by Christopher Freeburn | May 7, 2013 10:52 am
Windows 8 is getting a major overhaul.
On Tuesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced that it is working on a redesign of the operating system it debuted late last year in order to make it easier for users to navigate. The software update has been dubbed “Blue” and is expected to be offered to users some time later this year, the Associated Press notes.
The announcement is seen as confirmation that consumers were unhappy with some of the design elements in Windows 8, including its tile-display interface and abandonment of the traditional desktop.
A Microsoft spokesperson said that sales of Windows 8 licenses are not far from those of its predecessor Windows 7 at around 100 million. That’s up from 60 million in January. Windows 8 was envisioned as a platform that could extend Microsoft’s presence into tablets and smartphones, permitting cross-platform functionality.
It had been hoped that the release of Windows 8 could also rejuvenate computer sales. However, sales of personal computers in the last two quarters have continued to slide due to competition from mobile devices like Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and smartphones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS. International Data Corp. cited consumer resistance to Windows 8 as a factor in the record 14% dive in PC sales last quarter.
Developers will get a look at Blue during a conference in June. Microsoft has not said whether Blue — which will be renamed before its release — will be offered as a free or paid upgrade to Windows 8.
Shares of Microsoft slipped fractionally in Tuesday morning trading.
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