As predicted before, Microsoft finally announced Windows Phone 8 at Windows Phone Summit event. Before the announcement of WP8, Microsoft gave some data to show that 7 of 9 top rated smartphones run Windows Phone OS. Then Microsoft announced WP8 and its new features.
Some of the changes/new features on Windows Phone 8 are:
- Windows Phone 8 will use the same core code as Windows 8, including multimedia, kernel, graphics, and others. Therefore, Windows 8 developers can easily port their apps to Windows Phone 8. Hardware vendors also get benefit because the driver code for PC and WP8 smartphone is same, so the new Microsoft mobile platform will have many compatible accessories in market.
- Windows Phone 8 Supports Multi-Core Chips because it uses the same kernel code like the one on Windows PC, which has been proven to run with 64-core or more.
- WP8 is following Android way to support 720p display. With higher display resolution, Windows Phone 8 Smartphones can have bigger display size and still have high pixel density.
- The new OS also supports micro SD card for storage expansion.
- Developers can make programs with native C/C++ code. So, they can port their existing apps/games to Windows Phone 8. Hope that some of great PC games can be played on a smartphone (as long as the game requirement meets the smartphone hardware specs).
- The applications built for Windows Phone 7 will continue to work. Developers don’t need to modify their apps to run on WP8.
- Internet Explorer 10 is Installed on WP8 Smartphones. Microsoft has shown Sunspider test result, showing that a WP8 smartphone with IE 10 web browser is faster than current fastest smartphones.
- It also supports Near Field Communicator in general. Fortunately, Microsoft has added some features that allows a WP8 smartphone connected to a PC.
- The maps application will use Nokia Mapping Data. It supports turn-by-turn navigation, offline map, as well as developer access.
- It encrypts the data and has secure boot. Microsoft Office is also available on the platform. That makes Microsoft says that Windows Phone 8 is “ready for business”.
- Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 8 will give best wallet experience among smartphone platforms. The wallet experience meant by Microsoft include credit cards, deals, coupons, membership cards, and tap to pay, which supports secure NFC payment via SIM card from the carrier. Microsoft’s competitor, Google, only added the security in the device and it didn’t add security in SIM.
- Windows Phone 8 supports smaller tile, so it doesn’t waste a lot of space.
Conclusion: Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is probably “the most dangerous enemy” for the current smartphone market leader, Android. One of the main advantages of the newly announced WP8 is it has the same kernel code as Windows 8 so it’s predicted to have so many apps and accessories. It also supports native programming code (C/C++), making developers easier to port existing apps/games to WP8 platform.
With the announcement of Apple’ iOS 6 at WWDC and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 just now, then BlackBerry and Google will announce BB 10 and Android Jelly Bean, there will be “a big war” in smartphone OS.
Microsoft also said that WP8 smartphone are supported with updates for at least 18 months. Updates are delivered over the air. Registered users can get early access to updates of WP8 updates.
Watch the keynote video of Windows Phone Summit Event here.