With all the excitement and speculation surrounding Windows Blue as of late, I thought I would take a jaunt around a few trusty avenues to see if anyone was making mention of products beyond Blue — namely, Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9. Sure enough, we can now add Windows Phone 9 to the watch list as mentions of it are finally beginning to surface. And though Windows 9 has been on my radar since August of last year, Microsoft was kind enough to throw us a bone, as I’ll detail later in the article.
First, we have an employee at Microsoft who says the following in her profile:
Curiously, she mentions a “Windows 9 OS,” which I’m assuming is meant to read “Windows Phone 9 OS.” Before Windows Blue was clarified, one of the most prevalent rumors was that Microsoft sought to unify not just the UI of Windows across all devices, but the Windows brand as a whole across all devices.
Such an effort on Microsoft’s behalf wouldn’t be too surprising at this point, so maybe there really is something more to glean from the mention of a “Windows 9 OS” in the capacity of an employee working on the Windows Phone team. Or, maybe she really did just mean “Windows Phone 9 OS.” Either way, it’s quite interesting to see that Nokia, HTC, and Qualcomm devices are early targets for testing of a Windows Phone OS beyond Windows Phone Blue.
Next up, we have an employee from iSoftStone (a Microsoft Gold Partner) who mentions a month-long project involving Windows Phone 8 and 9:
While his short-lived involvement with Windows Phone 9 is self-explanatory, the fascinating thing to me is how this picture is coming together of Windows Blue and Windows Phone Blue being developed in tandem with Windows 9 and Windows Phone 9. It’s almost as though Windows Blue is somewhat of an afterthought — or if not that, then, at the very least, it’s clearly not an all-hands-on-deck endeavor.
Here, we have a mention of Windows 9 (and IE11) in a job ad for a Bing Software Development Engineer:
We utilize cutting edge technologies across the stack from Bing metro application development using WinJS and HTML5, innovative features in IE10 such as flip ahead and much more! The team will be constantly delivering great products in areas including Windows 9, IE11 services integration, touch friendly devices including iPad and more.
Perhaps this goes to show that Windows Blue is really just a primer for a larger picture that will paint itself more clearly in the Windows 9/Windows Phone 9 time frame. Or, maybe I’m just reading into it waaaay too much. Either way, now that we know to keep a look out for Windows Phone 9 and Windows 9 references, perhaps more details will begin to emerge soon.
Until then, what do you think Microsoft could have in store for Windows Phone 9 and Windows 9? The jury’s still out on everything that’s being put into Windows Blue, but at this point, I’m far more fascinated by what Microsoft’s vision is beyond Blue.