NFC, dual and quad core support, new OS amongst many others, Microsoft is introducing a myriad of new features in its up coming Windows Phone 8. Detailed personalization for visuals, better integration of skype, new start screen interface with support for smaller tiles and the fact that they have moved over to the NT kernel for windows phone 8 which makes it easier for developers to do coding for the mobile and desktop ecosystems.
The best part is that windows phone 8 will be carrying the same kernel, file system, media foundation, device drivers and some parts of the security model from windows 8. While this might seem to be a bit over the top, however it will allow windows phone 8 to support multi-core processors, device encryption, removable storage with microSD cards and whole load of other improvements.
Microsoft’s Larry Lieberman says, “Developers will also benefit from a shared Windows Core in Windows Phone 8. Rather than taking advantage of the .NET Compact Framework in Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 moves to a Core CLR which will allow managed code to run in a manner identical to how it runs on desktop Windows, with improved performance benefits and shared components for developers to leverage across desktop and phone apps. Despite this change, all 100,000 existing Windows Phone apps will continue to run on Windows Phone 8. “We architected Windows Phone 8 in a way to drive full application compatibility so that every existing application will continue to run.”
Developers will have to use only one code base to build applications that will run on windows phone 8 and windows 8 alike. This change also means that developers now can use native C and C++ libraries, alongside SQLite and Direct X support. This will make it immensely easier for game studios to import their games on windows phone. In a nutshell Developers will be able to build games for Windows and Windows Phone at the same time.
This also means that it’ll have support for dual-core, quad-core, octo-core – well in theory as many as 64 cores which truly is an innovation in itself. Nonetheless, the company is not discussing any hardware specs but they assure the consumers that there will be dual-core handsets initially. Windows Phone 8 will support three resolutions in total: WVGA, WXGA, and 720p.
Microsoft will also officially support NFC directly within the Windows Phone operating system for the first time. Windows Phone 8 includes a new Wallet hub designed to support NFC payments and the ability to store credit card information, member cards, and frequent flier cards.
Windows phone 8 will be have having a radically improved start screen; as three sizes of live tiles, small, medium and large as opposed to its predecessor. The small tiles will enable consumers to fit more tiles on the start screen.
Microsoft is building in the APIs and infrastructure to support generalized VoIP applications in Windows Phone 8, including Skype and others. “Skype largely will just be an application that you’ll be able to download that will take advantage of the VoIP integration that we think will be industry leading,” explains Sullivan. The integration means VoIP applications will become a full first-class app on Windows Phone 8 handsets, allowing them to integrate into the phone dialer, People Hub, and more. Sullivan believes the integration is so good that he jokes Apple should create its own FaceTime app on Windows Phone 8, “it’ll actually be better integrated on Windows Phone than it is on the iPhone.” The functionality is clearly a platform by itself, allowing app developers to plug into it in a seamless way. “Skype is fully gonna take advantage of that,” says Sullivan, “but it’ll still be an app you download.”
Microsoft is also going to put in use their update internet explorer 10 browser on windows phone 8. the new browser shares the same desktop code being used in windows 8 internet explore 10. That brings about a lot of security related improvements.
The company did not reveal any specific date for the release of windows phone 8; however they said that it is likely to be released in the fall, in the holiday season.
Current windows phone 7 user will be receiving a gift of their own, as the company will be launching the 7.8 update around the same time; which will bring new UI updates and other undisclosed improvements.