Microsoft could be well on its way to meeting its rumoured August 2013 shipment date for the next version of Windows, if sources speaking to ZDNet are to be believed.
Windows Blue is tipped to be the first operating system in Microsoft's long-rumoured 'accelerated schedule'. It aims to bring a new version of Windows on a yearly basis, as opposed to longer stretches, like the three year gap between Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The first milestone in the development of Windows Blue has been reached, ZDNet claims, and supposedly the halfway point on the development schedule. It's reckoned that Windows Blue will then move on to milestone 2, or 'M2', which will be the last and final build of the rumoured update.
Microsoft is yet to breathe a word about any of its new software, or how it will be delivered. In the past, the company has offered consumer previews of its operating systems before they're released, but if there really is a shorter development time in the works, it's anyone's guess whether this would still happen.
There are also rumours that the Redmond company is working on Windows Phone Blue, ZDNet reports, which -- much like Windows Phone 8 -- will run on the same codebase as its desktop counterpart. It's possible the two will share a unified app store, meaning that apps will have to be programmed to be capable of running on all Windows devices, regardless of size or screen resolution.
Screenshots purportedly showing off Windows Blue were recently spied by Win8china. They suggest that Windows Blue will be running atop Windows Kernel version 6.3, which is a more recent version than the kernel in Windows 7, which ran on 6.1.
Job postings on Microsoft's website, which were later removed, suggest Windows Blue will focus on improvements to the UI and the user experience -- elements that Microsoft only recently overhauled in Windows 8.
I could speculate about Windows Blue until I was blue in the face, but what do you think? Are cheap, annual, incremental updates exactly what you've been waiting for from Microsoft? Or would you prefer a major overhaul every three years? Let me know in the comments section below, or head on over to our Facebook page.