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Microsoft working on annual updates for Windows, report says

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Microsoft is planning to update its flagship Windows operating system at a much more regular pace of once a year--instead once every two to three years, like it has traditionally done. This was reported on Bloomberg, which cited sources who said Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) plans to unveil the first of these updates in 2013. The strategic shift is expected to help Microsoft keep up with companies such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

Indeed, hints of a ramped up product development cycle have been in the air. For example, the recently released Windows 8 operating system saw four non-security related updates shipped just two weeks before it went on sale on October 26. Compared to the previous release cycle of up to 18 months until the first service pack, this move effectively sees the company pushing out improvements at a much earlier date.

The groundwork appears to be in place for a shorter release cycle. Steven Sinofsky, the former president of the Windows division who abruptly left just weeks after the release of Windows 8, had been quoted about setting up "tools and processes" designed to enable the delivery of a post-RTM update.

For now, the same source noted that it hasn't been decided if the more frequent updates will be offered for free, or for a low upgrade price. A separate report by Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, on ZDNet, noted that the next version of Windows will not be called Windows 9, but will be codenamed "Blue."

For more:
- check out this article at Bloomberg
- check out this article at ZDNet

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Post-RTM Windows 8 updates could signal end of Windows service packs
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