Microsoft didn’t take a break after the release of Windows 8; they are busy coding the next-gen Windows platform and is planning to homogenize a process in order to provide updates invariably across all Windows PCs and phones to its customers. It is codenamed Blue. Redmond is reportedly double backing a path much similar to one taken by its rival, Apple, which is delivering inexpensive, yearly updates that are less dramatic but are planned to create a unanimous platform for all the users
This update on the Windows side is due in mid 2013 and will include UI changes, pricing and alteration of the entire platform. Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs. The approach is quite lucid; Microsoft will price the next Windows version at a lower price or may be even free, thus making sure that the users upgrade. After Blue is released, Windows SDK will be updated to provide support to the new release. Microsoft will stop accepting the applications that are categorically built for Windows 8, thus pushing the developers to build apps for Blue, though Windows 8 will function as usual despite the planned changes for SDK.
This is not the first time Microsoft is using the codename Blue. The Azure team has used it before and so has MSN.
Apple already has a pattern much similar to this, which began with the release of OS X and was made available to public with Snow Leopard (OS X v10. 6). Low cost upgrades for its subsequent versions became a trend, which culminated with the release of Mountain Lion in 2012, just a year after the release of Lion in 2011.
For Apple, this business model makes sense, since the company gets its revenue primarily from its hardware. The company has never been strict on anti-piracy measures for its operating system even when it costs more money. Its software is only a tool it uses to drive more of its hardware sales; software has not been its forte.
What will this change mean for Microsoft? Shifting to a much liberal model of software updates for its future versions will bring modifications to the user interface, even deeper platform changes and a drastic shift in the price module as well. Whether this will be profitable for Microsoft or not, is a matter still under speculation.
Windows is soon going to make annual upgrade a standard procedure.
Microsoft is making an upside-down shift to its business model. Ads are pre-included in the recently shipped Windows 8, the focus on Windows market-place distribution method has increased and last but not the least, it is again making its own hardware ready to be sold directly to the consumers. This is a bigger change for a company which was solely dependent on its OEM partners for PCs and smartphones. Building and shipping software is now going to follow a totally different direction.
Though it’s pretty obvious here that Microsoft is going to adopt a formula that has worked wonders for Apple in the past, it is more about the evolving PC software to impersonate the mobile platform iteration cycle.
Now-a-days users are more on mobile devices for computing, whether to be on social media or to make an online purchase. A mobile OS update is much more frequent than a PC, thus it only makes sense that Microsoft is bringing all these under one roof. This approach of unifying the platform-experience across its tablets, PCs, smartphones and Xbox is going to make a difference when it comes to upgrading these devices and in its pricing.
We do wish best of luck to Microsoft and hope it works out well.