Windows Phone Blue becomes a bit clearer


Windows Phone Blue is a relatively new term for those who follow the Microsoft scene. While we started hearing about Windows Blue a few months back, we have since learned that Blue is supposedly a companywide initiative, rather than a single product focus.

So, what is Windows Phone Blue, or should we say, what’s the latest on WPB? Well Mary Jo Foley, who is a hawk at getting the goods on these types of things, has been able to dig up some information about the update.

MJF who has a pretty awesome tracour record when it comes to these types of things, has stated that Windows Phone Blue will be used to help unify the app and developer models utilized by Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone. Blue will include new programming UIs, kernel updates and a few user interface improvement, according to her source. Sure, the details are all high-level for now, but it should provide a better base as to what Blue truly represents.

While we wait for Microsoft to come clean about the new updates and what they are working on, PCmag is reporting that Microsoft is looking to do-away with announcing platforms months in advance and will only announce items when they are getting close to launch. We would like to think that they took our advice after we lamented them for the Windows Phone 8 launch that was awfully executed but we won't get cocky about that, yet. 

So there you have it, a bit more about Windows Phone Blue but know that even though the source is solid, everything is subject to change.

Read More at Zdnet

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So it seems:

Android: Good updates if you have the latest handset.
WP8: Excellent hardware, but not great with updates.
iOS: Okay hardware but too restrictive apps, updates far and few between.

Hmm.

I'm running a WP7 phone since it came out, moving from Windows Mobile.
I have to say I don't really miss something. I have some small apps installed, but nothing spectacular.

For social stuff, I use the built in things on the road, and switch to web when I'm home.
Games, don't play them so I don't miss them.

Notification Center, maybe, but most stuff I can find in the People's Hub. I understand it will be very handy if you have a ton of messages a day. Don't have that.

Don't stare yourself blind on the 'features' on other platforms, it's always the 'grass is greener' thing. If you really miss stuff that iPhone/Android/BB/FF/Ubuntu does have, switch and don't complain.

For me WP is doing it's thing, and I have no intention to move somewhere else atm.

Different people, different needs, different taste. Be happy you can choose out of that big basket of phones and OS's ;-)

The next update needs to be here within a couple of months to keep me on the platform. I'm sick of basic **** missing from this OS. I love it, but I have no problem dropping it.

Well, I don't develop currently so im only interested in the UI improvements.

I hope its more than the unified notifications, been waiting way to long.

It seems that blue will come after a number of GDR updates go out. It seems that we're in for three of them and then blue comes. GDR+1 was portico which is already out. The leaked htc phone from yesterday says it comes with GDR+2 so we should get that update around May or June I bet. That leaves GDR+3 and then blue which will be a bigger update.

Either way the rest of this year will be interesting.

I think windows blue will be a company wide effort to improve efficiency of all their products now that they have the new UI.. they spent the last few years working on the UI component of the operating systems now they need to fix all behind the scenes work.. Also BLUE may be a push to make all the company services work really well in the metro interface in windows 8..

just had a thought.. could blue be the pushing of Skype into all the other products? blue and Skype are going to be connected to every single product that Microsoft controls.. they could be deeply integrating Skype into Windows 8, WP8 as well as outlook and a bunch of other products

Lachlan said,
just had a thought.. could blue be the pushing of Skype into all the other products? blue and Skype are going to be connected to every single product that Microsoft controls.. they could be deeply integrating Skype into Windows 8, WP8 as well as outlook and a bunch of other products
Here is to hoping they integrate Skype with WP8 more closely than what we have today. If Skype is the IM platform of choice for MS going forward, then I would hope to see it integrated to the messaing hub in the same manner that Messenger is right now.

I think that's an obvious conclusion about Skype. They integrated Messenger. Now it's dead, replaced with Skype. I expect Skype to become a first-class citizen in WP8.5... to seriously go after FaceTime.

"and a few user interface improvements"

Well let's hope that means fixing all those annoyances, such as lame multitasking, single volume control, etc.

Drossel said
... annoyances, such as lame multitasking, single volume control, etc.

Those are there by design. They may be annoyances to you, but MS did what they did for a reason.
lame multitasking = longer battery life, for instance.

deadonthefloor said,

Those are there by design. They may be annoyances to you, but MS did what they did for a reason.
lame multitasking = longer battery life, for instance.

Which is always a very tricky exercise, a,d I am not referring specifically to MS. BTW when WP7 was announced they stated that the lack of Cut & Paste, among other things, was " By design" and of course later on was added. What could be called "by design" at launch can and should be modified by real customers feedback.

Fritzly said,

BTW when WP7 was announced they stated that the lack of Cut & Paste, among other things, was " By design" and of course later on was added.

No it wasn't. They always intended to do it, they just ran out of time to ship it with the initial release. Don't spread misinformation.

Ideas Man said,

No it wasn't. They always intended to do it, they just ran out of time to ship it with the initial release. Don't spread misinformation.

Since when did they claim that Johnny Come Lately? MS initially claimed that their "helpers" solved the need to copy paste. After all, if you had a phone number on a web page or in an email all you needed to do was click them and you're good...

Enron said,
My L900 still works. Did yours explode or something?

Ridiculing people's opinion by exaggeration never gets old.

.Neo said,

Ridiculing people's opinion by exaggeration never gets old.
Except that isn't really the case here, is it? The older Lumia 7.x devices still got updates + exclusive apps even after WP8 came out. So, yeah, unless OP's phone blew up on WP8 release day, Enron is correct.

jorel009 said,
what would have been great was if they didn't **** over lumia buyers 4-5 months later.

Pretty much. The whole WP 7 debacle cost them a fair bit of users I'm sure. I dropped Windows Phone and picked up my first Android device (Galaxy SIII) and I'm already onto my second device (Nexus 4) with no plans to return to Windows Phone. The same is true for my friends who were all Windows Phone early adopters.

The hardcore fanboys forgave MS for the update mess, but some of us left and probably will never return.

Tumultus said,
Except that isn't really the case here, is it? The older Lumia 7.x devices still got updates + exclusive apps even after WP8 came out. So, yeah, unless OP's phone blew up on WP8 release day, Enron is correct.

Look at Nokia's latest updates for Here Maps, Drive, Transit, etc. Have they been made available for Windows Phone 7.8? No. I wonder if they ever will be. On top of that the Windows Phone 7.8 update in itself was a bit of a joke. Remember that many Nokia Lumia 900 owners are stuck with this device till summer 2014. The second year will probably be pretty hard on them considering updates already took a nosedive six months after its release. They probably won't have to expect a single new OS feature after 7.8 either. That's pretty harsh regardless of their phone exploding or not.

LogicalApex said,

Pretty much. The whole WP 7 debacle cost them a fair bit of users I'm sure. I dropped Windows Phone and picked up my first Android device (Galaxy SIII) and I'm already onto my second device (Nexus 4) with no plans to return to Windows Phone. The same is true for my friends who were all Windows Phone early adopters.

The hardcore fanboys forgave MS for the update mess, but some of us left and probably will never return.

I think it is funny that an Android user talks about "MS update mess". LOL!! I mean... track record?

jorel009 said,
what would have been great was if they didn't **** over lumia buyers 4-5 months later.

No what they should have done is call WP7.8, Windows Phone 8. This is what Apple does with its OS upgrades and nobody complains. It is very hard to tell the difference between 7.8 and 8.0 in actual usage and in some respects 7.8 is actually superior (music, syncing, Nokia Drive w/ Commute, Nokia PlayTo).

If not for the better camera and lock screen notifications on the 920, I would go back to the Lumia 900. The grass is always greener on the other side. There are almost no practical advantages for me in WP8 over WP7.8.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Feb 28 2013, 12:08am :

.Neo said,

Look at Nokia's latest updates for Here Maps, Drive, Transit, etc. Have they been made available for Windows Phone 7.8? No. I wonder if they ever will be. On top of that the Windows Phone 7.8 update in itself was a bit of a joke. Remember that many Nokia Lumia 900 owners are stuck with this device till summer 2014. The second year will probably be pretty hard on them considering updates already took a nosedive six months after its release. They probably won't have to expect a single new OS feature after 7.8 either. That's pretty harsh regardless of their phone exploding or not.

shhh you are making too much sense...we dont take kindly to ppl make too much sense around here!

also add the fact that they were mere months apart, and the 7.8 update was so ****ty with regards to new features/complexity - and it took them 3-4 months after wp8 launch to finish it? they just keep ****ting diarrhea on our faces. the l900 was a flagship device it should have gotten the full wp8 update.

BigBoy said,

I think it is funny that an Android user talks about "MS update mess". LOL!! I mean... track record?

I'm a developer. I'm fully capable of flashing custom roms to my device. I got very used to it on my Windows Mobile devices. This isn't a realistic option on Windows Phone. As such, I don't have update problems. Additionally, I just switched to a Nexus device which gets first party updates super fast. That being said, Android has its update warts like crazy. The difference between Android and Windows Phone in this regard as been that Android users have always had access to all the greatest hardware and their punishment was updates. For Windows Phone Microsoft gave us far less hardware variety and promised us the reason was to ensure we got updates. Looks like we got spit in the face, especially us Lumia 900 users. And we don't even have the option of flashing a custom rom with updates to alleviate the pain.

Avatar Roku said,

If not for the better camera and lock screen notifications on the 920, I would go back to the Lumia 900. The grass is always greener on the other side. There are almost no practical advantages for me in WP8 over WP7.8.

That was my other major rub with Windows Phone 8. It seriously brings almost nothing to the table for users in a seriously big way. It feels like it should have been called WP 7.8 or something and left at that. Realistically, Microsoft wasted a lot of time porting to NT.

It seems like WP won't even get marginally decent until WP 8 Blue or WP9.

All of us early adopters accepted the weakness of the platform, but we didn't expect MS to take this long to seriously get the platform up to par. I mean the request for a Notification Center was there since day 1! MS spent so much time copying iOS in the notification department you would have thought iOS getting a notification center in iOS 5 would have been enough to convince them to do it. Still users are waiting for a very basic and crucial feature. Insanity.

LogicalApex said,

MS spent so much time copying iOS in the notification department you would have thought iOS getting a notification center in iOS 5 would have been enough to convince them to do it. Still users are waiting for a very basic and crucial feature. Insanity.

Error. Does not compute! They copied notification center out of iOS, which iOS copied out of Android, yet WP doesn't have a notification center? My response to you: iPhone 5 copied NFC from the Lumia 920!

Enron said,
My L900 still works. Did yours explode or something?

How are you liking all those new WP8 exclusive apps?

Avatar Roku said,

No what they should have done is call WP7.8, Windows Phone 8. This is what Apple does with its OS upgrades and nobody complains. It is very hard to tell the difference between 7.8 and 8.0 in actual usage and in some respects 7.8 is actually superior (music, syncing, Nokia Drive w/ Commute, Nokia PlayTo).

If not for the better camera and lock screen notifications on the 920, I would go back to the Lumia 900. The grass is always greener on the other side. There are almost no practical advantages for me in WP8 over WP7.8.

But that would be a huge lie. WP7.8 is nothing like WP8 and can't run ANY app designed for WP8. The older Apple devices get the newer iOS version without the new iOS features, but they're able to run new apps designed for the new iOS. They get all the new APIs. WP7.8 does no such thing. It's just a tweaked lock and home screen.

Enron said,

Error. Does not compute! They copied notification center out of iOS, which iOS copied out of Android, yet WP doesn't have a notification center? My response to you: iPhone 5 copied NFC from the Lumia 920!

Seriously? WP Notifications are near identical to iOS notifications pre-iOS 5. Both from a functional standpoint and an architectural standpoint. iOS didn't get Android style notification center until iOS 5, which comes after the launch of Windows Phone 7.

Why do I even respond anymore...

I almost ordered a Lumia 900 when WP8 was announced and I am glad I did not complete my order. I am seriously thinking of the Lumia 620, but Nokia has delayed its launch in my country. So I am rethinking about getting a Nexus 4 from the US.

Avatar Roku said,
No what they should have done is call WP7.8, Windows Phone 8. This is what Apple does with its OS upgrades and nobody complains. It is very hard to tell the difference between 7.8 and 8.0 in actual usage and in some respects 7.8 is actually superior (music, syncing, Nokia Drive w/ Commute, Nokia PlayTo).

Something people will notice is that Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't run a single Windows Phone 8 app and many developers won't support their phones. Even if your previous generation iPhone receives a major new iOS update excluding a few major features it will still run the latest apps. Huge difference right there.

There was nothing wrong with announcing WP8 in advance, the issue was them/their hardware partners were not ready so there was too much of a delay between that and the devices hitting the market.

As for updates they've been pretty silent since portico, I think it would benefit the user base and potential users to know what features are on the horizon and when...

that's the whole point.. WP8 was announced way before anything was coming out.. Microsoft needs to do more what Google does.. release the new software on a flagship device and then update everyone else.. They should of announced WP8 at the same time as the Lumia 920 ...

Think of the timeline ..
WP8 first announced June 20th 2012
Nokia Lumia 920 announced sept 15th 2012
WP8 second announced Oct 30th 2012
Nokia Lumia 920 released November 2nd 2012

That's almost 5 months between first announced and release of their flagship device.. it sure causes a lot of the hype to die down.. They need to streamline the process a lot more

Lachlan said,
They should of announced WP8 at the same time as the Lumia 920

should have.

should of makes you look like one of those American children who was left behind.

Osiris said,
There was nothing wrong with announcing WP8 in advance, the issue was them/their hardware partners were not ready so there was too much of a delay between that and the devices hitting the market.

As for updates they've been pretty silent since portico, I think it would benefit the user base and potential users to know what features are on the horizon and when...

I bet we'll hear about GDR2 when HTC is close to talking about their next WP device which is reported to come with it. Also we could see other phones with it as well. If the timing is right Nokia could ship the rumored lumia 922 for Verizon with it as well.

deadonthefloor said,

one of those American children who was left behind.

Should it not be "one of those American children who were left behind?"

deadonthefloor said,

should of

Is a misspelling of the slang contraction for "should have" or "should've".

It's improper either way, but is a common colloquialism in American English.