Windows Blue Coming Soon; Free for Windows 8 Users

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has officially announced the first upgrade to Windows 8 operating system (OS) will be available on June 26, 2013. There will be no charge, so long as you already own the OS.

According to a Microsoft blog post, the new software "will be a free update to Windows 8 for consumers through the Windows Store." That suggests users may need to manually install the update and that it won't be downloaded and installed automatically. (Source:

The June 26 release will be a "public preview," meaning it won't be installed on new computers until later on.

Update Known As Windows 8.1

Microsoft confirmed that the upgrade had been dubbed 'Windows Blue' while in development. However, once it's released the update will be known as 'Windows 8.1'.

Unfortunately, we still don't know what new features or changes the update includes. Currently, there are no credible reports on the subject.

However, insiders believe Windows 8.1 consist primarily of tweaks to the Windows 8 user interface (UI). The goal will almost certainly be to make the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 easier for people not using touch screen devices.

Windows Start Button Could Return

Possible changes include the return of the Start button; the option to boot immediately into the traditional desktop interface; and more explicit indications of how to activate the Charms menu, which currently involves moving the mouse to the top right corner and then dragging it down.

It's also been suggested the new default interface might be changed so users can easily display two apps, each taking up half of the screen. (Source:

If this is the extent of the changes, Microsoft probably won't want to over-hype Windows 8.1.

Still, even minor changes like those mentioned would make Windows 8.1 an important update. With some of the usability issues addresses, more people may be willing to give Windows 8 a try.

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