As Build enters its third and final day, there has been lots of circulating murmurs regarding Rudy Huyn’s “Wall of Windows Phones” i.e. the technological monstrosity that you see above. In other words, we’re getting a lot of “tips” on the matter and we want to knock out any hope or speculation.
The wall, based off of Rudy’s earlier trick of linking together many phones to display one large Bing/HERE map, has been around for some time now, but this time it has gone bigger thanks in part to Nokia who supplied the phones. Truth be told Nokia and Rudy were going to attempt a Guinness Book of World Records attempt, but due to the $30K fee you need to have them here, well, the idea was nixed.
Let’s head onto the rumors and speculation for some buzzkill…
Rumor #1: Those are Lumia 825s. Wait, what’s a Lumia 825?
True. Lumia 825s are a limited set of developer phones that are basically Lumia 820s. They were given to a selected bunch of devs right around the time Windows Phone 8 was getting ready to launch last year. It’s one of those secret-not-so-secret things, but yes, we’ve seen ‘em before and that’s what is on the wall. We've never mentioned it because frankly, it's a boring phone.
While we’re on the topic, there is also a Nokia ‘Phi’, which is a modified Lumia 920 for internal testing at Microsoft.
So no, there is nothing new there. At least “new” as in interesting.
Rumor #2 That's Windows Phone 8.1!
False. When Rudy’s Bing/HERE maps are not running, a program that highlights the top apps in the Windows Phone Store goes on to the displays, moving around and popping up.. That’s what you’ve seen in a few photos from other news sites with the “different size tiles” and what you see above.
We can 100% confirm that Windows Phone 8.1, which is still being developed and is in bits and pieces (i.e. branches) is not nearly ready to be shown off to the public. The SDK is also not ready either. In other words, there are quite a few months left before we see more about 8.1 and the idea that Microsoft would accidentally show it thousands of people at a conference is a bit…well, let’s just say unlikely.
In addition, it does seem as if Windows Phone 8.1 is behind schedule. After all, the Windows Team seems to be on the same page with the rest of Microsoft (e.g. Xbox One), but Windows Phone appears to be late—for whatever reason. Mentions of Windows Phone 8.1 have been found in the SDK and even Microsoft is referring to Windows Phone 8 as “8.0” in presentations here.
So things are close, but we’re still a ways out. Sorry, folks!