not soon enough... Will Microsoft survive till January 2013 after betting the company on Vista 2.0?

MS feels the heat? (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121095)

I recall a few years ago now on Slashdot a discussion on the topic "MS doesn't matter any more" - doesn't matter, as in you don't need to use any MS software to run your business and communicate with the outside world. They are of course still a major player in the software arena, but far from as all powerful as they were. There are plenty of alternatives, they are viable, and indeed a key reason for companies to stick to MS is because they are already with MS. New businesses that still have the choice, have an alternative.

That was basically the argument, and mostly I agreed at the time. But it was ahead of time, it was before Android and the iPhone even.

Now it seems to me that MS is really risking becoming just "one of the options". And probably MS feels the same. They took nearly a decade to come with a viable successor to WinXP, and in the meantime both OS-X and various Linux distros made great strides in UI design, general usability, and indeed market share.

They completely lost control over the www - partly thanks to Firefox, Chrome, Safari and the others on the desktop, partly thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices which are pretty much all non-Microsoft devices (Windows Phone is really small compared to Android and iOS).

They will lose control over their Word lock-in, again partly thanks to mobile devices: people do want to view and edit their documents on their tablets, which means some application running on iOS or Android. MS doesn't have such an offering yet. OpenOffice in it's various incarnations is gaining significant ground at least in Europe, and Google Docs is also a major competitor sucking people away from MS Office.

And surely people will start thinking. "Why is my iPad working so much nicer than my desktop? Aren't there alternatives to Windows?" They see Apple's offerings in the stores. "That's nice but out of my budget, any cheaper alternatives?" They may have heard about Linux, about Ubuntu or Red Hat. "Hey, geek friend, how about that Ubuntu thing that I recently heard about? Can I still watch videos on YouTube, and edit some Word documents? Can I try it out a bit?"

Not many people at first, sure, but there are always people curious about what's out there, and nowadays you can see there is more out there than Windows.

MS is definitely feeling the heat of the competition. First they finally picked up development of their web browser, and made great progress there. Then after the debacle of Vista they quickly came with Win7 and now Win8. And now planning a new major release every year, that's going to be interesting. They'll have to start offering intersting features to keep people on their platform, and give people a reason to use Windows and not one of the alternatives. I'm looking forward to it.

In other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121119)

After the Windows 8 debacle this is Microsoft's version of 'Squirrel!!'.

'Microsoft Windows 9: just like Windows 7 but without tiles!'.

U will also need a new PC every 3 years (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121125)

That is what I am guessing.

Good time to switch to Linux.

Once a year??? (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121137)

Sounds more like "Blue Balls" to me.

Certs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121141)

So, will certs still expire when they're 2 releases old? I'd hate to be working on a Win 7 certification only to have it retire when Blue comes out. Either way, with new versions of Windows coming out annually, I picked a great time to jump from systems administration to security.

So.... (2)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121143)

By the time you learn enough to do you job of how to deal with all the annoying changes and different bugs .... you get to do it all over again....

Has anyone done a study on how much time/dollars are spent in dealing with such? (learning, bugs, other system hogs/user waits....)

hmmm (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121153)

Well its not a bad idea totally it would allow them to introduce wide unpopular interface changes gradually instead of "here it is". But some companies may encounter rolling comparability problems and weird cases in which Feature A is actually Feature B and then becomes Feature C but is not backwards comparable at all. Currently the model is a little more archaic "we build it to good enough" and make it work better after some time and then industry buys into it. But at that point, why not just switch to Apple who has a vastly more stable operating system and is established already? Or Linux and cut the umbilical cord of cost and keep all the same comparability headaches.

Personally I think Microsoft tries way too hard to make each OS a wildly new user experience, when consistency would be more prudent, they rule the workstation wold almost exclusively. We have workstations that are wildly overburdened with security workarounds because Microsoft just wont do it. But they're busy trying to chase the apple model. Just my 2c.

Failed to be amazed (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42121159)

I'm a little confused as to why this is a big deal, Linux has been rolling out major updates and releases on the kernel and distributions much faster then 12 months and yet we don't see a big post about that. Big OS-X has the 12 month release, that is still slow, Ubuntu has a new release almost every 6 months, Gentoo roles a nightly build and the same goes for many Linux Distro's. So I fail to see why I'm going to be impressed when Microsoft is just copying a release system that's been done.

Opensource (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42121163)

When would Windows become open source?

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