Nikhil SubramaniamFeb 18, 2013 12:25:02 IST
Handling updates in Windows has always been a pain. While over the years the OS update service has become more streamlined, it’s still very confusing. At the moment, various teams working on each of the company’s products release updates for their specific software every two to three years.
To end this, Microsoft is preparing a Windows Blue OS update to put the platform on an affordable, yearly update schedule. Windows Blue is scheduled to launch sometime later this year and now a job listing showed the first official mention of the project.
Will Windows Blue bring a more cohesive OS experience for users?
The vacancy is for a software development engineer for the "Core Experience team" to work on the touch experience and UI navigation aspects of the software.
The listing says: “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 Verge reports that Windows Blue could debut in Q2 of 2013. Another job posting confirms that Microsoft will bring Blue to Windows Phone too. The company is looking for a senior development lead in the Office team and help in building the spreadsheet or the Excel part of the app for Windows Phone Blue.
Earlier reports suggest that Blue may be the company’s attempt to bring updates to all its services like Skydrive, Outlook mail, Skype, Windows Server as well as a slew of the company’s software products. This means the updates will all be rolled together instead of a programme-by-programme basis. Microsoft hopes to have a competitive edge over rivals Apple and Google. Windows Blue updates are likely to bring new versions of Internet Explorer, Bing and other apps, as well as kernel and driver updates to help improve the Windows experience for the end user. It is akin to a firmware update.
To reduce fragmentation of apps, Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Blue the big overarching OS allowing the company to price its future releases at a low cost. Once Blue is officially released, the Windows SDK will be updated and Microsoft will stop accepting apps that are built specifically for either its mobile or PC platforms. Instead, developers will be urged to create apps for Blue, which will feed the apps to the relevant stores depending on whether it is a Windows Phone app or a PC app.
In a bid to end the piracy of its software, Microsoft is expected to make the Blue upgrade only available to PCs running a genuine copy of Windows. Built-in apps and the Windows Store will cease functioning if a Blue upgrade is sideloaded or force-installed on a device running a pirated copy.