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Microsoft teases new Start Screen Innovation plans for Windows Phone in 2014

Windows Phone 8 came out last fall. October 29th to be exact. It came with some killer hardware between the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. It also had a slew of handy new features within the OS itself. Its major change, something most consumers will never know or appreciate, was the change to the Windows NT kernel. The same kernel powering Windows 8. It’s been over 8 months since then, what does Microsoft have in store for Windows Phone going forward?

Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer, B. Kevin Turner, took the stage at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston today. He revealed some interesting tidbits throughout his time on stage, but the one you’re going to be most stoked about pertains to a specific slide he showed. Speaking about the company as a whole, he stated that while fiscal year 2013 was big for Microsoft, 2014 will be even bigger. Quick side note, Microsoft’s fiscal year starts on July 1st. So we’re now in FY14 for them.

The slide he shared showed off little hints and teases for the plans for the majority of Microsoft’s services and products for FY14. Windows 8, Skype, Windows Phone, Surface and more have some big plans coming.

Windows Phone

  • Low Cost
  • Killer Hardware
  • Skype Experience
  • Start Screen Innovation
  • Common App Platform With Windows

While low cost and killer hardware are fairly ambiguous and slightly obvious, it’s the other three bullet points that are interesting. Microsoft owns Skype, so you’d expect to have the best mobile Skype experience with Windows Phone right? That hasn’t exactly been the case, but it looks like we might be closer to that OS integration we’ve all been wanting. On competing platforms like Android and iOS you have a new ability to send video messages through Skype. You can’t do that on Windows Phone yet, some folks on the interwebs think that could be a future native experience not requiring a separate Skype app for Windows Phone. Integration into the Windows Phone OS like Apple’s iMessage could be a killer feature as Skype becomes the de facto messaging system across Microsoft’s platforms and products.

Lumia 925

While the homepage on iOS has remained fundamentally the same since 2007, Microsoft might take a different approach with our Start screen on Windows Phone. Start Screen Innovation could suggest that Microsoft isn’t content staying complacent with the current (while still innovative) Start screen experience on Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8.1 could bring some fresh ideas to the live tiles we already know and love.

It was inevitable, Windows Phone and Windows have been on a collision path for quite some time. Consumers want larger phones and smaller tablets, but between Windows and Windows Phone what OS would power those devices that straddle the line between phone and mini tablet? It could be both. Windows Phone 8.1 looks to bring bridge the gap by introducing a common app platform with Windows. What this means could be open to many theories. Windows Phone apps could run on Windows without much work by developers or maybe we’ll have one unified store to rule them all like Android and iOS. What do you think Microsoft means by that?

We don't expect Windows Phone 'Blue' until early 2014. You should be getting the GDR2 update within the next month or so, followed by GDR3 later this fall. 

Bulletin point time. Below are some other interesting highlights you might care about. Products like the Surface, Xbox One, and Skype all complement owning a Windows Phone. Figured you might be interested in changes coming to them within the year.

Surface

  • Update to Surface RT
  • New Accessories
  • New Accessory colors
  • Update to Surface Pro

Skype

  • Large meetings
  • Skype on Xbox
  • Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone
  • Enterprise Void in Cloud
  • Cloud Calling
  • Outlook.com/Office 365 Integration

Xbox

  • Xbox One
  • Kinect for Xbox One
  • Hardware & Accessories
  • Entertainment Studios
  • 1st &3rd party games
  • Music Service Updates

Xbox One

For the Surface family of devices, an update to both the RT and Pro versions was obvious. But could Microsoft be doing more than just throwing in new processors for both variants? Remember how the Surface Pro has those connectors on the bottom? It’s possible we might see a battery dock of some sort.

What are you most stoked about above? Gives us your theories and thoughts on what some of these vague teases mean for the future of products you use on a daily bias.

Via: Reddit, Mary Jo Foley

134 Comments
  • Pro tip: Click the image up top to make it big and view it (if you're on desktop). Then speculate away in the comments. 
  • Also works on my 920 on ie
  • Not in WPC app
  • Swipe to More, then tap Images. Zoom reinvented.
  • +1020
  • Or just double tap on the image in the story...
  • Swipe and hit images.
  • Just do a double tap...
  • Yes it does, but it's not HD lol
  • I wonder if the four rows represents quarters...so meaning that within 6 months they will introduce the "start screen innovations" for wp8!
  • Nope.jpg
  • So excited to see that both platforms will be able to run Windows Phone 8 & Windows 8 apps at the same time !
     
    Best regards!
  • Is that what you think it means? ;)
  • Jupp, by then the app store will have together 400000 apps i think ...
     
    Best regards!
  • Isn't that the vision they've been hinting at for 3-4 years now? What with all platforms sharing the same kernel, all I have to say is... It had better happen :P , been talking about it for so long.
  • +920
  • Specifically, the "three screen vision" which includes the X1
  • This sounds like something from a decade ago, only then it was WinNT that would supposedly offer cross compatibility between Intel and Alpha.  That didn't pan out too well.
     
  • Yup, a unified app platform is what I am most excited about.
     
    That's because it addresses the single biggest challenge for Windows Phone.  App Store size.
     
    It's understandable that this took some time.  First they had to get it so that the WP experience could run on the Windows kernel.  And that was a feat because they wanted to keep backwards compatibility with the WP7 apps.  Now they are doing the work to extend the development tools and OS hooks so that the Windows 8 app model works on Windows Phone.  AND they have to unify the app stores, which is not as easy as it might sound.
     
    We may not know all the details, such as what level of auto-availability accross WP and Windows 8/RT there will be out of the box (if any).  It could be that developers will have to put in a bit of effort to make this happen in one direction or the other.  Or it could be that only newer WP apps could choose to be written in the same technology stack as the current Windows 8/RT apps, while current WP8 apps would continue to work unmodified.
     
    Even in the worst case, this is a huge win.  That's because all the momentum we see in the Windows 8 Store can much more easily translate into WP apps.  If much of the code for an app need not change, and the bulk of the work is just adapting the interface to work on a smaller screen, we should see alot of development houses say "sure why not" to a WP version.  This is especially true because one of the coolest choices in the Windows 8 app development tools is to use HTML5 standards to build your app.
  • Help us, Three-Screens Vision. You're our only hope.
  • skype is stinky
  • *stinking huge
  • with all the features and products and upgrades their planning, IOS and Android have no idea what an Ecosystem is
  • True ! i'm so excited. It wil be huge!
     
    Best regards!
  • Do you always add "Best regards!" to your comments.
     
    Best regards!
  • Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.
     
    Best regards!
  • As much as I hate Apple, iOS has the Apple ecosystem, with Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X.
  • The downside is that you have to use Apple TV, Iphone, Ipad and OS X. ;-)
  • Skype cloud calling sounds interesting.  And I've never heard of Polybase until my last Bing search.
  • My main wish now is that MS would update its BING for desktop. 
  • they already updaded bing for desktop last month i think
  • "New Accessories"
    A smartwatch? ;)
  • Or glasses! Remember this article from last summer? The Road to Fortazela!
  • Firefall takes place in Fortazela...oh wrong forum..Know nothings.
  • Fortaleza Sam. Is a Brazilian city. :)
  • I could use a keyboard with battery attachment for my Surface.
  • Windows hardware has typically been good, interesting to see what software tweaks are made. A more smooth scroll with gestures and group editing would be nice if Windows 8.1 is any indication. Something beyond rearranging tiles and color themes for a new look would be nice too. Combined stores would be nice but only for big app buyers.
  • Is your scrolling not smooth? That's one area I've never seen slow down in all WP7/8 devices I've owned.
  • My phone is smooth some apps are not like wpc app I start it, read an article, and try to go to the comments sometimes I have to swipe like 3-4 times and then it changes however many times I swiped. That said still way better than a galaxy s phone I have with custom rom
  • Start screen scrolling has always been good but I think some added graphics like a parallax or some gpu processing could make it look really nice; some recent mock up videos show scrolling with almost a motion blur present
  • New surface accessory colours... *yellow touch keyboard yellow touch keyboard yellow touch keyboard*
  • Where's the Type color options? Its the better of the two keyboards, but I digress...
    I've been playing VS 2013 a bit and there's an example app out there for writing an app for both platforms, pretty cool stuff.
  • By Skype experience to they mean more features for iPhone & Android?
  • I'm pretty sure their are going to integrate Skype into WP and Windows 8.1
  • Given the past experience, it is highly possible yes
  • God one sir, god one. You win a free cookie of no charge at your own expense. :P
  • or... could it mean that Skype starts finally working and ringing on WP?
  • How many more years of presentations about the "best Skype experience" do we have to suffer through? I'm a huge WP fan, but 1020 yawns at the inability to deliver on this one.....
  • Years??? Skype was acquired in October 2011. It's been 1 year and 9 months since the acquisiton and I'm sure it took several months to get the companies integrated and working on projects. It might feel like years to you, but it hasn't even been 2 years. 
  • Skype is good but you cant delete your OWN chat history on WP8 so all this integration is basically useless as long as that flaw stays.
  • might be, but all this time Skype works on iOS, Android, Symbian...
  • 1st &3rd party games
    I'm fed up with MSFT's crap. I'm done with XBox if they end support for 2nd party games.
  • do you even know what 2nd party games are. idiot. so fuck off. dont bring bullshit comments here
  • Ease up, killer. You'll give yourself a heart attack. Also, you might want to develop a sense of humor.
  • Please enlighten me. I have no clue what a 2nd party game is.
  • Take your own advice with uncivil comments.
  • Funny
  • Hahaha that was great.
  • Low cost is the KEY. Current windows hardware can't compete with Android. WP/tablets must gain significant market share. Yes, the cost is big factor. Perhaps MS should not charge license fee for some time (24 months?) in order to keep the cost low. Once you get market share, apps will start flowing. Hope MS will do it.
  • That would make Windows Phone cheaper than Android patent license from Microsoft. Here comes the antitrust.
  • Bill Gates actually talks about this in his 1996 book "The Road Ahead" ;)
  • Awesomeness in this article!!!
  • Your comment also had the word awesmeness in it. Coincidence? 
  • All news is always welcomed! Looking forward to a banner year (2014).
  • In my opinion, I'm not crazy about Skype integration. One thing I like about Windows Phone is its lack of bloatware, and the ability to uninstall the carrier bloatware that comes on the device. The more services (like Skype) that get integrated, the bigger the OS install becomes, and the more applications that cannot be removed. For example, I'm never once used OneNote (on Windows Phone or on my desktop). I don't even know what its uses and benefits are. However, I cannot delete it because it is part of the OS. Having Skype forced onto devices and having no ability to remove it would be a negative for me, as I have never used Skype and do not find it to be a service worth my time.
     
    Yes, I know that there's the whole "you're in the minority," argument, but having it as an application as it is now (not saying the same application) gives people who want Skype the ability to get it, while avoiding bloating the OS with a forced integration of the service.
  • even if it comes with onenote and Skype, windows phone never gets bloatware problem even if you cant uninstall, it wont effect memory like android. so unpin it from the start screen if you don't want to use it.
  • I respect this opinion.
  • Keith...OneNote is a gem...one of the best program available...treat yourself look into it, you will be suprise at how powerful it is and its abilities. You will be glad you did. Cheers.
  • I agree completely. OneNote is brilliant!!!
  • True that. And don't forget Office Lens. Brilliant!
  • I was thinking that it won't be a separate app. It would make sense if it was just another account you can add and you get all the features within the OS.
  • I feel bloated after reading your comments
  • May be Dynamic Live tiles as in one of Yanko Andreev's concept?
    http://www.1800pocketpc.com/tiletool/
  • That does look sweet!!!
  • Common App Platform for Windows and Windows Phone. If this is what everyone think it is, meaning a unifying App Store with apps running across Windows Phone and Windows PCs, then this will be a huge advantage for the whole company moving forward and a HUGE benefit for both Windows consumers and Windows Developers. I expect this to happen in a near future and do not count out the XBOX One as it may join the common App Platform as well.
     
    Start Screen innovation, this should mean more than just bigger size tiles found on Windows 8.1. My thoughts are going (and also one of my personal top requests) to Interactive Live Tiles. 
    Ex.: Scrolling left/right on a FB/Tweeter tile, you quickly move along your timeline posts without opening the App
    The Music Tile displays music controls directly on the tile. Calendar Tile moves between days or the CNN/ESPN tiles scroll will move between the News Headlines or Scores from teams you follow etc. you got the idea.
     
    :-D
  • Music controls on the tile? I'm sorry, but to put politely, fuck that. One of the great things about Windows Phone is that you have instant access to them by hitting the volume key unlike iOS and Android.
  • I used that an an exampe of interactive tile. Another better example, I guess, would be a connectivity interactive tile with quick controls to turn on/off Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, AirPlane mode etc.
    As for the Music Controls, Android is putting them on the Notification Center, by offering really advance controls over your music, and your audio in general hopefully Windows Phone will, as well soon and of course for me there is not even a comparison with how WP currently is handling this situation and Android with the second one being better by far. Sorry but I disagree.
  • I think I would seriously consider leaving Windows Phone if Microsoft did that. It's so much easier to get the music controls that way. Add a scrub bar if you must, but Android and iOS's music control implementations just seem tacked on and inefficient.
  • I am with you. Love that drop down music bar, thats universally accessible. One of the real gems of WP alongside people hub :)
  • If it means anything it means a dumb-down of the PC version's API to the level of something that can run on a phone.
  • I think you're on to something with the Skype = iMessage idea. It's what I miss most about iPhone. Skype has some work to do, though, before it can be a messaging contender.
  • I think it's inevitable. They have the pieces. And Skype goes cross platform, unlike iMessage. 
  • +920
  • Commen app platform has most of my interest, its an essential step forward. Android and iOS have it as well between tablets and phones. Microsoft could make it easy for developers to develop one app with slight interface tweaks for both operating systems.
     
    But why stop there? Why not make Windows Phone look more like Windows and vice versa. Right now they share a tile interface, big deal. Navigation, app design and the overall feel are stil too different. Im not saying Windows Phone should adopt Windows 8's multi-color and semi-depth UI. But instead both platforms should have options t customize them to the extend where they look and feel identical. Starting with the option to switch tile color from theme color to multi-color and vice versa on both platfoms.
  • It would hardly be an innovation, but I'd love to have a wide tile that was positioned vertically. 
  • Yes, I can see the beauty of such tiles already. One of my wishlist items too. :(
  • Skype is not interesting to me. If it was simply integrated than maybe. I think productivity is a focus. Mail app need way more options. And many bugs need working over. I love WP and I will be sticking with it because I know innovation will happen. But my biggest issue is that they should push out more small updates for fixes. Why is it that we have to wait for bugs to be fixed when they finish 10 more features? Fix the bug... Push the update! Wtf? IDC about the future as much as I care about my productivity NOW. I know many should agree.
  • +1
  • +1020
  • I really hope the new WP start screen can learn something from Skinery Tiles Pro. Many apps don't have live tile. In this case, the OS should allow user to create a live tile or background pic for the app by himself. I am getting bored with the solid color backgrounded tiles.
    Or they can allow user to customize every single tile's background color, then the start screen can be as colorful as rubik's cube, or MS logo
  • The fact MSFT is pushing forward on all fronts is exciting. I sure would not want to be competing against them right now.
  • unified app store is the biggest key IMO.  The ability to develope once and be on multiple screens is huge.  I just wish MS can speed up the process.  Once the stores are unified, i believe app submissions will explode exponentially. 
  • wow I hope there is some new stuff in store for 7.8 users. Maybe a bluetooth share app? *_*
  • Good luck with that! :/
    (sent from my Focus on 7.8)
  • There is one but has to be side loaded I had it but never used it
  • Any update about youtube for Windows Phone? Its quite some Time now after they pulled the app from store, did Microsoft failed the negotiation or something?
  • Its going to be a feature in time before Christmas ... :P. J/K
  • Microsoft's problem isn't coming up with great ideas.  Its problem is implementing the ideas in anything considered a reasonable time frame.   They take so long to add great features to Windows Phone that many potential buyers go somewhere else!
  • +1
  • +925
  • Nice but my guess is that any radical change might show 2014 (human year) and that is still to slow. W8 is consuming all power and attention from Microsoft making WP8 update stream rather sad.
  • 2014? Probably in the fall of 2014 or later. MS has a habit of teasing this or that and we're left waiting forever to see them pull it off
  • Fiscal year 2014 started on July 1, 2013
  • I think Start Screen Innovation could simply point to a more powerful start screen that isn't too different from what we have right now, but with more functionality to it. Although I loved my HTC Mozart and loving every bit of my Lumia 920... Here's where I think MS could improve when it comes to their start-screen.
    Before I begin, in my opinion the Live Tiles along with the application list (swipe to the right) make up the start screen. They're the Start/Main Hub of Windows Phone... Just think of it like your People Hub where one page consists of people, the other represent's a feed of the latest news from your contacts, and so on. With the Windows Phone Start screen, I think of it like a Hub where one screen represents your favorite applications - with the added advantage of customizability and live tiles, etc. and the other screen represents a list of all applications.
    So when I think of Start Screen Innovation... the following pop to mind immediately; - Notification Center to the left. (duh!) [with actionable notifications] - Grouped Tiles - Create a group and each app that you add to the group feeds to the Group's tile with updates, etc. So instead of having the 6-7 tiles of the different workout/exercise applications that I have on my Start screen, even though most of them don't have much live tile functionality to offer, I'd group them all into one Big Tile! Clicking on the Tile kinda brings up the folder/group onto the screen with tiles for each app listed in there. What this does is give a nifty way to group common apps together, secondly also save up on some possible clutter on the home screen. (I for one don't have some apps that I do regularly use on my Start Screen 'coz it's already filled up quite a bit) - Application List: Sorty By... A much needed addition if you ask me. Most of the time, I install numerous apps to test them out and I keep on installing without actually looking at the previously installed ones as I'd rather go through them all later. However, it happens every now and then that I forget about an application or two that I had installed and only come across it later down the line. Makes me wish that there was a way to sort applications by the date they were Installed On. - Start Screen background... Let's face it, if Windows 8 looks good with a colorful background on the Metro Start screen, I'm sure it'll do justice on the Windows Phone as well. I do have some more thoughts...  But I think most of 'em are probably rubbish so I'll refrain from talking about 'em for now :)
    Regards.
  • I think a blurred out background would look amazing on WP.
  • Some terrific ideas.
    The colored background though I see only working as solid colors. There isn't enough visibility to use an image. Plus I think it would detract from the ease of use.
  • I would never advise using proper images or such for a background behind the Tiles. But I wouldn't mind a simple background with slight swirls and such here and there that may peek out behind the tiles or something. Much cooler would be a background that moves with the Tiles themselves... Think of the Xperia phones (android) where the background has this swirl which animates as you move from one home-screen to another. Obviously that same one wouldn't work for Windows phone, as there's not much space around the tiles to be honest. 
    This one's really more of a wishful thinking than anything else. Perhaps Microsoft can figure out a way to blend images onto the Tiles themselves... Tiles such as Phone, Messages, Email, Whatsapp, Marketplace, and other apps that use icons rather than full blown images on their tiles would blend somehow with a bakground...
    (Just thinking out loud... :)
  • Great. Unfortunately too late. Have lost faith in MS now.
  • Not surprising, many have with how long it takes them to update and fix things
  • Chill out bro, i too love wp but adter 2years+ supporting them it feels like the progress is stagnant, its not going anywhere.. Always have and always will behind ios and android.. No hate comment please, im not a troll or something, just try to be objective and in the end its just a smartphone right? No need to be rude or mad about it ^^
  • I just want my Surface Pro with Haswell. Once I have that, you won't be hearing from me in a while. Unless MS decides to announce that super sweet "Surface" Windows Phone ;)
  • Wow, blind fanboy right here.
    Credit where credit is due, but the same goes for critique. Stop getting mad at people for posting truth. Skype is crap at the moment, no point in denying it, makes you look silly
  • Will all WP8 sevices get the GDR2 update or just the lumias??
  • GDR2 is a windows phone update, not just a Lumia one. The Lumia only update is the Amber update.
  • Great! Now show us the money! :)
  • I think they hit the mark with the Surface. I think the build quality is top of the line and hope they don't change the design. I would like to see them really build on the software because that is where they can make the most improvements. Outlook: stop trying to make money and get us to buy the software and just add many of those features to the app. People hub and calendar: improve those vastly. Tasks: can you include those like you did with the paid outlook version and have it sync across all devices? Please? More colors and designs for the keyboard is great! More functionality with Skype on Android and iOS is just embarrassing. After all, Google certainly doesn't offer the same concessions, i.e.. YouTube and the rest. Take pictures while recording on Windows phone. Please? I could go on but I am optimistic. For now!
  • Foundbite just come out for sound n images but I might've misinterpreted what you meant ;)
  • I'd definitely like to see a future-looking strategy for hardware, so Nokia (and theoretically, other OEMs) could better compete with "exciting" hardware (even if it goes beyond what we "need.") And I would really like to see a "start screen innovation" that adds the third screen notification center a lot of people hunger for. There might be more moves towards "data-only calling" too, if it becomes efficient and popular, so phones that fully integrate Skype and pair with carrier data-only plans would be pretty interesting.
  • Two interesting things: Next-Gen Ads from Bing: hopefully more accurate without adding any more intruency and they look better. With the new Windows 8.1 devices, I hope that HP make a tablet designed like the lid of the HP Envy Spectre (13"), and Nokia and HTC design some tablets (don't generally care if they actually make the internal components, I would rather prefer if someone else did). At least Microsoft, make these 8.1 devices really good, equally cheap
  • It's the "Start screen Innovation" that gives me the Goosebumps ... I mean it's Totally and most definitely gonna ROCK !!!
  • + 1Billitrillion! All this Innovation Microsopft brings to us WP Users is astonishing! Skype Integrated into WP not BS experience anymore (hopefully), KIller Harware (1080p, Quadcore, etc.), NEW STARTSCREEN Experience (no idea)! hell yeah! and finally finally Common App Platform with Windows 8 NOT to metion VPN, EAP-TLS (Wifi) and many many more Features finally arriving! .... Now I can finally sleep well tonight! :') Thank you Microsoft.... I hope you hold your word this time! srsly i do!
  • The only solution to the Skype problem is to make it integrated in the People Hub just like Facebook and Twitter. Then add the ability to make Skype calls via voice command. SMS/Facebook/Skype chat all-in-one, THAT is innovative, and would be exclusive to Windows Phone.
  • I am only getting 15 dollars for my Windows Phone 7 when trading in for Windows Phone 8. I rather keep my Windows Phone 7 then.
  • I'm really curious about the windows azure tiles: they all say a variation of "to be announced" - either there just isn't as much to say about it, or something big is coming.
  • There's 48 tiles in total there, what if the first of those tiles started in the 1st week of August and each subsequent week corresponded. The timings where those tiles sit line up with some fairly general dates including Xbox launch timeframes, Christmas, CES, MWC 2014 etc...
     
  • I'm mostly excited about the common platform experience between Windows and Windows Phone! Next to that are the Windows Store Office apps.
  • I think they will still support Windows Phone 8 but may also have a new line of Windows 8 phones, ie using x86 Intel Bay Trail ultra low power usage chips in early 2014, running full windows 8 os. Imagine an app developer creating one single app and only having to take into account various screen sizes, but with no need to recode or recomile, the same app could work seamlessly and be sold/used on: Windows 8 phone (x86), Windows 8 tablets/pc/desktop, Xbox One.
     
    If MS pull this off,  and come up with compelling pricing structure where you can bulk buy an appp to have it available on all your devices or cheaper an pay per install. They could really leap ahead of the whole number of apps which keep being brought up. Quality over quantity is what we want.
  • Rubbish htc 8x is no good, memory is bad. Cant change contract for 2 years
  • Pretty excited about new Surface accessories. Would be pretty cool to have a dock that clicks into the keyboard-cover port.
  • I really love my windows phone but sometimes I really just feel like its old compared to competitors...here lately I find myself sick and tired of the same black and white background for start screen...i wish they would really step up with the customization..it would be great to have transparent tiles and live backgrounds..or my gosh even just to be able to put a picture in the background would be nice...also this "other storage" issue with my Lumia is pretty old and frustrating....it would be nice to feel like you have all the options in the world versus feeling so limited all the time with my phone.
  • I expect controls on live tiles, like a music tile with play/pause/next/previous controls.
  • OK. My wishlist is long but it's all doable: First XBOX Music on Surface and Windows phone: I want to see a complete Jukebox experience married to Media Player style favorite playlists so that you have that look and feel of a modern club Juekbox touch interface
    Second: Windows Phone: Support for 1080p resolutions and quad core processing with more Ram and larger storage like a 64GB or 128Gb option on Nokia Lumia phones. Plus the addition of micro SD or nano SD cards that can boost storage more. With phones and surface potential to be a central media powerhouse, it does not make sense to cripple them with no expansion or low storage. Having devices that all can share from your movies music and cloud storage to stream all your favorite media would be awesome. The 1080p screans that rival the latest Samsung Galaxy and HTC One would offer movie screen quality viewing of netflix or even the ability to push that image to your big screen TV. More accessories for these phones such as what Apple does with iphone. You can go online and buy FishEye or Panorama lenses that fit iphones as well as tripods and telephoto lenses or zoom lenses that increase optical zoom. Nokia should really consider a tripod for the Lumia 1020 as well as some additional lense system for insane optical zoom mixed with digital zoom to give camcorder quality zooming for videos thus eliminating a need to ever buy a camcorder. :)
    Third: Skype and Messenger combined into one and part accessible cross platform to the groups people app etc. so  you can setup family groups and skype with your kids almost instantly or group skype where you are in with multiple people and see them all in a brady bunch type tile. lol
    Fourth: Cloud storage on SkyDrive. For people who invest in Windows platforms and get a Windows phone, surface, xbox one etc., they should for each device they have get added bonus space on Skydrive. This way someone who used a Surface for work, Windows Phone for his device, Has XBOX One as his media center at home, can not only use them in conjunction with each other seemlessly, but also get the benefit of more storage out on Skydrive to house music, photos, video, documents form work etc. without having to pay for that space. A type of reward for your business plan. This could follow into other areas as well such as awarding a credit in Music store, or a credit towards microsoft products in the Windows Store to offer a boost to those and give incentives to start using those services and move away from other services they may have used before such as iTunes etc.
    Microsoft is doing the best they can to get developers to write for the Windows Store. We can only help improve that by showing our interest and buying the devices. The more potential business they see and a growing popularity will serve to proove they should not discount potential customers.
    My Last tweek would be to improve on voice recognition. Apple has Siri. Siri is really not all that great. Someone knocked Microsoft's solution for not being cross platform or limited. They stated they asked it to do somethign and it brought up a web search whenever it couldnt understand what someone wanted. So... I tested this with Siri. Siri did the same thing. ha ha. But i digress. We need a true cross platform assistant. I am reminded of an old Simpsons show with Ultra House 3000. Marge changed the house assistants personality to Pierce Brosnan as 007. I would like to see a serious improvement to voice assistants to be more like a customizable AI assistant, where you can pick from voices and give it a name to respond to, that can not only recignize what you want it to do but have control over the system enough to perform any task including access to third party apps access and allow you complete hands free control by voice over the system.  Think of Scotty from Star Trek, who always put his leg up on a chair and said; "Computer"... and told it what to do. Maybe some voice overs of (Hot Chick, Hal 9000, Star Trek 60's computer voice, and why not... Pierce Brosnan as 007. lol)
  • I like to go back to old posts and read them with an updated perspective. It seems as though you may be getting a lot of what you were asking for. A lot of what you mentioned is actually coming true. The Windows Phone specs that you were asking for will be available soon. With the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, you will get 200 Gb of SkyDrives storage for free. And the Cortana assistant rumor might even come true also. We can only hope about the rest of it.
  • Windows RT and Phone need to integrate together. That is the only way to solve the app problem. either make the RT more phone or phone more RT (visually) This way we can have apps optimized for phone as well as tablets. kind of the same way they are for iphone and ipad and android phones and tablets this is will immediatly give loads of apps to RT