Unconfirmed reports indicate that Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system won’t see major updates until sometime early next year due to serious bugs.
Citing sources “familiar with Microsoft’s Windows Phone plans”, The Verge believes that Microsoft’s Windows Phone Team is in what it describes as “shut up and ship” mode — industry jargon for what essentially amounts to staying out of the public eye to focus on building the product.
Reportedly, the Windows Phone Blue update was plagued by issues so severe that the Windows Phone Team is pushing the Windows Phone Blue update back until early 2014 at the earliest, and is considering adding some of the features that were going to be included in that update to the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update that is excepted to come to users later this year.
These back ported features allegedly focus on supporting the hardware innovations of smartphones launching later this year, like larger high-resolution screens and the ability to lock a Windows Phone’s screen orientation. The Verge specifically calls out one serious bug that caused unlocked devices to unexpectedly change the way they are identified on mobile networks. Microsoft allegedly had a difficult time fixing this issue, setting back progress on Windows Phone Blue.
If Windows Phone Blue isn’t released until early next year, Windows Phone users will have gone a little over a year without seeing large changes on the scale that smartphone users have come to expect. This effectively leaves Windows Phone manufacturers — like Nokia and HTC — to fend for themselves, hoping that the hardware innovations bolstered by the minor GDR2 and GDR3 updates will be enough for their products to capture mindshare and gain momentum with users.
In a market defined by how software enables new experiences on the latest hardware, that could be a tall order. It doesn’t help that Windows Phone requires that hardware makers contain their changes and technologies into exclusive applications instead of altering Windows Phone in huge ways, like they can with Android.
Microsoft detailed the changes coming to users with the Windows Phone GDR2 update earlier this year. The update will include support for Google’s new CalDav and CardDav calendar and email syncing, as well as support for FM Radios on devices that already have it built-in. That update will ship on the Nokia Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020.
Older Windows Phones will receive the update sometime this summer, according to Microsoft.