Get out the salt: Windows Phone said to be getting a new UI

Get out the salt, do your rain dance, and take this next bit of information as just another rumor - but Eldar Murtazin is saying that Windows Phone 9 will feature an updated UI that will drop the tile-based interface formerly known as 'Metro'. Now, this would be a massive departure for Windows Phone - and Microsoft's other Windows and Xbox interfaces - but he insists his claims are "not tales". We should point out too that this is not the first time we have heard that Windows Phone 9 might be a clean slate from Eldar.

If you are wondering why we are even giving this tweet more than 4 seconds of consideration, it’s because Eldar has a way with (occasionally) getting his information right. Now, he is far from perfect, but he has notably pegged a few rumors in the past including his consistent proclamation that Microsoft would buy Nokia, or at least part of it, which turned out to be true.

Looking back further, he has had ties to Nokia and rough outlines of a connection to Microsoft. Of course, you can’t ignore that he has also been quite negative of Nokia - and, to some extent, Microsoft - in the past and that his latest claims could well be ill-informed. 

With the above being said, what might be happening is that information is being diluted down the rumor chain. Windows Phone may well be getting an updated UI in future versions - and that would be no surprise as each new iteration of Windows Phone has added new visual components and features - and in the case of what Murtazin refers to as 'Windows Phone 9, it could be getting so many new features that it looks like a whole new interface.

Microsoft has invested billions into unifying its user interfaces with common elements, and we can’t see them dumping those efforts so quickly. Certainly the UI will be evolving and considering there has been a massive re-org at Microsoft with many new leaders in new positions, a significant update to the Windows Phone UI would not unexpected.

The timing of Windows Phone 9, according to Eldar, would be for the fall of 2014. We will be curious to see if Microsoft sticks with this timeline considering they will be pushing a significant update early next year with Windows Phone 8.1.

Source: Twitter

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I think a lot of people commenting are reading the title as this:

"Get out the salt: Windows said to be getting a new UI"

when it actually says:

"Get out the salt: Window Phone said to be getting a new UI"

The keyword there being Phone, don't confuse Windows with Windows Phone. The Metro/Modern UI actually works on a phone, as for the desktop it's personal preference.

neo158 said,
I think a lot of people commenting are reading the title as this:

"Get out the salt: Windows said to be getting a new UI"

when it actually says:

"Get out the salt: Window Phone said to be getting a new UI"

The keyword there being Phone, don't confuse Windows with Windows Phone. The Metro/Modern UI actually works on a phone, as for the desktop it's personal preference.


We heard you the 17th time. Maybe you should stop continually posting your FUD and let people draw conclusions from the article themselves.

What happens to Windows Phone will also happen to the Windows OS. Between the fact that this man has been proven correct in the past, added to the original rumor from months ago that Windows 9 would "bring back Aero but in a way we haven't seen before" (look this up on Neowin), it's pretty clear that the info in this article is solid. Metro is being superceded.

Windows Nashville said,

We heard you the 17th time. Maybe you should stop continually posting your FUD and let people draw conclusions from the article themselves.

What happens to Windows Phone will also happen to the Windows OS. Between the fact that this man has been proven correct in the past, added to the original rumor from months ago that Windows 9 would "bring back Aero but in a way we haven't seen before" (look this up on Neowin), it's pretty clear that the info in this article is solid. Metro is being superceded.

So genius, what will they replace Metro on WP with then?

About time. Getting bored with the current design.
I wonder how iOS users felt with the same design after 6 releases:P

Riva said,
About time. Getting bored with the current design.
I wonder how iOS users felt with the same design after 6 releases:P

Make that 7 releases, iOS7 still uses a static grid of icons no matter what "theme" they use

Changing the UI makes perfect sense right up to the moment you realise the UI works fine on WP8 already. It'll be tweaked no doubt but it won't be "re-designed".

Metro itself is a nice, clean concept but badly implemented. That ugly array of rectangles from the home screen must go... for this and for Windows 8 too.

A notification center (live tiles are not the same thing!), some kind of clean widgets are the way to go for WP.

Dot Catrix said,
Metro itself is a nice, clean concept but badly implemented. That ugly array of rectangles from the home screen must go... for this and for Windows 8 too.

A notification center (live tiles are not the same thing!), some kind of clean widgets are the way to go for WP.

Ah, you mean turn it in WinDroid Phone?

Windows Nashville said,
LMAO at how personally the Metro lovers are taking this news.

I think we're taking this rather well seeing as this article isn't about Windows 8. I'd rather LMAO at the Metro haters taking this news literally.

The Windows Phone interface isn't being redesigned, the guy who tweeted this is a tool and Windows Phone Central already debunked this:

http://www.wpcentral.com/stopp...ill-windows-phone-unique-ui

Edited by neo158, Dec 13 2013, 7:55pm :

Gaara sama said,
im glad that microsoft change the UI

Why and, genius, what should they change it to?

You need to READ the article BEFORE commenting!!

COKid said,
Wow, someone clearly has some anger issues.

Nope, just asked a question. Not only that but this has already been debunked as FUD seeing as the tipster is wrong more times than he's right!!

neo158 said,

Nope, just asked a question. Not only that but this has already been debunked as FUD seeing as the tipster is wrong more times than he's right!!


Yes, it's been "debunked as FUD" by your continual posts of other FUD. Grow up. The article itself says this man has been proven correct in the past. We should take the information seriously.

Windows Nashville said,
Yes, it's been "debunked as FUD" by your continual posts of other FUD. Grow up. The article itself says this man has been proven correct in the past. We should take the information seriously.

He was proven correct once, hardly enough times to consider him reliable!!

Also a Q3-Q4 2014 rollout for WP9, I seriously doubt it.

james.faction said,
Indeed, a significant update to the Windows Phone UI would not unexpected.

I accidentally the whole thing.

Seems like Eldar accidentally the whole thing as well

calimike said,
WP9 merger with RT for phone and tablet just like Android? If true, can't wait

It's not being merged in the way you think it is. The APIs are merging, that's all.

neo158 said,

It's not being merged in the way you think it is. The APIs are merging, that's all.

Outside Microsoft's walls, that's all that matters.

THE_OBSERVER said,
Does mean we have have to get new Windows Phone, cause look at what happen with Windows Phone 7.5 - 8 and all our nokia fan boys!

They have already confirmed REPEATEDLY that there will not be a repeat of that as happened with WP7 - WP8.

It should be well understood at this point what necessitated that too by the way. I cannot believe people are still whining about that...

THE_OBSERVER said,
LOl i guess you were one of those people that didnt buy a nokia 820 and then find out you could not upgrade to windows 8....

Hate to break it to you but the 820 actually ships with WP8, not WP7.5 or Windows 8.

Not gonna happen. LOL

And who is this nut? He's freaking everywhere today. Maybe I'll tweet some wild claims and see if I get a story. HAHA

A revision of the Tiles would be expected in WP9 and Win9. As for Microsoft dumping the entire UI constructs, it would be suicide and pointless.

So this guy is credible because he thought MS would buy Nokia? That was basically inevitable with the amount of marketshare Nokia had of WP (too much power for Microsoft not to control) because all the other OEM's have abandoned it.

Metro is here to stay for the forceable future. They've been working hard to bring it to everything else they do, why would they ditch it before they've even finished that?!

@DomZ - Yes Metro should stay and MS should keep on their path because Metro has been a huge success and everyone loves it! Windows Phone will soon be number 1 in every market and PC sales have never been stronger. It would be crazy to change the Metro UI now.

@neo158 Time will tell, I expect its true. Why would Samsung bother? they tried before and failed with WP. I expect Samsung don't want to sell cheap low end Windows Phones because they are the Windows Phones selling and providing the marketshare bumps in Europe. Why would Samsung want to be in that business? I don't expect that Samsung thinks they can crack it with WP in the US or the UK etc.

Handing out cash like this is exactly what MS do.

No, not the tiles, they are the next big thing! Glance and go! Get on with your life! But tiles and Metro are the foundation and unification of everything Microsoft! But everyone LOVES the tiles and I get hatred when I say the UI looks like a horrible messy plate of flashy vomit and if only everyone could see how good the interface was Windows Phone would be HUGE! The tiles interface of Windows Phone was going to take over the world after Mango and Tango and Windows Phone 8. This is terrible, oh the humanity!

derekaw said,
The tiles interface of Windows Phone was going to take over the world after Mango and Tango and Windows Phone 8. This is terrible, oh the humanity

haha ahh the memories...wait the die hards are still saying that, they've just given up hope that MS on their own can change WP's fate and now are praying that WP will succeed due to someone else's failure, "Google will lose in court", "iOS 7 will make people switch the WP", "Ha Blackberry is dying!"...

The tile-based UI was not formerly called "Metro". Metro is a set of design principles. You can say the tile-based UI implements Metro, but it's not called Metro.

The only way this rumor has any merit is if Microsoft moves to change the UI in Windows and XBox. They've been pushing this One Microsoft idea with a focus of unifying the UI between their platform products.

But "Metro" is a simple word that can used to group together the Windows 8 design changes and can be said with scorn.

I know some people try to call it the "Modern UI" - but that's going to sound silly once Windows 9 makes the "Modern UI" obsolete.

You see, I've been trying to tell you people from the beginning that Metro looks like crap. But some people here have just insisted that Metro is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, not only is Microsoft bringing back the Start menu on the desktop - it sounds like they're dumping Metro from their mobile products as well. Microsoft could have saved a ton of money and had a better reputation if they had just listened to the advice from the people testing Windows 8.

i found the tiles intruiging when i had a windows phone - a few weeks later i found them annoying and boring.

i dont know why, but i prefer the common grid of icons better than the tiles.

typu said,

i dont know why, but i prefer the common grid of icons better than the tiles.

Nothing stopping you from making a common grid of icons. Change the size of all the tiles to their smallest size.

Besides, how can a live tile be more boring than a static icon? Isn't a static icon the definition of boring?

yes I know what you are saying. maybe its more than that why windows phone is not suiting me. its probably the design language in general. i cant imagine how hard that must be for a UI designer. its so many little things that can put people off or make them fall in love with the design choices.

i hope some genious comes up with a revolutionary design someday but currently i find windows phone to be lacking behind the competition when it comes to the design choices. that whole metro thing looks to me so forced to be something different compared to the competition, its just not polished at all. it always feels like a beta version to me.

Reporting made up stories from Eldar, this is just sad. This guy has lied and made up too many false rumors to still get reported on.

By now we know RT and Windows Phone will merge into one OS which will present itself according to the screen size. So it would make sense the UI will also unify and from that I would be willing to conclude we'll see a more RT like UI on the phone with a scrolling tile screen and a charms bar which would make perfect sense.

it will be a holographic interface w/ a pico projector in the device that displays cortana or some avatar... (dreaming)

Well, Brad, I have been critical before but this was a good find. I hadn't heard a rumor like this from any credible source - and Murtazin's word have some value.

Good job, this one's exciting.

It'll probably be an evolution of the UI, like the Start Screen from WP 8 was over WP 7.5.
He's an analyst. He's gotta earn his money somehow. This "rumor" though seems a bit more believable than "Microsoft and Apple are going to merge in the next 5 years".

UI tweaks maybe but not an overhaul. No way in hell. That guy just likes spouts out click bait and likes to stir crap up. Nothing to see...

I seriously doubt a massive overhaul of the WP UI could be completed by 2014. Some major tweaks perhaps, but the UI is unlikely to disappear. Not only would that be a massive burden for Microsoft, it would annoy developers that would have to retro fit their apps to support this unknown UI.

I agree, Windows Phone Blue isn't even coming out till Spring 2014. And to have an even bigger release just months later... No...

I don't think it needs a big UI overhaul. Generally i like live tiles but the app list could do with some better management and a general jazzing up.

Pretty much, soon as you leave the metro home tiles everything else is so dreary.

I love Live Tiles but the general consensus seems to be people hate it. When I prod friends as to why, they say it looks disorganized and cluttered. I show them my Windows 8 start screen and Windows Phone next to my iPad and iPod touch screen, and ask them which one looks more cluttered. They always say the iPad/iPod, every single time. So I ask them again why they dislike the Metro design, and they say it just looks different.. I shake my damn head, people are funny.

Does he specifically say they will drop the tile interface? Or that Windows Phone will change to look more like Windows 8's version of Modern? Or better said: that there will be one new UI for all Windows devices- Modern UI 2.0.

It just doesn't make any sense.

Windows Phone introduced this very distinctive and praised UX. It rapidly became the platform signature style. It also started a whole movement and is being used in many other places as an inspiration.

Is it possible that Microsoft refreshes the UX? Yes and I hope so.
Will it be a total departure from the Metro UX? No, certainly not. I expect an evolution, a refinement of the original design.

A lot of people seem to be overreacting here: a new UI not necessarily means something completely different; it could well be an evolution of what we have right now. When XP was launched the UI was quite different than the Windows 2000 one although, smartly I would add, MS offered the ability to use the previous "Classic" one. While not radically different W7 UI was very different than Windows 95 one.

That's not what his tweet said and changing a visual style doesn't necessarily mean changing the underlying UI paradigm. He is claiming the paradigm is changing AWAY from the Metro.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
That's not what his tweet said and changing a visual style doesn't necessarily mean changing the underlying UI paradigm. He is claiming the paradigm is changing AWAY from the Metro.

Adding, for example, a Notification Center would alter the original Metro concept.... and there is nothing wrong with evolving. The fact that W8.1 allows the use of the same background both on the desktop and the Start Screen is an evolution/ refinement of the original concept and, at least for me, a very welcome one.

Adding a feature like a notification center doesn't alter Metro as a UX design concept. That's just plain nonsense. Evolution and throwing something out entirely are two different things. He's not talking "evolution" he's talking a complete ditching of Metro. Did you even read the actual words he uses? " I repeat - Microsoft change UI from Metro style" - that doesn't imply evolution of metro, it implies replacing it entirely.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
Adding a feature like a notification center doesn't alter Metro as a UX design concept. That's just plain nonsense. Evolution and throwing something out entirely are two different things. He's not talking "evolution" he's talking a complete ditching of Metro. Did you even read the actual words he uses? " I repeat - Microsoft change UI from Metro style" - that doesn't imply evolution of metro, it implies replacing it entirely.

Yes I read and.... I noted that he is posting on Twitter, English is not his native language...
Furthermore my original post was not referred specifically to his post but, more generically, about what " a new UI" could mean. You are the one who responded citing his post... and in fact I did not argued about that.

I agree with the analysis. iOS and Android both overhauled their UIs between major versions. WP will do the same. nothing to see here until we see the leaks, but it is exciting for there are a lot of things they could do in the current one that would make it even more awesome.

Kreuger said,
Metro is so horrible and every body is now copying it. And Microsoft is gonna change it again?

So horrible that everybody has decided to copy it?

Kreuger said,
Just cause the masses do it, doesn't make it good/right.

I'm not talking about the masses. I'm talking about Apple and Google, among many others. I'm talking about major corporations.

i think they will add new interfaces to the current design, like start menu or a task bar rather changing the whole system!

koo9 said,
this metro crap should not be there in the first place.

specially when android and iOS have copied it to hell. They should move to something not copied to death.

koo9 said,
this metro crap should not be there in the first place.

Except on Windows Phone, which this "article" is about, the Metro/Modern UI actually works well.

Jarrichvdv said,
a LOT of people love Metro, including me. Stop spreading opinions like they're facts.

Please. We can't find a LOT of people who love Metro even right here at Neowin.

The Article
Now, he is far from perfect, but he has notably pegged a few rumors in the past including his consistent proclamation that Microsoft would buy Nokia, or at least part of it, which turned out to be true.

Think pretty much *everybody* saw that one coming. This rumor? Yea, no.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
+1000. Eldar has the luck of a feces-flinging howler monkey. Eventually, something sticks to the wall.
I'll forever have a picture of a "feces-flinging howler monkey" when I see Eldar's name now, thank you!

Right... So they're just going to throw out their market just like that? No.

Not to mention Microsoft is in the middle of unifying their platforms. No.

Dot Matrix said,
Right... So they're just going to throw out their market just like that? No.

Not to mention Microsoft is in the middle of unifying their platforms. No.


Says the guy who claimed about a billion times the Start Menu was never coming back. It's kinda hard to take you seriously after that.

.Neo said,

Says the guy who claimed about a billion times the Start Menu was never coming back. It's kinda hard to take you seriously after that.

Do you really think the start menu from Win7 is coming back? Time to wake up. This is going to be something completely different.

.Neo said,

Says the guy who claimed about a billion times the Start Menu was never coming back. It's kinda hard to take you seriously after that.

The start menu ISN'T coming back. "Mini-Start" doesn't sound like much of a menu to me...

Dot Matrix said,

The start menu ISN'T coming back. "Mini-Start" doesn't sound like much of a menu to me...

Sounds like a start menu to me. Sounds like they will take everything on the start screen, condense it into a list, maybe with the live tile (instead of a static icon) beside the description.

You just supported my post. I don't see something like that as a "menu." A menu is filled with endless list of items. A File menu is a menu. But no one in UX design uses them anymore, they're archaic. What he's doing is more of a "Mini Start" like is to be rumored. It's a screen to pin tiles to, only smaller, and isn't filled with a list of tiny, microscopic elements.

Dot Matrix said,

You just supported my post. I don't see something like that as a "menu." A menu is filled with endless list of items. A File menu is a menu. But no one in UX design uses them anymore, they're archaic. What he's doing is more of a "Mini Start" like is to be rumored. It's a screen to pin tiles to, only smaller, and isn't filled with a list of tiny, microscopic elements.

Not at all, a menu can be composed in any way you want; what you are describing is what appears, in W8.1, right clicking the Start button. While I personally would not use a menu as the one we had in W7 something like the guy' concept would be very welcome and, yes it is a menu.

Dot Matrix said,

The start menu ISN'T coming back. "Mini-Start" doesn't sound like much of a menu to me...


A modernized start menu is still a start menu. Metro was a commercial failure and Microsoft is taking steps to correct that. Time to find something new to be a cheerleader for, DM. "Metro" is finished.

Windows Nashville said,

A modernized start menu is still a start menu. Metro was a commercial failure and Microsoft is taking steps to correct that. Time to find something new to be a cheerleader for, DM. "Metro" is finished.

Um. Metro isn't going anywhere.

Dot Matrix. You can spin the Start Menu revival the way you want, but basically the signal coming from Microsoft is that the Start Menu is back and teams are figuring a way to do it, using the actual extension based Start Screen infrastructure.

It's not a Mini Start Screen, but rather a way to merge both concepts so people look at it and see things in a familiar way, but doesn't cause a backlash from Windows 8 Beliebers.

There's even word that this Jay Machalani guy is onboard to give the push some credibility amongst Windows 7 "purists".

Last things are not okey at Microsoft, else Ballmer wouldn't have been forced to resign. They are spinning things so everybody feels that way, but they aren't. OEMs are up in arms by PC sales tanking.

These teams being built are forced and they are not plan of the plan. Some even say that the name Windows "Blue" was because 8.1 was a blue pill meant for "blissful ignorance of illusion". Modern (to use a pun) Microsoft is at red pill mode where they have to "embrace the sometimes painful truth of reality".

So, no, this is not "business as usual". that's "gone with the wind" but MS can no longer say "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn".

"If you are wondering why we are even giving this tweet more than 4 seconds of consideration, it's because Eldar has a way with (occasionally) getting his information right. Now, he is far from perfect, but he has notably pegged a few rumors in the past including his consistent proclamation that Microsoft would buy Nokia, or at least part of it, which turned out to be true."

You know what else has a way of occasionally being right? BROKEN CLOCKS. Twice a day, by my last count.

Seriously, you guys need to stop posting crap from this guy.

I'd love for the old Windows Mobile to come back The honeycomb menu was awesome!!!!!!!

The last phones to use that had funny plastic screens (with lil holes in it) and sometimes a stylus. It's gonna be neat to see that UI with the new gorilla glass.

Izlude said,
I'd love for the old Windows Mobile to come back The honeycomb menu was awesome!!!!!!!

The last phones to use that had funny plastic screens (with lil holes in it) and sometimes a stylus. It's gonna be neat to see that UI with the new gorilla glass.

I love WM....

Izlude said,
I'd love for the old Windows Mobile to come back The honeycomb menu was awesome!!!!!!!

The last phones to use that had funny plastic screens (with lil holes in it) and sometimes a stylus. It's gonna be neat to see that UI with the new gorilla glass.


I liked the old Windows Mobile as well. It was admittedly dated but I would have been far more happy with them updating it to modern hardware (touch vs. stylus, etc.) then throwing everything out and starting completely over with 7... Then throwing everything out and starting over again with 8... and now maybe throwing everything out and starting over again with 9?!? I especially liked that you could side-load apps. Oh well, maybe 9 will be cool enough to make me consider ditching Android for it... here's hoping.

Asmodai said,

I liked the old Windows Mobile as well. It was admittedly dated but I would have been far more happy with them updating it to modern hardware (touch vs. stylus, etc.) then throwing everything out and starting completely over with 7... Then throwing everything out and starting over again with 8... and now maybe throwing everything out and starting over again with 9?!? I especially liked that you could side-load apps. Oh well, maybe 9 will be cool enough to make me consider ditching Android for it... here's hoping.

They didn't throw out everything when they went from 7 to 8. There was one generation jump, which was when they moved kernels to make Windows Phone 8 more like Windows 8. This in turn was the first step to making the two operating systems the same under the hood. This is a one time thing as Microsoft is now where they need to be to compete with Android. They can now offer developers the option to develop for Windows and release on Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox with some minor tweaks.

In terms of UI Microsoft has been very consistent. They introduced the Modern UI in 2010 (known as Metro at the time) on their phones. They then brought it over to Xbox and full Windows as well. This rumor could very well be about Modern 2.0 instead of going for something new entirely. While Windows Phone looks a lot like Windows there are still big some design differences.

Modern 2.0 could be one UI that looks and acts the same on all platforms, whether you're running it on a Phone, tablet, laptop, PC or console. We just don't know enough to say they are 'starting over'.

Ronnet said,
They didn't throw out everything when they went from 7 to 8.

The App APIs for Windows Phone 7 are not the same as Windows Phone 8, they are not just extended, they are REPLACED each time. If you are an App developer and you made an app for Windows Phone 7 it does not work in Windows Phone 8. According to this article it may very well be that if you made an app in Windows Phone 8 it will not work in Windows Phone 9 either. If you made an app in Windows Mobile 6.x it will not work in Windows Phone 7. Every full version number MS is throwing app developers under the bus. On the PC front most XP apps work in Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x. Android apps made in 2.x still work in 4.x, etc.
Ronnet said,

In terms of UI Microsoft has been very consistent. They introduced the Modern UI in 2010 (known as Metro at the time) on their phones. They then brought it over to Xbox and full Windows as well. This rumor could very well be about Modern 2.0 instead of going for something new entirely. While Windows Phone looks a lot like Windows there are still big some design differences.

MS needs to have ONE API and one store holding apps made using that API not a bunch of different and incompatible APIs that happen to look visually similar. It looks that that's FINALLY the goal with 9.0 versions but along the way they keep making different incompatible APIs and then throwing them away in the next version. Windows Phone 6, 7, 8 were all completely different and incompatible APIs and Windows 9 looks to be different from all of them...
Ronnet said,

Modern 2.0 could be one UI that looks and acts the same on all platforms, whether you're running it on a Phone, tablet, laptop, PC or console. We just don't know enough to say they are 'starting over'.

I hope Modern 2.0 as you call it (whatever API comes with Windows Phone 9) is the one that unifies the platform but in doing so it will again be yet another incompatible API from prior versions. So basically the Windows Phone 7 and 8 APIs where a complete waste of time for devs. Thank you WP7 and 8 users for beta testing MS's API frameworks. As a developer myself I'm not touching the MS APIs until I'm sure they have one they are going to keep around till the next version. My time is too valuable to learn a whole new API that they are just going to throw out again when the next full OS version comes out. No other major platform is doing that.

dopydope said,
Yeah PocketPc 2014 !!!

Really? Pocket PC Oses were predecessors of WM and mainly used on PDAs; what people are talking about here is WM 6.5.X ; quite different.

Ronnet said,
All my WP7 apps work just fine on WP8. You make it sound as if its not compatible while this clearly is not the case.

The APIs aren't compatible. The OS can run multiple APIs but you aren't going to develop new apps in the obsolete API. So if you're a Dev and you were making Windows Mobile 6.x apps then you had to start over with a new API with Windows Phone 7.x (6.x won't work at all). Then if you learned the Windows Phone 7.x API and published your app when Windows Phone 8.x came by that one was obsolete you had to learn the new Windows Phone 8.x API which by the way is different from the API for the similar looking apps on RT and regular Windows. Now it appears that your Windows Phone 8.x apps will be obsolete with Windows Phone 9.x. The difference is hopefully the Windows Phone 9.x API will be the same API as the similar looking apps on RT 9 and Windows 9 (Metro++). It's still a colossal pain however and it's helping MS attract developers when they are constantly throwing out their APIs. No other platform does this. Even Win32 the same basic API worked from NT through Windows 7 with the only major change coming with the switch to 64bit. Android 2.x apps work fine on Android 4.x, etc. Of course each new version should ADD new things and sure sometimes you have to clear out some obsolete stuff but typically great care is taken not to keep breaking the old apps on new version releases. MS isn't doing that. The Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 APIs have been a pointless waste of time for developers if Windows Phone 9 comes out with something different yet again.

dopydope said,
But it had a beautiful Start menu !

WM 6.5? Not really; the UI was very similar to the Media Center one, which was also one of the first MS software to use the Metro paradigm. It did not even had a grid to list all the available programs: it used Honeycomb.

A lot of words but my Windows Phone 8 still runs apps build for Windows Phone 7...

I can't comment on how much easier or harder it has become to develop for Windows Phone since I'm not a developer. However as an end-consumer I do hope Microsoft will continue to bring WP and Windows closer together.

It might be a lot of work from your end to adapt to change but the end-goal is very interesting. You can decide to ignore it entirely or wait it out because its too much work. But in the mean time other developers are committed and create great apps for my favorite platform. I follow some of them and I dont see them complaining. Some of them even bother to stil write the app for both WP8 and WP7.

Asmodai said,

The App APIs for Windows Phone 7 are not the same as Windows Phone 8, they are not just extended, they are REPLACED each time. If you are an App developer and you made an app for Windows Phone 7 it does not work in Windows Phone 8. According to this article it may very well be that if you made an app in Windows Phone 8 it will not work in Windows Phone 9 either. If you made an app in Windows Mobile 6.x it will not work in Windows Phone 7. Every full version number MS is throwing app developers under the bus. On the PC front most XP apps work in Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.x. Android apps made in 2.x still work in 4.x, etc.

May i correct you? I am a wp developer since the first windows phone 7. And i can tell you apps developed for windows phone 7, 7.1, 7.5 still work on windows phone 8, even though microsoft strongly recommend you just need a recomplie under wp 8 compiler (if you are too busy to work on including new functionalities) and it should still work and work better without any code change most of the time (i know is not 100%, but it is not 0%).

As i am still a student busying with school work, i got no time to even do a recompile of my app to wp8 when wp8 first release. Trying the old version of the app on wp8 still work. If it is like what you say wp7 apps will not work on wp8, you are wrong. If thats the case, first wp8 devices will have almost no apps in windows phone store except native and those able to make changes to their codes in beta time of wp8

Edited by lim3918, Dec 13 2013, 12:55am :

Asmodai said,

The APIs aren't compatible. The OS can run multiple APIs but you aren't going to develop new apps in the obsolete API. So if you're a Dev and you were making Windows Mobile 6.x apps then you had to start over with a new API with Windows Phone 7.x (6.x won't work at all). Then if you learned the Windows Phone 7.x API and published your app when Windows Phone 8.x came by that one was obsolete you had to learn the new Windows Phone 8.x API which by the way is different from the API for the similar looking apps on RT and regular Windows. Now it appears that your Windows Phone 8.x apps will be obsolete with Windows Phone 9.x. The difference is hopefully the Windows Phone 9.x API will be the same API as the similar looking apps on RT 9 and Windows 9 (Metro++). It's still a colossal pain however and it's helping MS attract developers when they are constantly throwing out their APIs. No other platform does this. Even Win32 the same basic API worked from NT through Windows 7 with the only major change coming with the switch to 64bit. Android 2.x apps work fine on Android 4.x, etc. Of course each new version should ADD new things and sure sometimes you have to clear out some obsolete stuff but typically great care is taken not to keep breaking the old apps on new version releases. MS isn't doing that. The Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 APIs have been a pointless waste of time for developers if Windows Phone 9 comes out with something different yet again.

Oh, so you mean that when windows 7 comes out with new API, windows vista developers should remain in vista not 7 cause it is a chore to code for new functions for windows 7? Same as 7 to 8? And 8 to 8.1? There will always be new API that come out to support more and more functionalities. If you just want to stuck at what you learn and the first place and not learn new stuff when it come out maybe you shouldnt be in IT industry.

Asmodai said,

I hope Modern 2.0 as you call it (whatever API comes with Windows Phone 9) is the one that unifies the platform but in doing so it will again be yet another incompatible API from prior versions. So basically the Windows Phone 7 and 8 APIs where a complete waste of time for devs. Thank you WP7 and 8 users for beta testing MS's API frameworks. As a developer myself I'm not touching the MS APIs until I'm sure they have one they are going to keep around till the next version. My time is too valuable to learn a whole new API that they are just going to throw out again when the next full OS version comes out. No other major platform is doing that.

If you claim you are not touching wp's API (you are actually saying MS API, so i assume you dont actually develop for microsoft platforms? so are you from apple or android camp?), may i know if you have even seen the API before, try coding for it before making the comment? They changes to wp7 API, but most of it are same (or similar if you are not comfortable with same). Wp8 API just add on more to it. If you are even a developer, you have to always upgrade your skill and knowledge and keep up with the world. Even if microsoft really does make a whole new change again for wp9 (i simply cant see why they will do that, since even windows 8 is still on NT and moving to wp8 is due to changing to NT kernel, it still doesnt make sense. unless they come out new kernel for windows 9, wp9 and next windows server) there will still be developers making the change, learn and adapt. Not just because you hearsay about the "API change" from wp7 to wp8 then you make a big hooha about it so that people will think like you.

lim3918 said,

Oh, so you mean that when windows 7 comes out with new API, windows vista developers should remain in vista not 7 cause it is a chore to code for new functions for windows 7?

That's not what I said at all. Let my try to explain better. You make an app for windows Vista. Windows 7 comes out and adds new APIs. Your app doesn't use the new APIs because they didn't exist when you made it for Vista but all the Vista API's your App depends on are also still in Windows 7 and not obselete. So your app works just fine on Windows 7 and you don't have to rewrite what's working the "new way" to stay current. The APIs your app depends on aren't obsolete every version, sure new ones get added so you can release a new version that does MORE using the new APIs but the APIs you used are pretty stable with only rare occasions where they become obsolete.

Now lets look at Windows Mobile/Phone. If you're an app developer for Windows Mobile 6.x your app doesn't work at all in Windows 7. So you have to learn a new API so you learn the API and release a Windows Phone 7 app. Now Windows Phone 8 comes out. Windows Phone 8 introduces new APIs to do the same things your Windows Phone 7 app does (plus new ones) however it does continue to support the old Windows 7 APIs which are now obsolete for backward compatibility. You are encouraged though to rewrite your app again using the 8 APIs, not just for new additions that were added in 8 because 8 isn't just the 7 API extended it's an entirely new API. Now 9 looks to be coming out where once again an entirely new API will be released (not just an extension of 8) so you'll be encouraged to rewrite you app again in the 9 API. Windows Phone 9 will probably support the old WP8 API for legacy support but it will be deemed obsolete as well and MAYBE they'll even still support the Windows Phone 7 API too. As a developer though if you started on Windows Mobile you'll have had to rewrite your app 3 times in 3 versions. In comparison on Android for example if you write your App in Android 2 lets say then the APIs from Android 2.x are still valid with Android 4.x. Sure from 2.x to 4.x additional APIs have been added as well (mainly to do entirely new things that 2.x didn't do at all) and you can choose to update your app to support them but the APIs you used are still mostly the "current" APIs. Under the hood the implementations may have even changed but as long as they keep the interfaces the same the OS can change the implementations all they want behind the scenes. That's even how MS works with Win32. It's just MS's mobile platform that keeps throwing everything out and starting over each time.

Some developers are complaining because they are paid to develop for Windows Phone 8.

Although, some of them, make a living selling iOS and Android apps. Microsoft money is just for parties and expensive Holiday gifts. LOL.

Your innitial argument was that Windows Phone 7 apps dont work on Windows Phone 8, its simply not true. Windows Phone 8 support WP7 apps and WP9 will no doubt support WP7 and 8 apps.

Naturally there will be a new API as there is always room for improvement, just like on the desktop. You can update your current apps or leave them the way they are. Isnt it normal for a developer to learn about new APIs as they become available? Things are always in motion. According to Lim it isnt even hard to get used to a new API since its based on the previous one.

I really dont understand your complaining. What exactly is the additional work that you would have while developing for WP that you dont have when developing for Android? Google also releases new APIs. More importantly when developing for Windows you are developing for multiple platform at the same time. Your actually saving time. Unlike developing for Android and Chrome or iOS and OSX at the same time.

Lord Method Man said,
Here we go again. Maybe they'll start fresh with WP9 and abandon the previous version altogether like they did with WP7 and WM.

what makes you say that? let's get some perspective. why did the w7.5->wp8.0 app model break.

1) they moved to the NT kernel and they couldn't re-do the drivers from windows CE for windows NT given the timeline, so they couldn't update the devices.

2) they moved from Silverlight to winPRT. this was a needed move if they are to have a singled unified API and technology stack. Silverlight had to go, therefore the apps for winPRT wouldn't work on the SL app runtime.

This is just a UI. do you think windows can't change its UI without breaking the app model? well windows sure doesn't think so because windows 7 apps work on windows 8, and OS level UI changes do not affect the app model or the winPRT.

I suspect WP9 will be a merge of WP and RT. At 9 (not 8.1 or 8.2) MS will have one touch based OS that scales from phones to tablets and lacks the desktop.
Windows 9 for laptops/desktops/workstations/servers will have the Desktop return to prominence.
They'll all use the same kernel (xbone too), all touch APIs will be unified (Metro++), but Win32 (with extensions) will return to dominance for non-touch devices (desktops, servers, etc.)

Asmodai said,
I suspect WP9 will be a merge of WP and RT. At 9 (not 8.1 or 8.2) MS will have one touch based OS that scales from phones to tablets and lacks the desktop.
Windows 9 for laptops/desktops/workstations/servers will have the Desktop return to prominence.
They'll all use the same kernel (xbone too), all touch APIs will be unified (Metro++), but Win32 (with extensions) will return to dominance for non-touch devices (desktops, servers, etc.)

I can't be the only one who enjoys the ability to run legacy desktop Windows software on tablets, right?

Also, getting rid of Metro on Windows Phone would be a horrible idea.

Precisely, well put. We already went through the huge transition, WP8 is for all purposes Windows 8 at this point - though obviously watered down. I expect every single WP8 device out there to update to 8.1, possibly to WP9 but with new HW features removed: there is really no technological limitation that would negate the update path. It might become like a 2 generation old iPhone though, where everything becomes noticeably slower, but after 2 years... I think that's acceptable, old HW isn't up to the task.

As for the UI, it won't be changed. It will be updated, maybe significantly like Brad says and thus it will be very different, but it will still be metro. Remember: W, WP, XB1 all need to look similar in this One MS.

MASTER260 said,

I can't be the only one who enjoys the ability to run legacy desktop Windows software on tablets, right?

Also, getting rid of Metro on Windows Phone would be a horrible idea.


You can't run legacy desktop Windows software on RT tablets today. It's Windows Phone and RT that will merge the full version of Windows will remain. So there will be one touch based API used for both of them. There will still be tablets running the full desktop OS just like Surface PRO today. Non-touch devices will just boot to the desktop by default and will continue to be able to run the Touch based apps in addition to desktop ones MS just won't be trying to entirely replace the desktop with Metro++.
Since Windows Phone and RT use different APIs, stores, etc. today though Metro++ will likely be incompatible with one or both WP 8.x and Metro on RT today. They'll clean up though and have one .Net based API that runs on any hardware (ARM, Intel, whatever) and any MS OS from phone to desktop. Then one API that runs only on x86 compatible but it backwards compatible with existing desktop apps. Phones and RT-style tablet will support ONLY the .Net API (metro++) while the full Windows (Surface Pro tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, etc.) will support both.

If you enjoy running legacy desktop apps on your tablet you're not going to be buying an ARM tablet anyway are you? Since Windows 8.1, the only thing holding back RT from ditching the desktop is Microsoft Office.

Asmodai said,
I suspect WP9 will be a merge of WP and RT. At 9 (not 8.1 or 8.2) MS will have one touch based OS that scales from phones to tablets and lacks the desktop.
Windows 9 for laptops/desktops/workstations/servers will have the Desktop return to prominence.
They'll all use the same kernel (xbone too), all touch APIs will be unified (Metro++), but Win32 (with extensions) will return to dominance for non-touch devices (desktops, servers, etc.)

Finally someone that agrees with me

I feel your pain. I'm one of the victim too. I'm shocked my Lumia 800 was obsolete in just 4 months. I never critic and stop my wife from getting Note 2 since then.

I think that's the ideal path, but I'm not sure they will deliver on the timeframe.

Just check this out:

http://shahrier.blogspot.mx/2013/05/winrt-vs-winprt.html

Also there's another key difference:

Start Screen on Windows Phone was created with Silverlight for Windows Embedded, using a subset of XAML and C++.

Start Screen on Windows 8.x was done as an extension to Explorer.exe, which is precisely the reason they are kicking and screaming when asked to return the Start Menu. Currently they can't, since there's so much you can do with the current architecture. Also Windowed Metro is impossible using the current system, since Windows Store Apps don't use the Desktop Window Manager and things like ModernMix are just hacks that don't create full windows.

2014 is gonna see Windows 8.1.1 and, probably Windows 8.2 (with more Metro tweaks). Windows Phone 8 SP1 is already ready, and WP8.1 is delayed.

Threshold has name and could be Windows 8.3 if basic arch is kept and 9 if it isn't.

Lord Method Man said,
Here we go again. Maybe they'll start fresh with WP9 and abandon the previous version altogether like they did with WP7 and WM.

Boohoo, all current WP8 devices will get the upgrade to WP9. (at least the Lumia's... so practically all, never know about the ATIV)

Asmodai said,

You can't run legacy desktop Windows software on RT tablets today. It's Windows Phone and RT that will merge the full version of Windows will remain. So there will be one touch based API used for both of them. There will still be tablets running the full desktop OS just like Surface PRO today. Non-touch devices will just boot to the desktop by default and will continue to be able to run the Touch based apps in addition to desktop ones MS just won't be trying to entirely replace the desktop with Metro++.
Since Windows Phone and RT use different APIs, stores, etc. today though Metro++ will likely be incompatible with one or both WP 8.x and Metro on RT today. They'll clean up though and have one .Net based API that runs on any hardware (ARM, Intel, whatever) and any MS OS from phone to desktop. Then one API that runs only on x86 compatible but it backwards compatible with existing desktop apps. Phones and RT-style tablet will support ONLY the .Net API (metro++) while the full Windows (Surface Pro tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, etc.) will support both.

Sorry, I thought the guy was suggesting Microsoft throw out the Legacy Desktop on the x86 version for tablets, not RT.