We've lightly touched on the proposed batch of updates, codenamed "Blue" that will affect multiple Microsoft platforms and service. Yesterday a job opening at Redmond was spotted and has confirmed that Microsoft will indeed be targeting the holidays, when plans to release the next major version of Windows Phone will be put into play.
Blue is an internal codename for Microsoft's products and services to be updated, refreshed and further integrated with one another - though the extent of this integration is still uncertain (unified store, etc). The job posting, which is seeking a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET), confirms the above with the following excerpt:
"This is a great time to join as we’re completing our current release are getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year and we’re chartered with keeping the momentum for Windows Phone by bringing new killer devices and delightful user experiences."
Before consumers are able to access the next major release of Windows Phone, it's believed that Microsoft will release a number of minor updates (think Portico - "GDR1"). As well as GDR1 (or General Distribution Release), we'll be set to see GDR2 this coming summer and GDR3 thereafter. These releases will include bug fixes and minor features bundled.
Windows Phone Blue will be the next big milestone for the platform, although further details aren't yet available, including what will be bundled. This is the same for the next update we'll be expecting, GDR2. The timing for Windows Phone Blue could well slip into 2014, and this job posting further adds to the possibility with the company looking at a release in the holiday season.
Microsoft has shifted from shouting out about future updates to keeping quiet and banging new versions out more frequently. Note that the recent Portico update failed to change the version number of the operating system itself (to Windows Phone 8.1 for example), which leads us to believe the GDR updates prior to Blue will be build revisions.