Windows Phone 8 Unleashes a New Wave of FeaturesBy: Shawn Hess - June 21, 2012
The Windows Phone Team is excited to bring us the new Windows Phone, number 8, as they so cleverly call it. They emphasize they are “resetting” their approach to mobile, whatever that means.
Another point they emphasize is that Windows Phone 8, is based on the new Windows 8 Operating System. I don’t know why, but this actually makes a lot of sense to me.
Regardless of my sarcasm, it does look like they have made some much needed refinements to their newest mobile offering, and if you’re already a Windows 8 user, why not explore the potential of these devices?
The major advantage to Phone 8 sharing core competencies with Windows 8, at least as Microsoft sees it, it translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.
Sharing common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system does seem like an advantage.
This is what they promise with Windows Phone 8:
* Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
* Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
* More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
* NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
* Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
* Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
* Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
* Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.
The Windows phone team has been doing a lot of updates to the existing phone systems so they offer that as a software upgrade if you already use a Windows-based phone. They call the update Windows Phone 7.8.
The downside is you won’t be able to get Windows Phone 8 as an upgrade, it is a totally new phone and that’s the only way to harness the capability (by getting the new phone).
Anyway, the release didn’t get into too much detail about the phone itself, but it is still a work in progress. Hopefully we’ll find it’s worthy of all the hype once it’s released. We’ll keep you posted when Microsoft tells us more.
In the meantime, take a look at this Windows Phone 8 video: