Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 8, Won't Support Current Handsets
June 20, 2012 12:35 PM
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Current Windows Phone 7.x users will have to make do with Windows Phone 7.8
Microsoft may be down in the
single-digits when it comes to worldwide smartphone market share
, but the company is not going to sit by on the sidelines while the competition from Apple and Google pass it by. Today at the Windows Phone Summit, Microsoft announced the follow-up to Windows Phone 7.5 -- Windows Phone 8.
While Windows Phone 7.x is based on Windows CE, Windows Phone 8 shares its NT kernel with PC-oriented
Windows 8 operating system
. Thanks to the shared codebase, developers won't have to do "double duty" developing programs for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows Phone, introduces Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8 will support dual-core processor at launch, and quad-core support will come at a later date (Windows Phone 8 can theoretically support up to 64 cores
). In addition, Windows Phone 8 will support three screen resolutions: 800x480, 1280x768, and 1280x720. Although we question the need for both of the latter screen resolutions, we'll give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Other features include microSD support for removable storage (movies, videos, photos, apps), VoIP/Skype integration, in-app purchases, Internet Explorer 10 (complete with anti-phising technology), native NFC support, and a mobile Wallet Hub to store credit/debit cards, and deals/offers, (it sounds quite a bit like
Apple's Passbook from iOS 6
). Nokia's NAVTEQ mapping technology will also be built-in to Windows Phone 8 including offline maps. Another new feature, Tap+Send, allows users to "bump" phones to share data. However, we've seen this functionality before in Android devices.
Customizable tiles in Windows Phone 8
The biggest change announced is a revamp of the Start screen and the Live Tiles system. Microsoft is now giving users the ability to completely control the Start screen and resize tiles to make their phones more personal. For example, if the Pictures hub is most important to you, you can resize the tile to make is take a huge portion of your screen while at the same time reducing the size of tiles that don't interest you as much.
Microsoft also made it official that current smartphones running Windows Phone 7.x will not be getting an upgrade to Windows Phone 8. While some functionality will make its way into Windows Phone 7.8 (like the new customizable Start screen), you'll have to purchase a brand new smartphone to get the full Windows Phone 8 experience.
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6/20/2012 11:50:41 PM
I should have cut off the quote on battery life. Smoothness of the UI is the main thing I give WP7 over Android, it isn't even a close comparison between the two. I also never once have spoken about battery life in a WP7 discussion.
And btw, WP7 actually does quite well with talk time. The top talk time scores all go to larger handsets with much bigger batteries in them.
The main thing holding back WP7 isn't the OS, it is decent hardware. Even with slower SoCs it was still very competitive when it launched in 2010. Unfortunately its hardware has stagnated while Android handset makers and Apple kept pushing specs as hard as they could. In Android's case it was needed to make the OS less choppy, as well as giving something to market towards the neckbeards. Hopefully Microsoft and Nokia will try and be more competitive on that front with WP8.
6/21/2012 12:30:43 PM
This android vs WP7 flame war sounds a lot like Windows vs Mac OS arguments that used to stir up crap.
Anyhoo, I think the key to WP8 succeeding is the fact that it shares its code with Windows 8 and that youll be able to run the same software on either your phone, tablet, or laptop/desktop is very compelling. I got a lumia 800, I preferr it over the 900. Larger screen is great but the way they put it together isnt as good to me. Same hardware other than 4g. I dont have it so I dont miss it. So even now with its dated hardware it runs just fine for what I use mine for but Im not under any delusion that it will go toe to toe with the higher end androids.
I do think the OS is holding back Wp7, not that its bad. Its quite impressive but its based off of CE. I think they hit a wall with what they wanted to do vs what they could do with that code, hence no updated hardware and the shift to Win 8 code. Remember the Kin? Nope? no one does except as a reminder that MS was royally effing up during the developement of both platforms. I think WP7 would have been out a hell of a lot sooner if they had dropped or merged the two teams together. I think wp8 will be a very compelling choice when it comes out, but if they do not offer more of what I want then I have no problem with android. Apple on the other hand can go fuck themselves.
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