Microsoft expected to further shorten Windows cycle

A couple years back, famed Microsoft rumor-monger Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft would shorten Windows' three-year release cycle. That came to pass: Windows 8.1 arrived about a year after Windows 8. Now, according to Foley, the scuttlebutt is that we're in for a further reduction of that cycle. Here's what Foley wrote for CNet News yesterday:

"[T]he Windows team is attempting to speed up its delivery cadence yet again, my sources say. The powers-that-be are encouraging the Windows development team to see how much they can get done within a much shorter timeframe and then plan to deliver whatever is baked in the next few months. That's a much different way of operating from the carefully (overly?) orchestrated plan/build/test/deliver schedule the team followed in building Windows 7 and Windows 8.

According to Foley's sources, this hastened cadence will lead to the next major Windows 8 update being released in August. Foley says the update "may include" the new Start menu we saw earlier this month.

If that last part sounds familiar, it's because, another notorious mill of Microsoft rumors, made a similar prediction recently—and we told you about it yesterday. says the next update will be branded either Windows 8.2 or Windows 8.1 Update 2, will include the new Start menu, and will be released in September.

What Foley's story adds to the picture—beside the fact that was probably close to the mark—is that the short intermission between the last update and this next one could be a sign of things to come. Going forward, we may be in for significant Windows updates at least a couple times a year, if not more often. Considering the desktop-centric improvements we've seen in the last two updates, that sounds like good news to me.

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