Ever since Microsoft completed its purchase of Nokia’s Device Business back in late April, there has not been a whole lot of news about Windows Phone. Sure, there were some hints here and there, but no real solid news. That changed a few days ago. @evleaks recently published a look at the the upcoming product road map for Nokia, now a part of Microsoft. In this report, the upcoming releases are discussed in detail. Most of which are somewhat tame, until we reach the 2014 holiday season (emphasis added):
The next wave of devices to hit US carriers from Team Nokiasoft [in the 2014 holiday season] will all ship with Windows Phone Blue GDR1: the internal codename for the operating system update that comes after 8.1. The first GDR1 devices should begin hitting shelves in the third quarter: they include Tesla for AT&T and Superman for Verizon, both described as mid-range. The fall flagship, then, will be a device codenamed McLaren. Shipping in time for the holidays, McLaren should see wide release, with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all reportedly signed up to carry it.1
Windows Phone Blue GDR1 and the McLaren, according to various reports, will include technology that Nokia has been working on for some time. According to The Verge, these new features include a 3D Touch sensor-like technology:
The unique aspect of McLaren will be the number of sensors on the device to make way for the 3D Touch system. While Microsoft is reaching out to top developers to support the new system with apps and games, 3D Touch will be unique to its own devices and will not be available initially on handsets from Samsung, HTC, among others. Features like answering calls by holding the phone to your ear will be supported, along with the ability to set the phone down on a table to enable speakerphone, or to hang up a call by placing it in your pocket. Phones that support 3D Touch will use a number of hardware sensors to allow devices to mute when they are covered by a hand or held to a chest, or to dismiss alerts by waving a hand in front of the screen.2
Now that Windows Phone has officially passed BlackBerry, in terms of market share, it will be interesting to watch the platform expand in the coming months and years.
- @evleaks, “Nokia, 2014 and Beyond,” 5 June 2014 ▲
- Tom Warren, The Verge, “Microsoft bets on Kinect-like gestures for the future of Windows Phone,” 9 June 2014 ▲