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Get ready for smaller Windows 8 tablets: Microsoft says Windows Blue will launch this year

by Doug Drinkwater

May 7 2013

Microsoft CFO Tami Reller says that Windows Blue will arrive in 2013
Microsoft CFO Tami Reller says that Windows Blue will arrive in 2013

Microsoft has finally confirmed that the next big update for the Windows 8 operating system, codenamed Windows Blue, will arrive in 2013.

Microsoft’s chief financial officer (CFO) Tami Reller revealed the news in a company blog post and hinted that the update will not only address some of the criticisms aimed at Windows 8 and RT, but that it will also bring about the introduction of smaller Windows-powered tablets.

“Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs,” wrote Reller.

“It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem.”

An early build of Windows Blue appeared to show that the update will see the introduction of smaller live tiles, greater home screen personalization as well as the ability to view apps in a side-by-side format.

There have also been rumors of the Start button returning on Windows Blue and while this would be warmly welcomed by new Windows 8 users, it would perhaps make a mockery of Reller’s claim that Windows 8 is a “no compromise” operating system.

There have been a number of reports on new, cheaper and smaller windows 8 tablets coming from Acer, Asus and Microsoft in recent times.  Creative Strategies analyst Ben said that models like these could well be a success, so long as they are priced between $199 and $349.

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