Windows Phone 9: What you need to know
Windows Phone 9 : What we know so far
Microsoft has only just treated us to Windows Phone 8.1 but there’s already talk of Windows Phone 9 and we can’t help but be excited. After all Windows Phone 8.1 introduced Cortana (even if we are still waiting for it in the UK) and Action Centre, which are both massive features which substantially improve the OS, yet that was only a 0.1 number jump so just imagine what Microsoft might be cooking up for the next major release.
Sadly imagine is all we can do really for now as there isn’t much in the way of news or rumours yet, but what little there is we’ve collected for you here.
Eldar Murtazin, a Russian blogger with a certain amount of credibility, tweeted in December that we’d see Windows Phone 9 in the second half of this year, but as we’re now edging into the second half of the year and still have very little word on it that’s looking increasingly unlikely.
In fact more recent rumours, this time by a leaked document uncovered by myce.com, point to a preview build of Windows Phone 9 appearing any time between April and September of 2015, which presumably means the final release will be even later. That’s quite a long wait if true but unfortunately it’s the most convincing release date rumour we’ve got right now.
However it’s worth noting that there have also been a few mentions of Windows Phone 8.5, so we may get that at some point to tide us over, though very little is known about what that update might entail, other than some vague suggestions that the start screen might be changed.
What little we’ve heard about Windows Phone 9 so far suggests that it will be a release worthy of its name. According to Eldar Murtazin the interface will be completely changed and the tile based Metro style that so many people know and love will be ditched.
He also revealed that the interface would be the same on both phones and tablets, with Windows Phone 9 replacing Windows RT and that it would be more influenced by Android than iOS.
Exactly what that means isn’t clear, but it could suggest a more customisable and versatile interface, which would certainly make sense if it’s going to be used on both phones and tablets.
Taking things even further there were some early rumours that Windows Phone would be ditched altogether as a separate operating system and that Windows 9 would be used on PC’s, tablets and phones, but that seems very unlikely.
It’s largely thought that all Windows Phone 8 handsets will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 9, so it won’t be a repeat of the problem faced by Windows Phone 7 owners who couldn’t get Windows Phone 8. Of course if you’re one of the handful of people still running a Windows Phone 7 device you’ll likely be out of luck, but with the vast majority of devices now on Windows Phone 8 (or 8.1) almost everyone should be able to get a taste of Windows Phone 9 just as soon as it launches.
Meanwhile if you were looking for a Windows 8.1 catchup!