Screenshots alleged to be of Microsoft’s Windows Blue, the first major update for Windows 8, have hit the Web. The screen, which was spotted on the Chinese site Win8China.com, isn’t anything groundbreaking; it’s a confidentiality notice for Microsoft employees, but serves as proof that the update is fairly far into its development.
That jibes with a report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who, citing confidential sources, said that Windows Blue has officially reached the half-way point in its development, otherwise referred to as milestone build (M1). Milestone build (M2) would serve as the final version of the operating system and, if previous rumors are correct, could be released in the second half of 2013.
Windows Blue is expected to be a rather large update for Windows 8. In fact, rumors abound that it will have its own SDK rather than the Windows 8 SDK developers are currently using. It has also been rumored that the update will serve to further integrate Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, which could allow developers to create apps that can run across the operating systems.
It appears that Windows Blue will be the first step in Microsoft’s efforts to issue Apple-like iterative updates to Windows 8. Despite the code Windows Blue code name, it appears as though the operating system will retain the Windows 8 name.