Windows Blue Leaked - Didn't We Just Get Windows 8? - Technologist
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Windows Blue Leaked - Didn't We Just Get Windows 8?

Actually, we didn’t. We’re still holding on to Windows 7 for the time being. Like many lawyers out there, we had ancient computer systems in place that lack touch screen monitors. Plus, the downtime from having to learn a new operating system, and Windows 8’s negative reputation gave us pause.

If you are a fellow holdout, prepare to get even more confused. Windows 8 launched last year. This year, Microsoft presents Windows Blue. In another six months or so, we’ll all be two operating systems behind (or three, if you are still using the immortal Windows XP like my coworker.)

What’s Blue?

The rumors in the tech world have pointed towards Microsoft moving to a rapid-release cycle, either a la Google (which pushes updates to your Gmail, Calendar, and Android services as soon as they are ready) or a la Apple (which releases a new cat-named OS every year or so, albeit at a cheap upgrade cost).

If that’s the case, the leaked Blue release certainly makes sense. Annual incremental upgrades at nominal costs mean new features every year, instead of every five years.

Or, this could be Vista 2.0. Remember that travesty? It was so bad that Microsoft released a series of commercials where they told real life people that there was a new version of Windows (it was actually just a rebadged Vista) and their reaction was uniformly positive — a testament to how bad Vista flopped at first, and how bad the OS release’s reputation was. The same might be argued about Windows 8.

Then again, here is yet another theory, courtesy of iTechPost: Blue is the replacement for Windows RT and will fill the low-cost segment. Windows RT is for tablets and other devices with more-limited processors. It runs some, but not all, Windows 8 apps. Windows 7 also came in too many varieties, one of which (Starter) was used on netbooks for its low cost and slimmer code.

In other words, Blue could lead to cheaper Surface-like tablets.

What’s New?

Not a whole lot, which makes us think rapid-release is the truth. You now have a few different sizes of live tiles on your Start screen. There are a few welcome UI changes as well, including side-by-side multitasking in equal-sized panes. (Previously, one app got a bigger chunk of the screen, which would be a pain for researching and writing legal docs side-by-side.)

For You?

That depends on both your practice and Microsoft. They haven’t released a price (if any) or official release date. If it’s free, it’s an obvious upgrade. If it’s costly, and the couple of improvements aren’t deal-breakers for you (we really like the multi-tasking change), it’s an obvious skip.

And if you are a holdout, like we are, it might be worth holding out for a few more months. After all, how much fun would it be to buy new PCs and then have to pay for the Blue upgrade?

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