A vision of how Windows Phone 8.1 could look

The ‘app problem’ on Windows Phone is becoming less of a problem these days, with more high-profile brands launching on the platform, and Microsoft also adding to the mix with apps such as Fresh Paint and its Bing portfolio. But another problem remains with the company’s mobile operating system, one that’s unlikely to change quickly: updates.  

Microsoft is currently rolling out its second major update to Windows Phone 8 - General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2) – but it brings few high-impact features, and certainly none that will make the platform more compelling to potential buyers. GDR3 is expected to arrive later this year, but is likewise believed to bring relatively little in terms of new features, with its focus being on adding OS support for 1080p displays and quad-core processors.

Sadly, it seems that the really meaty improvements to the OS won’t come until early next year, when Microsoft rolls out its long-awaited ‘Blue’ update Windows Phone 8. The company’s Blue update for its PC operating system has already been announced in the form of Windows 8.1, but it looks like it will be many more months before Windows Phone 8.1 arrives.

There’s been much speculation in recent weeks about what that update might bring. Better notifications are more or less a given, as is improved multitasking. Microsoft has also promised that it will deliver improved support for business and enterprise customers as part of an update in early 2014, perhaps indicating that that will form part of the 8.1 release.

From time to time, and purely for a bit of fun, we at Neowin like to try visualising what’s to come. Back in May 2012, we had a go at imagining what a Nokia Windows tablet might look like. We also did something similar with creating some hypothetical designs for Windows Phone 8, ahead of its launch.

Now, we’ve turned our attentions to Windows Phone 8.1, with a vision of what the updated OS could look like, based on rumours, whispers, occasional smatterings of common sense, and a thick dollop of wishful thinking. 

We present our entirely speculative designs to you on a completely fictional device: the Nokia Lumia 1080, a 5.5-inch phablet, complete with stylus for handwriting input. The non-existent handset is destined to launch on our similarly imaginary 'Neocom' mobile carrier.

So, now you get a sense of what this is all about, have a browse through the slides, and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on Twitter @NeowinFeed. You can also view larger versions of the slides here


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* Microsoft announced the availability of its Bing apps for Windows Phone after this slide had been designed.
We thought we might as well include it anyway, since it had already been created.

 


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We’d love to hear what you think!
Is the Lumia 1080 your dream device? Do you even care about Windows Phone phablets? Is there anything missing here that you think WP8.1 really needs? Would you like Windows Phone 8.1 to look anything like these designs? Or do you hate all the designs with a passion?

Be sure to let us know your thoughts below, or via Twitter @NeowinFeed.

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