Job listing points to holiday update for Windows Phone
Microsoft is working to release the next major version of Windows Phone OS ahead of the holiday season this year, according to a job posting on the company’s website.
The job listing, for a 'software development engineer in test' for Windows Phone, reveals Microsoft is “completing our current release and getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year.”
Microsoft has not detailed its plans for any future Windows Phone releases, so the job posting gives us some insight into when the company is planning the next version of its mobile OS. The current Windows Phone 8 software was initially released in October 2012, just over four months ago, and a release during the 2013 holiday season would give Microsoft a year between major mobile OS releases, similar to the Apple iOS model.
What Microsoft’s next Windows Phone release will entail is still the domain of rumors. If numerous leaks and another previous job posting from Microsoft are any indication, the next Windows Phone OS release is code-named 'Blue' and will focus on UI refinements and some under-the-hood improvements.
But Windows Blue is not just about Windows Phone. Blue is reportedly the code name for several updates across a wide range of Microsoft products, including Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows Server, and online services such as SkyDrive and Outlook.com. In addition to adding some polish, the updates are also said in increase interoperability between the various platforms, making it easier for developers to code software that works across the entire Windows ecosystem. Windows Blue will also allegedly place all of Microsoft's major operating systems on a yearly update schedule.
Previous rumors indicated that the desktop and tablet iterations of Windows Blue will arrive some time this summer, which is considerably earlier than the holiday season Microsoft is aiming to deliver the next major Windows Phone update.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is working to deliver a bug fix for Windows Phone 7.8, the latest OS version available for Windows Phone 7 handsets. The issue is connected to Live Tiles, which can stop updating correctly. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said on Twitter the company has "identified a minor issue where some [Windows Phone] 7.8 tiles stop updating and we are working on a fix now."