Microsoft is hard at work getting ready the new feature-pack update, codenamed Windows Blue, which will bring a wave of updates to Windows 8 as well as to other Microsoft products such as Windows Server, Windows Phone, SkyDrive, Outlook and other services.
Now the first screenshots already appeared on the Internet. Win8China and Winaero are two websites who published the images that suggest Windows Blue is currently on build 9319 with an updated NT kernel version 6.3 (just keep in mind that this information isn’t officially confirmed).
The new images specifically to “Windows Blue build 9319” do not hint any upcoming feature, however the bumped to a new kernel is noticeable. Microsoft released NT kernel 6.0 in Windows Vista, then Windows 7 made the leap to version 6.1, and Windows 8 includes the version 6.2. Windows Blue jumping to 6.3 might indicate that this, indeed, is an important update for the operating system. But despite of what you might be reading in other websites, the screenshots you’re seeing are not part of “Windows 9”, these are simply part of Microsoft’s new yearly update cycle project.
Where are the screenshots? To respect the company’s intellectual property, I am not hosting the images, but you can have a peek from the other sources.
Update: A new article from Mary Jo Foley at AllAboutMicrosoft, confirms that this information is correct. According to the article the Windows team just completed the first milestone (M1) and Blue is half way cooked. Also a close source to ZDNet noted that we’ll only see a second milestone (M2) before the upcoming update hits general availability.