Windows Blue to be named Windows 8.1, improves Windows search

By on April 3, 2013, 6:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 33

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soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

..And I will continue not to care just like I did with Win 8.

3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My God that resembles my old DOS screens from 1993. I know it is sometimes necessary to go back in order to move forward. Is it really necessary to go back that far, to move forward? Put some texture or a faded image in the background. Or at least allow us the opportunity to do so. That solid blue background is something I've spent 15 years getting away from, I'm not gonna accept it as the future when I think of it as the past.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Microsoft seems to be on a permanent state of Catch 22 because Windows 8 (or 8.1) does little to merge touch (Metro) and the standard desktop. Non-Windows slates have the advantage of using lower-powered CPUs and longer-lasting batteries, while Windows 8 tablets offer PC like functionality with some compromises and bigger price tags. Haswell will help the Windows cause but not entirely resolve it.

As for search, since day one I've been saying it, Windows 8 much publicized search is broken: http://www.techspot.com/review/587-windows-8/

JC713 JC713 said:

I really think 8.1 will throw off a lot of consumers... plus why would someone wanna pay for something that should be coming in a service pack? I bet they are gonna follow Apple, and release Windows yearly.

Guest said:

Of course, OS X style. you know it is a good think to imitate the good things in life.

Guest said:

Hopefully after Windows crap point one they'll make Windows 7.1, otherwise I'll just stick with Windows 7. A few modifications and it is great for touch screens. Now if only I could upgrade a new Windows 8 tablet to Windows 7. :)

Increase Windows DPI. Set large taskbar icons. Get the Grab and Drag extension for Firefox. Then use Chessware's Touch-It Virtual Keyboard. Voila, you have a productive OS that is touch screen friendly. Want a full screen browser? Hit F11. I don't understand Windows 8, it's horrendous for a mouse and keyboard, and it isn't even good for touch screen computing.

I mean if you want Windows on your tablet, isn't that because you want a productive OS? Otherwise you could just use Android and do one thing at a time.

windmill007 said:

Or just install start8 where search works correctly. That was one of the main reasons I hated the start screen. Search sucked.

Asok Asus Asok Asus said:

Improved search?

Wow, talk about rearranging the deckchairs!

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Not an important feature but a matter of better taste... I hope Windows 8.1 also comes with a better default wallpaper (on the desktop). I know they are shooting for the mainstream, but that blue background with a flower is just uncool.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

.. I hope Windows 8.1 also comes with a better default wallpaper (on the desktop). I know they are shooting for the mainstream, but that blue background with a flower is just uncool.
PM me if you need some links......:eek:

TheBigFatClown said:

Windows "Blue" is the right codename. It makes me wanna cry for sure.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

plus why would someone wanna pay for something that should be coming in a service pack?

Windows Blue is free for those who purchased Windows 8.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Or just install start8 where search works correctly. That was one of the main reasons I hated the start screen. Search sucked.

I second that. Installed Start8 from day one, and my hatred for Windows 8 subsided

1 person liked this | Stupido Stupido said:

I didn't hate w8... but I installed start8...

1 person liked this | bielius bielius said:

Seems like Windows 8 and Start8 combination is taking away the bad side of W8. Same for me as well by the way.

stansfield stansfield said:

Improving the search function doesn't add up to a lot. The best search anyway is the EVERYTHING program which really does find everything with no fuss whatever!!!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Microsoft really have to do something special. They're between a rock and a hard place with Win 8 at the moment and naming it Windows 8.1 instead of something like Windows 8 Evo is pure genius. I wonder which Einstein thought of that... They're off to a good start (button)

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Otherwise you could just use Android and do one thing at a time.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. I do one thing at a time on my PC, I just move quickly between programs. Same on my Nexus 7.

bielius bielius said:

I'm not sure what you mean by that. I do one thing at a time on my PC, I just move quickly between programs. Same on my Nexus 7.

He's probably referring to users who are multitasking often, like programmers, writers do, for example.

Guest said:

Microsoft is making choices that are pushing me to Linux. With the current direction of Microsoft, Windows 7 will be my last Microsoft OS. It's been great but it's time to move on.

Guest said:

I hear Windows Blue (now 8.1) will be subscription based. I think it will be $9.95 per month, but they will probably have some promotional deals and yearly packages as well.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Microsoft really have to do something special. They're between a rock and a hard place with Win 8 at the moment and naming it Windows 8.1 instead of something like Windows 8 Evo is pure genius. I wonder which Einstein thought of that... They're off to a good start (button)

Probably that same closet Apple sympathizers that do the advertising videos for the "Surface Tablets". Don't make me post another one of those gems.....(n)

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Na, me wait for Windows 10, it will read your "Mind"....

1 person liked this | gunste24 said:

Eternal upgrades are a sucker's game. I just like to stick to XP on my six year old PC. I don't feel I need to upgrade either the hardware or OS until the former breaks down. If I buy a new PC some day, I will install Windows XP pro and eliminate the need to change my habits of using the PC.

raybay said:

Microsoft needs to get its marketing people under control, and have a meeting with all the vendors that will not tolerate Microsoft giving up on the marketing aspect of Windows 8 so soon. Lots of the big manufacturing outfits are nailed in to Windows 8 marketing for the next 2.7 years anyway.

JC713 JC713 said:

Windows Blue is free for those who purchased Windows 8.

Are you sure? I thought it was gonna be like 30 bucks.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

As for search, since day one I've been saying it, Windows 8 much publicized search is broken: http://www.techspot.com/review/587-windows-8/

Saying Win8 search is broken somehow implies that it works well in it's predecessor, but I beg to differ

[link]

sapo joe said:

Will it have a proper desktop experience? AKA Start Menu, desktop, etc?

1 person liked this | Chazz said:

As for search, since day one I've been saying it, Windows 8 much publicized search is broken: http://www.techspot.com/review/587-windows-8/

Saying Win8 search is broken somehow implies that it works well in it's predecessor, but I beg to differ

[link]

I agree wholeheartedly with your link. This needs to be done and it needs to be put as a priority. There are keyboard shortcuts that help out, but in 2013 you shouldn't need it.

I've never seen this article of yours until today. This is the type of criticism that needs to be heard.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Hey Microsoft,

Microsoft,

seriously,

WHAT IF,

no seriously guys,

what IF,

you give us a start button in Windows Blue. I'll let your minds absorb the innovation.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

What I'm hoping to see with Windows Blue is improved backwards compatibility and a smoothing out of some its rough edges. Additional features, if they improve performance or add value, would be welcome too.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

He's probably referring to users who are multitasking often, like programmers, writers do, for example.

Android is a bit limited for programming right now, due to lack of IDE's (I only know of one, though there are some editors), and programming is also more comfortable on a larger screen, but I think that in practice it's not that bad. I've programmed on a Fujitsu P1510D, an old subnotebook with a 1024x600 8.9" screen. Wasn't a lot of fun, but was workable. An android PC could be easily constructed that's better than this. For writing there's a lot less problem, IMO. (I'm a programmer and have also done some writing, including on a Psion Series 5mx.)

(And really, when I'm multitasking a lot while programming it usually means that I'm doing stuff that's not related to my work. So limiting multitasking may actually be beneficial. )

Multitasking on a PC starts becoming really different when you have more than one screen. That's something that Android can't compete with at this point. But I don't feel that there's a huge advantage to Android if compared to a Windows device of the same form factor, in terms of multitasking. I regularly switching between e-mail, browsing and reading on my Nexus 7.

bielius bielius said:

Android is a bit limited for programming right now, due to lack of IDE's (I only know of one, though there are some editors), and programming is also more comfortable on a larger screen, but I think that in practice it's not that bad. I've programmed on a Fujitsu P1510D, an old subnotebook with a 1024x600 8.9" screen. Wasn't a lot of fun, but was workable. An android PC could be easily constructed that's better than this. For writing there's a lot less problem, IMO. (I'm a programmer and have also done some writing, including on a Psion Series 5mx.)

(And really, when I'm multitasking a lot while programming it usually means that I'm doing stuff that's not related to my work. So limiting multitasking may actually be beneficial. )

Multitasking on a PC starts becoming really different when you have more than one screen. That's something that Android can't compete with at this point. But I don't feel that there's a huge advantage to Android if compared to a Windows device of the same form factor, in terms of multitasking. I regularly switching between e-mail, browsing and reading on my Nexus 7.

I completely agree. I have two screens, and when I'm building websites I thank myself for buying the second screen. Especially when I have to work on my work laptop, having one screen is such a limitation of productivity.

On the other hand, multitasking with stuff unrelated to work is something I admit doing myself often aswell... Maybe I should use one of those "parenting" functions...

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