Microsoft has confirmed that a public preview of Windows Blue, the forthcoming update to Windows 8, will take place at the end of June.
Microsoft has only recently acknowledged Windows Blue officially, but the upcoming preview release was announced by Windows corporate vice president Julie Larson-Green, speaking at this month's Wired Business Conference in the US.
The preview will be publicly available to anyone running Windows 8, Microsoft said, and will be released during the company's Build developer conference in San Francisco, which is scheduled for 26-28 June.
Blue is the code name for a refresh of a number of Microsoft's products and services including, but not limited to, the Windows platform. An official release date for the update, still code named Windows Blue, has yet to be disclosed.
Expectations are growing that Windows Blue will fix some of the gripes that long-time Windows users have complained of in the six months since the launch of Windows 8. In particular, many users have been demanding an option to boot straight to the legacy desktop and bypass the Metro Start screen with its live tiles.
However, Microsoft has so far confirmed few details of what is actually coming in Windows Blue, so users will have to wait until the end of June to see what has been updated.
Microsoft has previously said that it is moving to a more rapid update cycle for its products. This is in part an attempt to compete more effectively against rivals in the device market. Smartphones in particular tend to be replaced by updated models at least once a year.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.