With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has been working to improve the rate at which it updates its mobile operating system. Having already delivered General Distribution Release 1 (GDR1, also known as the 'Portico' update) earlier this year, GDR2 is on track to be rolled out to devices over the next couple of months, with Nokia's new Lumia 925 being delivered with that update pre-installed.
A third update, GDR3, is also expected later this year, bringing support for quad-core processors and 1080p displays to the platform. But Microsoft hasn't shared any details of its next major update to the OS, part of the 'Blue' wave of updates that is also bringing significant enhancements to Windows 8 and Windows Server. Windows Phone 8.1, as it's expected to be called, now looks like it won't arrive until early 2014.
Earlier this month, images leaked claiming to show an early build of Windows Phone 8.1, showing changes to the user interface and a new notification center; some sources apparently confirmed that these images were authentic.
Today, a video has been posted on YouTube, purporting to show a build of Windows Phone 8.1 running on a Nokia Lumia 920. The video - taken with an appallingly blurry camera, as these videos so often are - is brief but shows off two interesting features not included in current builds of the OS.
The notification center is seen in action, accessible via a swipe down from the top of the screen. It features the same UI as seen in the previous leaked images, but with one significant difference: the clock and status bar usually fixed at the top of the screen are pulled down to the bottom when the notification center is opened. It appears that swiping back up from the status bar is the gesture used to close the overlay. The differences between the earlier images and the version in the video don't necessarily mean that the video is a fake; it could simply be indicative of Microsoft's ongoing development of the OS, with changes being made as new builds are completed.
Another major change to the user interface is seen on the Start screen. There seems to be a new kind of Live Tile which, when tapped, opens an overlay of additional buttons that hover over the other tiles in the background. Unfortunately, the quality of the video is too poor to be able to make out what these buttons are for.
We can't vouch for the authenticity of this video, but if it's genuine, it looks like there could be some very interesting additions to Windows Phone in the works. It's a shame that they probably won't be arriving for quite some time.
Update: The folks over at WPCentral have checked in with their sources, and one of them states that the video is a fake: "We won't go into details, but our source is very confident that this is not real. Sorry folks!"