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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Microsoft Unveiled Windows Phone 8 with New Home Screen, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Skype Integration

Windows Phone 8
It’s been a very busy June for Microsoft, who not only revealed its own Windows 8 Surface tablets on an event in Los Angeles, but recently brought out Windows Phone 8, its next phone operating system at the event in San Francisco with abundant of new wonderful features. As the manager of the Windows Phone program, Joe Belfiore told readers in his blog that “Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that power Windows 8. As a result, Windows Phone 8 will unleash a new wave of features for consumers, developers, and businesses.” He said the next version of Windows Phone will share the same underlying technology of the Windows operating system that will run on tablets, laptops, and desktops.

Leading the additions to Windows Phone 8 include: New Start screen, turn-by-turn navigation and Skype integration. The home screen or Start Screen, which has rectangular tiles to represent apps, will now allow users to change the tile sizes if they're using the phone for many things at the same time.

Microsoft is making Windows Phone 8 even more personal, with a new palette of theme colors and three sizes of Live Tiles, all of which are under users’ control. As Live Tiles are one of the things current owners really love about their Windows Phones, Microsoft makes them even more flexible and unique. The bellow short video shows the new Start screen in action.

Microsoft is also putting its Skype acquisition to good use in the forthcoming software. Skype and other Voice Over IP (VoIP) services will integrate right into the phone dialer and People or contacts apps. Skype's CEO, Tony Bates, hinted that Skype would also be integrated into Windows 8.

And there's another partnership at work in Windows Phone 8 -- the one between Microsoft and Nokia. The two companies worked closely on Nokia's new Lumia handsets, including the Lumia 900; now they are bringing Nokia's mapping technology to the operating system, including offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation.

Other key features of Windows Phone 8:
* 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. This would mean that users would have more flexible options to watch HD videos on Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
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.

Microsoft did not disclose when Windows Phone 8 would be available and start shipping on phones. It did say that those with Windows Phone devices now won't be able to upgrade to the new operating system. The first wave of Windows Phone 8 phones will be made by Nokia, Samsung, and HTC.

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