By Stephen Schenck | December 12, 2013 11:50 AM
The past several hours have been busy with a blur of new Microsoft rumors, with Eldar Murtazin at the heart of most of it. We just told you what he had to say about Microsoft’s possible plan to keep Samsung in the Windows Phone game by essentially paying the company for its continued interest, but now we’re looking at some bigger-picture stuff, with talk about significant changes in the future as we approach the launch of Windows Phone 9.
While recent rumors had us thinking that the eventual merger of Windows Phone and Windows RT would be quite a few years off, not occurring until late 2015 or 2016, Murtazin suggests that things are moving much faster. He claims that Windows Phone 9 will launch sometime in the second half of next year, and that its arrival will signal the end of RT as a separate platform.
Even more interesting than that, though, is what he says is planned for the UI: no more Metro. He doesn’t offer much of an idea for what it would change into, but is adamant that Microsoft has another look in mind for WP9 that Metro isn’t a part of.
Well, huh. It’s intriguing, obviously, but those Live Tiles are such a fundamental part of Windows Phone’s identity, that we struggle to make sense of how the platform would function without them. Would such a drastic shift also mean breaking app compatibility with WP8? Admittedly, we’re incredibly skeptical, but we’ll be keeping our ears open to see if anything else comes of this.