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Such is the manner in which technology moves nowadays, no sooner is one major release out of the way, do consumers, analysts and enthusiasts in general begin nattering about what’s up next. Windows 8 has been in our faces for the entire year, after Microsoft dropped the Developer Preview to the public in an unprecedented move, but despite not releasing for another two-and-a-half months, the successor to Windows 8 has already got chins wagging.

After Windows 7 and Windows 8 would come, naturally, Windows 9, but Mary Jo Foley – renowned as a very well-connected individual, thinks there may be something else in the pipeline. Sure, we should gearing ourselves up to dive in head-first with Windows 8, but there’s nothing wrong with speculating on what’s coming next, now is there?

Windows 8 logo

Foley suspects the next edition to be operating under the codename Windows ‘Blue,’ and although she offers little in the form of genuine detail, there’s enough there to make note of. Citing "a couple of contacts," an update is said to be arriving next year, although it’s not yet known whether Windows Blue is a feature-rich release of just un update filled with the usual array of bug fixes and general performance enhancements.

Even if it is just a service pack, Foley reckons it’ll be out in a year’s time, and although we’re led to believe Windows 8 is the finished article, it might be that the software maker is just getting started, building the OS through the next few years.

Still, having used the Release Preview build of Windows 8, I have to say it works fairly smoothly, but it’s not without its shortcomings. Therefore, if Microsoft does decide to release a series of bug fixed next year with this Windows Blue, it’ll probably also add a couple of nice new features along with it, in order to keep the people happy.

Of course, this is all merely speculation, and I’m sure we’ll learn more over the coming months. Windows 8 is set to release on 26th October, along with the ARM edition of the Microsoft Surface. Sandwiched in between the release of a new iPhone, maybe a new iPad, and a bunch of new Nexus devices (not to mention the Galaxy Note brand), the next few months are going to be a mix of the two options, features and fixes. Windows 8 isn’t perfect, as anyone who has used its RTM build can attest, but it does have much going for it – a hotfix some 9 months after its launch could smooth its issues and mature it to a point of completeness that might make it a palatable enterprise option.

Either way, Windows Blue is likely something that we are going to hear quite a bit about in the coming months. Get ready for the Windows 8 tsunami, but keep in mind that it’s a single wave of a larger cycle.

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