Rumor: Windows Blue to be optimized for 7 and 8 inch tablets?

In late November, rumors began to hit the Internet that claimed Microsoft's next major update for Windows 8 has the code name Windows Blue. While Microsoft has not officially commented on these reports, the rumors claim that Windows Blue will put in "UI changes and alterations to the entire platform and pricing" for Windows 8 and that it will be made available in mid-2013.

Now The Verge is reporting, buried in a story/editorial on the branding of Windows, that the Windows Blue upgrade will also include improved optimization for tablets that have seven and eight inch screen sizes. If true, it would mean that PC makers may be developing Windows 8 tablet products with those smaller screens.

So far, the few Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets that have been released to consumers have all had 10 inch screens. A move to update the OS to support smaller tablets may be seen by both Microsoft and PC OEMs as a way to expand the tablet market for Windows 8. These devices may appeal to people who want the cheaper and smaller tablets that have been sold by, for example, Amazon with its Kindle Fire and Google with its Nexus 7.

The article also claims that, even if Microsoft plans to launch major annual upgrades to Windows 8, the company will still stick with the Windows 8 brand name "for its traditional OS for the foreseeable future."

Source: The Verge

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And will you just LISTEN to yourselves here? You have been saying that you actually want a product that does EVERYTHING that the Surface does - and is available for the same relative price; however, you don't want it to be running Windows. Why is the ONLY way that something that can be accepted is something that is NOT a change to what's out there? Android is acceptable - and it actually IS a *phone OS* (a comment that has been used time and again to criticize Modern UI). iOS is fine - even though all of you know it's a cross between a phone OS and a media player OS (iPhone and iPod). It's like "How dare Windows and Microsoft actually fight back against encroachments on their turf!" Apparently change to an existing product, even though it's needed, scares a lot of folks to the point where their sanity comes into question.

Just another confirmation that Windows-8 was never really designed for non touch-centric laptops and desktops. So, any hyperbole to the contrary is just that...hype.

Eric2xU said,
Maybe one of these releases they can focus on making it work for desktops and notebooks.

YES, that would be a nice thought. However, with Microsoft's obsession to pander to the tablet crowd and its arrogance, which would prevent it from admitting to having made a mistake, consider that idea a vain hope. Pity.

I like change so windows 8 is ok with me. In the end if the demand for desktop users is high enough someone Microsoft / Linux / apple will provide the option so I am not worried at all.

The lack of touchscreen displays is a big failure on the hardware side. They are not keeping up with OS advances.

More support for MS_Nerd's claim of an 8.6" Surface.

But really, this is a revolutionary new OS for Microsoft, so between faster updates and more form factors from Microsoft, you'll continue to see a better experience.

This is pretty much what MS needs. The Surface RT is completely uncompetitive thanks to the price. The drawbacks would be tolerable if it came in at $200 (maybe $250 for the build quality).

Still probably wouldn't buy it, I think MS has bungled every release in the past 5 years except for Windows 7, and they haven't done a great job in fixing stuff.

migo said,
This is pretty much what MS needs. The Surface RT is completely uncompetitive thanks to the price. The drawbacks would be tolerable if it came in at $200 (maybe $250 for the build quality).

Still probably wouldn't buy it, I think MS has bungled every release in the past 5 years except for Windows 7, and they haven't done a great job in fixing stuff.

what drawbacks does the RT have right now if you don't mind me asking. (please do not say apps are the problem)

korupt_one said,

what drawbacks does the RT have right now if you don't mind me asking. (please do not say apps are the problem)

I am curious, why locked OS and limited apps could not be an issue?

Incoming 7"' Surface RT for $199 and Surface Pro for $299? If this is true then blue could be what Nokia has been waiting for for their own tablet. That size seems to be the sweet spot really.

GP007 said,
Incoming 7"' Surface RT for $199 and Surface Pro for $299? If this is true then blue could be what Nokia has been waiting for for their own tablet. That size seems to be the sweet spot really.

I'd actually buy that!

GP007 said,
Incoming 7"' Surface RT for $199 and Surface Pro for $299? If this is true then blue could be what Nokia has been waiting for for their own tablet. That size seems to be the sweet spot really.

Pipe dream prices.

dagamer34 said,

Pipe dream prices.

Maybe or maybe not. Whatever the prices are they'll be below the current Surface RT prices because it's a smaller unit.

GP007 said,

Maybe or maybe not. Whatever the prices are they'll be below the current Surface RT prices because it's a smaller unit.

Miniaturizing does not always mean less expensive..... Screen most surely yes, other components not necessarily. I just paid Euro599 for my Lumia 920.....

Fritzly said,

Miniaturizing does not always mean less expensive..... Screen most surely yes, other components not necessarily. I just paid Euro599 for my Lumia 920.....

Right, but at some point, like trying to pack everything into a tight 4.5 inch frame your manufacturing costs go up, also your R&D costs would be higher. When the change is going from 10 inch to 7 or 8 inches it's really not that much work to make the same internals fit. Costs should be less, also the stuff inside should be cheaper since time has passed.

I really don't see a newer 7 inch surface selling for the same price as the 10 inch version.

Undoubtedly! If a 7" surface will be announced and its cost will be the same of a 10" one it would mean that all MS highest echelon should be fired.
I also agree with your example of miniaturization; my comment was only to debate a common misconception that just because something is smaller will automatically be cheaper; it is true for TVs, furniture etc. but talking about electronic assembled equipments does not. Eventually it does in the long term but not right away; do you remember the early Texas Instruments calculators......? :-)

In my opinion, just as 95 transitioned to 98, then 2000, XP to MCE, then Vista to 7. It's just the beginning with 8.

Mr.XXIV said,
In my opinion, just as 95 transitioned to 98, then 2000, XP to MCE, then Vista to 7. It's just the beginning with 8.

Yeah, but 9 could potentially be worse. I don't mind the Metro changes, I do however mind the Windows Store lock-in, and if Windows 8 is successful enough then they could potentially remove legacy support, which would be a really bad thing given how poorly they've been executing lately.

migo said,

Yeah, but 9 could potentially be worse. I don't mind the Metro changes, I do however mind the Windows Store lock-in, and if Windows 8 is successful enough then they could potentially remove legacy support, which would be a really bad thing given how poorly they've been executing lately.

They won't remove legacy support. How are they going to create assets for the developers? How are developers going to develop? Chances are they'll focus on the Modern UI and make minimal changes to the desktop.

LookitsPuck said,

They won't remove legacy support. How are they going to create assets for the developers? How are developers going to develop? Chances are they'll focus on the Modern UI and make minimal changes to the desktop.

Too much greed can make you blind, and induce poor choices. Getting rid of the start menu is already a bad choice to me.

When sitting at a desk or on the couch the Surface feels normal but I do think it seems slightly cumbersome while walking around with it. I think 8 inches might be perfect.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

You don't need a microsoft account to use Win8 right now. Local accounts have always been an option.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

Half of your request is available now. Win8 gives you the choice between a local account or a MS one.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

No account is needed if you don't want to download apps from store.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

have fun being stuck in 2009!

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

You do that. My uncle said the same thing about DOS but he eventually had to admit the new also had its benefits. Although he stil believes DOS was faster with keyboard than Windows is with keyboard and mouse.

The thing is, this is a much smaller step than DOS to Windows was. The startscreen is basically a full screen startmenu. You can compleetly ignore the modern apps, which is something you'll probably have to do if you arent willing to have a Microsoft acount anyway. If you use the startscreen as a startmenu than the desktop can stil feel like an important part of the OS.

But honestly the desktop is to Windows 8 what DOS-mode is to Windows 95. You go there to run old applications and every day it becomes less necessary until it eventually is phased out.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

As others said, no need for MS Account and you can always get Start8 from Stardock. I have it on my work laptop and I don't even get to see the Start Screen anymore while still enjoying all the benefits of Win8 under the hood (still hate the UI but with Start8 you can go straight to the desktop and go about your business much like in Win7)...

GP007 said,

You don't need a microsoft account to use Win8 right now. Local accounts have always been an option.

True but... Try to add a contact without using an email account....... There are some functionalities that cannot be enabled unless you use an account. Now I can understand such need when using, for example, Skydrive but force people to sign in to use Contacts or Calendar is, IMO, excessive; not everybody likes the "Cloud".

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

Hi,

With regards to the lack of Start menu, perhaps is just me but I don't quite understand the dislike or angst of not having it. I have been using Windows 8 since Tech Preview (Jan-Feb or so). I'll admit it that it was a bit of a learning curve for the new UI. However, once you get over that fact that the start menu is not there and start using the "Windows" button (be it on a keyboard or tablet), I find it much more useful and in fact faster.

So, if I want an app, control panel, cmd,, or anything, I hit the "Windows" key and just start typing. I think is more natural and quick frankly, faster.

I guess I just don't understand why so many people want it the Start Menu back. I also run a VM with Windows 7 (cause I'm too lazy to change it to Win8) and I find it awkward actually using the Start Menu now.

So, not sure if you've given Win8 a try and if so, for how long but my use case and experience has been very positive.

Cheers.

Fritzly said,

True but... Try to add a contact without using an email account....... There are some functionalities that cannot be enabled unless you use an account. Now I can understand such need when using, for example, Skydrive but force people to sign in to use Contacts or Calendar is, IMO, excessive; not everybody likes the "Cloud".

Your point is valid but on the other hand it's limited to those specific apps. I can see it being an issue if all you're running is Windows RT but then if we're talking Windows 8 if you don't want to use a microsoft account chances are you also don't want to use their metro apps. If all you want to use are you own desktop apps those have nothing to do with your account choice.

So really, it all depends on your needs, the choice is there though. Who knows, we could get other 3rd party metro email and contacts apps if they don't have some already.

Fritzly said,

True but... Try to add a contact without using an email account....... There are some functionalities that cannot be enabled unless you use an account. Now I can understand such need when using, for example, Skydrive but force people to sign in to use Contacts or Calendar is, IMO, excessive; not everybody likes the "Cloud".

Hello Fritzly ,

If you are not a Microsoft Account (Hotmail/Outlook.com/etc.) use - i.e. Gmail or Google Voice - wouldn't you still need to sign in to add a contact? Forgive me if I missed your concern. I've read many comments about how Windows 8 does this or doesn't do that and given that I have been using it for nearly 10 months, I don't think I'm missing anything from Windows 7 and in fact, find the new UI (aka Start Menu) much easier to use.

Cheers.

torrentthief said,
Unless the start menu can be enabled and there is no microsoft account needed to use it i'll stick with win7.

My company will be sticking with Windows-7. We struggle enough trying to make a profit. We have better things on which to spend valuable corporate assets on, instead of an OS designed for tablets (or worse, trash our hardware just to buy new hardware to take advantage of the Windows-8 flash and sizzle.)

My point is that a Calendar app or a Contacts one should not require you to sign in in order to be usable.
You are making a comparison with apps related to online services while I am referring to apps native/bundled with an OS; they are, IMO, two different entities.
it is true that MS keep trying to push users on the clouds but not everybody is interested. I remember the good old times of Outlook Express.......

does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

yarddog said,
does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

You do know this is copied from the verge?

Cyborg_X said,

You do know this is copied from the verge?

Yes, and the author of this article is starting the rumors by repeating some from the Verge instead of doing some original work.

yarddog said,
does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

Hating Microsoft? All they do is post stories ABOUT Microsoft, and most of them are positive, neutral or viral marketing. There is nothing in this article that is negative.

Cyborg_X said,

You do know this is copied from the verge?


the verge and cnet are the two sole reasons i came here to neowin.
I really hope this website doesn't turn into those.

yarddog said,
does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

... What exactly is negative in this article??

I think anyone would be happy to get some pretty major updates each year to their OS, especially if it's free which it likely will be.

yarddog said,
does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

JC almost exclusively copies articles from other websites with zero added value. It's not MS hate, it's lazyness.

Aethec said,
JC almost exclusively copies articles from other websites with zero added value. It's not MS hate, it's lazyness.

I agree. IMHO I'd sooner see a link, a small synopsis and maybe JC's take on the situation. Most other websites seem to follow said format and I wish Neowin did that too.

yarddog said,
does this author know anything other than hate MS? i'm losing interest in neowin as a result of this authors inability to report neutrally.

Whatever. Go away.

Hating a person who is perceived to hate Microsoft is considered hip on Neowin. Also ensures guaranteed instant likes for the post.

smooth3006 said,
as ive been saying w8 is meant for touchscreens.

Noooo, really?!!! Thanks for letting us know. /S

smooth3006 said,
as ive been saying w8 is meant for touchscreens.

And it has now been PROVEN! By also fitting on 8'' screens... wait...

smooth3006 said,
as I've been saying w8 is meant for touchscreens.

I wish someone had told me that before I installed it on my touchscreen-less desktop PC!

smooth3006 said,
as ive been saying w8 is meant for touchscreens.

No. It's meant for all types of computers. Touch is just another type thats supported.

Works great on my desktop PC, better than 7.

1Pixel said,

No. It's meant for all types of computers. Touch is just another type thats supported.

Works great on my desktop PC, better than 7.

Mega disagee with desktop PC you're delusional!