Microsoft to mimic Apple yet again, move to once-per-year Windows upgrades, source say

“Microsoft Corp. plans to overhaul how it develops the flagship Windows operating system in a strategic shift aimed at keeping pace with nimbler rivals Apple Inc. and Google Inc., people familiar with the matter said,” Dina Bass reports for Bloomberg.

“Microsoft aims to upgrade the software more frequently, about once a year, rather than every two or three years as it’s done in the past, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the product plans are private,” Bass reports. “The company plans to unveil the first of these updates in 2013, one of the people said.”

Bass reports, “Microsoft hasn’t yet figured out whether the upgrades will be offered for free, or for a low price to current customers, said one of the people.”

Read more in the full article here.

The Verge has learned from several sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that the company is planning to standardize on an approach, codenamed Blue, across Windows and Windows Phone in an effort to provide more regular updates to consumers,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge. “Originally unveiled by ZDNet, the update on the Windows side, due in mid-2013, will include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform and pricing.”

MacDailyNews Take: Codenamed Blue. That’s short for…

“Sources tell us that Microsoft will likely keep the Windows 8 name for the foreseeable future, despite the Windows Blue update,” Warren reports. “A big part of Windows Blue is the push towards yearly updates for Microsoft’s OS. Microsoft will kick off an annual upgrade cycle for Windows that is designed to make it more competitive against rival platforms from Apple and Google.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, Windows 8 is the public beta for which Microsoft nonetheless charges money? Okay got it. As if anybody needed it, yet another reason not to buy Windows 8.

Related articles:
Windows 8 face-plant: U.S. notebook and desktop sales down 21% in Windows 8′s first month – November 29, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet flops, orders reportedly cut in half – November 29, 2012
TechCrunch’s Siegler reviews Microsoft Surface RT: ‘It’s time for a drop test – right into the garbage can’ – November 19, 2012
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. I was always told all Microsloth’s business clients (which is mostly what they have left, as consumers with choice have switched to Apple) hate frequent updates. So that’s the Sloth didn’t have frequent updates. So the business scenario should get even more interesting in the next few years.

    1. Interesting comment. Maybe M$ will move to upgrade home premium systems annually, but leave professional systems to a 4 to 8 year cycle. How laughable that would be.

      1. Yes business customers will blow their top at the thought, most haven’t got beyond Vista or XP as yet. The reason Apple and Google can do this is that they do not have Dinosaur minded large scale corporations to deal with, or at least not on a company wide scale with massive IT infrastructure considerations. There is a very good reason Apple avoided such technological bogs that actually sustain Microsoft wallowing in the stagnant mud.

        This is just a laughable proposition from Microsoft which clearly shows that they do not even know their own business, or perhaps they are simply panicking and running around like headless chickens as monkey boy staggers into their hen house. These updates will simply be a different name for the previous service packs and once again they think people are stupid enough to believe, and worse still actually pay for it.

  2. Ok, not only Microsoft innovationing with this yearly update to their window dreck smirk ) and now their most stable ( IT lemmings) are going to follow with yearly updates? The idea being a pig can get yearly lipstick color change! Wow!

    Ok, this should be interesting.

  3. Meanwhile, OS X 10.9 wil sell for $9.99 and the yearly MS upgrades will still be $100 and up. I don’t see people voluntarily upgrading windows yearly at their prices.
    I’m thinking Apple will eventually give OS X away for free. Kind of like iOS for the iPod cost $29.00 to start and now it’s all free.

    1. Actually, Apple started with free software upgrades for the Mac System files.

      Up through System 5, IIRC, (It was not call Mac OS back then) you could go into an authorized Apple reseller with a stack of floppies and copy the current version of the OS off any machine in the store that was not being utilized for something else (you certainly could not interrupt a salesman trying to sell a machine or a demonstration going on, etc.) and walk out with the latest and greatest version of the system files.

  4. Yearly updates…formerly known as service packs. And when were their upGRADES ever 2-3 years? Running faster does not really mean running better. Nothing like a slow-motion disaster. Somebody pass the popcorn.

  5. Really? Microsoft, ye of the infamous Blue Screen of Death, named their new annual Windows update program “Blue”?

    Now that’s ironic.

    BTW, Apple doesn’t have an annual OS update program for Mac OS X, Apple updates OS X when it has an update ready. That was one of the big reasons, along with releasing other products when they’re ready and not when the media expects them to come out, that Apple dropped participation at Macworld.

    1. Ok. I thought they named it after the “Blue Screen of Death”.

      The other Code Blue works too. You could have someone being defibrillated using two Surface jumpers. Then the doctor calls the time of death while signing off on his Apple iPad mini. The two Surface devices are then dumped in the Biohazard trash cans.

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