Windows Phone Major Update To Arrive Before 2013 Holiday Shopping Season

By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 04, 2013 09:03 AM EST

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Microsoft is keeping its plans to itself, but it now seems the company will roll out a major Windows Phone update before the holiday shopping season.

Timeframes for the next major release for Windows Phone and Windows 8 caused plenty of controversy and mixed opinions. A recent job posting, however, may shed some light on the matter.

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Microsoft is usually quite tight-lipped when it comes to its Windows Phone updates, but a job listing late last week suggests the next update to Windows Phone 8 will not arrive until the holiday shopping season. The job ad, uncovered by WMPoweruser, is for a software development engineer for phone testing.

"This is a great time to join as we're completing our current release [and] are getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year and we're chartered with keeping the momentum for Windows Phone by bringing new killer devices and delightful user experiences," reads the job listing. "There are enormous growth opportunities in this role and organization."

While the post touts Windows Phone as "one of the most exciting challenges in Microsoft," it offers no clue whatsoever as to what new features the update could add. The job listing also makes no mention of the "Blue" moniker and does not say what the actual name or release date will be.

Many see Windows Phone as essential to Microsoft's mobile strategy and Bing's mobile market share. Windows Phone, however, was not hugely successful among consumers, as many continue to prefer iPhones and Android devices rather than Windows Phone handsets.

The newly uncovered job listing offers one of the few hints regarding the company's product plans. Back in February, another job advert referred to "Windows Blue," the purported codename for the next range of Windows-related operating system and services updates from Microsoft.

A holiday release would fall in line with the Windows Phone team's usual pattern — a yearly cycle. If the job post is anything to go by, it seems the next major release is roughly eight-to-nine months away, so Windows Phone users will not see features such as 1080 screen support anytime soon. It also remains to be seen whether Nokia will launch high-end Windows Phones before Microsoft releases its next major update, or whether it will wait to see what gives. The latter possibility seems more likely.

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