There are a lot of users getting restless about the lack of major updates for Windows Phone 8. We’ve had Portico, which brought some messaging features and WiFi settings, but nothing major. Now GDR2 is bringing FM Radio, CalDAV/CardDAV, and the promise of Data Sense on more devices. Again, nothing major. When can we expect an update along the lines of Windows 8.1?
Joe Belfiore, head of the Windows Phone team, has heard these complaints loud and clear. He responded to a users question about the lack of major updates over in the Microsoft UserVoice forums. This is what Joe had to say:
We’re definitely here and paying attention to what you folks are asking for… keep in mind the trick for us is balancing things that make EXISTING devices better for you, our enthusiast users, versus things that create new devices to sell to a broader audience. A lot of the work in GDR2 was around enabling new devices– like the Lumia 1020, devices on Sprint, etc. so that we could keep growing the size of the WP ecosystem. We need to grow the number of people using WP so we get ISVs writing the apps, we get better/more accessories built, etc.
Of course this takes time and energy, but we still do intend to improve the user experience for you via new features. There’s some in GDR 2 (eg. DataSense broadly available, FM Radio) there’s more coming later this year, and still more after that.
Don’t worry – we are listening to you folks!
The problem I have with Joe’s response is that he separates “things that make existing devices better” and “things that create new devices for a broader audience.” To me those things should go hand-in-hand. Things that make the experience better for current users will also help entice new users. A major update could do just that. I do believe there are major updates coming, but they just aren’t coming fast enough. What do you think?