We knew that Microsoft was preparing Windows Blue in an attempt to put its flagship desktop and mobile operating systems on a yearly upgrade cycle — but now ZDNet is reporting that it is part of a company-wide initiative to update a number of different Microsoft services. According to the report, Blue may update services like Skydrive, Hotmail, and others, as well as Windows Server. The slew of updates aren't expected to hit the same day, but will likely all launch in the summer or fall of this year.

The new initiative could make Microsoft more competitive with rivals Apple and Google, both of whom follow a yearly upgrade schedule for their products. As it currently stands, Microsoft's upgrade schedule is erratic and slow in comparison, with various development teams releasing updates for their products every two to three years. According to ZDNet, the Windows Blue update will likely bring new versions of Internet Explorer, Bing, and other apps, as well as kernel and driver updates intended to improve battery life and performance. Other than that, there are few specifics on what features Blue will add, but ZDNet does specify that the update could be released through the Windows Store.