Well ahead of Windows Phone 8.1’s early 2014 debut, images of the update are already hitting the Web. This isn’t the GDR3 update that’s expected to arrive in the next month or so; 8.1 is expected to introduce a number of bigger features—much needed features—to the platform, including a notifications hub and the ability to select multiple tiles for easier management.
The leaks, which showed up on WindowsPhone.pl and in development circles, highlights the direction Microsoft’s mobile platform is headed. For starters, the ability to select multiple tiles will mirror what we’ll see in the RT and desktop versions of Windows 8.1 in Oct.—creating a more harmonious marriage between platforms always helps to keep the experience consistent.
As far as a notification center is concerned, it’s an obvious addition that frankly the platform needs. This far out from a consumer release, we’re not sure how Microsoft will implement the much requested notification center, but at least we know it’s being worked on. If the platform as it exists now is anything to go on, we imagine it’ll have some very smooth animations and be very minimal.
With Microsoft now in possession of Nokia’s respected handset business, we might start seeing many more Windows Phone devices hit the market. Nokia really hit its stride with its most recent Lumia 1020, so Microsoft certainly has a lot to work with going forward. As long as Windows Phone keeps improving, and good, solid devices keep coming out, 2014 might be a decisive year for the Redmond company’s mobile platform.