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Rumor: Modern UI May be Optional in Future Windows Phone

By - Source: BGR | B 23 comments

Users may be able to switch off the tiled interface.

The latest Windows Phone rumor claims that Windows Phone 9 will launch sometime during the second half of 2014. The news arrives by way of Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin who previously made several accurate predictions on the mobile industry. He now claims that the Modern UI seen on current phones and tablets will be optional starting with Windows Phone 9.

"Windows phone 9 (2014 3-4q) have another UI. That's not tales. I repeat - Microsoft change UI from Metro style," he tweets. When asked if the same applies to Windows 8.x, he says that "they aren't decided yet as far as I know. A lot of internal debates."

Other noted tweets rehash what we already know from prior reports: Windows RT and Windows Phone will become one operating system by Spring 2015, and that Microsoft plans to lift the licensing fees for Windows on tablets and smartphones to combat Android. Eventually, Microsoft will have one platform for x86, one for ARM-based chips, and the OS installed on the Xbox One.

After all the fuss about the new Modern UI interface on PC, tablets and smartphones, it seems unlikely that Microsoft will completely ditch the interface with Windows 9. The idea of making the interface optional sounds like a good way to gain new customers who would have otherwise shunned the tile-based interface. But what would the "desktop" interface look like? Something like Android or iPhone?

The time frame provided by Murtazin doesn't click with other reports about Microsoft's road map. Windows Phone 8.1 isn't set to go live until Spring 2014, followed by Windows Phone 8.2 "Threshold" in Spring 2015. Small updates for all form factors will supposedly take place in Fall 2014.

Of course, everything seen here is mere rumor and speculation... for now.

Add your comment Display 23 Comments.
  • 5 Hide
    Bloob , December 15, 2013 3:06 AM
    Sure, MS takes 1.5 years to get from 8.0 to 8.1, but will only take 6 months to go from 8.1 to 9.0... suuuure....
  • 0 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , December 15, 2013 3:39 AM
    I doubt it. WP9 will surely be released around, or more likely, just after Windows 9, which won't happen until earliest 2015.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , December 15, 2013 4:31 AM
    1) Murtazin has made very few accurate predictions about WP.
    2) Windows 8.2 Threshold will not be out until early 2015, and Windows and WP are locked into a similar release schedule, which means that we cannot expect Windows 9 or WP9 until 2016.
    3) While MS may be considering removing the Start Screen from the desktop, there is no sign that Metro is leaving any time soon. It is far more likely that we will have a metro-tile style Start Menu (which would be pretty cool), and the ability to run windowed Metro apps on the desktop to unify the 2 sides of Windows 8. WP and WinRT would probably not see these changes as they merge together.
    4) MS is in an extremely fragile situation when it comes to mobile markets, and they are well aware of this. Even if MS had a better UI to bring to the table they would not be able to afford the backlash of developers who have been beaten or bribed into submission to write for Metro. Maybe in another 5 years when Windows 10 comes out they will have gained enough following again to make dramatic changes, but they can't do it now.

    For more information: http://www.wpcentral.com/stopping-rumor-mill-windows-phone-unique-ui
  • 0 Hide
    Krazeee , December 15, 2013 4:32 AM
    I agree with fellow posters, Windows Phone 9 will not be released until atleast 2015. They still have a quite of bit of features to add to windows phone 8. They probably have a general idea for windows phone 9, but surely, we won't see it very soon.

    On the other hand, they know that windows 8 wasnt as successful as windows 7 and windows XP so they may try releasing windows 9 to make the same effect that vista ---> 7 had.
  • 1 Hide
    tolham , December 15, 2013 4:34 AM
    good god, I hope MS isn't actually considering putting the desktop UI on the phone.
  • 0 Hide
    Krazeee , December 15, 2013 4:39 AM
    Quote:
    good god, I hope MS isn't actually considering putting the desktop UI on the phone.


    That's not what they are intending, they are just going to unify tablets + phones. Desktop will stay different.

    Honestly what you said is my dream, Imagine having a fully capable x64/x86 OS on your phone... That would win the hearts of many. (Ofcourse if they solve the issue of battery life).
  • 0 Hide
    Aoyagi , December 15, 2013 4:44 AM
    What WP needs isn't a different UI, it needs to stop being dumb, closed OS whose capabilities are no better than S40. And it needs to do it very fast.
    As far as I'm concerned, today is too late. The pain of living with Lumia 920 for 9 months now is insufferable.
  • -2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 15, 2013 4:51 AM
    Quote:
    Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin

    Eldar isn't a "blogger". He's either CEO or chief editor or something like that of the best Russian phone/tablet review site, http://mobile-review.com/ and REALLY knows what he's talking about, his reviews are top-notch and analysis of the market is extremely accurate - he predicted most of that would happen to Nokia when Elop was appointed as its CEO and they said they won't do Android.
  • -1 Hide
    gnodeb , December 15, 2013 5:08 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    good god, I hope MS isn't actually considering putting the desktop UI on the phone.


    That's not what they are intending, they are just going to unify tablets + phones. Desktop will stay different.

    Honestly what you said is my dream, Imagine having a fully capable x64/x86 OS on your phone... That would win the hearts of many. (Ofcourse if they solve the issue of battery life).


    While everybody talking about same OS on tablets and phones I'm more interested in same OS on tablets and desktops. Win8 devices just show that docked tablet can do anything that average AOI system can do (with external monitor). What is missing is unified desktop API between ARM and x86 windows. That will bring heavy multitasking to ARM devices too (once hardware is powerful enough).

    Once, that kind of hardware is available on 4'' devices, there is no reason to not install it on the phone.
  • 0 Hide
    b23h , December 15, 2013 6:06 AM
    Bullsh*t!

    MS is not going to go through the effort of unifying stores/markets across multiple platforms while throwing away a shared design language across the same platforms. What they will do is work to polish and refine Metro/Modern UI, but to throw away that central design thesis just a couple of years after introduction would just be stupid. Such a move would be unnecessarily reactive, a throwing out the baby with the bath water moment. I fail to see the point of rejecting live tiles and moving to anything similar to the sea of icons seen in Android or iOS.

    I have zero interest in arguing points with the anti-Metro crowd. I spend the vast majority of my time on the desktop, yet I believe I "get" the point about Metro and having a shared design language and with luck praxis, across multiple platforms.
  • -2 Hide
    egilbe , December 15, 2013 6:13 AM
    I didn't mind WP8 tiles on a phone, my Nokia 920 worked very well until I dropped it and had it replaced with a 925, which I gave to my daughter. I had locked ecosystems, there are hardly any apps for the WP8 and there was no incentive for anyone to develop any. I'm enjoying the options I have with the Nexus 5 much better.
  • 2 Hide
    Krazeee , December 15, 2013 6:41 AM
    Quote:
    I didn't mind WP8 tiles on a phone, my Nokia 920 worked very well until I dropped it and had it replaced with a 925, which I gave to my daughter. I had locked ecosystems, there are hardly any apps for the WP8 and there was no incentive for anyone to develop any. I'm enjoying the options I have with the Nexus 5 much better.


    I have honestly never said "Gee, I wish I had that app" EVER. EVER. I don't understand why people go out of their way and use an inferior device just to get a specific game app...

  • 4 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 15, 2013 8:02 AM
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.
  • 5 Hide
    egilbe , December 15, 2013 9:07 AM
    Quote:
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.


    They were told over and over during Beta. They knew, but they were so arrogant they decided they were correct and everyone else who had to use that abortion was wrong.
  • -2 Hide
    Krazeee , December 15, 2013 9:33 AM
    Quote:
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.


    Quote:
    Quote:
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.


    They were told over and over during Beta. They knew, but they were so arrogant they decided they were correct and everyone else who had to use that abortion was wrong.


    I still don't know whats wrong with modern ui/metro
  • 1 Hide
    egilbe , December 15, 2013 9:56 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.


    Quote:
    Quote:
    finally ms is realizing how unpopular modern ui is.


    They were told over and over during Beta. They knew, but they were so arrogant they decided they were correct and everyone else who had to use that abortion was wrong.


    I still don't know whats wrong with modern ui/metro


    really? Almost everything that used to be one or two clicks to get to, things that were fairly logical in their placement, was moved for no other reason than to move it. They added more clicks to navigate to almost everything. The only improvement to the OS that I can see is task manager.
  • -2 Hide
    p05esto , December 15, 2013 11:31 AM
    I installed about 20 apps on my Lumina 928 and don't even use most of them... I have no idea why people think 50,000 apps is NOT enough for them.... and Win Phones have a few hundred thousand apps I think. I don't know, don't get it myself. Live the Win8 on the phone, hate the desktop version. That's my bottom line.
  • 1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , December 15, 2013 11:50 AM
    In all honesty I see and have no issue with Windows 8 and the modern UI. Why not? I actually use it every single day without issue and everything that I use is still there and still as fast as Windows 7.

    Imagine that... someone that uses the software!
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , December 15, 2013 6:46 PM
    Quote:

    I have honestly never said "Gee, I wish I had that app" EVER. EVER. I don't understand why people go out of their way and use an inferior device just to get a specific game app...



    I have dozens of apps on my Android phone. None of them are games. Many of them are virtual necessities.

    If you aren't using apps, you aren't really using a smartphone, even if you happen to have one.

    Does MS have all the apps that I need?

    It may honestly, but I doubt that I'll ever find out.
  • 0 Hide
    AMRooke , December 15, 2013 7:55 PM
    It seems that many people love or hate the Modern/Metro UI as a general principle, when I have a more dynamic opinion. For my Windows Phones, I absolutely love the Modern UI and would be massively disappointed if MS decides to abandon it, but for my Win 8.1 PCs, I absolutely hate the Modern UI and would not miss it for an instant (need multiple application windows open simultaneously on PCs, which can make use of the larger displays and higher resolution pointing devices).

    I have been using WP smartphones for the past 3 years, and while it has had some technical hurdles (what platform hasn't), the concept is solid, and assuming that MS continues to use their deep pockets to encourage developers to provide apps, the future looks promising. Their biggest problem now is getting some leverage away from the carriers in the US (possibly why the US is the slowest to adopt the platform). For example, AT&T strips out critical features from the OS in order to charge their customers more (e.g. Data Sense). Once WP has better market penetration in the US, hopefully all users can make access the entire OS.
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