100% Pure Speculation – Will Windows “Blue” (“8.1”) Upgrade Require A New License?

If you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, then you should know that a new “version” of Windows 8 appears to be on the way.  The program in Microsoft (not the product) is codenamed “Blue”.  There’s leaks, screenshots, speculation, a new Build conference, etc.

I’ve wondered how will this new “version” be released?  Will it be a service pack?  Will it be a feature pack?  Will it be an OS upgrade?  Will it require a new license … and a spend to get from Windows 8 to Windows “8.1”?  Apple does that, albeit with a “micro” payment for the new OS.

I cannot say what Microsoft is going to do; my magic 8 ball is on the fritz.  But I did drink the fluid from inside of it and I’m having visions of the future – someone might need to call an ambulance Smile

Two things hint to me that this will be a free upgrade:

1) Surface and other Windows 8/RT tablets are getting murdered right now.  iPad is the desirable device and Android has everyone beat when money is a factor.  Apple gives OS upgrades away for free.  Android updates (when the manufacturers bother) are free too.  Microsoft cannot afford to hand critics a baseball bat with 6 inch rusty nails driven through it.  They need to make “8.1” free.

2) Customers who have invested in Windows 8 didn’t expect their OS to have a 1 year life as the primary version.  We’ve been conditioned to expect 3 years.  Consumers are one thing; enterprises are something completely different.  Enterprises are still moving to Windows 7.  Those few who might have jumped to Windows 8 will be delighted (that’s sarcasm, Sheldon) to hear that they should fire up MDT and app regression testing every 12 months.  And yes, I am discounting Software Assurance here; the actual test/deployment of an OS is disruptive and costly.  Everything here screams out that “8.1” will be a minor revision (free and released like a feature/service pack, with the usual updated & slipstreamed media), and we’ll have major revisions every 3 years.

Anyway, I think I can hear the sirens now so I’ll wrap up this post.

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One thought on “100% Pure Speculation – Will Windows “Blue” (“8.1”) Upgrade Require A New License?”

  1. LOL, drinking the 8 ball fluid? Only in Ireland would someone think about that fluid let alone drinking it?

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