Microsoft Teases Windows Blue Features In Fresh Paint Demo

By now it’s all but certain that Windows Blue is coming, and that it’s probably coming sometime this year. Blue is expected to be a Windows 8 “refresh”, as opposed to an entirely new OS (although work on Windows 9 is certainly underway), and more details continue to leak out about it.

The latest is a video from Microsoft’s TechFest event showing a demo of the Fresh Paint app with more than one reference to Blue. MSFTKitchen tracked the video down--apparently it was publicly available for anyone who knew where to look--and posted it on YouTube.

Windows Blue Fresh Paint

(A funny moment in the demo occurs when one presented on stage is discussing confidentiality and remarks about TechFest that “...when you bring in literally thousands of engineers, you run a little bit of a risk of someone...may actually talk about something, or god forbid Tweet or Yammer about it.” Or, you know, leave videos of it online where anyone can see it and embed it on any website.)

Fresh Paint is a very cool-looking app designed to let artists “paint” with digital colors at a professional level. Users can select from a variety of digital brushes, use oils, pastels or pencils as a medium, and select and mix colors from a huge palette. You can opt to leave the paint “wet” so you can work with it like real colors, and you can also import images from anywhere and modify them as if they were painting.

Fresh Paint

Although the demo itself is light on Blue details, the presenter mentions Blue--twice--when discussing new features and value. “For Blue what we’re trying to do is add some watercolor--so add a new media,” she said first. Then at the end, she wraps up by saying, ”So we’re super excited about this for Blue. I think it’s adding a lot of value, and I think it’s bringing a lot of value to what we can do with our surface.” (Or would that be “Surface”?)

Not to extrapolate too much from a small instance, but if apps like Fresh Paint are getting small feature updates for Windows Blue, it could indicate that Blue is indeed more of a Windows 8 facelift than a major overhaul.