Windows Phone 10 release date, news and rumors
9th Oct 2014 | 16:00
Everything you need to know about WP 10
Windows Phone 9 introduction
Windows Phone 8 is well over a year old now, yet until recently we knew very little about Windows Phone 10.
Originally it was expected to be with us by the end of 2013 as it was thought that Microsoft may adopt the annual software cycle made popular by Apple in an attempt to keep its mobile OS fresh and, more importantly, relevant.
That didn't happen, but from the information that we've been able to gather so far it looks like Windows Phone 10 could be a massive overhaul, so it's not surprising that it's taken over a year.
However we did recently get Windows Phone 8.1 to tide us over, while leaks highlight that Windows Phone 8.5 may also be on the cards.
Before we get our teeth in Windows Phone 10 we need to visit the rumors surrounding version 8.5. It's been confused with the ninth iteration of the platform before, and it's important to make a distinction between the two.
Windows Phone 8.5
It looks like there might be such a thing as Windows Phone 8.5 in the works, but details are slim on the ground. All that's really known so far is that there will seemingly be some potentially quite substantial changes to the Start screen interface in Windows Phone 8.5, but there's no word yet on what form those changes may take.
It's also worth noting that while we list this as a Windows Phone 8.5 feature it's entirely possible that it may end up in Windows Phone 10.
Windows Phone 9 release date, news and rumours
Now we've got Windows Phone 8.5 out of the way we can get back on the Windows Phone 10 trail.
We're scouring the web everyday to bring you all the latest on Windows Phone 10 and we'll be constantly updating the information below to give you the best picture of what's to come.
Windows Phone 10 release date
Initial rumors suggested that the Windows Phone 10 release date would be sometime in 2013, with reports claiming it would arrive just in time for Christmas, but as you might have noticed, Christmas has been and gone and we're now in a Windows Phone 10-less 2014.
Eldar Murtazin posted to Twitter that Windows Phone 9 (or 10 as it's now known) would launch in the second half of the year. He correctly predicted Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia, so he could be worth listening to.
Sadly the most recent rumors suggest we won't be seeing Windows Phone 10 until sometime next year. A leaked document mentioned dates of between Q2 and Q3, which covers April-September 2015 and that's just for a preview build, so the final release might be even later.
That's now looking almost certain as Windows 10 has been announced and it seems that this will be the basis for Windows Phone 10. With Windows 10 not out till next year Windows Phone 10 presumably therefore won't be either.
Windows Phone 10 or just Windows 10?
For a while we've been seeing reports that suggest Microsoft may look to ditch the divide between its smartphone platform and the one it uses for tablets and PCs - rolling them all into one tidy bundle called Windows 10.
It now seems that's exactly what's happening, as with its announcement of Windows 10 Microsoft claimed that the OS would work on screen sizes ranging from four to 80 inches. Not only that but the company specifically stated the Windows 10 would be the next version of Windows Phone.
Whether that means it will just be called Windows 10 or whether it will still be called Windows Phone 10 isn't clear, but either way it should be heavily based on the desktop operating system.
Windows Phone 10 features
Murtazin gave some early insight into the design of Windows Phone 10. Saying that apparently it will be a complete overhaul which will remove the tile based Metro interface that Windows Phone is currently known for.
Murtazin went on to say that the interface would be more influenced by Android than iOS. That makes sense, especially the general overhaul, since we now know that it will apparently be based on Windows 10.
Exactly how Windows Phone 10 will look and behave is still unclear, as it's unlikely to be identical to the desktop version, but there'll obviously be unity between platforms and a similar design language.
However given that Live Tiles are still a part of Windows 10 it may not look a million miles from Windows Phone 8, especially as Microsoft will only need the touch focused element of its new OS on phones.
But even so, as a version of the desktop operating system it could well be more powerful and versatile than Windows Phone 8, which could be where Murtazin was coming from in saying that it will be more like Android than iOS.
A unified app store
Windows 10 is bringing Universal Windows apps with it. The idea with them is that there will be a single app store across all Windows 10 devices, whether servers, desktops or (presumably) smartphones. However the smartphone bit hasn't been confirmed yet, so Windows Phone 10 may or may not share an app store with the rest of Windows 10.
Windows Phone 10 devices
One of the big issues with Windows Phone 8 was that you couldn't get it on your Windows Phone 7 handset, instead you were lumped with Windows Phone 7.8.
It's thought that Windows Phone 10 won't be so restrictive, with Windows Phone 8 users in line to get the upgrade which means you shouldn't have to worry about picking up a Nokia Lumia 1520 or HTC 8X.