1. tiziano27's Avatar
    ...and why so few features are being included in the minor updates (GDR*), and most are related to hardware?

    WP 7 => November-2010
    WP 7.5 => September-2011, 11 months after WP 7
    WP 8 => November-2012, 13 months after WP 7.5
    WP 8.1 => February-2014?, 14 months after WP 8

    WP8 took so long because they were switching to the Windows kernel and that's a lot of work, WP 7.5 was still using the old Windows Mobile kernel. But once that work is done, they should be working in features, why aren't those features coming to the users?, where are the fixes to the annoying bugs?, If they are developing the universal search or a notification center, why do they wait 14 months to release everything?
    I think the reason is that 8.1 is not just a pack of new features and bug fixes, 8.1 is a major revision of the OS. And the new features can't be backported to WP 8 because are integrated into a modified OS structure.
    WP8 hasn’t changed much since WP7, so probably now that they have a solid foundation is a good time to introduce the design work done since 2010 and the new elements of Windows 8, to release an much improved Windows Phone.

    In the internals, they are ditching the last pieces of the old platform and adopting the Windows 8 parts.
    This is the evolution of the internals since WP7 (I'm not a dev so It could be wrong):

    Windows Phone 7
    -Silverlight XAML
    -XNA Games
    -Silverlight CLR
    -Windows CE Kernel (sames as Windows Mobile)

    Windows Phone 7.5
    The same internals as WP 7.

    Windows Phone 8.0
    -Silverlight XAML + Some WinRT 8 APIs
    -Partial DirectX (same as Windows 8)
    -CoreCLR (same as Windows 8)
    -Windows NT (same as Windows 8)

    Windows Phone 8.1
    -WinJS (same as Windows 8) ?
    -WinRT XAML + WinRT APIs (same as Windows 8) ?
    -Complete DirectX (same as Windows 8) ?
    -CoreCLR (same as Windows 8)
    -Windows NT (same as Windows 8)

    With these changes the convergence with the Modern UI part of Windows 8 would be almost complete. The same kernel, runtime, API for games, API for apps and UI components. Some apps could even run in both platforms untouched, but the majority would share most of the code with different front end for each form factor.
    If the new features of WP 8.1 are built using these new components is another reason why they can't be backported to WP 8.

    So I hope Microsoft will surprise everybody with a really good release next year, but all this is just speculation.
    WanderingTraveler and rdubmu like this.
    07-22-2013 10:14 PM
  2. fardream's Avatar
    Don't hold your breath for a big surprise yet - since the biggest surprise you would get might be "no surprise" - judging from what they are going to release as a "feature pack" in early 2014.
    rdubmu likes this.
    07-22-2013 10:26 PM
  3. a5cent's Avatar
    Yes. WP8.1 is a major new version of WP, despite the name implying otherwise.

    Your reasoning as to why features for WP8.1 aren't easily backported to WP8 is 100% correct. Considering you aren't a developer, those are some rather advanced thoughts.

    You listed Silverlight XAML under WP8.0, but that is effectively dead in WP8. It exists only to maintain compatibility with WP7 apps. It will exist in WP8.1 as well, for the same reason. In the interest of correctness, you would either have to remove that from WP8, or add it to WP8.1 as well, depending on what you wish to convey. The rest looks okay to me, although I doubt WP8.1 will support a fully compatible implementation of any DirectX version (due to hardware GPU limitations).

    You might also be interested to know that all the work required to replace WP7 with an entirely new OS, while maintaining app compatibility, was a major undertaking. That required more work than porting the kernel. Evolving WinRT and WinPRT, while unifying them, and again while maintaining app compatibility, offers similar challenges.

    Since you're apparently interested in the details, you might also be interested to know that what Microsoft actually ported over to WP from Windows is more accurately referred to as MinWin (Google can tell you more), rather than the kernel.
    rdubmu and tiziano27 like this.
    07-22-2013 11:07 PM
  4. Chregu's Avatar
    I'll just leave this here, it's more concerning the thread title than the thread: Microsoft details new Windows Phone 8 update, but real fixes won't come until 2014 | The Verge
    07-23-2013 01:22 AM
  5. tiziano27's Avatar
    Yes. WP8.1 is a major new version of WP, despite the name implying otherwise.

    Your reasoning as to why features for WP8.1 aren't easily backported to WP8 is 100% correct. Considering you aren't a developer, those are some rather advanced thoughts.

    You listed Silverlight XAML under WP8.0, but that is effectively dead in WP8. It exists only to maintain compatibility with WP7 apps. It will exist in WP8.1 as well, for the same reason. In the interest of correctness, you would either have to remove that from WP8, or add it to WP8.1 as well, depending on what you wish to convey. The rest looks okay to me, although I doubt WP8.1 will support a fully compatible implementation of any DirectX version (due to hardware GPU limitations).

    You might also be interested to know that all the work required to replace WP7 with an entirely new OS, while maintaining app compatibility, was a major undertaking. That required more work than porting the kernel. Evolving WinRT and WinPRT, while unifying them, and again while maintaining app compatibility, offers similar challenges.

    Since you're apparently interested in the details, you might also be interested to know that what Microsoft actually ported over to WP from Windows is more accurately referred to as MinWin (Google can tell you more), rather than the kernel.
    a5cent,

    Very nice, you also think 8.1 is a big revision of the OS, the information available point in that direction.

    Yes, changing the internals and keep backward compatibility should had been a major effort and a critical one to keep 100,000 apps working.
    I'm going to search that MinWin thing.

    I worked with devs a couple of years so I learned some concepts and had the opportunity to play with Visual Studio.

    I think WP 8 is still using Silverlight XAML for the UI, not as an alternative, It's the only way. I think they will introduce WinRT XAML in WP 8.1 with the same name spaces as in Windows 8 so devs and designers can share some UI code with Windows 8.

    I understand Silverlight and WPF do the layout and rendering calculations using managed code and then send work to the GPU. I remember a lot of people complaining about the performance of WPF and Silverlight. WinRT was supposed to fix this using a native implementation, so if WP 8.1 is using this new system, we could expect better performance and lower power consumption?
    I guess WinRT XAML v2 is more optimized than the first version, and this could allow WP 8.1 to run with less hardware requirements.
    07-23-2013 09:41 AM
  6. Shouvik Mazumdar's Avatar
    Lets accept it. Microsoft is slow. I love WP but wish it would have been faster upgrade cycle
    kokola95 likes this.
    07-23-2013 09:44 AM
  7. tiziano27's Avatar
    If 8.1 would be only features and bug fixes, the business guys in Microsoft wouldn't allow the team to postpone everything after the Christmas season. They would release a partial 8.1 before the holidays and an 8.2 after the holidays.
    Postponing everything suggest that things can't be backported and something new is coming.

    This slide was showed in the build conference, “FY14 Will Be The Biggest Innovation Year Ever”

    Microsoft News | Microsoft COO: FY14 Will Be The Biggest Innovation Year Ever, Gives Glimpse Of What’s Coming

    The slide has some interesting information related to WP 8.1:

    -Start screen innovation <= First major revision of the start screen since WP7?
    -Bing for Windows Phone <= Universal search as in Windows 8.1?
    -Common app platform with Windows <= WinRT XAML and WinJS?
    -Skype Experience <= Skype integration?
    -Low cost. <= WP 8.1 runs with less hardware?
    -Killer hardware <= GDR3: Quad-core and 1080p.

    Microsoft fiscal year (FY2014) ends in June-2014, so after WP 8.1 there is no time for another major release.
    07-23-2013 10:19 AM
  8. Chregu's Avatar
    “FY14 Will Be The Biggest Innovation Year Ever”
    Sorry, I just have to write this: Either Apple, Microsoft and all the other companies in this business have never read a definition of "innovation" or they try to change the meaning by purpose.

    In this case it is especially bad, there is already cheap hardware available, all the hardware features in GDR3 are already in phones you can buy, Skype integration is really nothing special...

    I give them common app platform, if they make it real.

    Innovation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    07-23-2013 10:34 AM
  9. fardream's Avatar
    Yes. WP8.1 is a major new version of WP, despite the name implying otherwise.

    Your reasoning as to why features for WP8.1 aren't easily backported to WP8 is 100% correct. Considering you aren't a developer, those are some rather advanced thoughts.

    You listed Silverlight XAML under WP8.0, but that is effectively dead in WP8. It exists only to maintain compatibility with WP7 apps. It will exist in WP8.1 as well, for the same reason. In the interest of correctness, you would either have to remove that from WP8, or add it to WP8.1 as well, depending on what you wish to convey. The rest looks okay to me, although I doubt WP8.1 will support a fully compatible implementation of any DirectX version (due to hardware GPU limitations).

    You might also be interested to know that all the work required to replace WP7 with an entirely new OS, while maintaining app compatibility, was a major undertaking. That required more work than porting the kernel. Evolving WinRT and WinPRT, while unifying them, and again while maintaining app compatibility, offers similar challenges.

    Since you're apparently interested in the details, you might also be interested to know that what Microsoft actually ported over to WP from Windows is more accurately referred to as MinWin (Google can tell you more), rather than the kernel.
    since when is xaml dead? What's the replacement?
    07-23-2013 11:23 AM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    I think WP 8 is still using Silverlight XAML for the UI, not as an alternative, It's the only way.
    Yeah, I should have taken more time to write my response. I didn't even make the point I had intended to, and even if I had it wouldn't have been relevant (guess I should have quit earlier ).

    Yes, the WP8 UI framework is Silverlight based. I wouldn't call it Silverlight (neither does Microsoft), but in this context that isn't important. So, forget what I said. You are right.

    since when is xaml dead? What's the replacement?
    I didn't mean to imply that XAML is dead. What is dead is Silverlight, meaning the framework, the runtime and its specific dialect of XAML (the later being what I referred to as 'Silverlight XAML', since that is what the OP mentioned). In this context "dead" means Silverlight is no longer of any strategic importance to Microsoft and won't receive notable updates going forward.

    Some future version of WP will have a compatibility layer allowing Silverlight based apps to run without modification, but new apps will use the WinRT UI framework instead (which uses its own flavour of XAML), just like the OP mentioned.

    What we currently have on WP8 is still more closely related to Silverlight though. It just isn't going anywhere.
    Ryan Smith2013 likes this.
    07-23-2013 07:19 PM
  11. 12Danny123's Avatar
    I think the reason is because they don't wanna rush this with bugs and stuff they want it to be stable as possible. makes sense also they want to add a lot of features as well from Windows 8. e.g smart search etc. Plus we're still not even close to know the amount of new features are in Win 8.1
    snowmutt likes this.
    07-23-2013 07:28 PM
  12. fardream's Avatar
    I think the reason is because they don't wanna rush this with bugs and stuff they want it to be stable as possible. makes sense also they want to add a lot of features as well from Windows 8. e.g smart search etc. Plus we're still not even close to know the amount of new features are in Win 8.1
    win 8.1? It's being public previewed and will soon be RTMed. It looks like win team is moving at warp speed
    07-23-2013 09:22 PM
  13. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Since you're apparently interested in the details, you might also be interested to know that what Microsoft actually ported over to WP from Windows is more accurately referred to as MinWin (Google can tell you more), rather than the kernel.
    MinWin isn't some sort of magical thing. It's just the very lowest level of the kernel. Kernel32 is in WP8 and I even see GDI32.DLL and DWRITE.DLL in the perf traces of my XAML+Direct3D WP8 app. In addition, XMLHTTPHeader2 is just a wrapper for WinInet.DLL in Win8, so I imagine it also uses WinInet in WP8 as well.

    For a flagship product from a giant corporation like MSFT, WinRT and WinPRT are surprisingly poorly implemented. There are huge memory leaks. For example, the DrawingSurface leak in WP8 kills my XAML+D3D app after long usage due to a lack of memory. Other devs have reported bad leaks on event handlers, etc. which eventually kill their apps as well. In addition, the file system performance in WinRT is so unbelievably bad that I can't figure out how it was ever released (Win32 is 250 TIMES faster at file enumeration ... yes, more than two orders of magnitude faster). MSFT folks blame it on the File Broker and all the IPC involved. My tests indicate that the WinRT Async fetish is responsible for one order-of-magnitude slowdown while the FB accounts for the second order-of-magnitude slowdown (the really big chunk). The File Broker is apparently completely unoptimized ... it's unbelievable.
    07-23-2013 10:09 PM
  14. psudotechzealot's Avatar
    Will WP8.1 be available for everyone day one? Will the carriers interfere with the WP8.1 update? Will Microsoft show us at least a preview of WP8.1 this year? So many question, and not enough answers.
    snowmutt likes this.
    07-24-2013 12:14 AM
  15. a5cent's Avatar
    MinWin isn't some sort of magical thing. It's just the very lowest level of the kernel. Kernel32 is in WP8 and I even see GDI32.DLL and DWRITE.DLL in the perf traces of my XAML+Direct3D WP8 app. In addition, XMLHTTPHeader2 is just a wrapper for WinInet.DLL in Win8, so I imagine it also uses WinInet in WP8 as well.
    I'm not sure where you got the "magical" bit from. MinWin also isn't the "lowest level" of the kernel, at least not when using computer science's definition of the term. MinWin is the smallest possible set of deliverables which can still be considered Windows, of which the kernel is a part.

    I didn't make any qualitative comments about WinRT, so I'm not sure what you are addressing. I wouldn't disagree with any of it, although I don't have an opinion on all of it. Anyway, yes, Microsoft needs their older developers back.
    Last edited by a5cent; 07-24-2013 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Formatting
    07-24-2013 12:46 AM
  16. snowmutt's Avatar
    I think the reason is because they don't wanna rush this with bugs and stuff they want it to be stable as possible. makes sense also they want to add a lot of features as well from Windows 8. e.g smart search etc. Plus we're still not even close to know the amount of new features are in Win 8.1
    I will go one step farther and be in the minority: I do not want the update until it is major, adds some great features, and works well. I would rather wait until August 2014 then get a rushed, buggy, inefficient update that would set WP back in the PR department. Nokia, HTC, MS, and those of us who own these devices have no room for error. We are not Android or Apple. A bad update would hurt the future of the OS more then a late one that works.
    07-24-2013 01:41 PM
  17. a5cent's Avatar
    I will go one step farther and be in the minority: I do not want the update until it is major, adds some great features, and works well. I would rather wait until August 2014 then get a rushed, buggy, inefficient update that would set WP back in the PR department. Nokia, HTC, MS, and those of us who own these devices have no room for error. We are not Android or Apple. A bad update would hurt the future of the OS more then a late one that works.
    I think Microsoft already completely violated your rule when they released WP8. :-(

    WP8 was rushed. It has battery issues. It is still buggy. It can't hold a candle to WP7's stability.

    Lets accept it. Microsoft is slow. I love WP but wish it would have been faster upgrade cycle
    How about we first accept that WP generates a much bigger workload for MS, than iOS and Android do for their creators?

    What if I called you slow after determining that you can't chop 2000 logs as fast as I can chop 100? That doesn't make sense. Same thing here. We all agree that Microsoft isn't delivering as fast as they need to be. It's a shame and it is dangerous. However, this isn't because they are slow.
    07-24-2013 02:36 PM
  18. HeyCori's Avatar
    For those that didn't see this a few weeks ago.

    Microsoft details new Windows Phone 8 update, but real fixes won't come until 2014 | The Verge

    We've learned that Microsoft had planned to roll out a number of Windows Phone updates more frequently, but delays in testing new chipsets and bugs in some of the GDR updates have slowed down feature additions. One particular bug with unbranded devices not sold by carriers is said to have affected the way a handset is identified on a network. We're told that Microsoft had a hard time fixing this particular problem, resulting in delays to other planned work.
    Sucks yes, but such is life.
    07-24-2013 04:58 PM
  19. psudotechzealot's Avatar
    For those that didn't see this a few weeks ago.

    Microsoft details new Windows Phone 8 update, but real fixes won't come until 2014 | The Verge
    Come on Microsoft, give us a exact date!


    Sucks yes, but such is life.
    07-24-2013 11:20 PM
  20. Ratros's Avatar
    The official reports claim that Microsoft is currently working to keep Windows Phone on edge with the news hardware (1080p display, quad core chips, etc.), so it may take longer for users to see their new features. But from my perspective the lack of basic features (Notification Center, Orientation Lock, etc.) is the real reason why people flee from this platform.

    Plus, honestly speaking, you should not hold any breath for Microsoft. I Learn it the hard way.

    No offense here, but the typical scenario would be:

    Day -7: WPCentral and other fan sites report that the update is ready to go.
    Day -5: PR people at Microsoft say "No Comment".
    Day 1: The update is pushed to several models (mostly phones from HTC or Samsung, because they have relatively low market share).
    Day 2-3: WPCentral and other fan sites report cases where people's phone got bricked.
    Day 5-7: An official announcement is published that the update process is halted, Microsoft apologizes and suggests consumer to wait for longer.
    Day 30-31: WPCentral and other fan sites report that the update process is resumed.
    Day 32: Joe confirmed it.
    Day 60: Wait.
    Day 90: (Happy Ending) Finally the update is arrived. You find it less exciting and the update is completely not satisfactory for a loyal user, but you have to #dealwithit.
    (Bad Ending) WPCentral and other fan sites report that your model is no longer supported. There's a manual way to force updates, but you have to take the risk.
    Day 100: Rumor has it that the new features you wanted will be included in the next update. Currently Microsoft has no schedule for it, and the existence of this feature is not confirmed, but hey! there's a good thing called hope.

    I hate to be harsh, but really Microsoft, it has been more than 2 years, and I've heard all kinds of your excuses and tricks.
    dinesh84d, maj71303 and 21stNow like this.
    07-30-2013 12:42 AM

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