Microsoft officially presented Windows Phone 8, a new mobile operating system based on the same Windows NT kernel as Windows 8, making it easier for software developers to make apps for both versions of Windows. The operating systems share the same driver model and several frameworks, but the bad news is that Windows Phone 7 users will not be able to upgrade to WP8. Instead, they will receive a (very) minor update called Windows Phone 7.8.
Full details at Windows Team Blog.
With Windows Phone 8, the similarity is more than skin deep. 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.
This new shared core—along with all the extra work we’ve done on top of it—opens up a new world of capabilities, which you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate. Here’s a taste:
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, 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.
Use Disqus to post new comments, the old comments are listed below.
Re: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8 (and WP7 owners get screwed) by Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2012 @ 06:16:21 CEST
Ask Apple owners if they got Siri? Ask Android users how many of them will EVER see Jelly Bean. Certain advances are not backwards compatible. Fact of life in the tech world. Quit whining about it.