Windows Phone 8 was a huge update over the initial WP7 bringing support for key features like multi-core processors and microSD cards, but since it launched Microsoft has been very quiet when it comes to updates. The company basically hasn’t released anything major since then.
Now, we have just saw it detail the changelog of a minor update that’s coming up, the General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2). It brings improvements to Xbox Music, an FM radio feature, and the capability to set a camera Lens as the default camera app. Some other stability improvements and minor changes are coming with it too, but nothing big.
Why is that and what is Microsoft doing, you might be wondering. Whispers say Microsoft has entered “shut up and ship” mode as it has fully focused on delivering a massive Windows Phone Blue update and that’s coming up in 2014.
Windows Phone Blue should introduce huge changes like a new notification center, better multitasking, and changes to the core Windows Phone apps, according to The Verge.
It is also possible that some of the WP Blue features arrive earlier as part of a GDR3 update coming later in 2013. The biggest novelty coming with it will be support for 5-inch and 6-inch Windows Phone devices with 1080p screens and quad-core chips. Those devices will also come later this year.
A lot of the current features will support all future phones so you’ll have nice unified support across devices.
Interestingly, Microsoft is said to have wanted to deliver a number of smaller updates to Windows Phone earlier this year, but bugs and other issues have stopped it from doing so. Still, it’s clear that the company is cooperating closely with vendors and Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore himself has said: “I wrote more than 10 pages of feedback myself on the Nokia Pro Camera app as it was being developed.”
Microsoft obviously realizes it has a lot of catching up to do, and hopefully it will deliver with updates in the near future. From this point of view, its silence recently might be actually encouraging.