Microsoft is expected to introduce the new Windows 9 preview for desktop computers later this month, after a press event on September 30, but it turns out that the company is actually preparing many more surprises for its users.
Unsurprisingly, a Windows Phone 9 is also in the works right now, and according to new sources, a preview build of the operating system developed for smartphones could be released in January 2015.
NokiaPowerUser writes that Windows Phone 9 is in the works right now together with other updates for Windows Phone 8, and according to Microsoft’s product rollout cycle, a preview build could see daylight as a free download in January next year.
Microsoft is trying to adopt the same strategy as for Windows 9, planning to give users the chance to try out the next mobile operating system for a few months before the public unveiling. It’s not yet clear whether Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9 could be both launched in April 2015, but chances are that this is the plan that Redmond is actually working on right now.
Windows Phone 9 preview will come with a lot of new features, but there’s no doubt that many will get tweaked or even removed before the final product sees daylight.
The aforementioned source claims that split-screen multitasking, working in the same way as Windows 8’s snap view mode does, could also be implemented in order to help those with large displays perform a number of tasks simultaneously.
Such a feature would actually make sense given the fact that Microsoft is working to merge Windows Phone with Windows RT, so side-by-side app multitasking would really come in handy if the resulting platform were installed on large screen devices.
According to the same source, this split-screen multitasking option might actually be available on devices with screens of at least 4.9 inches, so a lot of Lumias on the market won’t actually get it
One of the most important aspects of the Windows Phone 9 preview launch is the support for all devices running WP8, which means that pretty much every single device out there, including the very affordable Lumia 520, should be able to cope with its requirements.
One important mention, however, is that not all devices would come with the same amount of features. Low-end phones, for example, might lack the aforementioned multitasking option, but also other features designed specifically for high-end devices.
Although it’s expected to focus mostly on the desktop side of Windows 9, Microsoft could share more details on Windows Phone 9 this month, during the September 30 launch event.