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Rumor: Microsoft has switched to NT 6.3 kernel in Windows 8.1

According to fresh rumors, Microsoft has switched to kernel version 6.3 in the upcoming update to Windows. Windows 8's successor's screenshot has been leaked to the public by the famous underground WZor team:
Windows 9 Blue NT kernel 6.3

It is not clear if this image is real or Photoshopped. I can't see any reason to change kernel version number, because it might break compatibility of existing apps. However, it seems to be real and this means that some major updates are planned for Windows vNext.
Note that the build tag is FBL_ meaning Feature Build Lab.

What is Feature Build Lab

After the reset of Longhorn, which became Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced virtual build labs (VBL) which were replaced by Feature Build Labs (FLB) in Windows 7. Every team working on Windows has its own Feature Build Lab (e.g. fbl_shell, fbl_multimedia, fbl_powershell, fbl_wdk, fbl_tools, fbl_dev, etc. — there are plenty of fbl’s).

Well, it's obvious that we will see a new update to Windows soon. You should not expect many improvements on the Desktop side, because Microsoft is focused on Metro/Modern apps and touch screens. The next update to Windows, Windows 8.1, codenamed "Blue", is expected to contain improvements mostly to existing Modern apps, minor tweaks to the user experience and cloud services.

Time will tell, so consider this a rumor.

Feel free to share with us what you want from the upcoming version of Windows. Are you expecting some new features or do you want just improvements to existing features?

4 thoughts on “Rumor: Microsoft has switched to NT 6.3 kernel in Windows 8.1

  1. Joey

    I don’t expect many desktop changes either, but when I’m wearing my work hat, I wish they would make some small, but significant changes for my 6000 users. Here’s a list I outlined: http://www.bowlesonline.com/how-to-fix-the-windows-8-desktop/

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  2. Johannes

    Nun ich Vermute mal egal was da kommen mag. das es für die älteren Betriebsysteme ist die noch nicht so stark mit Cloud design zugepackt sind. Zudem wenn man sich mal Win 8 den Start Bildschirm ansieht dann macht das deutlich das man wohl versucht diesen in Win7 zu Integieren denn der windows 8 Bildschirm ist ja Blau mit seinen Ganzen Kacheln. Ich fürchte hier wird wieder einmal der Kunde nicht Gefragt ob er diese Kacheln will sondern Hauptsache er ist fest verbunden mit Windows

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  3. Carlos Osuna

    I think we got it wrong. Windows Blue will be ONLY of updates to the desktop, to make it more touch friendly and to improve the experience on tablets. Metro/Modern apps don’t need a release cycle, as they can be update through the ordinary update process of the Windows Store.

    My best bet is that the Start Menu is back on Windows 8,1, but with a more modern look. Also, I think we will see changes to the Ribbons used on all desktop apps, to stay in sync with Office 2013.

    Last but not least, I see changes to the minimize and maximize buttons on the Desktop side to allow touch and changes to the Notification area so it integrates better with the Start Screen which won’t go away, but will better integrate with the Desktop, probably using a transition effect.

    Last but not least, I see changes on the Start Screen (which is not updatable via the update process) to allow more flexible grouping and even portrait mode. With that in mind, the on screen keyboard will get a refresh as well as the charms.

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  4. abdo

    it seems thats windows blue is totaly a new os from microsoft not just an update or a package update as rumors says.and upgrading for kernel 6.2 for windows 8 to 6.3 prof that.
    and it even some rumors says that windows blue will bring new stuff and all devlopres need to creat new apps for it
    exemple of that :http://www.windowsbleu.com/2013/03/more-news-fresh-paint-app-coming-for.html

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