According to anonymous sources, Microsoft is moving to a yearly operating system upgrade cycle similar to Apple and Google, in order to make their product more competitive. The first upgrade, codenamed Windows Blue, will be a cheap or free upgrade to the current Windows 8 and is slated for a mid 2013 release. It will introduce user interface changes along with alterations to the entire platform and pricing.
Microsoft intends for Windows Blue to be the next operating system that’s widely used, so to help spur adoption, won’t accept apps written specifically for Windows 8 after its release. The Windows SDK will be updated to support this new requirement and current Windows 8 apps will continue to run on it. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft will not support pirates. Upgrading a dodgy copy of Windows 8 to Blue, will disable apps and cut the user off from the Windows Store, among presumably other sanctions.
Microsoft is busy preparing its next-generation Windows client, shortly after shipping Windows 8 in October. The Verge has learned from several sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that the company is planning to standardize on an approach, codenamed Blue, across Windows and Windows Phone in an effort to provide more regular updates to consumers.