Microsoft is expected to discuss and possibly even release a public preview version of Windows Blue at its Build developer conference in San Francisco this June. But thanks to a couple of leaks we already have some ideas about what to expect. The latest tidbit comes courtesy of ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, whose insider sources claim Microsoft has officially settled on a name for the upcoming update: Windows 8.1.
While not exactly an astonishing revelation, the decision would reinforce previous rumors that Microsoft is moving away from the big-bang Windows release cycle with a major version of the operating system every three years or so, and instead will move toward something more like what Apple does with point releases.
Foley says that the top-level branding will remain "Windows 8" when the 8.1 update arrives, and it’s unclear if Microsoft plans to charge existing Windows 8 and Windows RT customers for Blue.
In related news, a more recent build of Windows Blue was recently leaked online, offering a glimpse at another improvement planned for the update. Specifically, Microsoft will improve the search experience within Windows. Instead of separating results by category -- apps, settings, and files -- everything will be presented in a single screen so there’s no need for extra clicks unless you want to filter down your search results.
The change addresses a major annoyance of Windows 8 by making the search process simpler. In addition to that, Microsoft is also adding in-line web search results next to local results from your computer.