Microsoft Playing Catchup with Windows Phone 8

Microsoft hasn’t been able to compete with Google or Apple when in the smartphone market. Perhaps that is why the company decided to launch the Windows Phone 8 in the first place. While the phone has been on the market for eight months, there haven’t been any significant changes during that time.

Microsoft will soon have a massive update to the Windows Phone 8 operating system. The update will be known as “Windows Phone’s Blue Update,” and Microsoft expects to release it in early 2014, notes Some minor updates will be available by August, 2013.

Soon-To-Be-Released Minor Updates

In early July, Microsoft announced it is soon going to release some minor changes to the Windows Phone 8. The update, known as GDR2 (or General Distribution Release 2,) includes necessary fixes to the X Box music app, a non-carrier exclusive data-sense app, and the return of the FM radio feature. The update will also give users the ability to use a lens app as the phone’s default camera. GDR2 will also feature stability improvements to both Skype and Lync apps, and important HTML5 updates for Internet Explorer.

Microsoft Playing Catchup with Windows Phone 8
Microsoft Playing Catchup with Windows Phone 8

Changes to Look For in “Windows Phone’s Blue Update”

Among the bigger changes that will be released are improvements to multi-tasking capabilities, changes to built-in apps that aren’t specified, and a notification system. Although the Windows Phone 8 operating system is capable of syncing with a PC or tablet that uses the Windows 8 operating system, the new “Windows Phone Blue Update” isn’t synonymous with the Windows 8.1 update for computers and tablets.

“Enterprise Feature Pack” Designed for Corporations

The “enterprise feature pack” will launch around the same time as the anticipated Windows Phone Blue Update. The VPN feature will appeal to corporations whose employees use their phones to access protected sites and/or resources over public or less secure WiFi networks.

Understanding VPN (Virtual Public Network)

According to, a VPN (or Virtual Private Network,) consists of a group of computers that create a private and very secure network by using the Internet. A VPN encrypts information with algorithms to ensure data privacy. The trademarks of VPN are ease of use, flexibility and speed. Even with the VPN function that will come with the “enterprise feature pack” update in early 2014, companies will have to purchase special network authentication hardware, software, and find a VPN service provider.

All of the forthcoming updates to the Windows Phone 8 are designed to make the phone run faster and be more capable of multitasking. By extending the length of support for the phone from 16 to 36 months, Microsoft is trying to convince current phone users and would-be buyers that the company intends to keep the phone current for that time period. By adding the VPN feature to the “enterprise feature pack,” Microsoft may be hoping to convince corporations that the Windows Phone has as much to offer than either the iPhone or any of the phones that run on Google’s Android operating system.

Creative Commons image by GoodNCrazy

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