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Job ad confirms Windows Blue, cheap annual updates ahoy

Microsoft's next OS is on the way, and it'll bring annual updates for not much money.

Microsoft's follow-up to Windows 8 was rumoured to be called Windows Blue, with the Redmond company said to offer annual updates for not much money. Well now the name of the OS has been confirmed in a job advert by Microsoft, ZDNet reports.

The ad is for a software development engineer to join the Core Experience team, to work on the next-generation OS. The Core Experience features "are the centrepiece of the new Windows UI," the ad reads, "representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalisation. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide."

Not too many details to go on then, but still, it's confirmation.

Windows Blue will come to Windows Phone too, according to a second job ad. This one is for a senior development lead in the Office team, to bring the Excel app to "Windows Phone Blue", which is pretty concrete.

What can we expect from Windows Blue? It looks like Microsoft will take a leaf out of Apple's book and offer improvements through yearly updates, instead of its current cycle. Each new version shouldn't cost much either, or could even be free. Windows 8 apps should still run on Blue.

Despite the changes, Microsoft will still call the OS Windows 8.

Windows Blue is due around the middle of this year, according to sources. From the ad, it sounds like improvements will focus on the UI and the touch and feel of the OS, as well as bringing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 closer together. This last part was hinted at in another Microsoft job ad, so exciting times ahead.

What would you like to see from Windows Blue? And how would you improve Windows 8? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.