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It’s Official: Microsoft’s Windows Blue Later This Year

Courtesy Mat Honan, Wired

Microsoft just confirmed that the successor to Windows 8 will roll out later this year, that it’s sold a whole lot more Windows 8 licenses than when we last checked in, and that the largely empty Windows Stores are finally getting more than just window dressing.

The new version of Windows is codenamed Windows Blue, and is expected to essentially be an iterative update (think: Windows 8.1, not Windows 9). Microsoft says it will let the company “respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT.” Translation: We know you’re not super happy and we’re going to make it better.

While Windows 8 was certainly a move in the right direction for Microsoft, the next-generation operating system was also a tremendously disorienting change for many users. Among the feedback Microsoft is rumored to have listened to is customers’ desire to bring back the Start button. We hope so. For now, at least in the company’s official posting on the matter it’s staying mum on specifics.

Microsoft also announced that it has now sold more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses, and clocked 250 million Windows Store downloads. That means that after six months (and a sluggish start) Windows 8 is now selling on par with Windows 7, which also hit the 100 million licenses mile marker in a six-month period. And it did it on a lot of devices. Microsoft says some 2,400 are now certified for Windows 8 and Window RT. Expect to see all these numbers sliced, diced and endlessly argued about in the coming days (and in the comments) but generally speaking this is pretty good news for Microsoft.


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