From a job posting, it appears that Microsoft is on track to release the next major release of Windows Phone, probably called Windows Phone Blue to match the Windows 8 Blue release, later this year. A specific timeframe was not given, but the update is targeted with a holiday release date.
Microsoft is also planning a Windows 8 Blue release as well, which is speculated to arrive this summer or early fall. WMPU is reporting that ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley is saying that Windows Phone Blue would arrive after the Windows 8’s update, matching what’s given on the job posting.
According to the job listing description, we should also expect some ‘new killer devices’ as well:
This is a great time to join as we’re completing our current release are getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year and we’re chartered with keeping the momentum for Windows Phone by bringing new killer devices and delightful user experiences.
But before Blue gets released, we can also expect two smaller updates to arrive, which will likely deliver bug fixes rather than new features. Those updates will be delivered by Microsoft in the form of the GDR2 and GDR3 releases.
It looks like unofficially, the Windows Phone team will be sticking with its annual major update cycle. And unlike the transition from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, it looks like Microsoft had thought ahead and the company had recently confirmed that existing Windows Phone 8 devices will be able to get the next software update. If you recall, Windows Phone 7 hardware were not upgradable to Windows Phone 8 and new hardware was required.
With a major update, Microsoft will likely introduce new ‘recommended’ hardware specs to keep the devices and the platform competitive with rival devices. Quad-core processing, full HD 1080p displays, and a centralized notifications center seem like plausible candidates for this major release. The new OS release will likely be accompanied by new hardware from HTC, Samsung, Nokia, and other OEM partners. Perhaps, this will be when the much rumored Nokia EOS will debut.