Microsoft set to rapidly update WinRT with feature packs? Sounds familiar..

Windows 8 is done, recently reaching RTM and tomorrow some folks will be lucky enough to get their hands on the final code. Word from a few prominent bloggers is that Microsoft may not quite be finished with WinRT just yet.  Suggestion is that MS maybe moving to update the WinRT environment faster than the current three-year cycle dictates.

If this rumour were true then it would mean a major break with updating policy from Microsoft. WinRT is functionally still a long way from complete, a series of rapid updates could do much to fill in the gaps. Although haven’t we heard the promise of rapid updates somewhere before?

Microsoft are a company with a long tradition of major software releases, Windows normally gets updated roughly every three years. There has only been one instance where Windows received new features, when MS were forced to fix the deep security issues with XP. After that service packs have been just that, a roll up of hotfixes. If Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott are correct then Microsoft could be preparing a series of feature updates, starting under the codename “Blue”. Word is that could arrive by summer 2013, certainly not shockingly rapid but that alone would form a real change in how Windows is moved forward.

Essentials was also said to get rapid updates...

Quickly updating software has been talked about before, recently I wrote about Windows Essentials 2012, a software suite that was once part of Windows. That was plucked from Vista and made into a standalone package. The intention was of rapidly updating it outside of the normal Windows three-year update cycle. Essentials never really got those quick fire updates, much to the disappointment of many users.  

Windows Phone, inital updates were touted to be rapid fire too..

If you were a customer of Windows Phone from day one then you too might have heard very similar rumblings about regular iterative updates. You know, to bring a new platform up to speed with things like multi-tasking, copy and paste? Well, unfortunately, Windows Phone didn’t quite get those lightning fast updates, but it has been updated more frequently than once every three years. If a Blue feature pack is to arrive next summer then that’s a year after RTM, not bad for Windows but is that quick enough?

The fact remains that WinRT, like Windows Phone 1.0 is not quite complete, Microsoft must move to get this updated quickly. As this OS is very much aimed at consumers, there shouldn’t be any real issues with business complaining about retraining for any new features that are added. Without business pouring cold water on big feature changes, MS could go wild with some fundamental UI re-working. Consumers love seeing new features, they feel it adds value to their purchase over time and makes them much more likely to accept updates. Rapid updates are desirable but for Windows 8 they are essential to ensure that WinRT is up to the job of becoming the only UI users ever need to see and use. Until WinRT offers the same level of control as Windows Explorer, it makes it impossible to move entirely over to the new environment.

Question is, can Microsoft change its spots and get updates out of the door quickly? WinRT currently lacks many of the essential control panel items to allow it to replace the explorer this alone could allow the ditching of the classic desktop. Features such a WinRT multi monitor support would go down well too.

Very interested to know what you guys think. Any features or changes you feel it needs? Have you heard this once too many times from Microsoft? Is it about time Microsoft just switched from the three-year update cycle from Windows? We would love to know, comment bellow.

Source: zdnet

Robert Brand