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Windows Phone 8 is officially announced

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Windows Phone 8 is officially announced
As we expected, the Windows Phone 8 platform was just introduced at Microsoft's 2012 Developer Summit. The announcement was made by the tech giant's very own Joe Belfiore.

First thing that he revealed about Windows Phone 8 was that the mobile platform will have a lot in common with its desktop and tablet counterpart. In particular, WP8 and Windows 8 will have a "shared core". In other words, the both systems will sport the same kernel, file system, multimedia support, and a lot more. As a result, manufacturers will have the convenience to use the same hardware drivers between both platforms, while developers will have an easier time developing better apps, according to Mr Belfiore.

But the geeky tech stuff has yet to come. Support for muti-core chipsets has been added to Windows Phone 8. In fact, the software core of the plaftorm has been tested on a plethora of multi-core chips, with the results being pretty promising. And if that is not enough of a major improvement, the platform's next major iteration supports higher display resolutions. No more limiting handsets to a maximum of 480 by 800 pixels. The two newly-added screen resolutions are WXGA (1280 by 768 pixels) and 720p (1280 by 720 pixels). Oh, and did we mention that the platform now gets along well with microSD cards for storage expansion?

Windows Phone 8 adds support for multi-core chipsets and higher display resolutions
Windows Phone 8 adds support for multi-core chipsets and higher display resolutions
Windows Phone 8 adds support for multi-core chipsets and higher display resolutions

Windows Phone 8 adds support for multi-core chipsets and higher display resolutions



On the software side, Joe Belfiore started with Internet Explorer 10, which Windows Phone 8 will come with. What makes the browser better than its predecessor is the enhanced HTML5 support and the quadrupled JavaScript performance. And sure enough, benchmark results comparing IE10 performance to that of the browsers on the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One S, and the iPhone running iOS 6, show that Microsoft's solution is superior, at least on paper. Several smart features, such as an anti-phishing filter, will also be included. Internet Explorer 10 for Windows Phone 8 will use the same HTML rendering engine as the browser's desktop version.

Windows Phone 8 will come with Internet Explorer 10
Windows Phone 8 will come with Internet Explorer 10

Windows Phone 8 will come with Internet Explorer 10



Moving on, we now have maps powered by Nokia present on Windows Phone 8. And those comes with all the cool traits Nokia's maps are known for, including turn-by-turn directions and the ability to work offline. The map data itself will be provided by NAVTEQ. Currently, only Windows Phone users who own a Nokia Lumia smartphone get to enjoy Nokia Maps, but Windows Phone is bound to change that.

Windows Phone 8 will feature maps powered by Nokia
Windows Phone 8 will feature maps powered by Nokia

Windows Phone 8 will feature maps powered by Nokia

 

The next major item on the list of enhancements is the redesigned home screen, which follows the minimalist model of the Metro user interface, but now can host more information. That's because that black vertical stripe on the right is gone, leaving room for more live tiles of various sizes to be added. Any tile can now be scaled to one of three sizes, depending on the user's preference. As an added bonus, there is a bigger variety of theme colors in Windows Phone 8.

The Windows Phone 8 home screen will be able to contain tiles of various sizes
The Windows Phone 8 home screen will be able to contain tiles of various sizes
The Windows Phone 8 home screen will be able to contain tiles of various sizes

The Windows Phone 8 home screen will be able to contain tiles of various sizes



And how can we not mention that Windows Phone 8 boasts broad NFC support? That allows quick and easy transfer of contact data, pairing of wireless devices, and most importantly, mobile payments. In fact, the platform comes with a Wallet feature, which works with credit cards, your PayPal account, even your library subscription.

A Wallet feature that leverages NFC technology is included with Windows Phone 8
A Wallet feature that leverages NFC technology is included with Windows Phone 8
A Wallet feature that leverages NFC technology is included with Windows Phone 8

A Wallet feature that leverages NFC technology is included with Windows Phone 8



Now, for those of you who are wondering whether Windows Phone 7.5 apps will work on WP8, Joe Belfiore reassured the audience that they will, despite the difference in screen resolution. Furthermore, he stated that Windows 8 developers who are working on games, including those using DirectX, will have little trouble porting their software to WP8. A DirectX-powered video game called Marble Maze was demonstrated on stage running on a Windows Phone 8 device.

And these were the most significant Windows Phone 8 features that were highlighted today. Do you like what Microsoft has crafted?

Images courtesy of The Verge

15 Comments
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posted on 20 Jun 2012, 11:40 8

1. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


WP8 will either be a hit or miss. I'm predicting WP will be back into the competition:)

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 01:39 2

11. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Actually it came back with WP7.5 and WP8 will be the booster.

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 11:41 13

2. mercorp (Posts: 967; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


OMG! this is so awesome!it made my day!

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 11:50 5

3. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


This is actually really awesome. The new start screen looks really nice, a lot more customizable, and there are some cool new features. I like it a lot. Going to try it at the store the day that the first WP8 phone comes out!

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 12:26

4. itsravie (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


When ever I am tired of fully exploring and finding so many defects n windows phone and decide to buy a non-windows phone.. these b... launch new phone and keep me excited.

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 12:58 3

5. smartphone (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


What about Bluetooth file transfer and mass storage mode.

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 12:56

14. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


i think the bluetooth is a no as they are pushing nfc, which in the long run will be better… and there was no announcement on mass storage from what i got

and the new start screen gives me mixed feelings… i like the customization, but the old screen with the black bar and arrow just looked really nice.. i hope there is an option to configure that

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 13:15 3

6. Credo (Posts: 683; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Windows Phone 8 also made my day, and also the fact current Wp users will be able to update to 7.8, everything is awesome, RIM gone, WP is now the 3th best OS, even better then iOS 6 perhaps, i hope Fandroids will give WP8 a try

Peace and Love out here

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 13:35 2

7. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


+1 i agree with you comment

...fandroids are windows phone users at heart! look at all the comments and other WP8 articles...

NO HATE comments whatsoever!!!

even the techy iFans are windows phone users at heart.

my opinion is iOS will wait to battle it out between the dominance of android and wp8...

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 14:59 1

8. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


yeah, windows was my first smartphone - I went to android because I could mod them just like with windows - a major minus vs iproducts.

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 22:50

9. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


All these features are great. I can't wait to have it in my hands.

posted on 20 Jun 2012, 23:55

10. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


Awesome! I use android daily, but this is awesome! clearly microsoft have done their homework and listen to what mainstream customers want (bigger hi-res screen, dual core, NFC, etc etc).. I think 2013 will be a battle between android and Win8..

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 05:25 1

12. AndrewRamirez (Posts: 26; Member since: 24 Apr 2012)


"Can't believe I'm saying this, but I just loved Windows Phone..." :O

Sincerely,
an Android user

posted on 21 Jun 2012, 09:10

13. miramoo (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Welcome back, Microsoft :) *sorry, fangirl mode here*

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 01:03

15. andyboi_ph (Posts: 101; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


im sooooo into WP8 ryt now!!!!!

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