Microsoft’s Windows Blue: What is it and what does it mean for you?

It’s only been a month since Windows 8 was released, but do you already find yourself wondering what comes next? If reports by ZDNet and The Verge are to be believed, Microsoft’s next operating system will be called Windows Blue. According to The Verge’s source, Microsoft’s bent on making Windows Blue “the next OS that everyone installs.” Perhaps the company will offer the update for a price much lower than usual … or even for free

Just like any other software upgrade, we can expect user interface changes to come with Windows Blue. The extent of the redesign is unknown at this point, as is whether or not it will retain Windows 8’s aesthetics. Another major change that you might come to like if you also own a Windows phone is that when Windows Blue comes out, developers will be required to make apps that work on both computers and mobile devices. All the Windows 8 apps available right now will still work with Windows Blue, but once the new OS hits the market, Microsoft’s Windows Store will stop accepting Windows 8-only apps. 

But perhaps the biggest change you may encounter with the new OS is Microsoft’s plan to release an upgrade every 12 months. This is a big deal since the company’s known for pushing out a new version of Windows once every few years. This more frequent update schedule is reminiscent of Apple’s OS X, and even of mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, ensuring you always have the latest of what Microsoft can offer – assuming you choose to update your system every year. Unlike past Windows versions that cost quite a lot (a Windows 8 upgrade license costs $40, while a full version costs $70), these yearly updates will reportedly cost you a lot less, perhaps somewhere around $20 – just like OS X. Microsoft plans to release its new operating system sometime in mid-2013. 

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