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Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 8 – Takes It Up Another Notch

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At the Windows Phone Summit on Wednesday, Microsoft gave the details on the next major version of the Windows Phone platform.  It’s been a great week for Microsoft so far with the introduction of Surface, and they kept that momentum going with Windows Phone 8.  This next major version will take it up a notch in competing with iOS and Android.

Many new features and enhancements were announced today, and one of the biggest was that Windows Phone 8 will share the core technology of Windows 8.  This opens up lots of possibiiities with shared file systems, security, networking, etc.

Other features to note:

  • Multi-core processor support
  • Two new screen resolutions
  • MicroSD support
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Digital Wallet
  • NFC wireless sharing
  • and much more

Now the one improvement I especially am excited about is the new customizable start screen.  This is a very important part of the user experience and although Microsoft did a great job with the live tiles and WP7 start screen, it was still lacking — not with Windows Phone 8.

You can see the video demo here.

There are now 3 different sizes of Live Tiles which lets you fit way more stuff on your start screen to reduce scrolling.  Just from the video and screenshots this looks real good, and should be appealing to iPhone users who are tired of the non-customizable screen in iOS.

Wp8 startscreen

I’ve only touched on part of what was announced, and there will be more news coming in the next few months.  Just from what I’ve seen today I’m pretty impressed with the direction they are taking.  With that being said, not everyone is happy as it was also revealed that Windows Phone 8 will not work with any current device.  That means all the people who recently bought a Lumia 900 won’t get the upgrade.  Watching Twitter this afternoon it seems there was lots of mixed feelings about this, which is quite understandable.  Current devices will get a 7.8 update which will bring the new start screen to existing phones along with some others features and apps.  This unfortunately seems to be a reality when dealing with mobile devices now, but I’m at least hoping when the hardware comes out people will get some deals on new units.

There’s still more information coming, but overall I think this will really take Windows Phone up a notch and make it a viable competitor to iOS.


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