Mobile

Windows Phone 8 users may have to wait until 2014 for a notification center & other major fixes

Above: Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore.

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
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Bugs and testing delays may be holding back key features from Windows Phone 8 until 2014.

The huge Windows Phone “Blue” update is expected to include a long-awaited notification center and significant multi-tasking upgrades, but it appears that Microsoft won’t be able to roll it out until next year, The Verge reports.

If true, the news will be a major letdown for Windows Phone fans, who’ve been waiting patiently for Microsoft to catch up to the iPhone and Android. Apple finally added a notification center to iOS two years ago, and it’s something Android offered long before.

Yesterday, Microsoft detailed a minor update that will be coming soon to Windows Phone 8. It includes minor upgrades for Xbox Music, Skype, and Internet Explorer but doesn’t really offer anything significant.

For the most part, unexpected bugs and delays seem to be Microsoft’s biggest problem, the Verge reports. There’s a good chance Microsoft was originally aiming to release the Windows Phone “Blue” update later this year — it would be a nice complement to the Windows 8.1 update rolling out soon. Microsoft may also consider moving up some features from the Blue update to a more minor release later this year.

One of those smaller updates, expected later this year, will finally let Windows Phone 8 support 4- and 5-inch phones with high 1080p resolutions.

While Microsoft previously promised faster Windows Phone updates, we haven’t seen much evidence of that this year. The slow updates also point to a bigger problem for Microsoft: It’s always playing catchup. Until Microsoft truly breaks new ground with Windows Phone features — beyond its spiffy design and personalization options — it’s going to have a hard time tempting people away from the iPhone and Android.