What is Windows Phone 8 GDR2?

HTC-8X-5

Earlier this week specs leaked for an unannounced HTC phone with the OS listed as “Windows Phone 8 GDR2.” At the time we didn’t really know much about what that meant, so we didn’t say much about it. Now we have some more information about GDR2 and the future of Windows Phone updates.

So what do we know about GDR2? GDR stands for “general distribution release.” The 2 means that this is the second such release, the first was what we know as “Portico.” The GDR’s will be small incremental updates that do not change the version number, just like how Portico is still known as Windows Phone 8. The next major milestone is Windows Phone Blue, which we have touched on briefly in the past. Blue will be an update for phones and Windows 8 to unify the platform. It has long been Microsoft’s goal to make phone and desktop apps easily interchangeable. Before Blue arrives there is set to be GDR2 and GDR3 this year.

Last year there were rumors about something called “Apollo+.” We know now that Apollo+ is essentially GDR1-3. All we knew about Apollo+ has already been added in Portico, so we’re not sure what GDR2 and 3 will bring. Microsoft wants to have more frequent updates to both Windows Phone and Windows, so expect those this year. Blue is set to arrive in 2014.


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