Windows Blue upgrades may be shown in leaked videos

Speculation on Microsoft's next Windows release abounds -- new videos suggest that touch may be enhanced and Windows Phone could get better speech recognition.

Leaked videos that hit the Web today hint at a host of possibilities for Microsoft's next Windows release, codenamed Blue . Not only does it look like there might be improvements across the operating system, but also the speech recognition feature in Windows Phones could get a noteworthy upgrade.

The videos come via MSFTKitchen, which got its hands on internal videos from Microsoft's TechFest event a couple of weeks ago.

In the video that is presumably about Microsoft Blue, the company's chief technical strategy officer Eric Rudder hints that Microsoft has plans to boost their touch feature on Windows. "We're really excited to work, now that the next version of Windows is coming, to make sure that we extend touch in even a more dramatic fashion," he said.

In a live demo of the possibly new Windows Fresh Paint app, a woman demonstrates touch painting with watercolor. Not only can watercolor be used as a digital medium in the app but any imported image can be transformed into a interactive watercolor painting. It's unclear if this app feature will be on the upcoming release of Windows.

In the video that discusses Windows Phone, a live demo is given about the Bing app. The main focus is speech recognition. While Windows Phone already has speech recognition, what is shown in the video could be a vast improvement on the feature. The demo shows word error reduction, higher speed, and better speech recognition in noisy situations.

Windows Blue is believed to be the first of a number of annual operating system updates to Windows 8. Microsoft is expected to position it as a Windows 8 refresh , not as Windows 9. There also is a Windows Phone Blue in the works that is expected to have the same core code as Windows Blue. However, so far, Microsoft officials are not commenting on anything having to do with Windows Blue.

It's unclear if any of the features shown in the videos will actually come out in consumer devices or if they were solely being presented as research projects at TechFest.

When contacted by CNET, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "The videos are from an internal discussion, and Microsoft has nothing to share at this time."

Updated March 22 at 11:00 a.m. PT with comment from Microsoft spokesperson.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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