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Windows Blue to be called Windows 8.1, coming summer

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Windows 8.1 screenshot
Windows 8.1 screenshot

Microsoft will allegedly be calling Windows Blue, the upcoming update to Windows, the exciting Windows 8.1.

The software giant had previously confirmed that Windows Blue would be the next Windows update, but said it didn’t expect the platform to retain such a moniker. In fact, Microsoft look set to be keeping it simple, and will name the Windows 8 refresh, Windows 8.1.

A “Windows 8.1 Pro” screenshot appeared online with a build number of 9375, which postdates any Windows Blue builds seen previously online.

Sources speaking to ZDNet suggest that Windows Blue will therefore be an update to Windows 8, rather than Windows 9 or a whole new Windows platform as previously thought. The Microsoft Surface RT could also be receiving Windows Blue for its OS, with a rumoured name of Windows RT 8.1.

Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 are expected to be released sometime in August, with no word as yet what the financial costs of the upgrades will be.

Windows 8.1 Features
Last week, screenshots of the Windows Blue or Windows 8.1 UI leaked online, revealing a host of new features including resizable Windows Live Tiles. Similar to the function offered by Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 users can opt for a smaller Live Tile presentation for their Start screens.

Users could also be able to access the Applications menu directly from the Start screen with a simple swipe from the bottom of the screen upwards, also taking its hue from Windows Phone 8.

The leaked version also contained the new Snap View mode, allowing the simultaneous running of two apps in the same screen. Users can opt for a side-by-side view, or choose to run four apps at the same time with Snap View support.

Charms are also apparently getting a boost, with a new Play option in the Devices Charm and the Share Charm offering a screenshot function.

Windows 8.1 could also features Windows Explorer 11, IE11, with the ability to sync tabs across multiple Windows devices, as possible with Apple devices such as a synched Macbook Pro, iPad mini and iPhone 5.

Do you think Windows could have been a little more inventive with their naming scheme? Or does Windows Blue sound a bit nondescript? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter pages or the comments below.

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