Feeds

Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1

'Windows Blue' to see return of old-school version numbers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has thought long and hard about what to officially call the forthcoming Windows 8 upgrade package codenamed "Windows Blue", and the verdict is ... Windows 8.1.

So sayeth veteran Redmond-watcher Mary Jo Foley, who cites an anonymous tipster.

Lending credence to the rumor, Foley directs us to a Twitter post made by one @AngelWZR on Tuesday, which shows a screenshot from a recent build of Windows Blue bearing the new version number.

Assuming none of this is a leftover April Fools' hoax, this will be the first time Microsoft has used old-fashioned point-release version numbering for Windows since Windows NT 4.0 in 1996.

The company has tried various branding schemes for its OS since then, including naming the version after the year in which it was released (Windows 95) and coming up with fanciful monikers (Windows Vista), before settling back on numeric versioning for the last two releases.

While Windows 7 never had a minor version number, Redmond has apparently decided to resume the practice for Windows 8.

That choice makes some sense, given Microsoft's stated aim to ship a new major upgrade for Windows every year, rather than revamping the OS every few years as it had done previously. Presumably, we may yet see a Windows 8.2, 8.3, or further before Redmond finally delivers a version deemed worthy of being called Windows 9.

  Screenshot showing Windows 8.1 branding  

Not your father's Windows 8? (source: @AngelWZR)

According to Foley, the main branding for the OS will remain "Windows 8" and the minor version numbering will be secondary – a bit like how Apple has released multiple, consecutive versions of OS X.

Similarly, Foley's sources say Microsoft plans to refer to the Blue update for the ARM flavor of its OS as "Windows RT 8.1." There was no word on what the Blue update for Windows Phone might be called, but feel free to draw your own conclusions.

So far, Microsoft has said nothing official about what the Blue updates might bring, other than to acknowledge that the project exists.

If Foley's sources are correct, however, we can expect to see a preview release of what will become Windows 8.1 at Microsoft's annual Build developer conference, scheduled to take place in San Francisco from June 26 to 28. The final version of the update is expected to ship around August 2013. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.