Windows Blue is coming. Microsoft seems to have bowed to some extent to user complaints about Windows 8 (not the least of which is the lack of a start button). Their answer is Windows Blue, aka Windows 8.1. This update to Windows 8 will emerge as a public preview in June, with the final release due by the end of 2013.
Consensus about Windows 8 is that it’s a very stable kernel, with a good number of enhancements under the hood, but around it is wrapped a bizarre hybrid user interface that combines the traditional Windows desktop with Microsoft’s new “Modern UI” interface. The latter looks and feels more like a toy and less like a business computer interface. Worse yet, there are multiple versions of various applications like IE, Skype, and some third-party apps- one version that runs on the traditional desktop, and another version that runs in the new Metro UI interface.
Those of us who use Windows 8 but prefer the look and feel of Windows 7 have learned how to put the start button and start menu back, boot directly to the traditional desktop, and minimize our time in the Modern UI. Maybe Windows Blue will include the options for users to do some of this tweaking without having to rely on third-party hacks. We can hope!