Microsoft confirmed on its blog on Monday that the long rumoured update for Windows 8 that is code named Windows Blue, will be coming later this year. According to Microsoft’s Tami Reller, the update will allow Windows to run on devices of all different display sizes, form factors and battery life. This should lead to smaller 7 inch Windows 8 powered tablets designed to compete with the 7.9 inch Apple iPad mini and the low-cost 7 inch Android tablets led by the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Rumours that the update will allow for smaller sized Windows tablets have been circulating for some time. The update will also give more options for businesses and consumers for work and play, and will also allow Microsoft to respond to feedback from those using
Windows 8 and Windows RT.
Reller also pointed out that the number of apps in the Windows Store has increased 6X since launch, offering more apps than iOS had available after its first year. She also passed along the news that 250 million Windows Store apps have been downloaded. Meanwhile, the number of certified devices for Windows 8 and Windows RT is up to 2,400 with more touch screen devices being added to the roster.
Finally, Microsoft said that 100 million licenses have been sold for Windows 8, up from the 60 million licenses sold by January. This figure includes licenses that are shipped along with a new PC or tablet, as well as devices updated to Windows 8.
“Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs. It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem. It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play. The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. From a company- wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft.”-Tami Reller, CFO, Microsoft