Microsoft has “something coming” for Windows Phone [Retracted]

[Update 6 PM ET: The source of the article wishes to have his info removed and denies that this was a tease for a notification center. In fact, he's not an employee of Nokia but rather a student involved in a Windows Phone program, making this info dubious at best.In fact, we're hearing the opposite now, that there won't be a notification center announced at MWC. Due to this new info we are not standing by the story. Sorry, folks.]

By now it should be no surprise that we’re expecting Microsoft to talk about Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress 2013 scheduled at the end of this month in Barcelona. While the company doesn’t usually have a booth, they do opt instead for renting a whole building where they also host their keynote (last year they had a kicking party too).

The question of course is what they will reveal: modest update or a major one? Rumors of an Apollo+ OS revision, including VPN and a notification center have been circulating for a while now. With the minor Portico update having been finalized and now rolling out, it makes sense that what comes next for Windows Phone 8 is a major update: fixes and main new features.

What is coming next: Does this image hold a clue?

About a week ago, a member named ‘IWSFOD-D’ over at the popular graphic site DeviantArt posted the above image. The accompanying text simply reads

“Quite a trip at Redmond. There is something I am not allowed to talk but allowed to tease. It is not confirmed in case you make a guess (either right or wrong , I won't answer ). That is what tease meant to be”

That leads us to what exactly is he teasing? To be honest, the image doesn’t reveal too much. The text “Shh…We are not ready yet” (attributed to Windows Phone Manager Joe Belfiore) appears to be reused throughout the image along with Tiles.

The Tiles though are the ones which typically receive Notifications and combined with the evident Twitter stream, we’re leaning on a Notification center. According to the Verge, Microsoft ran out of time for a Notification Center in Windows Phone 8, something which presumably will be addressed in a future update. It's also one of eight features we mentioned that Microsoft needs to fix ASAP in Windows Phone.

But let’s be honest, we’re just totally guessing here. Do you have a theory? Let us know in comments.

This is what is to the right...

Jaxbot from Windows Phone Hacker clued us in to what is to the right in the image. Obviously it's some kind of Twitter feed but it happens to be an exact copy of his screenshot for his Notifications app. So yeah, we can consider that as pretty good clue.

Source: DeviantArt;  Thanks, Jeremiah C, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

268 Comments
  • Master sleuthing by boss man. From this moment on, we refer to him as Detective Dan. 
  • +1
  • How 'bout Inspector General Rubino? He is the EiC after all.
  • I resemble that remark......
  • Sam, did you notice the left arrow button? Kinda looks like a good indication of a notification center...
  • I saw the Left arrow too, but where would it go? No room on the home screen, so maybe an option on the lock screen?
  • On the left?
  • It would go on the bottom like the right arrow perhaps?
  • My only problem with this implementation of notification center is, you have to get to homescreen and then swipe right to get it.(Yeah, i know homescreen is one button press away dnd yeah, I can live without notification center too.).  
    But it would be really awesome if notification center can be accessed like how windows 8 lets you get to list of apps you opened previously. swipe from left to right of the phone and hold for a bit to see notification center; not just from homescreen but from any apps. 
     Just my 2cents. 
  • Beam us up Scotty.
  • Swipe to the left for the notification center? :)
  • Yes! Yes that should totally happen. I actually physically reacted when I read that.
  • good idea mate, they should implement this like that. App list to the right, notifications to the left.
  • You mean swipe to the right. Hopefully you won't have to put in a password to see your NC. Unlike kids corner. It sucks that when lock screens locks, it does too.
  • I think that is a bug. When I first got my 920 and set up kids corner, it never asked for the password. I eventually turned it off, but turned it back on, and then after that it started requsting the PIN, but only sometimes. I don't use a PIN at the moment.
  • Yes I think it's a bug too, and I had that issue too on my Lumia 920. It's strange that Kids Corner requires a password.
  • I'm hopping for a "swipe to the left to destroy XBox music and have it replaced with Zune" gesture.
  • Agreed lol i lost the ability to play anything on it today due to drm issues... Ticked off to say the least
  • LoL
  • Long live Zune. Still the best music app I've ever used.
  • Sorry al but i FREAKING HATE this idea.  If I wanted more then 1 page to swipe too, I would have bought an iCrap or another ANshit. 
     
    I moved to WP7 then WP8 because I love the semplisity of the interface. 
     
    I really do not see a need for a Noteification Center anyways, but understand some may.
     
    My top choice....
    1.  Fix WP8... I had loads less problems on my Arrive.
     
  • AHH the Arrive.  So Stable except Sprint not allowing the KB Fix through!!! :(
     
    As for the notification center, I also don't think it's needed as the Start screen does an excellent job at that.  I'm not angry about it though.  I welcome it for those that need it like reviewers. ;)
  • No need to get so agitated; one size does not fit all.... You do not like it, do not use it. People who were asking for it will be pleased as well.
    What is the problem?
  • Maybe there will be an option to turn it off.
  • Why not make it a pulldown when you're toggling volume?
  • OHHHH i really like this idea! Never thought about that before!!!!
  • Umm, edge swipes are accessible anywhere....
  • Isn't that how Kids Corner works though?
     
    -edit:  Nevermind.  Kids Corner is from the lock screen not the start screen
  • No, it will be the already existent notification area. The "me" hub already has a notification center. They will actually make use of it.
  • I like it
  • I was thinking the same thing. Notice the arrow pointing to the left and most of the apps in view could possibly have notifications. 
  • Well the arrow is pointing left rather than right. Probably to the blank space where the notification center will be.
  • Good catch with the arrow.
  • Those three lines (one with a dot) is something not seen yet in "Metro" design language. Maybe that's a clue for something new too?
  • Or maybe a touch gesture as in tap/the initial touch of the screen (the dot) then swipe to the right (the 3 lines)... Which would lead again to something new at the left... Most likely the notification center :)
  • Could those three lines be a hint to a better app management solution from MS. The lines representing the opened apps and touching/long press to bring up a new context menu. Better still, they could be implementing a app management solution into the notification area with the lines representing different view options i.e. Primary view for notifications, another for running apps and a third for system status??
  • Good Catch. This almost hints...swipe to RIght for Notifications !!!!
  • This is the first thing I thought when I saw the arrow.
  • Looks like you cracked the mystery tease. Case solved!
  • If that's the case, then I would be extremely happy. When folks were discussing ideas for a notification center, I also submitted 'swipe to right' as a way to accomplish it.
  • Also it says "not" on the side....not suppose that reads notifications !! Does it !!! :P
  • I'm guessing it makes sense now why the arrow was moved to the bottom for WP8. There will be another one added to point left... to the notification page.
  • Didn't they ditch the arrow and gutter in windows phone 8? I agree with swipe right, but I don't want another gutter and arrow.
  • The gutter is at the bottom of the home screen now. The gestures work but now it will have an arrow pointing to the left and right instead of just to the right... That is if the notification center is to the left
  • Winner winner chicken dinner. Also notice two of the items are Fa...cebook notifications! Swipe to the right for notification. Sweet. One less thing for the pundits to complain about. What will they have left?!
  • Crappy, unworkable email client.
    Unified volume control.
    Unusable PDF viewer.
    IE10 fails on many, many important Web sites and no real alternatives available.
    No phone backup to speak of.
    Horrible OS stability problems.
    No rotation lock.
    No universal search.
    Limited alert sounds.
    Pathetic application discovery in the store. But not much, really.
  • It has to be the notification center.  Hence the "Shh... something is coming" and on the right edge of the screen the thing that is coming looks like notifications because you can see that start of the notification section currently in windows phone.
     
  • Yeah its obviously a notification center on the right side. You can see "not" at the top, then a twitter post and two Facebook posts.
  • That's a screenshot of my experimental app he has photoshopped in there:
    http://windowsphonehacker.com/pics/ncscreenshot.png
    I can tell, because that's my girlfriend's name in "his" mockup. :P
    Not sure if this leaves more evidence pointing to real or more evidence pointing to fake, though. Just letting people know where he got it from. :p
  • Seems like everyone's a fan of WPH, even those working in official capacity.
  • Seriously, hush hush about a notification centre? Why? So that the competitors wouldn't steel the idea? Please, MSFT, save us yet another embarrassment.
  • I have heard some rumours around a significant WP8-update that would be revealed in MWC. My own opinion is, that it includes a notification center, left from the start screen. And in the picture, you get a hint of that, because of that arrow to the left ;)
  • Yah if you look at the edge of the screen, it says no,for notifications, and then you can see where it says TW, for twitter, and an @ sign beneath it. And then under that, you can see F for Facebook.
  • Yeah noticed that too, not sure why the article doesn't mention it though.
  • Ehm. http://windowsphonehacker.com/pics/ncscreenshot.png
  • I could really care less about a notification center and don't particularly want one. That's what the Live Tiles are for - the ones I want notifications on, I'll pin them to my Start screen. Well, I guess that sounds a bit harsh, but if we're trying to put one in "just because the other guys have one" isn't the right approach, IMO.
  • Party pooper!!
  • Its more for toast messages that disappear after a couple of seconds. If you're away from your phone, you would never know a toast message came in.
  • Yes a list of missed toasts would be good. Everything else the tiles do the job for me..
  • If you have that app pinned to the start menu, would it not show up on the tile? I'm not aware of any apps that don't do this.
     
    The Games hub has a notification center and it's pretty redundant when I have that tile and each game that I get notifications for pinned to the start screen. I get a notification on the games hub as well as each individual game tile. Problem of course is that checking a game's tile doesn't clear the notification from the Games hub.
  • If you could care less, it means that on some level you care. It is you could NOT care less. I cant believe a simple typo and mispronounciation is replicated so often and has persisted for so long.
  • +1 annoying as hell
  • MS is putting one in because it is useful and needed, not because the other cool OSes have one. I've never understood the hostility towards having a Notification Center. Live Tiles alone do not replace all the functionality of a Notification Center, and having one will not do harm to WP.
  • My exact words.
  • That's how I feel about it, too, but it seems like what the masses want. I'm cool with it as long as throw us some more stuff in addition to it. I really want a reason to upgrade!
  • If we're making comparisons to other OSes I see the tiles as more of a google now thing but more customisable. A notification centre doesn't have to be the same as on other OSes. It could be more integrated with the messaging and emailhubs like BB10, so it's not just a link to your messages, but where the messages are accessed too. Just my 2c.
  • Thank you. I was beginning to think I was alone in this. Of course I will never turn down features and am glad that they are listening to the users, but I have a small feeling that its going to undermine the live tiles.
  • +1000
  • It is Instagram App coming for windows phone :)
  • It had better be an instagram announcement. But I guess this tease is about notifications. But like someone said. They need to fix more than that.
  • hehe maybe joe belfiore (besides the new apollo+ update)  " We have an app for you right now in the store,  you missed in the last time for windows phone. And it´s Instagram for Windows Phone!!" hahah that´s a really bash for Blackberry
  • With the arrow pointing left it suggests notification center on the left with all the apps displayed there. Calls, texts, app updates ... etc.
    Oh and I think Skype will be ready. Windows Phone | S .... on top right gives me that with the blue color that looks like skype's.
  • haha I sent this tip to George also today!
  • Windows Phone 8.5 with Notification center and other improvements ?
  • Maybe Windows Phone 8 in landscape mode???  :P
  • Now that would be cool! (Cue daydream sequence...) G: My new WP8.5 is a great phone. D: No, in landscape it's a Surface. G: It's a phone. D: It's a Surface. G: It's a phone, I'm telling you! D: It's a Surface, you cow!! C: Hey, calm down you two. New WP8.5 is a phone, and a Surface!
  • Nice! LOL!
  • If only today's SNL could be as good as it was back then...
  • Definitely has to be notifications. Yay!
  • It's obviously notification center. it says "not..." (and is cut off) on the right side of the photo. Underneath it you can see a twitter and two facebook notifications. Even if that was the only feature, I'd be very happy.
  • I thought I was the only one who saw that! It is so obviois but Dan didn't mention anything about it.
  • ya exactly , thats the notification center, its so obivious.
     
  • Look at the right side of the picture... Under the Facebook tile. It says "not..." and below is a "T" (twitter) with an "@" and two "F's" (Facebook). Obviously an notification area found under the "Me" tile, probably hinting at something more coming... :) Combined with all the other tiles visible (all of which generate some sort of notifications)... YAY! :D
    (now I see I'm too late for the party with this comment, hehehehe. When I began typing it there were no other comments. Anyway, glad to see we all noticed the same thing :D)
  • Tiles are also spaced out maybe along with notification center you can now group/leave gaps on your home screen 
  • I have gaps on my Start screen now...just to break it up a little :)
  • Lets hope they don't outdate our phones
  • Lol!
  • Lol? It's technology. New tech won't change your phone, it will still be your phone. I'm all for progression and innovation. Surprise us!
  • Regardless, I don't think we will get it into our phones until at the earliest September, given the snail pace this kind of updates come. 
  • That was the whole point of OTA updated!
  • OTA is not the bottleneck, it's MS and the carriers.  
  • if it's anything but sound profiles & management and vpn it's just useless
  • My #1 is Xbox Music and Video enhancements.
  • Me too but I know its not happening.
  • I would be happy with just an announcement for VPN and a notification center.
    Maybe also some top shelf apps in the works...
  • I want a notification center but only if its done the right way. All apps need to be able to take advantage of it. You can pick and choose what apps show notifications in the notification center. But my biggest issue is that Microsoft wouldn't need a notification center if they allowed apps to have their own unique notification sound. I would like them to still implement this if possible. Also Microsoft needs to give apps access to video that has been previously recorded or the app can record video itself otherwise we're always going to have a huge dent in our ecosystem.
  • Yep, seems to be cluetastic. Down the right we have the beginnings of 3 feeds. Twitter and two Facebook ones. Text messages are there too. There is also a cheeky new tile on display. Could the lines show that it will be a screen to the left? I think so. They have a dot and then a straight line heading right, which would move you would go left from the screen you were on.
  • The arrow is facing left, unlike the one at the bottom of the screen or the on in WP pre 7.8. So app list on one side and notification center on the other?? Also the letters not in one of the pics(looks related to twitter) which of course are the first three to notification...so excited
  • Ninja'd on the arrow lol
  • Based on the what the images are for and the arrow, I guess two things: Centralized Notifications to the left and universal search as all of those apps are content based as well.
     
    My 2 cents.
  • My theory: if MS doesn't have at least 6 of the top suggestions completed in Apollo+ my next phone will not be WP. Life's too short. They should have been there before it was rolled out. I'm not waiting 2 years to get a complete OS. MS needs to lead, not follow.
  • Don't let the door hit you on the way out then?
  • Has to be notification center, above comments + those 3 lines at the bottom.
  • I also feel skype is coming with the Windows Phone | S ... top right and the blue color that looks like the skype color.
  • This picture still looks terribly and poorly composed... what are these ugly white lines at the bottom? Why are there apps with no notifications? What is this white "shimmer" around the tiles? It's so not metro. Why does it look unsharp? Why are the tiles arranged in a way that it just looks made by someone who never had any education in graphical desgin? What's up with this big tile with the text in it? It just doesn't look at all like out of Windows Phone.
    If this is real, it's a really, really bad job by Microsoft.
  • First of all, it's not Microsoft, it's the guy on DEVIANTART. Where artists make pictures and post it up to be creative. Secondly, its a tease. Meaning no accurate depictions (because then it wouldn't be a tease). Its purpose is to send off hints... Not necessarily how it actually looks.
  • In this case it's just a guy, maybe somehow associated with Microsoft, making funny pictures in his spare time?
    That the notifiaction center will come next is not a too wild guess, everybody could have done this ;-)
  • If I must say, I did a decent job of researching who this person is. Instead of saying it's "just a guy" you could read the article and be better informed? Just my 2 cents ;)
  • There's a HTC exclusive app on this picture, just additional 2 cents to what I've written a little bit further below :)
  • Dude you are really not the smartest of the bunch, are ya. Read the article man...
  • Please enlighten me, why a Nokia employee should put a HTC exclusive app onto a picture he made for fun, because he heart at Microsoft, that there will be a notification centre. Because he worked at HTC before? :)
    I've never claimed I'm especially clever.
  • Plus, Microsoft could make a built in clock app (integrate existing alarm app into it) and have the double wide clock live tile just like HTC... Just saying. Oh, and also, stop putting ":)" in all of your comments like you are pleased with yourself. Its annoying, and you are being a troll.
  • It's made by an employee, just whipped together. It's not official from Microsoft...
  • Microsoft has 97,106 employees. https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
    I'm sorry, but I really feel like this is not news, only some rumor. And for everybody who will tell me later: "Well, it said there will be a notifiaction center!", Microsoft said this more or less officially themselves, months ago...
  • I state in the article the he works for Nokia in Software Quality Assurance for WP8.
  • I'm not questioning your article, I'm questioning the picture :-)
    It doesn't matter where this guy works, what I was trying to say is, that there are much more than 100,000 people (including those working for Nokia and HTC and Samsung) who have the same credibility ;-)
  • I feel as if you're intentionally trying to be difficult.  There may be 100,000 employees working across those corporations, but a very small percentage are QA for Windows Phones.  The author did a great job researching and justifying the post.  
  • Sure I'm intentionally difficult, I think I have enough reasons for it. And anyway, if I'm attacking anybody, it's the person who created the picture, because I think it is bad.
    The article does greatly what it's supposed to do, creating interest. I didn't know Daniel Rubino would be interessted in my post, as he wrote himself: "But let’s be honest, we’re just totally guessing here."
    Edit: Yeah, English is not my first language...
  • I think this guy's credibility (a QA engineer for WP8 at Nokia) is much higher and probably knows more about what's coming in WP8 than a person who might be working on the SQL Server team at Microsoft or on the Asha phones at Nokia. So you comparing this guy to the other 100,000 people doesn't make sense.
  • Ever heard of abstract? And I'm sure you're no Picasso either... (By the way, it looks nice...)
  • Oh yeah, last year's party at Molino was a blast... I hope they'll have another good one also this year!
  • Seems like notification drawer is coming up next..
  • To me if you look at the photo, on the right is says not and under seems to say twitter (b/c of the @) and Facebook (b/c second letter can't be any other letter than an a), and the arrow on the left as well teases us, meaning probably swiping to the left like MANY suggested but probably won't take credit for :P but this is just me maybe over thinking. Or am I? ;) I hope not
  • Considering the icons available...revamp to those apps? Xbox including Xbox music. Messaging would be Skype integration, same with phone and phone includes smart dialing. Revamp to store is extremely plausible considering the store being up and down recently. Idk what the Greenville app is but calendar and weather?
  • That's what I was thinking.
  • I'm kind of convinced it is a notification center... You can see the "not" at the far right of the pic. And the arrow pointing to the other side would indicate what we suspected, it'd probably be at the left of the Start screen. On a side note, is not just The Verge that stated that MS run out of time. It was publicly stated by Microsoft in a Q&A during one of the Build Sessions. If I find it I'll update my comment. ;)
  • i would rather have Enterprise WiFi & VPN.
  • Notification centre, arrow clearly corresponds to a swipe. And on the right hand edge you can see "Not" which is no doubt "Notifications" as underneath it is obviously Twitter and Facebook notifications..
  • Probably a notification center
  • Shh... I see there "not...", "Tw...", "@...", "Fa..."
  • I hope they make an announcement about Zune coming back.
  • And probably Jaxbot @ windowsphonehacker has something to do with it too. He was contacted by Microsoft about his NC, he had to remove it but he told the world he couldn't share anything about what MS told him
  • My guess is that Microsoft has contacted aliens, who then informed them that their (Microsoft's) way of doing the smartphone has been the correct way all along. The aliens also helped Microsoft turn all current phones into interstellar radios, which will enable only users of Windows Phones to communicate with these creatures of the future... A notification center also seems plausible, but I'm not sure the evidence is all there. I'm banking on the alien theory.
  • Yeah seems plausible haha :D
  • ;)
  • Whatever they announce they will always have an issue with timing. I bet that update will be coming "this year" rather than say "next week". Microsoft desperately needs to work on their pace.
  • +1000
  • Hmm I hope you're wrong
  • How about a notification center with a useful LED used for notifications?
  • +1
    It would be cool if the windows icon on the handsets that have a LED underneath it is the area that illuminates to notify of a missed action/event.
  • NEVER heard of this idea and it's genius. I mean think of it. I believe every windows phone has a light behind that windows button. This is like genius and entirely useful (& doable). It could blink every 3 seconds for a missed call, 5 seconds for missed text, 7 seconds for app notication and be completely customizable and even be turned off
     
    Love love love this idea. Suggest it to microsoft oh wise fellow
  • Every android phone has a blinking light for notifications...why turn on the phone if there is nothing new to look at? It is plain logic...
  • You are right, it is plain logic and i am pretty sure the OS supports it. The question is, with oems like Nokia who had it on the N96, Samsung&HTC who have it on most(not all) their droid devices, i am surprised its missing. I know it wont be on the ativS because Sammy opted for a physical button over the backlit one but hopefully since the phone is the same model as the s3, they left the notification led next to the earpiece.
  • Like the "old" Nokia E71/E72 has. It's a good implementation, but it should also be turned off. Or the light should be low. On the Nokia E71/E72 it was quit bright.
  • I just really hope the notifications get better. Like...when I get a toast notification from Facebook, all it does is open the app or resume it from where I was last. If I click the notification, it should GO TO THAT STORY.
  • Strange... my facebook notifications go directly to the story is corresponds to
  • Possibly (probably) a notification. From the image I'm also hoping a landscape start screen.
  • I don't have any wishes for wp8 right now but every update is welcome to me. What me bother the most in wp8 is that if I add a music albums on my htc 8x using the wp app preview for windows 7, the album always magically split's into 2 album's or doesn't copy the artwork...
  • He,y I used to have this problem (Lumia 920), and I know a fix. You have to turn off "connect with Xbox music" in the music hub settings. ;)
  • Thnx! I'm gonna try it out tomorrow!
  • You know Microsoft and Nokia should try a different strategy for once. Release a feature without announcing it or release a feature after announcing a date. They get people frustrated with expectation and by the time the feature arrives, people have hyped it so much that most are already disappointed
  • Right! I am also getting fed up with all these announcements then wait for months to get what other platforms have had for years...just release the damned updates!
  • Yes, I hate this!
  • How about notification center, portico + update & Nokia tablet pro all in this announcement. Thank you kindly.
  • One other thing. The icon with the map/menu type thing, any thoughts. Looks almost like an improved calendar to me. Which this system needs more than most things that get requested. The default one is just awful.
  • I noticed the map icon too. Do you think MS is going to show some love to the legacy WP devices?
  • Lord knows, but few have seem to have picked up on it.
  • Wholly cow, how many times are people going to point out the not cut off & the twitter feed & two Facebook feeds???? By the way its obviously a notification center because you can see the not is cut off of notification and then you see a twitter notification and two Facebook notifications.
  • if everyone posts around the same time, they don't see others' comments..
     
     
     
    ....dick
  • if everyone posts around the same time, they don't see others' comments..
    ....dick
  • Wake me up when something official is announced.
  • Windows Phone 8.5 in Landscape mode with the ability to change Background Color just like in Windows 8 !! Thank you !!
  • One question, is this coming to us with 7.8???? :|
  • well aren't you funny :P
  • ... as I am looking at thw Facebook photo it looks like it might be made with Instagram ... maybe WP will finally get Instagram ... just guess :)
  • That's just the double wide facebook til which utilizes your cover photo
  • I would like to get portico already!
  • Windows Phone|S
    Maybe Skype will be integrated into the people hub?
  • Is Portico now officially the longest rollout in history? I've still not got this, in the UK, despite it being available since December.
  • Right...me too. I don't care about this update...i want the current update now!!!
  • Sucks to be you guys. I have it on my HTC 8x since it enrolled ^^
  • The three bars look like the grip on a battery door cover.
    Perhaps they're going to be a pulldown.
    Frankly, I'd like to be able to create headings for my tiles, much like W8.
  • Maybe landscape start screen with the same "gestures" as Windows 8?
  • I not only think that it is in reference to a notifications center, but that we'll finally be able to change the background color from more than just black and white. Maybe even to a picture?
  • If that is a kind of a start screen of a phone, I can see obviously a notification center to the left, but also some changes to how the screen looks like now.
    First, we have a different background color with some 3 line effect on the bottom (maybe different background images are coming).
    Second, The screen title, it says Windows Phone, then it has a vertical small line followed by an S, which can also show a tune up of how the screen is presented on the main page. Probably titles, Homescreen, Settings, etc.
     
    Offcourse it can all be just someones imagination, but if he is who they say he is and he has some degree of trustworthyness I would bet at least in these 3 changes.
    Notifications, interchangeable backgrounds, graphic aspect tune up of pages.
    We'll see
  • "not..." should be a hint for notification center.
  • It's Windows BLUE.
    Hint: Background
  • That's Windows Blue for desktop, not Windows Phone. This is to do with the mobile operating system.
    Plus... it's an effing colour.. like, you can't read into something so much.
  • Well, if they weren't ready to release a notification center at the launch of WP8, that might be what the "Shh... We are not ready yet :-)" notification is trying to say. Therefore, I feel like this teaser is for a major update which brings a notification center and extended Live Tile functionality to WP8 devices (perhaps real-time updating?)
  • Lots of good comments in regards to what might be offered, but I really would be happy if they just fixed\improved Skype for Windows 8 Phone.
  • I agree.. I mean to not be able to change cameras irks me a lot...
  • The arrow is pointing to the left. The tiles are tiles that usually hold notifications. Look at the pic as a whole, all the tiles are moving from left to right. This is Microsoft's notification center which will be placed to the left of the start screen.
  • Why would you put an arrow on the home screen again like it was pre 7.8?  That wouldnt make sense.  My off the wall suggestion would be a new Nokia tablet running a revamped windows phone 8.  Like IOS on the ipad and iphone.  Think of it like how android used Honeycomb (3.0) on the tablets and 2.3/2.3 on the phones.  That my take on this concept...if I want a working notifiication center I would just go back to my iphone.
  • It's just a tease. The arrow is there to emphasize the left side of the start screen. It most likely will not be there taking up an entire strip like in WP7.
  • But to contradict that statement...why in the image is it to the right of the start screen if the arrow is up there...on the WP7 phones when you panned to the app list it showed a left arrow on the upper left.  Thats why i disagree with the consensus of the ideas here.  I know its just a sketch from a guy at Nokia..but for all we know he could just be trolling us...im still on my l900 so whatever update it may be...my phone will never see it....editted twice...im tired...lol
  • I also predict customizable background color's like blue as shown in the tease. Now when will we get it? Lol
  • What are xbox & maps doing there. They don't add stuff to the notification centre?!
  • They will now lol.
  • You don't get notificaitons on Xbox? I do all the time--game requests, mail, etc.
  • xbox does (for new game notifications) but I can't imagine what the maps is for. If notifications, I can iamgine them having a foursquare/groupon integration so that it notifies you when a frined has checked in nearby or when a groupon deal is nearby. That actually would be fairly exciting
  • Some sort of transporter mechanism built into the OS that uses Bing maps to teleport the user anywhere.
  • DING DING DING... this guy has it
  • Even though I feel the Live Tiles ARE the Notification menu I hope they do swipe right for Notification center. 
     
    Just looking at the picture again!! I'm willing to bet it is swipe right for notifications!! Look at the LEFT POINTING ARROW!!
  • Xbox video please!!! If BB10 has a video store, why can't Microsoft? And we need to sync our Xbox video on PC videos and iTunes videos syncing. PLEASE MICROSOFT!!
  • This would be very much appreciated and long freaking over due.
  • I don't understand what the big deal about a notification center is. Seems like more clutter to me.
  • More than a notification center, I would prefer to have a blinking light advising me something I've missed...don't like having to turn on the phone just to see there is nothing new...
  • What I think...
    Notifications Hub
    Skype Integration (I don't know what else that 'S' would stand for)
    Xbox improvements across the board
    Shows facebook with an image... instagram?
    Now, that red tile is the HTC clock, which as far as I know is the only tile which updates constantly. Is this a hint of tiles being able to be constantly updated? Bring a more 'live' aspect to the live tiles.  
  • Think the skype app was just fixed so that it would work on wp8? Real skype will be integrated into the phone?
  • OMG!!!
    I think its a notification center.....see the xbox tile? Next to it you can read 'not'
    not=notifications.....besides, another hint is the arrow to the left
  • OMG YOU MAY BE RIGHT
       
     
    /s
  • Jerk! You don't have to be so mean about it....
    :'(
  • lol sry
  • I don't hate the idea but I mostly agree with you. I got WP for the simplicity.
  • Someone notify me when we get a notification center.
  • I figured that said notifications, glad we had some input
  • I do hope its a notification studio. I've gotten over the disappointment that it wasn't with the release for 8, but how in the heck didn't they have any time
  • Thats great news, but I'm still waiting for Portico to arrive on my unlocked 920...
  • Me too, we should be first eh?!
  • One would think... Nokia really screwed us over
  • Guys, please...! Windows Phone has always favored the devices which were locked to a particular operator. It's the other way around compared to dumb phones or other smart phones, but it really was always like this in WP. Did you not know this?
  • I just hope that there are toggles on the NC. I can't stand having to go to settings or having a tile on my front screen for them
  • Windows 8 also doesn't have notification center. I suspect they've been working on a common solution, something more than just a me-too implementation.
  • ...and I didn't even get portico here in Austria :/ That means the notification centre is probably about 5 moths off for me...
  • I'm surprised no one pointed out the Maps tile. Perhaps we will get Bing Maps officially on Nokia phones?
  • Notification Center is obvious and has long been rumored.  The three lines on the bottom are intriguing as well and it may mean that this is a unique means of notification in how it is handled.  We could see some kind of threaded notifications akin to the threading found in the email app.
    The shape of the employee image also leads me to believe that there may also be a possibility of a WP8 tablet device.  The Live Tiles are all jumbled up for some reason.  I think there is much more than a Notification Center.
     
    And I definitely do hope for a X over the open screens in the viewer, akin to IE's ability to close tabs.  I know WPCentral mentioned that in their suggested fixes.
    I would be interested to see a WP8 Tablet that does not have a legacy desktop, using a modded version of Office from WP8 for full screen, and able to run higher res apps as well.  I think it could survive alongside RT.  In fact, they probably could make all Windows 8 apps run on it if it with little adjustment.   
  • Or instead of an "x" in the viewer, you stay in the app that you want to close you swipe from the top to the bottem like you do for Windows 8.  Let's keep things consistant across the platforms WP8/RT/W8
  • Would be nice, but some apps show the time, signal, wifi icons when swiping down from the top. I'd rather keep that feature but then be able to swipe down on an individual app screenshot after holding down back.
  • Enterprise phones want it.
  • Does it say "Windows Phone/Store" at the top? Maybe one of the things they are announcing are high profile apps?
  • Skype 3D
  • Kudos ms for using jax's image. Now give him a donation :)
  • The most logical thing for a notification hub to be placed under WP would be placing it under the hardware search button by expanding the functionality of the Bing search app. Pressing the hardware search button should open up the missed notifications and also the known search field at the top (I give a frack about the daily bing picture) - furthermore the app should also be able to search the whole phone - much like it is done in W8 - instead of only searching web results. That should be the functionality the hardware search button should have.
  • That same font was used for Surface. What if the corner (Windows Phone 8|S) means Windows Phone 8 Surface? That might then be released with a new updated version of the OS to add better integration with its tablet counterparts.
  • I know...its gonna be a bad ass upgrade with all the goodies rumoured....BUT Shh...shit you all need to upgrade your phones as Lumia 920 is incompatible.
  • 1st: the "S" mean something ... maybe skype really integrated in the os. (not beta anymore)
    2nd : blue in the background... maybe because of skype... or we should be able to change the background in the next update.
    3rd ... : this one is a big guess ... the 3 line ... with joe belfiore comment at the same place of the dot. The app before the 3 line is map ... so maybe it's a "plan" of the project. If the dot is today ... you have 3 line who represent months... Will we see the next update in 3 months ??? in april ? 
  • Hi:
    I agree that it is likely a swipe to the right for a notifications center. :-) Cool.
  • Not to be a party pooper but this is exactly the problem with WP. Why make such fanfare for getting a notificiation center? It's embarassing to trumpet when you've caught up. It's like when Belfiore announced that Pandora was coming (still hasn't arrived, btw). Everybody thought he was going to say Instagram (which also would have been pathetic at that point), but instead he says Pandora -- which is years old. We all know WP8 needs a notification center -- and I am happy it is coming with this update, but don't crow about it - it's embarassing. Don't crow about adding years-old apps. I think they should only crow about new and innovative additions.
  • +10000000
  • Well BB10 launch was the same really.
    It did take Android for years to raise as it did for Android. 
  • This has to be a notification center update. The arrow to the left and the notifications hint to the far right of the picture are pretty big clues. I'm excited!! I just hope Microsoft and Nokia do a good job at bringing this update to unbranded phones faster than they did with Portico.
  • We can assume that all of the picture has to do with the announcement. So besides notifications there will also be something about Xbox, maps, the marketplace and I dont think the choice of HTC's tile is unintentional either. So probably a new Windows Phone by HTC as well.
     
    Personally I'm the most excited about Xbox for WP. The Xbox brand is strong and Microsoft needs to make better use of it. They need to get their third party connections and get big name developers working on small compansion games to their big Xbox titles (perhaps with smartglass integration). Microsoft can really help push this by offering free support and services to developers that do this. Not to mention Microsoft should bring first party titles such as Halo to WP. Gamers need phones too, tap into this market before Sony succeeds at a playstation phone and fills the gap.
  • OK heres a long shot read the visible lettes on the right hand side:
    Not
    T@
    Fi.
     
    Squint abit.. it says "notifi"  Ok Notify spellt wrong.... You can probably read #clutchingstraws somewhere too ;-~)
  • Notification center and volume controls I would guess based on the lines at bottom.
  • Screen orientation lock is all I need.
  • I can only dream, I'm still waiting for portico
  • Maybe it is just me, but the first thing I noticed is the multiple sizes of live tiles.  I thought currently we only had three sizes?  Do we get customizable sizes now?
     
  • NOTIFICATIONS!!
     
    And please!! More tile themes and colours!  The current colours are getting so boring.
     
    We need background images/colours/styles/themes!!!
  • Tried high contrast allready? It looks beautifull on my black Lumia 820.
  • Windows phone, in general? Ir only WP8? Hope 7.8 users get something new, again :)
  • Well whatever it is I hope Verizon gets it in a timely manner. Doubt it though. They suck
  • Im all for nice new shiny features but i don't believe they got the base system running well enough. the article says its a tease but the way i see it is that WP7/WP8 is the tease... It has such great potential but it never does quite what I want. I love it but in sick of MS teasing, announcing and the 7-8months later we get the update. Mango made a massive difference to WP7... I just hope this is update packs that kind of punch... Oh and some better xbox tittles (halo,how etc etc) would be awesome too.
    Cheers Daniel always a pleasure to read your stuff. My lumia 920 is happy to show me your stuff :P
  • Notice the arrow pointing to the LEFT. This tells me that you would access the notification center by swiping to the left from the Start Screen similar to how you swipe to the right for All Apps.
    This to me is the best way to do it which is supported by the picture but we'll have to wait and see what happens.
  • That would be a great idea.  Sounds sensible to implement and wouldn't be the same style as Android / iOS.
     
  • As long as the announcement isn't in the lines of "We're releasing WP9 in September. WP8 users won't be upgraded but will get WP8.9, seven months after this announcement" I'm ok with whatever comes. BUT since apparently all operators in Europe haven't placed Data Sense in their Lumias, I'm hopping the update will bring it to all phones.
    Also, the customization of sms tones is needed. Badly.
    If I have to run to my phone one more time because I heard a message coming only to realize it was my mothers WP that rang, I'm kicking someone in the nhaaats.
  • That happens to you too? I thought I was the only one (Russell Peters) voice.
  • the 'S' in the right corner of the heading " windows phone" could indicate towards the rumored surface phone by microsoft
    the whole image also looks like a clean surface
  • At last.... thats exactly what i thought...  Surface Phone
  • Nice one. Remarkable what people can find in just one image :)
  • Bat Signal. Using reverse Pureview technology to transmit a Bat Signal deep into the night sky.
  • "reverse Pureview technology"
    Thats awesoem, made me laugh.  :) 
  • Whatever it is its more then just one minute thing possibly cross plat forming goodness but would settle for notification center even though I really just want more access for setting up network connections...
  • Needs screen orientation lock
  • Personally I would like
    Custom Wallpaper
    Tiles opacity / border color settings
    Custom central notification
    options to change volumes between rings and notification
    Just the same stuff that been echoed before.
     
  • Microsoft will announce another form factor, where the slide out keyboard will be replaced with a slide out mini beer fridge. Dual temp of course.
  • the 'S' in the right corner of the heading " windows phone" could indicate towards the rumored surface phone by microsoft
    the whole image also looks like a clean surface
  • :D That's pretty far out there and you would expect MS to do big teaser about it... not devianart from Nokia worker.
  • well that employee came back from redmond so it could be that the wp guys showed him a sneak peak of surface which he gives a clue bout in the image
    or it could just read windows phone|Start screen or somethin like that... ;p
  • I hope notification centre is a part of the os
  • It would be awesome if the notification centers left arrow blinked letting you know of a notification.
  • If you guys see this image (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151284962952669&set=pb.30968512668.-2207520000.1360103584&type=3&theater), you'll see the same branding name found in the picture posted in this article (Windows Phone | Surface)... coud it be? :O
  • Really exciting!
  • Because I'm OCD... Daniel.. You have an HTC phone with Nokia in the headline....
    Just sayin!
  • Looks to me like it might be landscape layout for windows phone, like the tablets and windows 8. With notifications central
  • Two things MS will announce on Feb 25 1- Notification center  2- Local search  --> By clicking on the search, yes it does search the web but if you swipe to the left, Local search will appear which doesnt work but its there  ALso, Notification center and local search MS run out of time to do... From the Image above, its obvious Notification will be announced but i feel local search will be announced too 
  • Whatever it is im sure Verizon will get it about a year later or wait till WP9 is released.
  • notification center and maybe a new background color: "sky blue" XD