Windows Blue public preview planned for Build conference in June

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We’ve heard rumors about a public preview of Windows Blue being planned for the summer, and if a recently leaked milestone build is any indication, it seems Microsoft is well on its way of delivering an early version of the first major operating system update since Windows 8 debuted five months and a day ago. According to new information from The Verge, the public preview version of Windows Blue will go live in late June.

The report cites unnamed sources familiar with Microsoft's plans who claim the software will be made available to developers and enthusiasts during the company's Build conference in San Francisco. This will be the only public preview of Windows Blue ahead of a final release later this year.

The primary-colored update is purported to be a collection of tweaks and enhancements which aim to improve various aspects of Windows 8 and its related platforms and services. That includes a new version of Internet Explorer, improvements to Charms Bar search, and new customization and snap view options. Side-by-side app performance is apparently an important focus of the update to get Windows Blue on 7- and 8-inch devices.

The recently leaked build revealed several new first-party applications for Windows 8 such as alarms, sound recorder, calculator, and movie moments. But more are coming in the public preview. Additionally, better integration with services such as SkyDrive and Bing is also said to be in tow.

These upgrades are meant to address a good deal of user complaints regarding Windows 8, but one thing that’s not coming back is the Start button -- well, not officially, since there are several third-party options for enabling its functionality. We expect to hear more about Windows Blue as the next Build developer conference approaches.

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