Clean slate again for Microsoft’s Windows (Phone) 9. Major rethink of Metro UI, one OS for tablets and phones

Almost 3 years after it started shipping, Windows Phone is anything but success. Microsoft’s mobile market share remains in the low single digits, and even a major OS redesign from WP7 to WP8 , failed to ignite sales. Their pure ARM tablet OS is even a bigger failure.

So what’s next for Microsoft mobile push?

Back to the drawing board, according to Mobile-Review’s Eldar Murtazin, who correctly predicted that Microsoft will kill Windows Mobile back in August 2009, long before anyone else.

Microsoft has now formed a working group to develop a blueprint for the next version of Windows mobile OS. And they are doing it from more or less clean slate, again. Group’s task is to create the new single OS for both smartphones and tablets, and everything is on the table. Including the Metro UI, which may either see a major redesign, on be scrapped for something else in Windows (Phone) 9.

Neither the new UI, nor the feature set for the next generation of the OS exist yet. Working group’s recommendations on both should be presented to company management in early fall, with the new OS scheduled to launch sometime in 2015.

Windows Phone

Given the current lack of traction in the market, Microsoft has to do something about its mobile platforms. Merging Windows RT and Windows Phone ARM platforms into a single OS, sounds like a smart thing to do. As is a major soul searching of what’s wrong with Metro UI. Which may have won a lot of critical praise, but failed to ignite customer interest on smartphones, tablets and even traditional Windows laptops.

I just hope Microsoft is serious about those 36 months of support for current Windows phones, they promised recently. And that support does not mean only token updates, with a huge compatibility break when the next generation OS arrives. You know – the way things happened in transition from Windows Phone 7.5 to 8.

Windows Phone development is already too slow. Every new WP update/version release, when it ships, is at least a generation behind in chipset and other top of the line component support. When do you think the first 1080p Windows Phone on Qualcomm 600 CPU will ship? My guess – right about the time Qualcomm 800 WQXGA (2560×1600) Android flagships hit the market.

Microsoft has to close this feature gap somehow, and waiting until 2015 Windows (Phone) 9 to do that, won’t cut it. But if they can catch up to Android in the core Windows Phone 8.x capabilities within next 12 to 18 months, and then come out with the new, fresh looking next generation unified platform in a couple of years… Now, that, sounds interesting.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • FunnySheet

    Hmm. I don’t think you understand me. I have nothing against live tiles. I just believe Windows Phone will now merge closes with Windows RT and tiles will remain, scrolling horizontally by default.

  • Arun Lobo

    Correct, but what brings those opinions? Of course Staska did not bash anyone, but the great Russian blogger who brought this non-existing discussion had that intention.
    Lets say next version of android supports a minimum of 1gb RAM and lets discuss on it, shall we?

  • Rosani Masau

    Murtazin is a bum. He doesn’t know that Microsoft already has WinRT Kernel Windows RT, Windows x86. I agree with what @VSDev said, Dev Tools need to make a unified profile to build once and compile the code into different platforms.

  • zezba900

    And allow .NET C# unsafe code.

  • Bob

    I wont be buying another windows phone, too many bad experiences with wp7 and still lots of irritations such as you cant read the text on messages as its too small (at least with my 51 yo eyes lol) with no way to enlarge it, although this has been address in wp8, and do we really need another incarnation of the desktop operating system, im only just used to w7, which I think is great btw.

  • batman

    METRO UI is a joke. It’s the most ugly/lame thing which could happen to a mature OS.
    The guy which did the METRO is a noob and have NONE designer skills.

  • vlaz

    If MS breaks WP again and if my current apps are not compatible with the new WP9 then I will dump WP and go to iPhone. I like what WP7/8 is, and the UI is great. The problem is not with the phone, its how they are marketing it.