Past rumors purport that Windows Blue and Windows 8.1 may actually be one and the same. At a conference today, Microsoft CFO Tami Reller validated those rumors, stating that Windows 8.1 is not only Blue, but 8.1 is on track for a summer preview release and will be freely available later this year.
The long-rumored Windows Blue project has been steeped in mystery; however, leaks from industry sources and job postings have continued to feed the rumor mill. As it turns out, a number of these rumors are reasonably correct: a preview release due this summer, Blue will be a free but major update for Windows 8 and will arrive in the second-half of 2013 launch.
"It will be easy to get from the Windows Start Screen," Reller told attendees. This is likely in reference to the rumored return of the start button -- just one change expected to be delivered by Windows 8.1.
Acer chairman J.T. Wang expressed his belief that Windows 8.1 means Microsoft has finally evolved to acknowledge "how people on Earth think," suggesting the company had lost touch with its users (and perhaps its humanity).
Some questions regarding Blue remain though; in particular, what possible role will it play in other areas of Microsoft's ecosystem?
Although this latest bit of Windows 8.1 news is Microsoft's first official acknowledgement of Blue -- will it be as expansive as rumors have indicated? Industry sources have suggested Blue is really an umbrella project aimed at improving usability and uniformity across various Microsoft service and products, not the least of which include Windows Phone, Office and Outlook.com. Could we see other service-pack-like updates for those products or was Blue just Windows 8.1 all along?
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz CPU with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. The ThinkPad 2 sports 10.1in touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Last but not least, the ThinkPad 2 runs Windows 8 Pro.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is 11.4mm thickness and weight 159g, in the front you can find the 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and in the back the 8 megapixel camera and its LED flash. Since there are no seams or doors there is no way to access the 1830mAh battery or increase the phone's 16GB internal storage with a microSD card.
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