Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company’s smartphone operating system
Windows Phone 8, along with addition of countless new features, is aimed at resolving long pending features that were hurdling Windows Phone market share that stands at around 5 percent in smartphones market.
With Windows Phone 8 OS, smartphone manufacturers will now be able to develop multi-core smartphones with better than WVGA (or 800 x 480) displays. Earlier versions of Windows Phone OS (7 or even 7.5) restricted manufacturers for doing that as part of OS requirements.
Windows Phone 8 will also support external storage devices, unlike its earlier versions. Additionally, WP8 will finally bring native support for NFC.
As part of the announcement, Microsoft revealed new features, including Kid’s Corner and Rooms, along with details and pricing for a range of new smartphones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, each with their own differentiated designs, colors and features.
Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale in November at carriers and retailers around the world.
Here are windows phone 8 highlights:
Most Personal Smartphone
Live Tiles are the heart and soul of Windows Phone, and no other phone has them. People can arrange the iconic Start screen however they want by pinning their favorite people, apps, music, games, photos and more. Three sizes of Live Tiles and 20 bright color choices including cobalt, crimson and lime mean you can personalize your Start screen to be unmistakably yours.
In addition to Live Tiles, Windows Phone 8 offers a range of new features to make your smartphone experience even more personal, including these:
The only phone with Live Apps:
Live Apps bring information right to the Start screen, such as the Groupon deal of the day, flight information and news headlines. With Windows Phone 8, Live Apps such as Facebook can even deliver real-time information right to your lock screen with updated wallpaper.
The Windows Phone Store has 120,000 apps to choose from, with hundreds added every day and hits coming this holiday, such as “Angry Birds Star Wars,” “Cut the Rope Experiments,” “Disney’s Where’s My Water,” “LivingSocial,” “Temple Run,” “Urbanspoon” and many more. Today Microsoft announced that Pandora, the leading Internet radio service, is coming to Windows Phone in early 2013 with one year of ad-free music.
Exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Kid’s Corner is a worry-free way to share your phone with your kids, so they can play “Angry Birds” without texting your angry boss. Parents can now hand over their phones to the kids without worrying about deleted photos, misdirected emails, unapproved purchases or accidental phone calls.
After a simple setup, parents can activate a specialized place on the phone for kids to play — complete with their own customizable Start screens — where they can access only the apps, games, music and videos picked by parents.
Sometimes you want to share and chat with one group, not your entire social network. Rooms allow you to create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8 — like your family members best friends or fantasy football league — and easily connect with just them. Chat, share calendars, shopping lists or photos in an ongoing conversation where only those invited can join in. You can share some aspects of Rooms with friends and family on other smartphones as well.
This new feature helps you surf more and do more — without worrying about going over your data limit. Data sense helps conserve your data allowance by compressing Web images, deferring data tasks to free Wi-Fi and automatically adjusting your usage as you get closer to your plan limits.
Data Sense also shows how much data is used per app. As you approach your limit, Data Sense notifies you so you can get the most out of your plan. Data Sense will roll out to select mobile operators this holiday and additional partners next year. Verizon will be the first to offer Data Sense in the U.S.
Wallet and near-field communications.
Windows Phone 8 brings together the best of new wallet technologies, including payments via near-field communications (NFC).(1) The Wallet can also store your debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information on your phone.
Always-on, premium Skype experience.
With the new Skype app, coming soon to Windows Phone 8, you can make and receive Skype calls just like a regular phone call. Simply tap a friend or family member’s contact card in the People Hub, or just pick up when the phone rings. Skype is always on and available so you can choose how to connect with people.