The most persistent rumor concerning Windows 8 is that Microsoft would be releasing an update for it later this year called Windows Blue. Those rumors were pretty much confirmed as fact when a Windows Blue preview build was leaked in March. Now Microsoft has finally come out and confirmed that Windows Blue is indeed a thing.
Julie Larson-Green, Corporate Vice President for Windows, announced today at the Wired Business Conference that Windows Blue is the codename for the next major update hitting Windows 8 later this year. In an interview with Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc, Larson-Green gives us an idea of what to expect from Windows Blue:
Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft.
Larson-Green's response is incredibly vague. The preview build that was leaked in March gave us far more information, including some improvements to multitasking and the existence of Internet Explorer 11. Most importantly, the preview builds also point to the return of the Start button and the inclusion of a boot to desktop option.
There are bound to be other improvements coming to Windows Blue that have yet to be revealed. Leaked copies of Windows Blue are incredibly early builds, and are undoubtedly missing features that will be present in the public preview.