Windows Phone Blue

Going into Monday morning and the world is aflutter with talk of Microsoft’s User Voice feedback forum. Specifically, some user-requested features like a file manager, swipe to close an app (like on Windows 8) and storing apps on the SD card have been relisted as being ‘completed’.  The requests, submitted and voted by consumers, can only be closed by an administrator, in this case someone named ‘Mobile Guru’.

One of the requested features is “Add File Manager to Windows Phone”, which has had over 77,000 votes, another is “Allow a flick down to close applications like you can on Windows 8” while a third that is now closed falls under “Store apps & attachments on external storage and improve/provide micro SD support”.  All three are now listed as complete and are “available for Windows Phone 8”, though of course that is not true.

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It's no secret that Microsoft has been working on a voice-recognition-based assistant to rival Apple's Siri and Google Now that will be included in Windows Phone 8.1 (aka, Blue). What is somewhat surprising, according to a newly leaked screenshot,  is that the assistant, which goes by the moniker "Cortana," does not appear to be limited simply to voice interactions.

Windows Phone Central first revealed the existence of 'Cortana' as a Siri competitor yesterday, though most major new outlets overlooked it.

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There’s a handful of you out there rocking with the latest GDR2 update on your handset. If you bought a Lumia 925 or 1020 it came with it onboard from the unboxing. While the rest of you folks with devices from the Windows Phone 8 launch are slowly getting it. What’s on the horizon for future updates? We have GDR3 and Blue (aka Windows Phone 8.1) coming within the next 6 months. We also now have our first look at one of those courtesy of Joe Belfiore.

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With the big leak of Windows Blue build 9364 arriving over the weekend people have been furiously going through it to find any new, unannounced features that are presumably coming later in the year. For Windows Phone users, it’s even more interesting because we know that Windows Phone Blue is an analogous project that the Windows Phone dev team is undertaking at this moment.

To what extent Windows Blue, Windows Blue RT and Windows Phone blue overlap is still not known, but it has been strongly suggested that this is one of the first attempts to bridge the OSs, including a common Store.

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In a new job posting and an employee posting, Windows Phone 9 gets name dropped for the first time publicly. The exact relationship between Windows (Phone) Blue and what is being referred to now as Windows Phone 9 is not too clear—for instance is Windows Phone 9 just what people are expecting Blue to be renamed to or is it another milestone OS upgrade?

Regardless, the job posting by Microsoft acknowledges XAP/APPX deployment from the Microsoft Store to “Windows Phone 9” and the employee name drops Nokia, HTC and Qualcomm as testing hardware with the new OS (Samsung is curiously absent).

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