Windows Phone 8 Unveiled

7/30/2012 9:22:48 AM
At the recent Windows Phone Summit Conference, Microsoft officially unveiled its next version of Mobile Phone Operation System: Windows Phone 8. Microsoft hopes to develop Windows Phone 8 with high personalization, “closely knit to users” and bringing ultimate “connection experience”. Windows Phone 8 is now equipped with the “Shared windows core”, or in other words, this mobile OS will share the same core Windows NT with Windows 8, not using Windows CE as the previous version.

Description: Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8

This means file system, internet-based function, multimedia files and driver support are the same in the 2 platforms. Windows 8 will be officially launched this fall.

The advantage of sharing Windows NT core

Programmers will take full advantages of using the mutual OS. Instead of using .NET Compact Framework in Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 uses Core Common Language Runtime (CoreCRL, can be recognized as a virtual machine, managing the programming code and commanding soft wares just like the application launching method in Windows 8. Operating performance will be improved, as there are more shared components between the 2 platforms and application development for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be simpler. The SDK set based on the programming tool Visual Studio 2012 will be unveiled before the end of this summer.

Besides, programmers can now develop their applications with C/C++ (native code), SQLite (for the database use) and Direct X (for game building). These tools will be helpful for the popular applications and especially games to be mightier in operation. But not that simple, Microsoft states “programmers are enabled to develop games for Windows and Windows Phone concurrently“. It also revealed that Android, iOS application convert into Windows Phone 8 will be more convenient. The company expected the “Big Bosses” in the Software Technology would join to develop the applications for Windows 8, especially in boosting the game with the promise “the games not-ever-seen”. Microsoft will expand the Speech Recognition function so that programmers can develop their own applications.

Description: The advantage of shared Windows Core

The advantage of shared Windows Core

Better Hardware Support

Microsoft stated that Windows Phone 8 will be optimized for dual-core processors and up to 64 cores. Up to now, all the Window Phones Mobiles have been equipped only with the single-core CPU. Besides the resolution 800 x 480 (15:9), which was supported previously, 2 more resolutions added in Windows Phone 8 are 1280x768 (15:9) and 1280x720 (16:9). The good news is that the coming Windows Phone applications will be provided with a removable micro SD storage. The missing of this feature in Windows Phone 7 led to a lot of complaints. Users will be set free to reserve files and they are enabled to make use of this to save data. Even the removable storage can be used to install the applications. Microsoft will also officially support NFC directly within the Windows Phone operating system. Users can use it to share files with other devices, or read tags,… The best part is that NFC will be combined with the Wallet Hub.

The indeed Multi-task ability   

In the introduction, Microsoft mentioned about the indeed ability to run background multi-tasking that it wanted to expand for the programmers with new galleries in Windows Phone 8. Now, the soft wares can still operate normally even when it does not appear in the screen. For example, you can use Chat apps, Skype and Navigation “underground” while doing other tasks. These “underground” apps still operate, not be paused like in Windows Phone 7. This is the most-wanted function as it helps to carry out better multi-tasks in Windows Phone and the transfer from this application to another will be simpler.

New Start screen

In terms of interface, Microsoft allows users to customize the Start Screen, which is called “the sexiest feature of Windows Phone 8”. There are 3 resizable tiles — double-wide, regular, and small. Users will be set free to resize the tile by dragging the small arrow symbol which will appear when clicking and holding Tile. This feature was missing from Windows Phone 7. Color customization is identical to the previous versions. The current soft wares from Windows Phone 7.5 still run with high resolution and new tile size without any interference from the programmers. The photos of new Start Screen are presented as follows:

Description: New Start screen

New Start screen

Internet Explorer 10

Additionally, Internet Explorer 10 will be built into the OS, and its rendering engine will mirror the desktop version. Microsoft stated that IE 10 offered four times faster JavaScript performance and better HTML5 support in comparison with Windows Phone 7.5. IE 10 is supported with the new features as the desktop version, typically the “SmartScreen anti-phishing”. This is the anti-defrauding filter from millions of Windows users to block dangerous websites in real time.  

Description: Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10

Nokia Maps instead of Bing Maps

A dramatic change in Windows Phone 8 is the use of Nokia Maps instead of Bing Maps. As a result, the international map data will be in much more details in comparison to Bing Maps. The service will use NAVTEQ - a Nokia’s subsidiary. Nokia Maps offers the offline map without internet connection. Programmers can use Nokia Maps as a control in their applications. The turn-by-turn direction and “Deal” (allowing you to view the sale-off or promotion shops in a geographical area) are built into the maps in Windows Phone 8.


Description: Nokia Maps instead of Bing Maps

Nokia Maps instead of Bing Maps

Cooperating with manufactures, software-updating through OTA

Besides the fruitful relationship built to integrate the “next-generation silicon” processor into Windows Phone 8, Microsoft will cooperate with four special hardware partners — Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC to distribute the devices running on the new OS to 180 nations, in 50 languages. These partners committed to develop Windows Phone 8 in the future and all Windows Phone 8 devices will get "at least" 18 months of software support after launch. Microsoft disclosed that the updated versions will be delivered through “Over-The-Air” method, which allows users to download and install the updates without a computer. All will be carried out only through the phone.

In addition, Microsoft announced the “enthusiasts program”. Users who want to experience and give feedbacks to Microsoft may register this program to get access to software and OS updates earlier than ordinary users.

Update: Qualcomm disclosed that all the coming Windows Phone 8 devices will use its CPU Snapdragon S4 Plus. In details, it is the dual-core chip MSM8960, code name Krait.

Better support for companies and organizations

Windows Phone 8 is equipped with many features which can be applied to companies. The shared core between the Windows Phone 8 and Windows NT helps the featured soft wares of the companies and organizations to run better. The Admin can share the mutual tools to manage the Windows Phone 8 equipment in the same way with Windows computers. The BitLocker Driver coding and Secure Boot will enhance the data secure reserved on the phone. Companies can expand all their own soft wares into the Windows Phone without Marketplace. Office applications in Windows Phone 8 will be improved for more convenient daily use. Microsoft will give more talk about those new features in Windows Phone 8 official release.

Description: Better support for companies and organizations

Better support for companies and organizations

Additionally, a new port call “Company” will be added up, which allows the company to express their own applications. Concurrently, the admin is allowed to customize the highlighted information upon the company situation. There is an application named Microsoft IT, which is provided by Microsoft as a “model” that companies can customize and install.

Description: a new port call “Company” will be added up

A new port call “Company” will be added up

Integrated Skype and VoIP

Microsoft announced they would develop the facilities so that Skype and other VoIP applications are able to run better in Windows Phone. “Skype will still be an application that you'll be able to download that will take advantage of the VoIP integration in Windows Phone 8”. Microsoft thought that they could be the pioneer who would lead this aspect. In details, VoIP applications (including Skype) will be deeply integrated into the phone dialer, People Hub, and more than that. Of course, these applications will take advantages of real multi-task support in Windows Phone 8.

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