While some might think that Microsoft's next big update to its operating system lineup will be called "Windows 9," there are reports that claim Microsoft is working on a new platform for how the company handles future Windows operating system releases, and they've codenamed it "Windows Blue" for the time being.
No one's really sure what Microsoft has planned, but according to ZDNet, several sources are saying that Microsoft will be bringing an interim release sometime mid-2013, and will include UI changes and alterations to the entire Windows platform and pricing. We're not sure if it'll be some kind of normal service pack, or if it's a more rounded service pack that would come with new features, as well as bugfixes.
Either way, Microsoft may be moving toward rapid-release updates of their Windows OS, meaning updates to their operating system every year or so -- similar to what Apple is doing with OS X. This means we could see versions of Windows that stick with the "8" prefix, but with a decimal tacked onto it, like Windows 8.1, Windows 8.2, etc. For now, though, Microsoft is calling it Windows Blue.
The update would be low-cost to ensure that users upgrade, just like OS X, and the upgrade process would be simple. So, once the update is released, the Windows SDK will be updated as well to support the new update, and Microsoft will stop accepting apps for Windows 8, and will begin to push developers to create apps for Windows Blue. It seems like a streamlined process, and one that Apple has had success with already, so we're interested to see how it works for Microsoft's platform.