Windows Phone and the near future

| February 27, 2013 | 68 Replies


Mango, Tango, Apollo, Portico and now even GDR. You would be forgiven if you lost track of all these code names that are circling around the web. Most of you will probably know that the above names are referring to milestone builds of Windows Phone, but what is that new GDR term mean? And what about the much talked about Blue update?

Let’s start with the rumoured Blue update first. Blue is used by Microsoft to identify several updates across the board ranging from Windows 8 and Windows RT all the way to Windows Phone 8 and there are even sources saying that Blue is referring to updates of services like Bing and What this means is that we shouldn’t be talking about Blue for a long while as it will probably still take a while before that will come out, I’d say late fall of this year would be a decent estimate.


So, GDR then. The abbreviation stands for General Distribution Release and has been spotted first in a recent HTC leak with the addition of the number 2, making it GDR2. That would suggest there has already been a GDR1 and that is correct according to the always well informed Mary Jo Foley from GDR1 was the Portico update, which wasn’t that big of an update but it did add some missing features and probably optimized others either visible or invisible.

‘…WP8 users should not fear of being left out as even the Blue update will most likely come to devices…’

What does it all mean to you as a Windows Phone 8 user? Well, the WP development team has gone so silent that it is guesswork, but rumours do indicate that not only will there be a GDR2 release, there will also be a GDR3 release. Both will add new stuff, however, it is unknown right now what will end up where and when.

As a veteran Windows Phone user I have been hesitant to believe updates will come since being somewhat left out in the cold with version 7. (Although the 7.8 update is solid and Nokia does provide enough love for 7.8 users) But this time around it should be different and WP8 users should not fear of being left out as even the Blue update will most likely come to devices like the 920.

Source: Mary Jo Foley at


Category: Nokia

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  • Lets hope that love extends to all branded Lumias like Verizon’s 822.. etc.

  • timpo

    German Democratic Republic

    • Luisito

      You sir….

      • timpo

        First thing that popped into my mind from GDR… 😀

        • Leonard Pontuliosis

          Exactly! This was the Soviet Union’s occupational zone in III Reich – Germany after II World War. If you say “Pope” all think you mean head of the church, if you say USA all think you mean America not Usually Slutty As(…). Why are you so surprised you say GDR and all think you mean German Democratic Republic? And PRC is People’s Republic China by the way. Not Phone Recreational Course. etc, etc.

  • Aminul Ahsan

    GDR2/GDR3, I have always wanted browser download, email attachment of any file types (for that you’ll need a file explorer) on WP.. :/

    • Luisito

      At this pase, those features won’t come…

      • Aminul Ahsan

        won’t these features never make it to WP? :@ these are deal breaker for me, for many I know too.. they won’t switch to WP from Android for this :/

        • Luisito

          I doubt that a file manager will ever get its way on WP (a full fledge one), it doesnt fit the WP philosophy… That simple feature is holding me away of new Nokia smartphones too…

          • Bloob

            A somewhat of an alternative to file manager, would be in-email-app sharing of skydrive files. In other words, you could mark skydrive files as public and share the link within the app.

    • Qromodynmc

      Ahh really we need file browser.. Man whats the point of being smartphone if you dont have file browser or true multitasking? I dont understand..

    • David

      I do agree. These are important features anyone could expect from a modern mobile OS.

    • Viipottaja

      You can already share office docs from the office app though email. I would be surprised if the reverse does nor become possible (I.e. attaching office files to emails in the email app) given both Nokia and MS desire to court business users.

      as for a full file browser with access to absolutely everything likely won’t come nor would I personally hope it does, or see any particular need for.

      • incognito

        Here is one need for it – what if you are a LibreOffice user and want to share .odt files?

        There are a ton of reasons for having a proper file system and access to it without artificial limitations on file types and their organization.

        • Viipottaja

          I would think those could still be in a “documents” or “other” files foldeer in a simplified file browser, without need a lot confusing folder, drive and file names as was e.g, the case with Symbian and Maemo.

          • Confusing? Really? So if we get a proper file browser then it would be confusing?? Seriously, are people getting dumber by the day?

            • Also, for someone like me who does use File Manager quite often this is such a bummer.. I sometimes use my phone as a flash drive and I manage the files on my phone.. I can’t do that on WP..

              • Viipottaja

                You could do that if they implemented what I suggested, and I find it fairly likely that they at some point will (for reasons I provide).

            • Viipottaja

              If you claim the file system on either Symbian or Maemo was clear, then you are the dumb one. Or Einstein. One of those is probably more likely.

              • thedead1440

                File System on Maemo is a GNU/Linux-esque one; much simpler than Desktop Windows or any other OS out there… Even dumb people would get it but sadly a “smartphone” OS like WP doesn’t have basic features *TILL DATE*. The world is not going to stand still till WP catches up; its been >2 years since WP7 launched and still WP8 doesn’t have features of 2 years back.

                WP has been an epic blunder and only a full root-and-branch make-over by M$ would help. They need to correct it from the point of developers, consumers, business users. In other words, every single target market of theirs is not getting everything they can get on other platforms.

                Oh and before you go crazy asking (you fanboys of all OSes question the messenger instead of analysing the message) if I ever used a WP (Lumia) well mine is here collecting dust because I can’t tolerate something that’s utterly useless on so many levels for me.

                • Mark

                  LOL no.

                • Thank you thedead1440…Someone gets it.. Seems like people are becoming specific OS sheep! If Microsoft says that this is how it should go, and if it goes the other way then it would be “confusing” and not for the generalmass.. What a complete joke..

                  • Mark

                    No, it seems like most people absolutely don’t care about file management systems on phones.

                    And why would they with a gazillion cloud providers available? 🙂

                    • Luisito

                      The Droid succes has something to tell…

                    • noki

                      The WP lack of success has something to tell…

                • KeiZka

                  It’s been over five years, yet you do not see file system on iOS, and it’s doing mighty fine innit? Face it. File system *is not necessary* for a smartphone. Why should it be?

                  Also, I quite fathom… why are you trying to force your smartphone usage habits on others?

                  • thedead1440

                    Sigh like I said fanboys don’t read but jump to conclusions…

                    I’m certainly NOT forcing my usage habits on others. I objected to the quote post that said:

                    If you claim the file system on either Symbian or Maemo was clear, then you are the dumb one. – See more at:

                    I objected about the accuracy of the comment wrt Maemo’s file management system.

                    I didn’t list all the basic features (as what may be basic to me may be unnecessary to you but even then you surely have 1 or 2 features at the minimum you want on WP that are on iOS or Android) but said how they are still missing on WP and as a neutral observer if they want to succeed in the marketplace they need to pull up their socks badly as they are lagging not leading the market.

                    To conclude I said as I expect fanboys to first retort that have you even held a Lumia so yes I’ve mine and its collecting dust as its not FOR ME.

                    However, I expect a fanboy to jump again such is the disease across all OSes :p

                    • Viipottaja

                      Hi, I do apologize for calling the fellow poster (potentially) dumb.

                      I do think, still, that the file system, or rather the file browser/manager on the Maemos was not very clear or easy to use.

                      like I said above, I would prefer and expect a simplified file management system that does not unnecessarily, imo, expose,you to every single system folder and file etc. (can’t remember for sure though if the 900 one did either).

                    • Luisito

                      To Viipottaja… You’re not exposed (by default) to every system folder nor in C neither in E drives, in most cases there have been default folders for Music, Vids, Photos/Images, Docs, GPS data (Maps, maps and more maps :P), plus other, but none of those are System folder… Of course you can make it going messy creating folder without thinking (An Nokia Suite didn’t help too, creating folders in English lang and your device creating folders in their delfault lang)

                      There’s a reply limit of the comment dialogs??? I can’t reply direct to you…

                    • incognito

                      @Viipottaja, the N9 didn’t even have a built-in file manager (and I still consider it a Maemo device). The built-in file manager on the N900, just like a lot of file managers for the N9/N950 by default expose only the ‘MyDocs’ part of the system, which is also what you get when you mount them as USB-storage.

                      And it’s not about how much of the system you are exposed to with the file manager – it’s about having the ability to actually use that file system as you’ve been doing for decades on PCs without artificial restrictions of how you need to format your file names, in which folders to put them and what file type they might be.

                      If you can’t see a use or a benefit for that, and why people actually do need it, I am afraid it would take far too long to explain it…

                    • Viipottaja

                      Luisito, thanks, my recollection of the Symbian file system is messier than that but I might be wrong. 🙂 Plus, this goes back to the N82 days so it may well have been improved significantly since.

                      incognito, yeah, I was trying to clarify above that the file manager app being a pain in the butt (IMO)to use on the N900 was my main problem, not that it had a file manager.

                      Interesting to hear the N9 did not have a file manager either.

                      And once more I do see an important use for a file manager, but I also personally prefer and can clearly see the business reasons (i.e. ensuring consistent and easy to use experience for the vast majority of your customers – mob rules) for having it simplified such that e.g. photos are and have to be in all in the same main folder (it would be good to have the ability to create your own subfolders under it).

                  • xxx

                    Right know two applications on ios must share data through dropbox. The solution is very simple – palmos, internal memory for apps is restricted, but sd cards can be accessed by application for sharing data. DRM content is proteced, but user’s files are free to use.

                  • xxx

                    Right now two applications on ios must share data through dropbox. The solution is very simple – palmos, internal memory for apps is restricted, but sd cards can be accessed by application for sharing data. DRM content is protected, but user’s files are free to use.

              • Oreg

                So if somewhere exists a bad implemenentation of something, than better not to have it on our system? Or you just never seen a good implementation of File System?

                Whatever, WP is full of “better not to have this OPTION” arguments. Just usual.

                • Viipottaja

                  No, read again please. I said I would prefer and expect a simplified file system/browser and simply used Symbian and Maemo as examples of what I think are not simple to use.

                  I NEVER said there should be no way to manage your files and content.

                  • xxx

                    Why is not simple? There are folders and files on the file system. It’s very easy and everybody who use computers know that. Ms is trying to use hubs and other shit which is unknown for typical user. Why somebody is trying to simplify something, that has been done by designers decades ago. I like files. I create files and I want to manage files also.

      • Bloob

        IMO MS should definitely implement a shared file-pool / directory. Internal storage is great for security and stability, but they shouldn’t rule out random files.

    • Andrew_b

      My 12yrold son uses a free program called GetThemAll on his WP7.8 L800 so he can download any media files which appear on websites. It includes a file manager, but I’m not sure it offers full access or the creation of new directories.

      • Viipottaja

        I may be mistaken, but what at least one similar app I tried requires is you to copy and paste the URL of the file to the app, so its not very convenient. It would be much better if MS would implement direct download of more types of files in the browser.

        • Andrew_b

          I think GetThemAll is a standalone browser/dowloader/filemanager solution separate from the built in browser. As I recall, it offers a list of objects it can download from any given page and you just click to save.

          It’s free anyway, so no harm in trying, but yes, the built in browser should offer downloads and there should be a WP File Manager.

  • Qromodynmc

    After last 1-2 years,I dont know guys,Can we really trust to Nokia or Microsoft?..

    • Luisito

      I wont hold my breath waiting for MS…

    • Tomi


  • spacemodel

    ‘the Blue update will most likely come to devices like the 920’.

    Most likely… haven’t I heard that before…

    • dansus

      Thats means ‘if’ carriers allow the update. Some will, but carriers hate updates, it means extra customer support which costs time and money. Easier to block it and push customers to a new handset.

      • dansus

        Also the carriers hate Skype, so any deep integration into the ROM will be blocked.

  • incognito

    But this time around it should be different and WP8 users should not fear of being left out as even the Blue update will most likely come to devices like the 920.

    Hmmm, now where did I hear that before… Oh, that’s right, right here on MNB, and not even as most likely but as most definite, and from none other than Joe Belfiore himself:

    Hey guys ! Sorry I’m so busy ..Well no problem, don’t worry.. I’ve been using lumia 800 & 900 for weeks and it rocks! 😉 Lumia 800, 710, 610, 900 and others will get WP8. That’s my Xbox avatar on lumia screen. Do you like it? ahahaha Stay tuned for the final victory.. Great news for you bye 😉

    Color me skeptical, to say the least… No need for Microsoft to break the WM6.x -> WP7 -> WP8 tradition…

    • incognito

      Ha, that’s what I get for not reading the thread properly *ashamed*… Still, the rest of the points still stand, a tradition is a tradition…

    • Viipottaja

      Wonder if that was one of the fake Belfiore tweets though? There were some at one point.

      • Pathetic

        this kind of comments are what make my blood boil, accept it man, that promised long ago joe belfore said that, end of story! you can not defend what is indefensible. what I fear , for you WP users is, how long it took to launch the update “portico” or 7.8? are a minimal updates and it took a long time, now, imagine how long it will take one of these major updates.

        • Viipottaja

          THE FACT is that there were fake Belfiores around at some point, and you can also accept that. Rauhoitu, poika.

        • It was the fake Joe – and he tweeted about it. Yes, end of story.

      • incognito

        It is the fake Belfiore tweet, but there were some Microsoftians claiming that the update is coming.

        Either way, predicting Microsoft moves in the future is quite hard lately, they act completely disorganized and totally not in sync with what the market expects from them. I wouldn’t be surprised that the next major WP version won’t be available for existing WP8 devices at all. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just get out of the mobile OS business altogether.

        • Mark

          Oh right…. you just posted a fake tweet as evidence.

          LOL! You really are desperate, aren’t you! 🙂

          Caught out again!

          • noki

            “LOL! You really are desperate, aren’t you!”

            heee you must be talking about Nokia and its wp experiment massive blunder

    • Janne

      Even if one were to believe Microsoft will break the update cycle at some point again, there is no recent historical precedence they’d do it after one year for x.0 WP release.

      I know this is sometimes hard to remember for Nokia exclusive users, but those of us who got on the WP train early remember WP7 was released in the latter half of 2010 and received subsequently at least five updates over the next two+ years, one of which people consider major (Mango).

      Add to that the unique circumstances of abandoning WM6 and then WP7 (kernel, native apps), there is far less reason to believe it will happen again so abruptly – more likely the future of WP updates will be smoother from now on.

      Ironically, the whole Blue project seems to be about smaller, incremental, more frequent updates that would counter the idea of abrupt fragmentation of updates.

  • JGrove303

    Any updates are good updates as long as they add features or optimizations.

    If enough people bitch to MS about a file Manager, they’ll implement it. Especially with the likelihood of RT and WP8 merging, I wouldn’t discount its possibility.

  • john

    lets see what this update brings might go out n buy a windows phone

  • shabarish ail (@s_ail)

    Now … why do i see Windows Phone 7 going the symbian way…. Hope it doesnt happen……

    • Janne

      Well, WP7 is like Series 60 – fading out eventually without being updated to Symbian^3… So, Nokia tradition pre-Elop… 😉 Only WP7 is much better!

      It is of course unfortunate, but on the upside I expect solid support for WP7 throughout 2013 and hopefully next year too, though. Devices like 505 and 510 and lateness of WP8 rollout in many markets will keep that ball rolling for a good while.

      • noki

        but but but but dint nokia had some “special” deal with miocrosoft to get wp7 into low end?

        do you remember the ugly long discussions on MNB stating that wp future was bright just a couple of months ago????

        Me as usual pointing…. “I TOLD YOU SO”

        • Janne

          What is your point? I don’t know about a bright future for WP, don’t know what that refers to, but I still think the rest are true.

          Yes, Nokia has been putting WP7 to the low-end as first evidenced by Lumia 610 and later by Lumia 505 and 510, obviously. These happened as I predicted in early 2012. I expect WP7 to continue to sell throughout this year at least in select markets and support to continue beyond that.

          With the Lumia 520 they are of course getting WP8 to surprisingly low-end now too.

          I don’t consider the WP7 situation optimal, never did, but thanks to Lumia 505 and 510 I expect WP7.x enjoying good support for longer than some Lumia 800 etc owners feared. Not perfect support, but good support nevertheless.

          I wish WP8 would have come to WP7 devices, but at least I am seeing Nokia trying their best in the situation and also taking care of users much more than other WP manufacturers for example.

  • john

    if windows phone could really be one with windows desktop so every app and and game work vice versa then that would gie them a leap and i would trade my android write away imaging all the full games and it would be not that i would but u could put itunes o it to put music on ur ipod juss example

    • noki

      Yep its no ware near that simple, just for a starter the code binary code for your pc (i586&co) is completely incompatible with arm in your mobile.
      And that is just the tip of the iceberg like problem that is.

  • Paul

    I would very much like to see an option for an cable based HDMI connection.

  • Boogie

    Wanted updates:
    – Swype combined with MS Wordflow (would make me quicker typing on phone than on real keayboard 😀 )

    – Ease up on the lockdown for the developers. If they want to add a notificationbar or quickmenu for radios on/off – let them, it can only be beneficial. Become the middle man between locked up apple and over open Android (i prefer the latter if you force me to choose, but like the flow in WP8 and the integration of all messaging systems with people)

    – Introduce notification + Radios on/off bar Now please (still miss that from my droid) before i start to cry :¨c(

    Boogie – pretty satisified Lumia920’er

  • Boogie

    Please also add full USB OTG (on the go) support so that we can plug in a memstick via micro to USB-cable to the Lumia920 and other non SD-slot phones and move the files out of the phone without using a PC.

    Excellent when travelling light and when on vacation when you are shooting a lot of video (and with the 920 you do that all the time due the excellent stable videos that looks like they were shot on a tripod)

    • Boogie

      oh and of course maybe the most important one.
      – Add an in phone file browser (or at least allow developers to do one – prefereably one that can connect wireless to home equipment so you can drag and drop files effortlessly in your home)

      – Open up the phone system catalogs so that I can see more folders than photo video and ringtones. Some older WP7 apps store things in folder that i can not access so i can not move the files from my phone to pc, nor deleted them. This is a MUST feature.