What Will Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 Offer YOU?
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Microsoft has had a rowdy week. While the mysterious unveiling of Microsoft’s nifty new tablet, “Surface” had the whole country buzzing at the beginning of the week, the software giant continued in its quest to reposition itself as a major player in the consumer IT market yesterday with a new announcement related to the Windows Phone.
While many tech journalists have praised the current Windows Phone 7, as Jeremy Thake – Chief Architect at software solutions firm AvePoint – pointed out during a lecture to the SharePoint Developer’s User Group, oftentimes it seems that the various departments at Microsoft aren’t on speaking terms with one another.
In an effort to fix this communication disconnect, Microsoft representatives including Terry Myerson, Kevin Gallo and Joe Belfiore headed up the Windows Phone Summit to explain that the same core technologies underlying the forthcoming Windows 8 OS will be the same that power the Windows Phone 8.
“With Windows Phone 8, the similarity [to Windows 8] is more than skin deep,” wrote Belfiore in a blog post yesterday. “We’ve based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8. It means Windows Phone and its bigger sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.”
Let’s take a closer look at what those features are. From Belfiore’s blog:
- 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—1280x768 and 1280x720, 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, 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. [See our piece on “Do Not Track” in IE10 here.]
- 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. [On that note, Final Fantasy is available for Nokia Lumina smart phones! We’re gonna be getting our nerd on forthwith.]
Another super cool thing to note in this barrage of information is that once Windows Phone 8 is released this fall, users of the Windows Phone 7.5 will be able to do a software update that will enable 7.5 users to deploy the easily customizable start screen with tile widgets that can be personalized to each user depending on what applications they prefer.
The Windows Phone 8 preview also has far reaching implications for developers in that the unity of the Windows 8 OS with the phone itself will allow developers to use the same language when coding, allowing for interoperability between PCs and mobile devices. [WE MAY NEVER HAVE TO PUT DOWN FINAL FANTASY!]
Ok, I feel like I need to take a deep breath after all that … OK, I’m good.
We’ll take a break now and see how the community has reacted in our follow up blog post coming to you shortly.
Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to serving the workforce needs of our clients as well as taking our candidate’s careers to the next level.