Windows Blue to bring a faster kernel and better search

Yesterday we saw some more screenshots of Windows Blue, and information surfaced about a planned public Milestone Preview version that's replacing Milestone 2 in the development cycle of the update. Now, again thanks to Win8China, more information has come to light about what we can expect in Windows Blue, and when we can expect it.

The Milestone Preview will come with the previously reported update to the kernel, bringing the version to 6.3 alongside several improvements. Reports say the kernel will be more deeply optimized, allowing for faster boot times, a smaller disk footprint and better power consumption; however, the actual UI will not be significantly altered compared to Windows 8.

Scaling of Modern UI apps will be improved as well with Windows Blue, likely to accommodate smaller tablets in the 7-8 inch range, although the changes could also help those with higher-resolution displays. The Verge also has information that claims search will be greatly improved in Blue, with the Bing team working to add new features to the Charm: this includes the possibility to have search recommend apps to play content such as videos, and also deep search of app content outside of the app.

If these rumors are to be believed, we should be expecting the Milestone Preview in the coming months, with an RTM phase to start in June followed by general availability in August. The update will reportedly be free for all current Windows 8 users, and it will be bundled into all new Windows products following the launch of Blue.

Source: Win8China (1) | (2) | The Verge via: Windows4Live

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Josh the Nerd said,

That doesn't make sense to me. If they're transitioning from a paid model to another paid model, why does there need to be a free release in between?


Because they're likely not transitioning to the paid model people are theorizing... SP's I would wager will still be free, they will just try to speed up (as they did between W7 and W8) major releases...

cantoris said,
Seemingly not: "The update will reportedly be free for all current Windows 8 users".

Remember Windows 98 Second Edition. That wasn't free for FE users. And OSR2 for Windows 95 couldn't even be bought at all.


Cant compare Windows 98 to 98 SE... That was not an upgrade... The changes under the hood where quite radical. If you consider SE a servicepack, its by far the biggest servicepack MS ever released. Outdoing the XP SP2 service pack changes at least a dozen times.

SSD users will not like the search function! SSDs have a limited life span and constantly searching will shorten their life.

This is the downside of SSDs - but then of course what about all the write activity from temp files and browser cache too? You could always start moving some of these paths (incl the search index path) to a different non-SSD volume.
Then again, I don't know about you, but my storage requirements go up and up all the time so it may be few will keep any given SSD long enough for this to be a significant issue anyway.

Indexing for search reasons is the problem. If you use SSDs you should already know Win8 isn't SSD friendly. Moving indexed files is still putting wear on a SSD.

cantoris said,

Then again, I don't know about you, but my storage requirements go up and up all the time so it may be few will keep any given SSD long enough for this to be a significant issue anyway.

This

thexfile said,
Indexing for search reasons is the problem. If you use SSDs you should already know Win8 isn't SSD friendly. Moving indexed files is still putting wear on a SSD.

If you use SSDs you should know that existing isn't SSD friendly. Win8, however, is the most SSD friendly OS there is.

I'm disappointed that Microsoft isn't using this opportunity to address some of the UI issues. If they can update the kernel then I'm sure they could fix annoyances like the inconsistent mouse gesture (you can't use the hot-corners with Aero Snap but you can if you have a Metro app side-snapped), the empty screen displayed when side-snapping Metro apps, the lack of a unified Control Panel / PC Settings (it doesn't make sense that you can't use the Control Panel for adding a new user), requiring the Charm bar to shut down your computer (it could be added to the user tile on the Start Screen) and the inability to run Metro apps on two different monitors at once.

The changes that Microsoft is looking to make with Windows Blue don't address the actual concerns that people have. People weren't complaining about boot times, search or install size, at least no where near as much as the UI issues. And it's not as if such changes are a major undertaking, as Microsoft added features like hot-corners and the ability to open Metro apps on each monitor very late into development based on user feedback. Obviously more substantial changes will occur with Windows 9 but Microsoft should have used Windows Blue as an opportunity to address some of the criticism that Windows 8 has attracted. Instead the changes look focused on new tablet forms and pleasing OEMs.

I like Windows 8 but I can't help feeling Windows Blue is looking like a missed opportunity.

This is only about the improvements with the new kernel. They also stated that there will not be significant changes to the UI, but that doesn't mean it's true, it's a rumor. Beside: UI-bugfixes aren't significant either.

Studio384 said,
They also stated that there will not be significant changes to the UI, but that doesn't mean it's true, it's a rumor. Beside: UI-bugfixes aren't significant either.

True, but I would have thought Microsoft would have played up any UI changes.

theyarecomingforyou said,

True, but I would have thought Microsoft would have played up any UI changes.


Why would they be playing UI changes up now?? Those are the last things MS generally exposes during development.

That's because the UI changes are usually always for the worse (Win XP -> Vista -> Win7 -> Win8) I've all but given up on the Windows 8 UI and now work strictly in the desktop with Classic Shell installed... a much more productive environment from my perspective.

[Yes, I know, there are those who swear by the Windows UI, and there are those who swear *AT* the Windows UI. Count me as one of the latter, it is probably one of the worst UI's I've ever had to deal with, and that includes everything through the original Mac and Windows interfaces, not to mention the various incarnations of the Linux X11 desktop interfaces.]

M_Lyons10 said,
Why would they be playing UI changes up now?? Those are the last things MS generally exposes during development.

It's not that they have to reveal them now, they should just announce that they're being worked on. As it stands most of the changes are under-the-bonnet and focused on pleasing OEMs and tablet users. None of the changes listed appear targeted at desktop users.

Tal Greywolf said,
That's because the UI changes are usually always for the worse (Win XP -> Vista -> Win7 -> Win8) I've all but given up on the Windows 8 UI and now work strictly in the desktop with Classic Shell installed... a much more productive environment from my perspective.

[Yes, I know, there are those who swear by the Windows UI, and there are those who swear *AT* the Windows UI. Count me as one of the latter, it is probably one of the worst UI's I've ever had to deal with, and that includes everything through the original Mac and Windows interfaces, not to mention the various incarnations of the Linux X11 desktop interfaces.]


Dude do you even remember the default XP theme?
http://www.guidebookgallery.or.../desktop/empty/winxppro.png
over
http://r-p-m.eu/images/uploads/win8desk.png
? really?

I stully wonder why people hate Win8 so much, its the cleanest looking Windows since 95.

Shadowzz, I know the Windows XP theme. We have about 20% of our computers still running Windows XP around here, systems that will never, EVER go to Windows 8, much less Windows 7. They're fine with XP, and need to stay there in order to provide a working OS platform for certain programs that cannot and will never work on Win 7/8.

But my statement remains valid, despite your efforts to convince me otherwise. The Windows 8 UI (Metro/Modern/Whatever) is one of the UGLIEST things I've ever seen grace my computer screen, even uglier than Windows 286 or Solaris CDE. As for functionality and usefulness, it fails in that respect as well *FOR ME*. I could care less if you find it functional, it's hardly that from my viewpoint.

But given your past comments, I doubt you'll accept that there is a counter-opinion as to the UI...

"faster boot times, a smaller disk footprint and better power consumption"

Faster boot times? How can it be faster than pressing power button and directly the login screen in front of mee? I'm happy that they are going to shrink the size of Windows 8. And power consumtion: great, batteries with even longer life span!

Studio384 said,
"faster boot times, a smaller disk footprint and better power consumption"

Faster boot times? How can it be faster than pressing power button and directly the login screen in front of mee? I'm happy that they are going to shrink the size of Windows 8. And power consumtion: great, batteries with even longer life span!

The "faster boot time" is not the same when you start your computer from sleep. The current boot time from a soft/hard boot is around 8-10 seconds. It will be amazing if they can top that up as well.

Since I never use sleep mode for any of my devices, I don't really care about the boot time, as long as I can get to the desktop. Whether it takes 20 seconds or a minute, (or five minutes at work, due to all the corporate stuff pushed), as long as I get to the desktop and my programs, that's all that I care about.

And when I turn my computer off, I mean it's *OFF* as in no power going to anything.

kiddingguy said,
Nice. Faster and leaner is always better!

Agreed. I'm very excited to see what Blue brings. It sounds like it's going to be a nice update.

Improvements to the general OS and performance is always appreciated. That doesn't count the UI, however, as there's likely nothing they can do to get me to use it. And hopefully never will, I avoid loading any program that uses the Microsoft UI, no matter what.

If you'd know what kind of mess the Windows kernel is, you'd never use the word "lean" when talking about Windows.

I wonder if Windows Blue will have the same problem that XP, Vista, 7 and 8 have; Explorer.exe does not officially support file path lengths larger than 255 characters. This is highly annoying when dealing with nested folders in My Documents and other situations. I use Total Commander to take care of business.
NTFS supports file path lengths of up to around 30,000 characters so why is explorer.exe use/have APIs that are back in the stone age of computing?

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