ZD Net's Mary Jo Foley heard rumors that the Windows team has just finished the first milestone build (M1) oif Windows Blue, the upcoming update to Windows 8. One of Foley's sources revealed M1 means Windows Blue is now half-way ready as M2 will be the last and final milestone build of Windows Blue. This new update is expected to be positioned as a Windows 8 refresh, and it's anticipated to be the beginning of Microsoft's new strategy to release new operating systems on an annual basis.
It's hard to know what will come next, given Windows Blue is the first Windows release to be on an accelerated schedule. Will Microsoft deliver a developer preview of Blue? A consumer preview? Or just go straight from internal milestone builds to final? (I'm thinking it's likely to be the last option, if the Windows team sticks to an earlier leaked target ship date of August 2013.)
Making the Milestone 1 talk more believable is the fact that alleged screen shots of Windows Blue leaked to the Web on February 19, the day after M1 was supposedly complete.
According to one of the screen shot leakers, the WZor team (via Winaero.com), there's a rumor that Windows Blue is based on Windows 6.3. I'm hearing from one of my sources that this information is correct. It's version 6.3 for the same reason Windows 7 was version 6.1: It's the version number reported to apps when they query the new platform so that apps know they are running on a new Windows release.