Just two days after the surprise Microsoft surface announcement, Microsoft, announced the next version of Windows Phone, called Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8 uses the same core as Windows 8 and features multi-core processor support, new display options, new storage options, NFC, IE10, Wallet app and Nokia maps.
With Windows Phone 8 supporting higher resolutions Microsoft have updated the start screen which I have to say looks a little cluttered compared to Windows Phone 7 but I guess we will get used to it, the new 720p resolutions will be great and I can’t wait to see it running on a 5 inch Galaxy Note type phone. Some key features are:
■ Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
■ Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
■ More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
■ NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
■ Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block
dangerous websites and malware.
■ Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
■ Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
■ Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.
What we like is Windows Phone 8 also supports NFC sharing so you can share content between NFC enabled devices. The Wallet app looks interesting and very much like Apple’s Passbook and can store debit and credit card details, coupons, boarding passes and other documents.
Windows Phone 8 adds Nokia maps which includes turn-by-turn directions and offline mapping which is a great feature. There is IE10 which has the same engine, plus there are lots of enterprise features possibly tying up with the new Microsoft Surface pro.
The bad news for Windows Phone owners is that current Windows Phone devices will not get the update which is a really shame but I can understand why they had to do that, however there is Windows Phone 7.8 coming which has the new style start screen and will be available to current Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft themselves put it as: "If you currently own a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, Microsoft is planning to release an update with the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen. We’re calling it “Windows Phone 7.8.”
Some of you have been wondering, “Will we also get Windows Phone 8 as an update?” The answer, unfortunately, is no.
Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware. BUT we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we’re providing the new Start screen in this new update."
What do you think is this a step to far or will it tempt you to upgrade?