8 big features of Windows Phone 8

At the Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco today, Microsoft provided the first look at its upcoming update to the Windows Phone mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft has unveiled just a few of the banner features that will be included in the next versions of Windows Phone 8. Conveniently, there are eight major parts of the company's announcement today.


1) Windows Phone 8 will have a "shared core" with Windows 8 to facilitate cross-platform application development. Like Mac OS' evolution to be more like iOS, Windows and Windows Phone are on the same convergence path.

2) Windows Phone 8 will support multi-core processors. Windows Phone 7 was designed for single-core processors because dual-core processors and beyond suck up more electrical energy. Due to advancements in energy managment, Microsoft has broken that shackle, and opened the platform to multi-core processors.

3) Support for more screen resolutions. Originally, Windows Phone only supported HVGA and WVGA, but Windows 8 will support 480 x 320, 800x480, 1280x720 (16:9), and 1280x768 (5:3).

4) MicroSD support. Technically, Windows Phone always supported expandable SD memory, but devices were locked into the OEM's chosen SD cards to improve performance. Users were actually advised against removing and switching them. In Windows Phone 8, this will no longer be so.

5) Internet Explorer 10 will be the system's default browser. Microsoft's HTML5-compatible browser will come as the pack-in with Windows Phone 8. Current devices ship with IE9.

6) Native support for near field communications (NFC). All Windows 8 devices will ship with "Wallet" payment functionality, similar to the advances made by Google with Android 4.0.

7) Mobile Device Management functions for enterprise deployment. The enterprise space is a big deal, especially for Microsoft, so Windows Phone 8 will include Secure boot, the Office app, and on-device encryption.

8) New Live Tile homescreen design. Undoubtedly the most recognizable element of the Windows world today is its Metro UI "tile" design. In Windows Phone 8, tiles can be resized to include more or less information, and more colors are available for more user customizability.

22 Responses to 8 big features of Windows Phone 8

  1. lonechicken says:

    Hooray to #1

  2. mshulman says:

    #7 looks really cool

    This is what windows phone has always needed to be - its too bad it took them so long, but better late than never.

    • TroyGates says:

      Its not late, it was actually early. WP7 was waiting for Windows 8 to be near complete to add all of this into it.

      • mshulman says:

        I'm saying its too bad it took them so long to get to this point.  Windows phone goes back beyond 7..  I used windows mobile 6 many years ago and while it was neat and had a lot of nice stuff, it just wasn't ready.  It could have been much better. 

        Windows phone 7 was really the first that was very worthwhile to get I think.

      • TroyGates says:

        @betanews-828752f77ada1b8badf688bb8be59f9d:disqus My bad I thought you were parroting the line "to little to late" like so many people that dislike Microsoft / Windows Phone do in every article about them.

  3. ilev says:

    The BIG one is #9.  As has been writtem before. NO WP8 update for just bought an hour ago/will buy next month... WP7.
    WP7 will be left in the cold with some minor updates.

    • mshulman says:

      I don't see this as a big deal.  Phone life is 1-2 years for most.  I think you can start qualifying for discounts after 18 months on AT&T, not sure about others.

      So if the phone you buy today is still going to get some updates to make it more like the new one, what difference does it make?  New phones that have better features or hardware come out all the time.  While I think it will for some, I don't think that it should impact someone's buying decision today.  Even the new Nokia features will be available on their existing phones, so you'll still get a lot of the cool stuff.

      The fact that Microsoft is going committed to releasing an update for it makes it worthwhile.  As a Lumia 900 owner, I have no regrets having bought it and wouldn't hesitate to buy one today either.

      • helsten2 says:

        " Phone life is 1-2 years for most. "
        Well, not for me. I am on my 2nd since year 2000!

        Usually I buy a new one when I cannot get a new battery to the old one...

        But I might go for WP8 !

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      You will be able to get a new Win8 phone for 100 dollars, 200 for the high end ones (with contract).
      I have sold used phones on craigslist for no less than 100 dollars.  There are a ton of people that just need a phone replacement for a couple/few months until their contract is up.  

      Sell for 100, buy for 100 - nice free upgrade. 

    • frankwick says:

      Current WP7.5 owners will get upgrade to 7.8, 7.9 and so on. I would bet that current owners contracts will expire way before MS stops providing updates to the phone.  So I don't think anyone will be "left in the dark."

      • frankwick says:

        Besides, other vendors do the same thing, we just expect more from Microsoft.  My iPad 1 won't get iOS6.  There are dozens of Androids that won't get ICS.

      • TroyGates says:

         @frankwick:disqus Dozens won't? Very few phones have gotten ICS unless they used a custom mod. All WP7.5 phones will get 7.8.

    • TroyGates says:

      All WP7.5 phones will get WP7.8 which will include everything that can be done without the new Windows 8 core. The things missing the current phones can't do hardware wise anyways. Very little about WP7.8 and WP8 was shown today, it was just a platform preview not a end user preview of whats coming.

  4. Aires_OFFICIAL says:

    Far more impressed by this than 'Surface' - by miles.

    • frankwick says:

      The jump from WP7.5 to WP8 is not as wide as the jump from Win7 to Win8 (surrface). Plus, Surface includes hardware - WP8 does not.  I think everyone should be more impressed with Surface.

  5. MMurcek says:

    Bought my Samsung Focus in Nov. 2010, I'm ready to go as far as getting a phone with a contract re-up right around showtime :-)

  6. Aires_OFFICIAL says:

    As an afterthought this better be out by September becuase we all know what else is out then - any delay will be hugely costly.

  7. Slavic says:

    WinRT to rule them all,
    WinRT to find them,
    WinRT to bring them all,
    And in the darkness bind them.

  8. Will WP8 support file browsing?, Flash player for viewing videos in borwser. Bluetooth file sharing with any OS or device? Downloan any file? song download? etc...

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