With their big WP7 update still pending, Microsoft has already begun work on the next version of their mobile OS, Windows Phone 8 (WP8). Microsoft has posted multiple job openings for qualified software engineers who would be part of the Consumer Experience team for WP8 OS. They would also be responsible for the look and functionality of the new platform. The fact that Microsoft seems to be on a hiring spree could indicate a sooner than expected launch of their new OS.
A fresh new start
Some of the new features include a new user interface (UI), improved Distributed File Replication System (DRFS) and a more scalable architecture, which means it should run on a slower ARM processor, just as well. Microsoft will incorporate the same Metro UI that made WP7 really popular and probably tweak it a bit. ‘Live tiles’ should also make it to the new OS, which gives you a real time update of events, alerts, etc.
This scenario reminds me of the time when Windows Vista launched. Remember, how it was a major leap forward from XP, but only ran well on decent hardware? That’s the same deal with WP7, it’s a huge departure from Windows Mobile 6.5, but in order to run it optimally, you need high end hardware, which is primarily why none of the WP7 devices are cheap. Now, with Microsoft gunning for the WP8, does it mean that they’ve lost faith in WP7 so quickly?
I feel they’ve finally accepted the fact that, other than the fancy UI, there's very little going for it. WP8 is expected to release sometime in the third quarter of 2012, so there’s still plenty of time to go.