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.
Some people who have tipped us have inferred that an “app”’ is coming in the Store for the File Manager, others have concluded that ‘Mobile Guru’ is talking about Windows Phone 8.1, which has not been acknowledged by Microsoft.
As far as we know, there are no impending releases for the Windows Phone Store, meaning a ‘file manager’ app is not something we’re actively looking to download any time soon. For features like “flick down to close applications” or installing apps on the micro SD card, an OS update will be needed. Once again, that would have to be in a Windows Phone 8.1 release, although we have had zero confirmation or reports that this is indeed the case.
It’s a bit unusual that Microsoft would “confirm” new features for a forthcoming OS that has not yet even be announced. It’s even more inaccurate to suggest that these features are “…now available in Windows Phone 8”, since for current users that is not the case. Windows Phone 8.1 isn't expected to arrive until after February 2014, putting the OS on an early spring release schedule--that's still some months out for any new features for users.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for an official comment on these changes on User Voice but for now, we would caution readers to not read too much into this. Then again, the notion that Microsoft would add features to a major OS release should not be too surprising.
Update 2PM ET: Microsoft has now corrected the website and note that these features were "...mistakenly marked as completed"