Windows Phone 8 Announced! Dual Core, 720p screens, and NFC imminent
Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off it’s latest operating system – Windows Phone 8, and it’s finally brought the Windows Phone OS into 2012 and beyond. There were some great features announced today during the Live Presenation, and while we didn’t get to see all the consumer features (Microsoft say they won’t be showing all the features just yet), what we did manage to see and hear about were some of the new features, as well as the brand new Windows Phone OS look.
- Windows 8 – Windows Phone 8 shares the same kernel and guts as Windows 8, meaning that now, more than ever Apps will be easier to make for both devices. Windows Phone 8 will also be able to be updated to higher hardware specs in the future as Windows 8 certainly supports some powerful specs in this day and age.
- New Resolutions – 800 x 480 will only be there for older devices now, as Windows Phone 8 now supports two new resolutions: 1280 x 720 and WXGA 1280 x 768 meaning gone are the days of the ultra low res screens we’re all used to with Windows Phone 7!
- Dual Cores and more – Dual Core processors are most certainly coming to WP8, and Microsoft hinted at more powerful processors could make their way to the platform as well. We expect Quad-core processors before too long, but Windows Phone most certainly doesn’t need it. Microsoft have said Windows Phone 8, in theory could support up to 64 cores!
- NFC – NFC will be fully integrated into Windows Phone 8 (not all devices, but at least all the higher end devices) and it seems like a big feature in WP8. NFC will also be compatibe with Windows 8 tablets and PCs, while a lot of apps will be able to take advantage of the NFC implementation.
- MicroSD Support – MicroSD cards will be fully supported now! Though we’re not entirely sure what the minimum/maximum supported storage will be here.
- Skype and VOIP -Skype will be fully integrated with WP8 as well, and you can even receive calls from Skype as if it were a normal phone call.
- Microsoft Wallet – Microsoft will be implementing Microsoft’s Wallet based system (and rival Google Wallet) with integrating coupons, deals, apps, to do with the Wallet based payment system into the phone.
- New Home Page – The biggest change aesthetically will be the new tiles system whereby users are now able to completely customize their Home page with different tiles, and resize them as you wish. This essentially means that users can now have 28 mini live tiles showing on their home page, essentially smashing what the original home screen could do in Windows Phone 7. The choice is up to you on how you want to keep the tiles.
- App compatibility – Each Windows Phone 7.5 app ever created or will be created will work on Windows Phone 8 devices.
- Nokia Maps – Nokia and Microsoft’s partnership dives even deeper as all Windows Phone 8 integrated maps will be powered by Nokia Navteq maps which is great because they are much more advanced than Bing Maps ever were, and easily more detailed.
- Enterprise and Business – Businesses can now use Windows Phone 8 and be content and impressed with the security features for companies – Data Encryption, Device Management, and more.
- Microsoft Updates – Microsoft will be rolling out future updates straight to your phone, and cutting out carriers with their updates (and thankfully the delays as well). Meaning when you get it, everyone else will get it at the same time. Yay!
- Existing Windows Phone 7 users won’t be getting Windows Phone 8, since WP8 takes advantage of much more advanced software and hardware. Instead, you’ll be getting a Windows Phone 7.8 update which includes things such as the new home screen layout.
So that’s the major key points of the First look at Windows Phone 8. We’re very impressed so far, and the customizability options with tiles on the home screens with what we expect is more colors will be fantastic when it arrives. As for launch dates, Microsoft was very mum on this, but we’re guessing October/November for when we’ll see the devices with Windows Phone 8 hitting the markets all across the globe. Of course, these aren’t all the features that Windows Phone 8 will get, but only the ones Microsoft is willing to unveil at this point. Till then, get excited because this is the best thing to have come out of Microsoft for phones.. well… ever!