Microsoft's Windows Phone hasn't had the smoothest of rides since its debut in 2010, but that hasn't removed the mobile platform from the competition by any means. Nor has it slowed it down (so to speak). Microsoft is moving forward with their vision of what a mobile operating system should be, and with 2013 coming to a close soon, the anticipation for what's next is only getting worse.
I know I'm not the only one that's excited to see what Windows Phone 8.1 has to offer. It hasn't even been that long since Windows Phone 8 was first announced (back in June of 2012), but it certainly feels like a long time, doesn't it? It doesn't help that the other major competitors out there release major updates in a faster pattern, but that's just not important to Microsoft. They've got their plan, and as I've said in the past, they're sticking to it.
So, yes, I'm excited to see the next "big update" from Microsoft. It's been a long time coming, made slightly easier with the general releases that have indeed brought new features to the platform. But it's the big update next year, the one that will add a .1 to the platform's name, that has a lot of people interested to see what's next from Microsoft.
This week has been especially interesting when it comes to what's next from the Redmond-based company.
There was some talk that Microsoft is considering changing things up, and not in a small way. According to a popular presence on the 'net, Microsoft is going to move away from their Metro UI as early as the third or fourth quarter of 2014. This isn't just a mobile interface, mind you. Metro is a huge part of Microsoft's presence on just about anything you'll buy from them this year. That includes a new Xbox One (or even an Xbox 360, for that matter) and any computer running Windows 8/8.1. They're different in their own ways, but they all look similar at face value thanks to those Live/non-Live Tiles.
Let's just get one thing clear: It's the end of 2013, and we won't see Windows Phone 8.1 until early 2014. Actually, it's expected to be released sometime before summer, so it could very well be June 2014 before the big update finds its way to devices. That means, just between Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 it could be close to *two years* before a major update. And people are actually afraid that Microsoft's going to change everything about Windows Phone in, what, five months?
Come on now.
I honestly don't even know why we're talking about Microsoft changing the look of Windows Phone. Why would they need to? Windows Phone's one of the most unique mobile platforms on the market right now, and this is one of the strongest selling points for Microsoft. It's different, and that's a good thing.
Microsoft's Metro UI is also not the reason that Windows Phone has struggled in the past. As a new platform it just needed to show itself as a true competitor to the other giants, like Google's Android and Apple's iOS. That takes time, if it's going to happen at all. Luckily for Microsoft they've got nothing but time on their side, and it does honestly seem to be working for them. Just look at Instagram and Vine (finally) making an appearance on the platform.
Microsoft's mobile OS doesn't need to change everything, and I think the company knows if they were to change the whole thing in 2014, that would just set them back even further than they are now. They need to continue on the trajectory they're on, especially after acquiring Nokia's Devices & Services division.
Microsoft doesn't need to change their platform, they just need to keep making it better by adding the features that their customers are asking for. Like a notification center, and even a digital assistant. Those things are reportedly coming next year, so it looks like Microsoft is (slowly) doing everything they need to do.
So, here's my question to you: Do you think Microsoft will come out with a brand new mobile OS look in 2014, or anytime soon? Or do you believe they'll continue to strengthen what they currently have in the Metro UI with new features? Do you think Microsoft should change everything again? Let me know what you think.