Leaked Windows Phone 8 screenshots point to notification center, UI tweaks

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Leaked screenshots posted to Reddit appear to indicate that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to bolster its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system with a notification center collecting various application alerts.

The screenshots, captured on a Lumia 920 purchased via eBay, depict an internal Windows Phone build labeled as version 12084.WPMAIN(wpbldlab).20130509-1407, meaning it was compiled on May 9. One of the images presents a notification center providing access to Live Tiles notifications. Other shots spotlight a redesigned calendar interface with weekly views, as well as tools for sorting app lists by name and frequency of use. The Verge notes Microsoft also appears to be working on multitasking improvements, including the ability to close apps in the multitasking view.

Contacted by The Verge, Microsoft said it "doesn't comment on rumor or speculation." But other sources told the publication that the screenshots do indeed originate from an early version of the much-rumored Windows Phone "Blue" update, a theory further bolstered by an image detailing an app called Here Drive containing a reference to "beta BLUE." 

Speaking during the Build 2012 event, Windows Phone Developer Platform Program Manager Thomas Fennel said that Microsoft considered building a notification center into the original Windows Phone 8 release but "ran out of time." Fennel added "It's very, very important to me… we get tons of feedback from developers that they want something like that as well. I promise we're thinking very, very hard on that one."

Windows Phone powers 5.6 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the three-month period ending in April 2013, up from 3.8 percent a year, according to a recent Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report. Windows Phone still trails far behind Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android at 51.7 percent and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS at 41.4 percent.

For more:
- read this Verge article

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