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Just when everyone was to cast aspersion on the launch of the Windows Blue: the much-awaited free upgrade to the Windows 8 OS, Microsoft officially confirmed the existence of the same. The launch is said to happen before the end of the year starting an annual release cycle much like Apple’s.
It was obvious that Microsoft was working on Windows Blue when there was a job listing in February in the company, which required an engineer to study the Window Blue experience. This included changes to the start screen; the much awaited tile-based replacement for the classic Start menu, which was inspired from the Metro UI that was originally developed for Windows Phones.
Amongst highly developing speculations on the upcoming Windows Blue; much to the relief of everyone, came leaked DVD ISO of the pre-release Windows Blue software in March. This provided some details of the changes that Microsoft was planning to bring with Windows Blue. The Windows 8 upgrade included minor changes such as bringing in more colors to the existing accent colors available in Personalization Menu and options where the Start Screen can make better use of high-resolution displays. Unlike Service Pack updates to existing Windows versions, the leaked Windows Blue contained a full-point modification to the existing Windows Kernel: something that’s mostly reserved for a full version release.
Since then, Windows Blue has caught the attention of all after the Windows 8 upgrade promised by Microsoft. Rumors from unknown sources and the later leaked ISO’s together suggested that Microsoft was working hard to address and fix various concerns with their flagship tile-based UI. In the month of April, the code that can make Windows Blue-based machines boot directly into the classic desktop mode, bypassing the tile-based Start Screen.
It was recently revealed that, Windows 8 sales are picking up despite various concerns regarding its user experience. Figures show that like Windows 7: the predecessor, Windows 8 too, has sold 100 million licenses during the last six months. This will prove most of the rumors stating that the buyers are ignoring the Windows 8 is in fact untrue. Although the sales soar and Microsoft is pretty comfortable with the numbers of the Windows 8 PC’s sold with a Windows 8 license, what is unclear from the picture is the fact that Windows 8 is immediately downgraded to Windows 7 either by the manufacturer themselves before the shipping or by the owner after purchase. This is rather a disappointing trend; let us hope that Windows Blue will prove to be a better OS than Windows 8, in every way.