Microsoft Talks About "Blue", Preparing Office Gemini, Announces BUILD 2013

Microsoft goes public with "Blue"--will talk about next wave of Windows at the Build 2013. Preparing Office 'Gemini'. Launches new IE10 Metro Ad Is All About the Touch. Coming up 5 new Microsoft Stores in April.

Build 2013 is now sold out.

Microsoft's BUILD 2013 is taking place on June 26-28, 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. And, it is very likely that the company may talk (as well as release a Public beta of Windows Blue).

Windows Blue

The company has for the first time talked about "Blue" stating that "Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as "Blue"."

"Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want - all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing," Frank Shaw noted.

Adding, that at the //build/ Microsoft would share updates and talk about what's next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio and more.

The company has also shared a few numbers stating that;

  • "more than 100 million Windows Store apps were downloaded in the first two months after GA;
  • Has crossed 1 billion downloads mark in the Windows Phone Store;
  • Windows Azure has doubled its customer base with revenue growing 3X;
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition licenses have grown more than 80 percent;
  • Windows Phone has reached 10 percent market share in a number of countries;
  • Has shipped more than Blackberry in 26 markets and more than iPhone in seven, according to IDC's latest report;
  • And last quarter, tripled the number of Office 365 paid seats year over year."

So far, we know that Microsoft is preparing Windows Blue, Windows Server Blue, Windows Phone Blue, Windows Services Blue. Now, according to a ZDNet report, Microsoft would also release a Blue version of Office codenamed "Gemini."

"Gemini is a wave of Office releases coming over the next two years, according to my sources. Wave one, which will be aligned with Windows Blue, will be updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which should be out this fall," ZDNet writes.

Meanwhile, Microsoft aired a new Internet Explorer 10 television commercial, that puts a spotlight on the touch support it offers on both desktops and tablets.

Watch this new commercial and tell us what you think in the comment box below.

Update 03/28: Another IE10 tv advert aired:

Also, in a new episode of the intrepid Garage Series, Microsoft talks about its own global implementation of the new Office. Watch as they examine user training, compatibility and pushing out the bits to answer whether or not rolling out Office just got faster.

Update 2: Microsoft on its Facebook page, announced five new Specialty Stores opening in April, described as "scaled-down Microsoft retail stores that carry a curated selection of the best products Microsoft has to offer."

These speciality stores will join approximately two dozen already existing Microsoft Stores. This is the list of current Microsoft specialty stores that "have been extended into 2013 and beyond," the spokesperson said:

Microsoft Stores coming in the following locations in April:

  • Fashion Place Mall (Murray, UT)
  • International Plaza and Bay Street (Tampa, FL)
  • King of Prussia Mall (King of Prussia, PA)
  • Providence Place (Providence, RI)
  • Queens Center (Elmhurst, NY)

List of exisiting Microsoft Stores':

  • Fashion Place Mall (Murray, UT)
  • International Plaza and Bay Street (Tampa, FL)
  • King of Prussia Mall (King of Prussia, PA)
  • Providence Place (Providence, RI)
  • Queens Center (Elmhurst, NY)

These will be in addition to the approximately two dozen Microsoft specialty stores already in operation, a spokesperson said. This is the list of current Microsoft specialty stores that "have been extended into 2013 and beyond," the spokesperson said:

  • Aventura Mall (Aventura, FL)
  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Denver, CO)
  • Dadeland Mall (Miami, FL)
  • Eaton Centre (Toronto, ON)
  • Fashion Mall at Keystone (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Fashion Show Mall (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Glendale Galleria (Glendale, CA)
  • Metropolis at Metrotown (Burnaby, BC)
  • Natick Mall (Natick, MA)
  • Oakridge Centre (Vancouver, BC)
  • Penn Square Mall (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Perimeter Mall (Atlanta, GA)
  • Roosevelt Field Mall (Garden City, NY)
  • Saint Louis Galleria (St. Louis, MO)
  • San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, CA)
  • Shops at North Bridge (Chicago, IL)
  • Southpark Mall (Charlotte, NC)
  • Stonebriar Centre Mall (Frisco, TX)
  • Time Warner Center: The Shops at Columbus Circle (New York, NY)
  • Washington Square (Portland, OR)
  • West Edmonton Mall (Edmonton, AB)
  • Westfarms Mall (West Hartford, CT)
  • Westfield Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ)
  • Woodland Hills Mall (Tulsa, OK)
  • Woodlands Mall (Woodlands, TX)

Update 04/05: Microsoft just announced of opening of two Specialty Stores at International Plaza and Bay Street (Tampa, Fla.) and Queens Center, Elmhurst, N.Y.

As for other April Specialty Store openings, here's is the updated timeline:

  • King of Prussia Mall (King of Prussia, Penn.) - April 13
  • Fashion Place Mall (Murray, Utah) - April 19
  • Providence Place (Providence, R.I.) - April 19

Microsoft Specialty Store in Aventura, Fla.

Update 04/12: Microsoft has posted the sixth installement of its Garage Series Live! on real world adoption tips and tricks with live Q&A. Watch this special 60-minute episode:

In addition, Microsoft has also released an Windows 8 app for its fifteen minute video tutorials on Office 2013, called as "Office Webinars."

Office Webinar app for Windows 8

"The Help and How-to writers of Office.com deliver a new Office 15-Minute Webinar every Tuesday. These recordings can help you get the most out of Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, and other Office programs," the app description reads.

Users can download this app on Windows 8 as well as Windows RT and watch the step-by-step demo on how to get the most out of your Office 2013 application.

Users can also view past webinars using this app. Best part is, you can Snap this app to the side and watch a tutorial while tinkering and learning with an Office 2013 app!

Grab the app from Windows Store.