Looks like Microsoft is hard at work preparing its next-gen Windows update, codenamed Blue according to The Verge. Microsoft is planning on standardizing their OS approach on Windows and Windows Phone so updates come in at an annual upgrade cycle to match up against other OS developers.
The update that’s set to make an appearance mid-2013 includes UI changes, platform changes and pricing. Microsoft wants Windows Blue to be the next OS that everyone installs, hoping to reach Windows XP popularity. To achieve this, Microsoft plans to release Windows Blue at a relatively low cost or even free to make sure people will upgrade. Once it comes out though, the Windows SDK will stop accepting apps specifically made for Windows 8, though they will still continue to run on Blue.
A genuine copy of Windows will be needed to upgrade to Windows Blue, so pirates will be out of the loop. The Windows Store and other built-in app will stop working if a pirated copy is updated.
Source: The Verge