Obviously, Windows Phone - aiming for the third spot in this era's tight platform race - is playing catch-up with more popular competing mobile operating systems when it comes to a number of features -- but it sure is catching-up fast.
Looking at recently leaked photos of the supposed user interface of the next iteration to Windows Phone 8, which is now being called Windows Phone Blue, it appears that the much-requested Notification Center and the ability to close applications from the multitasking page are finally coming to Microsoft's mobile OS.
WP Blue's purported Notification Center looks and probably works a lot like that of iOS with notifications neatly grouped together based on applications for which they are for. Other images also confirm that there will be a separate section in the Settings where users can easily turn on or turn off notifications for every app simply by clicking on a switch.
The new Multitasking Page, on the other hand, still looks like the previous version found on WP8 but it now gives users the ability to close applications straight from the panel. You can do this simply by clicking on the X button located on the upper right corner of app thumbnails. This is very similar to what we've seen on Symbian Belle, Maemo, and MeeGo - platforms that Nokia had previously adopted - so I believe that the Finnish company is largely involved in the addition of this feature.
I'm really happy that Microsoft is catching up fast in the mobile scene but I really think they could and should be doing it faster. I mean, these two features should have been included in WP8. Still, things are clearly looking up for the platform and considering that Lumia sales are finally picking up, I believe Windows Phone could very well be the next big thing.
I just hope that all handsets running WP8 would eventually receive the Windows Phone Blue firmware upgrade and enjoy all the cool enhancements that go with it. I didn't appreciate the fact that WP7 and WP7.5 handset owners were clearly left out, ignored, and disowned when Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8. I mean, what's up with that?