On Wednesday at the Windows Phone Summit Microsoft unveiled Windows phone 8.
If before you didn’t see Microsoft’s vision for the Windows platform, you should see it now.
Let me highlight some of the keypoints of Windows Phone 8.
- For the first time Windows Phone will share the same kernel as Windows on the desktop, phone and tablets. This is huge because it makes things so much easier for developers and consumers. For developers they can basically write one app for all platforms with little change. For consumers this meas you can download one app for all platforms.
- There will be a new start screen for Windows Phone 8. The tiles now can span 3 sizes from a small box to a regular sized box tile to a rectangular tile that takes up 2 tile spots. This is great because tiles that are important to you can be made larger while tiles that may not be live or have limited information you can make smaller.
- Multi-core support is coming to Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7 is quick on single core, Windows Phone 8 should fly on a multi-core phone.
- Micro-SD support is finally making it to Windows Phone. Sure some Windows Phone 7 devices had it but it wasn’t supported very well but now its back and done right.
- Nokia maps is taking over Bing maps on all devices. This is great because Nokia maps are awesome. Turn-by-turn directions done right will be native to Windows Phone!
- NFC technologies and Wallet are being baked into Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Now sharing is made easy by just tapping two phones together or phone and tablet or even a PC. Also you can put not just your credit cards in your phone, but also your grocery store advantage cards and even your library card. You can even get deals on your phone.
And much more…
Windows Phone 7.x users won’t be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 and I expected that.
The nice thing is we will get and update to Windows Phone 7.8 which will give us the new start screen.
This is nice! I know people will be upset, but Microsoft had to do this because current phones aren’t powerful enough.
This is better than what I’ve seen Apple do by saying older phones will be able to upgrade to the newer OS but when you do there are performance issues and you can’t do some of the new options.
At least Microsoft is being open and saying “we want to give the best experience” and this is the best way to go.
Anyway off of my soapbox and back to Windows Phone 8.
Similar to Windows 8 on a tablet I would love to get my hands on a Windows Phone 8 device (and can’t wait for the 7.8 update). The new start screen looks really nice and I sometimes wished I could re-size tiles.
The one thing I’m still wondering is about Landscape mode. Will the Windows Phone 8 start screen switch to landscape mode if turned? I’m not sure, but I’d love to find out.
Other than that Windows Phone 8 is a unique OS because you can use the same Metro apps across Phone, Tablet and PC. They’re baking in a ton of options that you may have to get as apps for other phones right into Windows Phone 8. We saw that in Windows Phone 7.x and its only going to get better with the new version.
Microsoft really wants its users to look at phone, tablet and PC as a trinity of Microsoft devices that are must have. I’m saying tablet and PC when I should actually say tablet/PC because with Surface (and hopefully other tablets) you have a unique tablet/laptop hybrid. With SmartGlass for gamers and entertainment nuts, this should be a no brainer as well.
Microsoft with Windows Phone 8, Windows 8/RT, Surface, SmartGlass and what ever else they have up their sleeves wants to show everyone that they still have their MOJO. All the components separately might make people shrug, but together they finish the puzzle (at least for me) that shows what Microsoft’s full plan is and I like it.
I do think Microsoft is holing back something, what I’m not sure what though.
I could be wrong, but I have a feeling before Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 come out Microsoft is going to have another surprise.
Even if they don’t I’m pleased with what I see.