Microsoft released its first Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones last week, and the company is continuing to focus more of its resources and efforts on getting the next-gen OS ready for launch later this year.
In the mean time, the latest version of its mobile OS is Windows Phone 8.1 Update (known also as 'GDR1'). But it seems that another interim update is on the way between now and the launch of Windows 10.
New documentation published on Microsoft's website now includes numerous details and references related to 'Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2'.
GDR2 means 'General Distribution Release 2', indicating that it will be the next Windows Phone update to follow on from GDR1, which Microsoft packages as the 'Lumia Denim' update on its devices (and which also includes new firmware for some handsets).
'Update 2' was originally rumored to be announced by the end of 2014, but never materialized. But Microsoft's own Windows Phone Dev Center site confirms that GDR2 is real, and it includes references to a few changes on the way:
- Video over LTE: New customization options and settings for carriers
- Restore Start tile layout: "Append the OEM-defined Start screen layout to the bottom of the user's backed up Start screen layout when the user restores their device from a backup."
- Additional phone languages: Bangla; Khmer; Kiswahili; Lao
- PolicyManager configuration service provider: New policies added
- VPN configuration service provider: Settings changes
Since Microsoft hasn't yet publicly announced GDR2 - or 'Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2', as it will likely be known - there's no full changelog available for the update. The 'features' listed above are unlikely to be the only improvements in the new version - but that's all we've got to go on for now.
We don't yet know what consumer-facing features GDR2 will bring, but it seems more or less inevitable that Microsoft will be saving the really good stuff for Windows 10. We'll hopefully find out more about the new update next month at the Mobile World Congress trade expo, at which Microsoft is expected to unveil new mid-range Lumia handsets.