Looks like a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) partner leaked a secret build of Windows Blue. Depending on who you ask, it's SP1, Windows 8 Second Edition, or a fully-fledged next version of Windows. Microsoft is keeping schtum, natch.
In IT Blogwatch, your humble blogwatcher macros poor Steve Ballmer yet again.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Christina DesMarais dishes rumorage, salubriously:
Blue [is] the codename for the first of a number of annual...updates to Windows 8 that is expected to hit late this summer. Supposedly Blue will [also] span...Windows Phone, Windows Server, Windows RT...SkyDrive and Outlook.com.
Blue is optimized for power efficiency. ...when sleeping an ultrabook would remain connected to Internet-based apps such as email and social networks, so it remains constantly up to date. MORE
Tom Warren rabbits on:
An early build of Windows Blue...has leaked online. ... Build 9364, a partner version that was originally compiled on March 15th...includes some of the new changes that Microsoft is building into its significant Windows 8 update. ...smaller tile arrangements and even a larger desktop one...greater control over the color personalization options...additional Snap Views...allowing users to place apps side-by-side...up to 4 snapped apps alongside each other. ... The snapping improvements also apply to multi monitor support.
Other improvements include a number of new options in the Windows 8-style settings screen...to ensure tablet users don't have to drop to the desktop Control Panel. ... Microsoft is also making changes to its Charms. ... On the Share Charm there's a new screenshot option that lets you quickly share an image with applications. ... Touch users can also use new gestures throughout.
[It's] expected to enter public preview over the coming months, with a full release due later this year. MORE
So Paul Thurrott confirms, "it's real":
Based on a quick run-through of the build, I can say it’s...the combo feature pack/service pack we’ve been expecting. ... There are indeed new apps included in Blue...Alarms, Calculate, Sound Recorder, and Movie Moments are all in there.
All the action in this build is in PC settings...if you were looking for any further proof of the desktop being eased out...look no further. ...there are a ton of new settings in there now. ... This is clearly an indication of how we get [to] Windows 9, with potentially no desktop.
[It's] a solid update. My only question, as ever: What’s taking so long? MORE
And Joe Wilcox agrees:
...how timely. ...everything about Windows Blue suggests an accelerated OS development pace, which significance cannot be understated. ... Look how far Google's mobile OS and browser have come since their release in late 2008.
Microsoft is the new IBM. The company that caters to big business and doesn't bring big ideas to market. ... Windows Blue could be a bold, next step. ... [It's] an opportunity for Microsoft to show that it can keep pace.
[It] must balance the preferences of the enterprise...against the need to move faster. ...the potential is clear...Android and iOS look like toys by comparison. MORE
But a slightly sarcastic Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a bad case of the Blues:
...the interface is going to be the same old Metro mess. ... What gives, Microsoft? ... Call me crazy, but really Microsoft, would it kill you to add a Start button?
Wow, resizable and multiple windows on the screen at once. What a great idea! Gosh, we haven't seen that since, oh, Windows 7.
The fix Windows 8 really needs is to dump Metro...but Microsoft seems unwilling to change its course. Oh well, if it wants people to explore Google Chromebooks...so be it. MORE
Meanwhile, Tom Ingram really loves a certain punctuation symbol!
Overall memory footprint has dropped! ...the more application RAM you use the smaller the OS footprint becomes!
I'm at a comfortable 500MB with a few system tools open! MORE