Windows Blue is coming to a computer near you in the next couple of months. Microsoft has confirmed that anyone can try out the first big Windows 8 update at the end of June.
Speaking to an industry conference, Windows engineering boss Julie Larson-Green confirmed the preview would be available to the public -- anyone who has Windows 8, in fact, whether you've upgraded to Windows 8 on your existing computer or bought a new one with Windows 8 built in.
The Blue preview coincides with Microsoft's annual Build conference for developers, held in San Francisco on 26 June.
is the codename for the forthcoming update to Windows 8, the first major overhaul of Microsoft's latest operating system. It's expected to be renamed Windows 8.1 when it's fully cooked and emerges from the oven ready for public consumption.
Windows Blue is set to address some of the concerns of customers who have been slow to warm to the new software. Windows 8's bold new look, consisting of colourful square live tiles, is focused on touchscreens rather than traditional PC screens. While it heralds an interesting future of innovative tablets and hybrid laptops, the new look has alienated many potential customers.
In response to feedback from customers, the Blue update is reported to be bringing back some familiar elements of the Windows experience, including the Start button and a more traditional desktop.
When asked by our colleagues at ZDNet, Microsoft refused to comment on whether we'd also see a public preview of the Blue version of Windows 8 RT, the sawn-off tablet version of Windows 8 for tablets such as the Microsoft Surface.
The full-fat official Windows 8.1 update will arrive sometime before the end of the year. Will you give Windows Blue a try or is Windows 8 just fundamentally a bad idea? Sing the blues in the comments or turn the air blue on our Facebook page.