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Microsoft said to be speeding up Windows release cycle

Windows 8.1 Update

We're hearing additional confirmation of rumors that Microsoft is speeding up their release cycle for Windows. Mary Jo Foley's sources say we may see Windows 8.1 update 2 as soon as August, which could include a new start menu, but probably not floating modern apps in desktop mode, which may take until Spring 2015 to arrive in Windows 9. We had heard Windows Phone update cycles would be sped up too, so it would be no surprise if Windows had things kicked up a notch too.

Regardless of how things specifically pan out, we're hearing from multiple sources that Microsoft is kicking their update cycle into high gear, which is good news for all of us. Which features would you like to see in the next Windows update? How about Windows Phone update?

Source: ZDNet

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Reader comments

Microsoft said to be speeding up Windows release cycle

116 Comments

So if you sign up for the preview, you shouldn't suggest improvements? I thought that the pooint of a preview was specifically that--to point out the flaws to make them better.

DING DING DING!!!! You get a prize. Thank You for explaining that so well!!!!! +920 Although not to many do I do know a couple of Microsoft employees who read this sight, but thats just guilding the lilly a bit to much. Daniel proabably is well aware.

The point of preview is to make some more changes before final build on hearing requests.... Xbox music has bugs and feature changes and they will fix it before final release, So you can request changes but you have to be patient

People here are talking about Xbox Music, which is a first party app, and a very importasnt core one at that. These apps needs to be far more polished when shipped with an RTM version of OS.

Swizzlerz is exactly right, and this is what has been reported by WPC already... The separated XBM app we have for WP8-8.1 is not the final release version that users, who wait for the consumer release, will be using when WP8.1 is officially released to the public.. End of story...

There are small bugs that cause some annoyance and can be looked past. But Xbox Music currently is on another level. The app is truly broken and barely usable. Although its a developer preview I would have expected the app to at least be working else they should have left out the new app until release.

They couldn't have left the native app in the preview because the preview is final release software.. At least at the core WP8.1 DP is final.. Once you decide to use the WP8.1 OS you have to accept the experience for what it is, especially if you know that some applications are still under development...MS has already let it be known that the current XBM app is not sufficient, and will either be updated, or replaced, before the official release of 8.1....
In the future beware of how DP's work because just because the OS is final doesn't mean that apps will be final, and bug fixes will be squashed.. Preview means a glimpse of what is to come, not exactly, and everything, that is to come...

I wouldn't say it needs fixing in the conventional sense, but it really needs to become on par with Zune (on 8/RT) and have the player features reach the phone version. It shouldn't require music pass in order to easily sync music for your basic, average consumer. A non-techie isn't going to move apps in File Explorer and the sync app is terrible.

1. The article is about. Windows. Not Windows Phone. I am inclined ton think the previous comment is too, as Xboxm Music in the big sdcreen also needs a lot of fixing.

2. Windows Phone 8.1 is not a pre-release software. It has been RTMd, and that exact code has been pushed to people who opted in. Due to higjhly advanced natore of today's technolpogy, company keeps workingnon software even after release, doen not mean they are incomplete.

Laggy. Black screen. Take 30 minutes to load the cloud collection. Fail to resume and crash the phone. Keep looking for music. These are just bugs. Don't get me start on removed features and what iPhone and Android can offer.

Lol!... It's experimental software... What's not wrong with it?...
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If I'm not mistaken MS has gone back to the drawing board to create a whole new app, and this current XBM app won't even get updated... As far as I'm concerned this version of XBM has been abandoned.. That's why it's so bad...
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We should wait for the real WP8.1 XBM app.

Lol. Bad habit.. To bad I'm not calling it folder share, mesh, windows live mesh , windows live sync or any other names I am missing.

Its on I just hope it works or do these apps need updates? Have you tested a hard rest ;). This I the reason I nearly quit gaming on my phone. I've been through 5 phones since 7.0 started. and I have reset my phone a few times. I lost my progress in angry birds. I would love to see full sync for all games across wp8 and w8. but this is still a dream.

Yes i believe apps will need to be updated to make use of it...but i could be wrong. We will see soon enough.

It probably won't happen with Windows phone unless the carriers allow Microsoft to at least push out OS updates(I can at least understand firmware). Otherwise we'll have to deal with Android-like fragmentation.

As long as preview exist it won't matter. What will matter is the firmware for hardware that will be crucial and that is pushed through the carriers a along with waiting for the firmware in the first place.

"as long as the preview exists, it won't matter"
Untrue. Only about 300,000 people of the 50 million Windows phone users are on the preview. That's 0.6%. Developers aren't going to cater to the individuals on the preview because they're the minority. If, for example, Microsoft could push out WP 8.2 (minus the firmware) to all phones at once, then developers could create apps for devices with the update as opposed to being backwards compatible. For example of what I mean, look at VLC. They had to be backwards compatible because not enough people updated and that means that some features don't work in the app like they could've if they made it for 8.1.

Well first off your facts are wrong. AdDuplex reported 3.6% of Windows Phone users are running 8.1, which is 1.5 million, which is much more than .3 million users. I'd cater to 1.5 million people.

Well, first off, WPCentral said that there were 285,000 people on the preview. If you want to trust Adduplex over WPCentral, that's fine, but I don't. Second, no you would not cater to that amount of people. Assuming your (false) facts were even remotely true, then 1.5 million users would be like 1/5th the size of the Blackberry 10 userbase, which no one caters to as-is. Don't even pretend that you would cater to 0.16% of the entire smartphone market.

If it turns out that 1.2 million people downloaded the developer preview within the 9 days that WPCentral wrote an article stating that 300,000 people were on the preview to 4/17, then I'll be shocked, but until such point in time that I read an article from a website that isn't usually riddled with typos and that the editors of WPCentral don't publically make fun of on twitter has something to report, then I stand by my comment. Until a reliable source says it, I have a hard time believing that the developer preview numbers spiked 500%.

And um, last time I checked, WPCentral states that AdDuplex's numbers aren't always accurate and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Who cares about the article. The graphs are from ADDUPLEX. Guess what. Expect an article from WPC when they fully release release their starts tomorrow. And what the hell did developers and catering have to do with my original post. You're all over the place. I need for you to stay focus. And considering the amount of misspelling and typos from here I don't think there's much room between the teapot and kettle.

Who cares about facts reported from reliables sources such as WPCentral? I do. I'm not going to state things without a reliable source to back them up. Maybe you're fine with it, but I'm not.

 

If you need to be reminded of what happened just an hour ago, I'll remind you. I said that if Windows Phone would get rapid releases, then Microsoft would have to be allowed to at least give out OS updates, otherwise there would be fragmentation like there is in Android.

You came along and stated "As long as preview exist it won't matter. What will matter is the firmware for hardware that will be crucial and that is pushed through the carriers a along with waiting for the firmware in the first place"

To which I responded that, no the firmware doesn't matter as much and that not enough people are on the developer preview to matter since most Windows Phone users aren't on it.

You then began to argue and cite WMPU as a source and say that their facts from AdDuplex were more accurate than the numbers that WPCentral reported less than two weeks ago.

There, now that I've helped you recall what just happened, I'll leave you to have a nice day unless you have a constructive comment.

Lol wow. So you basically ran into a dead road. Good enough for me. Thanks for the recap. If AdDuplex source itself is not good enough than I don't know what to tell. Enough of this back and forth. We'll talk again when you're surprised...

AdDuplex only have access to stats from apps that 1) have ads, and 2) use their ad service. They aren't reliable but could be considered a "representative sample". Even still, the stats have always been skewed towards demographics that favour ad-based apps i.e. If you buy all your apps you won't be represented in the stats.

If Microsoft and modulerize a good percentage of the OS and push the updates via the store would be great.  But yeah I see VZW having a fit constently testing updates and just throw their hands up and say only once a year....

 

So you agree that you would prefer an apple device over a Microsoft one if they were the same price, or you were getting it as a gift ?

Meanwhile I am still waiting for my desktop to be able to upgrade to windows 8.1 while my friends are playing with anki drive, and can actually attach files to an email from their phone

because my copy of windows 8 is provided by my university, and windows 8 to 8.1 upgrade is supposedly not free for organizations. i still keep getting the message to upgrade for free now, when i click on it, nothing happens.

It depends on the version of 8.1 you have. If it's "Windows 8 Enterprise" then refer to this page: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-8-1/default.aspx

The update should always be free, but you won't necessarily be able to update via the store - check this link http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8

That also points to this page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-8/why-can-t-find-update-store

i have a contract for my phone. WP phones are great in the low-end market, 520/720 without contract for e.g., but the high-end phones still need catching up to do. i used fb messenger on the nexus 5 and i cannot forget that amazing experience now.

The only problem on the phone side is the lack of firmware updates to keep up. This is where WP will turn to shit

Well, after the deal is closed by the end of the month, Microsoft will be responsible for both the OS and the firmware so I don't see your point? Yeah, other manufactures like Samsung and HTC will still need to do something about that but they hardly account for any WPs anyway.

My point? Really? You think all these Lumia phones out right now are going to have quick firmware updates just because they take over? Dreaming buddy. Until Microsoft can get phones out like Nexus and GPe phones good luck. If that's the plan yay. But as for any other OEM this is still a point. This will still create a fragmentation ripple effect. If firmware can't keep up with software updates this sites will crash from all the bitching about everything like now.

Hardware devices. It's pretty known that OEM update their firmware to accounts the OS updates to keep the phone running smoothly. Just people getting on 8.1 without official firmware updates from the OEM is showing problematic for some people now. Could you imagine 2-3 more updates from OS and not getting the firmware from the OEM in a timely matter. When Android released they updates for Kit Kat it caused issues. I think HTC skipped 4.3.2 all together to go straight to 4.3.3 from 4.3.1. The difference however is we can get the OS update before the firmware drops.

I'm not so sure its a good thing for all of us. I'll take quality over quantity every time, with everything.

Well, good to hear. The sooner I have the proper Start Button back on W8.x the better. And not just for me but for consumers in general who clearly demanded the feature back, regardless of the opinions of a couple of fans over here =P

As for WP8.1 I'll be completely happy with it once they fix these things:

- Put the old Photos hub back. The one in 8.1 is attroucious.

- Make the quick settings Wi-Fi toggle a proper toggle and not a shortcut to settings.

- Put a proper Data toggle on quick settings (put it there to start and then don't mess up as they did with the WiFi toggle)

- Add a colour picker to the accent colour pallet. (And before someone wastes time suggesting the "create a plain colour and use it as a tile background...go learn what exactly does the accent colour affect ;) )

 

And if as a bonus they allow developers to access the quick settings (so that, for example, we can have a flashlight toggle), even better.

I don't know if the backlash for that Start menu is really that big...
But I really just came to ask what's so bad about the new "Photos Hub"? Just changes up the order of photos a bit and nothing too crazy in there. You can always swipe right to get to the Albums section?
Agreed about the shortcuts though. They work as toggles sometimes but sometimes they just take you to the settings menu which is incredibly annoying.

I don't know if the backlash for that Start menu is really that big...
But I really just came to ask what's so bad about the new "Photos Hub"? Just changes up the order of photos a bit and nothing too crazy in there. You can always swipe right to get to the Albums section?
Agreed about the shortcuts though. They work as toggles sometimes but sometimes they just take you to the settings menu which is incredibly annoying.

It is. Big enough for them to have to go back and put it back. The current scattering of things through the system is a mess, specially if you're on desktop. Which the vast vast majority of Windows users are.

 

The horrible things about the photos hub are:

- The design. It's horrible. The optional use of the background image made it look much better and more polished.

- Forcing users into the "All" category is an horrible. People (like me) have their things organized by folders. So when I access the photos hub, I expect to go straight into picking the folder I want to use instead of being forced into a "all" mess of photos.

I'm sure they'll also cater to the minority that doesn't want it ;) You'll probably be able to disable it.

What I need fixed is universal music playback controls on any screen. Stupid that I have multitask just to fast forward or rewind a track.

It would be. No one uses it on samsung. Believe me, I know 10 people who has s3 or s4 or pad or so, only one uses it, and he uses it to open stock browser.

I'm disappointed I still can't swipe between photos within an SMS thread. Very basic stuff... Also, I still can't add a video to an email without going to the video first. Thought this was fixed...

Personally I would absolutely love to have geofence wifi, when I arrive home wifi switches on, leave home Wi-Fi switches off, there are plenty of us that have no access to wifi during the day thus conserving battery

Both my laptop and my tablet are running smooth and great. Love windows 8.1 features, is everything I need. I mean I am not a developer. Hajajaja.

Hahaha. Exactly!

That proves that people just like to complain in the comments section just for the sake of complaining. They're not even talking about the article!

1)  Revert to WP8 Photo Hub, it was unique and beautiful.

 

2)  Slide open apps from tne left, as on the Surface/W8.1

 

 

I will believe it when I see it. I recall the WP rumor mill also promised faster updates before taking their sweet time. What was their motto? shut up and ship? I think it was and they certainly did shut up but didn't ship fast.

So MSFT can huff and puff all it wants, but how about some actual promises kept this one time? Windows and Windows phone feature update before 2014 is over would certainly silence the doubters.

 

Social Extensibility Framework now! As well as better social apps. Don't understand how WP's social features are ahead of Windows' social features...

Graphics on the start screen, and lock screen... For WP/W/Xbox
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I really just want to be able to have background graphics on the lock screen, and start screen..
If they could enable GIF support, or any other file that runs dynamic backgrounds, that would be cool..
Developers should be able to add GIF files to their tiles... Examples⬇
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http://25.media.tumblr.com/4f5bbc922f6b023641dec3f9131f5562/tumblr_mjmvg...
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http://i.imgur.com/28TDYC5.gif
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http://i.imgur.com/8wrfAce.gif

Windows8:

 Contextual search back as it was in Windows 8.0. Also microsd card search included.

Native inline stylus and ink recognition and Translation support in textfields. Currently its still boxed in the ink pad, which is a 10 year old design, and doesn't have enough flexibility and degrees of freedom.

 

Live interactive tiles!!!

 

Windows Phone 8

Stylus support by wacom

 

Generally:

 

International language support, international language support, international language support!!!

 

Floating modern apps and an update on the folders UI. It should look more like the touch interface. The desktop folders need a bit of love.

Windows Phone 8.x

- Contextual phone number dialing

- Wi-Fi Printing

- USB support for Keyboards, HDD's, external Monitors

- Bi color LED for Missed call/Message/email and Battery low

I still want static IP addressing for Windows Phone. I just don't understand why I even have to ask for this. It blows my mind.
I also want Bing Rewards support built into my g' damned Windows Phone. Again I don't understand why this has to be asked for. It should be standard.