Microsoft begins to talk more openly about “Blue”

By Kip Kniskern | In Featured, News | Posted May 6, 2013 12 comments

WindowsMary Jo Foley first started talking about Windows “Blue” as a refresh to Windows 8 and beyond, (incorporating refreshes to Windows Phone and Windows Server, too) way back last August, but it’s taken until today for Microsoft to begin talking about the refresh (or service pack, or feature pack, or update, or….).  In a blog post on The Windows Blog, and also in interviews with journalists including the previously blacklisted-by-Sinofsky Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft dropped a few more numbers and promised more to come with Windows Blue news.

In the Windows Blog post, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager (is that the right title, Brandon?)Brandon LeBlanc interviews Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller on Windows 8 at 6 months, who reveals that Microsoft has recently surpassed the sales of 100 million Windows 8 licenses (which by the way makes those SkyDrive numbers from this morning even more suspect), up from 60 million in January.

Reller also revealed some new Windows Store numbers:

Apps momentum has been steady as the number of apps in the Windows Store has increased 6x since launch. Comparatively, that’s already passed what iOS had in store, in its first year of app development. We’ve also surpassed 250 million Store apps downloaded in the first six months, and almost 90% of our app catalog has been downloaded every month.

Although Reller did not reveal the total apps in the blog post (maybe lobbing softball questions from Brandon LeBlanc isn’t the best way to disseminate information?), Microsoft confirmed to a number of journalists that there are “more than 60K Windows Store apps” in the store today.

As for Blue, Reller revealed that it will be available “later this year”, telling Mary Jo Foley that it will be ready in time for “holiday 2013”, and that “the Windows team will share pricing, packaging and go-to-market details about Blue in the next couple of weeks. Yes — that’s ahead of the upcoming Computex Taipei, Microsoft TechEd and Microsoft Build 2013 shows, all happening in June”, according to Foley.  Mary Jo has more details, be sure to check them out.

Reller described Blue as an “update”, one that will bring Windows 8 to more form factors, more consumers, and will “respond to customer feedback”:

Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT.

As Mary Jo Foley notes, we’ll probably be hearing more from Julie Larson-Green about Blue and more when she speaks at the Wired Business Conference tomorrow (May 7th) at 1:45pm ET, and we’ll be hearing lots more in the days leading up to Build 2013 at the end of June.

Posted May 6th, 2013 at 10:08 pm
Category: Featured, News
Tags: Blue, Windows 8
  • http://www.facebook.com/saguiitay Itay Sagui

    Check out http://www.winapps.co/Stats/Overview for the number of apps in the Windows Store

  • http://www.facebook.com/saguiitay Itay Sagui

    Check out http://www.winapps.co/Stats/Overview for the number of apps in the Windows Store

  • JasonHarrison

    ‘Pricing’ Uh oh, well there goes Paul Thurrots hopes that this will be free, as it should be really, we don’t want some people on 8.0 and others on 8.1.

    • Carlos

      Pricing is most likely for people not on windows 8

    • http://pureinfotech.com/ Mauro

      At first I thought the same thing, but it is likely they are just talking about Windows 8.1 pricing in new devices, as we know that Microsoft will make it cheaper for smaller devices, and may be pricing for people to upgrade.

      Windows 8.1 is a needed update for many shortcomings in the operating system and in my opinion it would not make sense for current users to pay again. Besides Reller said it is an “update” and as far as know we don’t pay for updates during mainstream.

      Thanks,

  • JasonHarrison

    ‘Pricing’ Uh oh, well there goes Paul Thurrots hopes that this will be free, as it should be really, we don’t want some people on 8.0 and others on 8.1.

    • Carlos

      Pricing is most likely for people not on windows 8

    • http://pureinfotech.com/ Mauro

      At first I thought the same thing, but it is likely they are just talking about Windows 8.1 pricing in new devices, as we know that Microsoft will make it cheaper for smaller devices, and may be pricing for people to upgrade.

      Windows 8.1 is a needed update for many shortcomings in the operating system and in my opinion it would not make sense for current users to pay again. Besides Reller said it is an “update” and as far as know we don’t pay for updates during mainstream.

      Thanks,

  • oosagi

    I agree with the others that jave posted that it will be pricing for thise that have not switched over to windows 8 as of yet.

    Would really be shooting themselves in the foot if they charged current users for the update….the kast thing they want to do is stop any momentum they may have going with a stupid move like charging current costumers for an update.

    • davidmk

      Well it would really just bring them into line with Apple, who charge for OSX updates as I understand it. If the price is low enough for the base OS, I suppose people might be willing to cough up for an upgrade.
      Not suggesting in ANY way that Apple have got it right… I wouldn’t say that if you held an iPhone to my head!

  • oosagi

    I agree with the others that jave posted that it will be pricing for thise that have not switched over to windows 8 as of yet.

    Would really be shooting themselves in the foot if they charged current users for the update….the kast thing they want to do is stop any momentum they may have going with a stupid move like charging current costumers for an update.

    • davidmk

      Well it would really just bring them into line with Apple, who charge for OSX updates as I understand it. If the price is low enough for the base OS, I suppose people might be willing to cough up for an upgrade.
      Not suggesting in ANY way that Apple have got it right… I wouldn’t say that if you held an iPhone to my head!