According to The Verge, Microsoft will begin shipping cheap updates to Windows every year. The new approach, which is reportedly codenamed Windows Blue, would shift Microsoft away from its current strategy of introducing mammoth updates to the OS package after several years.
The Verge reports that the Blue approach will include both Windows and Windows Phone. The idea is to offer people using licensed versions of Windows a cheap or free incremental update with UI changes and tweaks instead of bombing them with the massive updates that take a while to catch on. The next version, which is supposedly coming next year, will still be called Windows 8.
While this is all still a rumor, Windows Blue makes a lot of sense strategically. It should look very familiar as it's more or less a mirror of what Apple has been doing for years with OS X. Big, sweeping changes can be hard to adapt to and leave companies with few options when something fails. Sticking to a more incremental update schedule allows Microsoft to test features before committing to them long term. As long as it prevents another Vista, we're on board. [The Verge]