It's official: 'Blue' will be called Windows 8.1

The Blogging Windows site announces a few details about the upcoming free update to Windows 8

Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc made it official. We now know that Windows "Blue" will be known as Windows 8.1. It will be a free update to Windows 8, available from the Windows Store. And there will be a Public Preview released on June 26. No surprises there.

I was surprised to see LeBlanc's announcement sing the praises of the Dell XPS 12, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, Sony Vaio Tap 20, and Acer Aspire R 7 -- with no mention of Microsoft's own Surface.

While the blog says that "today at retail, you can find a powerful mobile touch laptop starting at just over $400," none of the highlighted computers make that crucial cut. The XPS 12 retails for $1,200; the IdeaPad Yoga 13 for $1,000; the Sony TAP 20 for $830; and the Aspire R 7 for $1,000.

Perhaps most damningly, there's no mention of Windows RT, except to say that there will be a preview for the platform. (Makes me wonder what they're going to call it -- Windows RT 8.1?)

I was also impressed by the repeated mention of "continual updates." The "Blue" effort may signify many things for Microsoft, but it most assuredly is not a "continual update." It's a compression of the old three-year product upgrade cycle down to a very Apple-like one year. Hardly continual.

Will Microsoft offer us legacy desktop users anything more than a boot-to-desktop option and a comically incapable Start button? Time will tell.

This story, "It's official: 'Blue' will be called Windows 8.1," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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