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Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8 operating system

After launching the Windows 8 platform, Microsoft has now announced the launch of its much awaited mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.

twitter-logoNidhi Singal | October 30, 2012 | Updated 13:11 IST

Nidhi Singal
After launching the Windows 8 platform, Microsoft has now announced the launch of its much awaited mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.

On Monday, Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Windows Phone Program manager, said that the new OS was a response to what the lack of evolution in the mobile operating system market.

Focused around people and not the icons, Microsoft believes that the work they are doing is to reinvent the smartphone around users. Unlike other operating systems, the Windows Phone platform has adjustable live tiles that updates regularly. There is a new lock screen with live Apps as it'll automatically surface photos, notifications, and content from all of favorite apps. Windows Phone 8 has IE10 browser and data sense to keep a track of the consumed data. There is also a Kid's Corner onboard. This is a separate area where patents can select the apps, music, etc. for kids to play with. The People's Hub has further improved with rooms. The first room onboard is the family room that comes on all WP8 devices out of the box.

The company also talked about SkyDrive integration that lets users sync up Office documents and photos for all Windows devices, including PC, tablet and smartphone. Microsoft also stated that its app store has grown to 1,20,000 apps. The Windows Phone operating system supports 50 languages.

While these are the new features showcased during the press conference, below mentioned are the features that showcased during the Developers Summit in June.

Shared Core: Windows Phone 8 will be deeply linked with PCs and tablets running on Windows 8 platform. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will share the same kernel, file system, multimedia apps and graphics support. As a result all apps that will work on Windows Phone will work on tablets and desktop PCs as well. Even sharing content and apps between the three devices will be much smoother. Even developers will be able to create content that will run on both the platforms.

Multi-Core support: Until now, WP7.5 offered support to a single core. But now Microsoft is looking beyond a single core and has opened arms for multi-core support.

New Start Screen: Metro UI on the WP Mango looked nice but had two tiles at a fixed size each. The new OS will allow users to create their own customized homescreens as they will be able to resize the Live Tiles into large, medium and small size and even colour them.

Internet Explorer 10: With browser being an important part for any smartphone, Microsoft will now offer a powerful browsing experience with the Internet Explorer 10, with HTML rendering. There will also be security features like anti-phishing.

High Resolution Display: Microsoft has included support for 1280 x 720 and 1280x 768 resolutions. This means, Windows Phone smartphones will have better quality displays, in par with the competition.

Nokia Maps: The widely acclaimed mapping solution from Nokia will now be the default Maps on WP8 smartphones. Microsoft has dumped its own Bing Maps. This will feature offline mode, turn by turn navigation and a wider coverage.

NFC and Mobile Wallet: With NFC support making into WP8, the users will have access to a new feature called Wallet. The 'mobile wallet hub' on WP8 will allow users to pay for goods and services from the phone itself. Along with storing financial information, the wallet will integrate apps as well.

MicroSD card: There is an end to the limited inbuilt memory as the microSD card support has been finally added to WP8.

Enterprise Ready: Enterprises and IT administrations will be happy about the WP8 enterprise level features as Microsoft promises direct Windows 8 level device management. WP8 will also include BitLocker  Drive encryption and ability to side load apps by sidestepping the Marketplace.

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