Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 20:51 UTC
Windows

Microsoft isn't yet talking about the next update to Windows Phone. Though the company has made a series of small updates to Windows Phone 8, with three delivered so far, the platform is more or less the same as it was in 2012.

A big update is, however, in the cards. A series of leaks over the past few weeks have revealed an abundance of details about what Microsoft is likely to call Windows Phone 8.1. Unlike the three updates already made to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8.1 will be huge: so big that the 8.1 name (no doubt chosen to align the phone operating system with the desktop and tablet one) is downright misleading. If version numbers were determined by the scale of changes alone, this would be called Windows Phone 9.

Inside the bubble of Windows Phone, this is a huge update, and definitely one I'm looking forward to. However, outside of this bubble, this update contains nothing that iOS and Android haven't had for years, making WP 8.1 feel like what the platform should have been from day one.

If Microsoft can keep up with the competition going forward from 8.1, things could (finally) get interesting.

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RE: A whole minor release
by Nelson on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 22:02 UTC in reply to "A whole minor release"
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Windows Phone has had five updates since 8.0 launched. GDR1, GDR2, Amber, GDR3, and Black.

This is just the major release in their 18 month cycle.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A whole minor release
by Vanders on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 23:03 in reply to "RE: A whole minor release"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows Phone has had five updates since 8.0 launched. GDR1, GDR2, Amber, GDR3, and Black.


Those are patch releases. If we count patch releases, Android & iOS smoke Windows Phone so badly it's even more embarrassing.

This is just the major release in their 18 month cycle.


Except a) It isn't a major release (8.0 -> 8.1: minor) b) iOS has done a major release (6.1 -> 7.0) in that time c) if we count 8.1 has a "major" release than so has Android (4.4/KitKat).

No matter how you frame it, Microsoft are lagging with their Windows Phone releases.

Edited 2014-02-22 23:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: A whole minor release
by Nelson on Sat 22nd Feb 2014 23:10 in reply to "RE[2]: A whole minor release"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

8.1 is a point release in name only, this very article explains that.

As far as the GDR releases, the contents of the updates has varied but they at the least introduce new features.

I don't know how Android/iOS have done comparatively because I don't have phones that run those OSes but that's aside from WP.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: A whole minor release
by Morgan on Sun 23rd Feb 2014 01:46 in reply to "RE[2]: A whole minor release"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You have to remember that Windows Phone is a much newer OS relative to Android and iOS. And no, classic Windows Mobile doesn't count. Especially regarding WP8, it's a completely different animal. Also, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 are fundamentally different OSes under the hood, while maintaining a consistent UI and familiar interface. The two are difficult to distinguish without digging into the guts of the OS, something that can't be said for iOS 6 and earlier vs iOS 7, or Android 2.x and earlier vs 4.x.

iOS came about as iPhone OS in 2007. Android had been in the works before that, but it was first usable on a phone in 2008. Windows Phone wasn't released until 2010, nearly three years after the iPhone. In that time, we've seen major WP versions 7.0, 7.5 "Mango", and 7.8, with a small "Tango" release between the last two. WP8 came out in late 2012, and has had three major GDR updates. Nokia phones have had "Amber" and "Black" minor updates that addressed the Lumia series specifically.

So, in its relatively short lifetime, Windows Phone has had several major releases, each one addressing core issues and bringing much needed improvements. It's far from a perfect OS, but for some of us it's a nearly perfect fit. And I for one am happy to see it improving and thriving.

Reply Parent Score: 2