Even though Windows 8 has only just been released, it seems that speculation over the next version of Windows is already in full swing. If you thought that the next versions of Windows would be Windows 9, Windows 9 RT and Windows Phone 9 then it looks like you are wrong. According to various sources close to Microsoft, the Redmond company is changing the way it will package up and sell Windows. The sudden departure of Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft’s Windows division, now doesn’t seem so coincidental.

The new Windows strategy is called Blue. Whether this will end up being the actual product name, only time will tell. But with Windows Blue Microsoft wants to standardize on a single approach to Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone and along the way it will shift to offering yearly, low cost updates the same way as Apple does.

Windows 7 was released in 2009 and it took Microsoft three years to get Windows 8 out the door. In that time frame Apple released OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” (2009), OS X 10.7 “Lion” (2011) and OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” (2012). This means that Apple made a whole extra release in the same period. Also Apple upgrades are normally around $29 meaning that users are happier to upgrade more frequently.

As for Android, Google released Android 2.0 at the same time as Windows 7. From then until the release of Windows 8, Google shipped Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.x, 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 – a very different release cycle.

It is also thought that once Windows Blue is out, the Windows SDK will also be updated with support for the new standardized platform and that Microsoft will stop accepting (in its app store) programs that are built only for Windows 8. This bold move is meant to push developers into creating apps for Blue, which presumably will work on Windows, Windows RT and Windows Phone if coded correctly.

It is all a bit vague at the moment and there is no official word from Microsoft, but with Sinofsky leaving and Windows 8 RT failing to become an overnight success, it looks like it is all change at Microsoft. What is more, this could all happen by mid-2013!

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