Microsoft plans to keep an (official) lid on Windows Phone update news

We know that Microsoft is working on the next version of its Windows Phone operating system. It's also admitted, at least in job listing, that it is targeting a launch by the holiday 2013 sales period. So when will we learn the first official details about the next major update? According to a Microsoft exec, it won't be for a while.

Pocket-Lint.com spoke with Greg Sullivan, senior product manager of Windows Phone, at the Mobile World Congress last week and stated, "We are taking a different approach on the announcements this year." While Microsoft announced some details for Windows Phone 8 at last year's MWC, Sullivan said the company will be holding back on details for the next update until a later time.

That's mainly because sales of Windows Phone 8 products are doing much better than previous versions. He claims that people are now three times as likely to enter a mobile phone store to ask for a Windows Phone device and they are four times as likely to walk out of a store with a Windows Phone in their hands.

Sullivan also confirmed there will be some kind of upgrade path for Windows Phone 8 owners, adding, "Windows Phone 8 can evolve. We have an architecture that enables portability and is fundamentally hardware independent." Exactly what that upgrade path will be is something the company is not talking about.

Source: Pocket-lint.com

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MS Announce features... release updates after several months... and even then it does not reach every phone model/carrier... Why can't they just bypass carriers....
wheres the enthusiast signon to get the updates before they are release globally..??

If MS continues on the same path, it will always be fighting for 3rd spot even after another 5 years...

visu9211 said,
MS Announce features... release updates after several months... and even then it does not reach every phone model/carrier... Why can't they just bypass carriers....
wheres the enthusiast signon to get the updates before they are release globally..??

If MS continues on the same path, it will always be fighting for 3rd spot even after another 5 years...

if you bypass carriers,they wont sell your phones. the only way you can do that is if youre so dominant, that the carriers are kissing your ass and will do anything you want them to. windows phone doesn't currently have that luxury.

I wish Microsoft would announce updates like Apple does. Announce it today, release it to the public tomorrow, not in like half a year.

You're right, they announce a bunch of features that by the time they release them, are not interesting anymore and not only that but also competition got them all with some improvements ¬¬

I am thinking this is what they want to do and hence the queit we are seeing now. MS will announce a new version very shortly before the devices go on sale, hope they stick to this and keep pushing with WP8 and improving it.

The way it sounds to me is that we will have a upgrade to WP9 but as is the case with iOS updates some things might not work as good. Either that or in order to keep hardware and carriers happy they might offer a WP9 upgrade directly to users which also breaks the carrier warranty. So that it's now a upgrade at your own risk type deal.

IMO, this is how Microsoft should go about the updates.

* 'Catch-up' GDR Release(s) should = Addition of missing feature(s) that the competition DOES have.

'Leap Frog' Windows Blue Release(s) should = Addition of feature(s) the competition does NOT have.

* features that are non-hardware dependant.

Sounds good but they shouldn't simply add features from competitors simply because they have it. They should only have key features that benefit Windows Phone. Many features on competitors would be pointless or against Windows Phone's design.

I'm puzzled by some rumours I saw a while back about Intel wanting to provide its Atom CPUs for Windows Phones, would this require another bit shift in terms of the OS to make something that could run on ARM and x86?

thealexweb said,
I'm puzzled by some rumours I saw a while back about Intel wanting to provide its Atom CPUs for Windows Phones, would this require another bit shift in terms of the OS to make something that could run on ARM and x86?

well, windows 8,rt,and phone are basically merging,so all the code base will be the exact same. The apps will be the exact same binaries. When developers create an app,all they have to do is customize the UI in XAML for phone, or tablet, but the underlying code is the exact same.

Right now in the windows store for windows 8,when you compile your app,you get an ARM binary and an x86 binary. I suspect this will apply to windows phone as well when we start having atom powered windows phone.

thealexweb said,
I'm puzzled by some rumours I saw a while back about Intel wanting to provide its Atom CPUs for Windows Phones, would this require another bit shift in terms of the OS to make something that could run on ARM and x86?

The OS itself is using the NT kernel which is what Windows (desktop) has been using for decades. The majority of applications are written in .net so making them work across x86 would not be an issue. Any applications written in c++ (newer games for wp8) would need to also be recompiled and checked for full x86 compatibility. Those are likely going to be games that use some 3d engine/middleware so likely would work without issues.

Honestly it will take intel atleast another 1-2 years to get their power down enough to be competitive with arm, they got very close but performance was off from arm chips. Once they can get performance above arm and power around the same as arm then it would make sense.

pgn said,

Honestly it will take intel atleast another 1-2 years to get their power down enough to be competitive with arm, they got very close but performance was off from arm chips. Once they can get performance above arm and power around the same as arm then it would make sense.


dude,youre not up to date. the atom z2760 has the best performance to power ratio than any current arm processor. The only thing that sucks about the z2760 is the GPU, but bay trail is going to be released this year that will at least double the performance,of the CPU and it will have ivy bridge GPU which is about 5-7x faster than the current GPU in the apple A6x, AND it will have much better battery life.

haswell is coming coming this year,these are basically the newest core i5 and i7. intel showed thin 10-11" tablets weighing 800g that have 10 hours battery life in tablet mode,and when docked to an extremely thin keyboard,go up to 13 hours. Theres no comparison to ARM.

I believe you vcfan when you talk about x86 being better at processing power but I just don't believe Intel about power consumption any more. Every year they've promised "oh this time we've addressed the power consumption" and it turns out to be a disappointment.

thealexweb said,
I believe you vcfan when you talk about x86 being better at processing power but I just don't believe Intel about power consumption any more. Every year they've promised "oh this time we've addressed the power consumption" and it turns out to be a disappointment.

but its already happened. the atom is a 5 year old architecture,and yet it smokes any current arm chips in performance and has better battery life, except for the new cortex A-15,which are the arm chips that are going to be in the tegra 4 and new arm chips.BUT baytrail is also coming with a whole new architecture,imagine that,if a 5 year old architecture beat the ARMs,what the new architecture will do?

as long as the current devices upgrade, letting the features leak has no negative effect. more likely they are just worried about competition stealing ideas. but at the same time, they should just update the darn thing more frequently so that the competition gets to find out, when they ship an update.

LookitsPuck said,
Microsoft has already confirmed that WP9 will be available on all WP8 devices.

No they haven't. Nice try though.

They announced that when they announced WP8. All WP8 devices will be supported a MINIMUM of 2 years since the Windows and Windows Phone are now on the same kernel. This guarantees not only WP9, but possibly WP10 too.

j2006 said,
They announced that when they announced WP8. All WP8 devices will be supported a MINIMUM of 2 years since the Windows and Windows Phone are now on the same kernel. This guarantees not only WP9, but possibly WP10 too.

Did not Mayerson state 18 months?

j2006 said,
They announced that when they announced WP8. All WP8 devices will be supported a MINIMUM of 2 years since the Windows and Windows Phone are now on the same kernel. This guarantees not only WP9, but possibly WP10 too.
No, it doesn't, Windows Phone 7 is launched in 2010 and is also still supported (and there are (for now) still 18 months to come). With every point release (0.x), the support "reset" to 18 months.

Sort of bother by this

Sullivan also confirmed there will be some kind of upgrade path for Windows Phone 8 owners

Sounds like Windows Phone 9 will be running solely on new devices and existing Windows Phone 8 devices are going to go the Windows Phone 7.8 route; only some of the new features of Windows Phone 9 will be available on Windows Phone 8 devices.

I want to believe that this is just one case of not committing to something, just because you were asked a question. It's basically the most diplomatic way to answer, without making headlines. Having said that.. I'm a big WP fan but if my 920 doesn't get WP9, then it's the end of the road for me. I didn't really mind with what happened with my 900 because I could understand that decision from a technical perspective, but this would be too much.

If you took the time to read the actual interview you would see that statement was never actually uttered by Greg Sullivan anywhere in the interview and is basically the neowin writer's incorrect conclusion.

From the article itself:

"We're going to have an upgrade path going forward. Windows Phone 8 can evolve. We have an architecture that enables portability and is fundamentally hardware independent," said Sullivan. "As the market evolves and customer requirements demand it, we'll evaluate options."

"Last year the announcement that the current line-up of devices such as the Lumia 900 would not be getting the full update hampered sales, and although Microsoft has said that any future upgrades wouldn't encounter the same problems, it's clearly something it wants to avoid."

Nowhere does he "confirm" "some kind of upgrade path" but was quite clear that future upgrades would apply to current handsets.

For the love of god. 7.8 did not upgrade to 8 because it was a completely new core OS that wasn't going to ever be compatible with the hold hardware. Going forward it's the Windows Core. You know, that thing that can be installed on machines way... way...way back. They know how to make things backwards compatible with older hardware through their driver system.

Honestly, with MS's mature Driver API. I don't see new drivers needing to be written to support the newer OS.

efjay said,
If you took the time to read the actual interview you would see that statement was never actually uttered by Greg Sullivan anywhere in the interview and is basically the neowin writer's incorrect conclusion.

From the article itself:

"We're going to have an upgrade path going forward. Windows Phone 8 can evolve. We have an architecture that enables portability and is fundamentally hardware independent," said Sullivan. "As the market evolves and customer requirements demand it, we'll evaluate options."

"Last year the announcement that the current line-up of devices such as the Lumia 900 would not be getting the full update hampered sales, and although Microsoft has said that any future upgrades wouldn't encounter the same problems, it's clearly something it wants to avoid."

Nowhere does he "confirm" "some kind of upgrade path" but was quite clear that future upgrades would apply to current handsets.

The most important part being:

we have an architecture that enables portability and is fundamentally hardware independent