Soon after Windows 8 came out, it was rumored that Microsoft would move the operating system to an annual release cycle called Windows Blue. It was to be a cheap, inexpensive option that would see Windows becoming more like Apple's OS X. Nothing was confirmed, however, and we were left waiting for official confirmation. Now MIcrosoft themselves have confirmed the new OS in the most unlikely of places.
The Verge reports that Microsoft recently put up two job postings that explicitly referred to Windows Blue. The postings were looking for software development engineers that would work to bring Windows Blue to life later this year. The job postings have now been taken down, but The Verge managed to grab a snippet from one of the job descriptions:
We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.
The other job posting confirms that Windows Blue will be moving well beyond the desktop experience. Microsoft was looking for a senior development lead to work on building apps for Windows Phone Blue. It's reported that the move to Windows Phone Blue essentially confirms that Windows Blue will be moving across all of Microsoft's software and services. It wouldn't be surprising to see Windows Blue also come to the next Xbox if rumors of it running Windows 8 are to be believed.
Still, we have no idea what Windows Blue exactly is, or when we'll be seeing it. The last rumor pegged it for a mid-2013 release, and that still seems like the most plausible. It's still unknown, however, if Microsoft will offer the cheap upgrades to current Windows 8 owners, or if it will offer a cheap upgrade to Windows 8 for those on Windows Vista and 7 in a bid to increase Windows 8's marketshare.