Just days after news broke that the next Windows update, codenamed Windows Blue, had leaked online, news comes that it’s going to be called Windows 8.1, not Windows 9 as some had imagined. It’s no surprise, considering the naming conventions followed by Microsoft in the past – minor releases get a point revision, or even a service pack, while major releases get an entirely new name or number.
It seems appropriate, given what we know about Windows 8.1 / Windows Blue – which at this point isn’t much; still, we do know that it’s not going to be hugely different from the shipping version of Windows 8. According to some leaked screenshots on WinForum.eu, the next build of Windows Blue has already leaked (x9364 was out last week, while this version is claimed to be x9375). The screen grabber isn’t providing any more verification than that, stopping far short of uploading the software themselves.
Noted Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley has agreed with the screenshots, suggesting that in just a few months’ time, we’ll be seeing Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows RT 8.1 hitting our update notifications.
Two of the more welcome modifications in the upcoming release are a new split-screen app display mode, and larger, more dynamic app and widget icons on the Start screen.