Windows Phone 8 features detailed

The good folks at Pocketnow who apparently managed to get their eyes on an internal Microsoft/Nokia video hosted by Joe Belfiore (I say apparently because they haven’t posted the video and it isn’t clear if they actually saw it or if they are reporting what somebody saw in it) detailing most of the new features coming with Windows Phone 8.

First of all the OS will be, as we all have been expecting, based on the Windows 8 Kernel and share the same networking stack, multimedia and security support as its bigger brother. This means that most Metro applications developed for Windows 8 will be easily portable to Windows Phone 8. Once again nothing really surprising here. Native code development will also be part of the show this time around and finally enable developers to creating richer applications and games. Microsoft is also apparently going to ditch the Zune desktop software in favor of an ActiveSync like integration with Windows 8 while Xbox and Skydrive integration will finally be fully backed into both the desktop and mobile OS (Ie: Music on Skydrive will instantly be available on the phone etc..). Skype which has yet to be released on Windows Phone 7 will also be seamlessly integrated into Windows Phone 8 and the Dialer/Phone application. Third party app-to-app communication will also be supported now. On the business front Windows Phone 8 will support Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption (128bit) and finally enable businesses to easily deploy proprietary software on the fleet of Windows Phones.

Internet Explorer 10 will also include server side compression support (via a proxy server) to reduce page loading times by 30%. This shouldn’t come as a surprise knowing that Microsoft was actually the first company to introduce such feature in the short R&D browser project on Windows Mobile 5 code named DeepFish a few years ago. Hopefully this feature will be optional though. The OS will also include a DataSmart Live Tile Functionality which ill serve as a hub where users can easily track their data usage (a similar feature is present in Windows 8 ) and LocalScout will detect nearby WiFi hotspots too.

On the hardware front Windows Phone 8 will now support four different screen resolutions (not specified) compared to only one right now (WVGA) and also multi-core CPU configurations. Nothing really uprising here given that we all expected it. Micrdo-SD expansion cards support will also be official now and allow users to finally have Windows Phone devices with more than 16Gb of internal storage. WP8 will also have native NFC support and a new Camera API that will allow hardware partners to more deeply integrate their camera.

Here’s a recap:

- Windows Phone 8 shares the same Kernel, security stack, multimedia and networking stack as Windows 8
- Dual-core / Multi Core PU support
- 4 Screen resolutions supported
- NFC support
- Micro-SD memory expansion officially supported
- Native code support for third party developers
- No more Zune desktop app: Full integration with Windows 8 SkyDrive and Xbox Live
- BitLoker 128bit encryption
- New Camera API
- Skype will be fully integrated in Windows Phone 8 (edit: ..or not. it may only be an optional application according to the leaks..)
- Third party App-to-App communication support
- DataSmart data usage monitoring and WiFi hotspot detection in LocaScout
- New Business oriented features
- Server side page compression in Internet Explorer 10 Mobile to speed up page loading times
- USB Hub feature

Everything we are hearing now falls in line with what most of us have been expecting for a while now but The most importation question remains unanswered: Will 2nd generation (or even 1st) Windows Phone 7 devices be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 Apollo once it launches later this year ?

via pocketnow

  • Ian Guider

    I had that same exact question. I’m already getting tired of the games being written for Gen1 devices because I know the Adreno 205 is way faster and capable of prettier games. Hopefully they’re launching device specific app stores like I heard they’re doing with the win8 tablets so you can’t buy apps your device can’t run. I don’t mind buying a new phone for the new release(I bought a HD7 for 7.0 and a Titan for mango), but when a new device is limited it kinda ticks me. I also get ticked when I buy a Titan in December and the Titan II gets announced the next month, but I’ll just jump to Nokia next time round.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand your concerns and let me assert some of my thinking:
    - Because of two year contracts, 2nd gen devices need to get the update
    (remember Microsoft is on the smaller edge here – they cannot afford to
    abandon good customers … think about the outrage from
    - All current Windows Phones have 512 MB Ram (correct me if I am wrong) and all use Snapdragon based CPUs/Adreno CPUs. The only difference is basically (Clock-)Speed and not capabilities (instruction set, directx feature level).
    - Back in CES 2011, MSFT showed Win8 running on a 1Ghz CPU running the full version of windows (desktop running Word). Sure the CPU was obviously faster then the 1st gen Snapdragons but the phone will run only the core coponents (MinWin ~ 30 MB).
    -> I would be really suprised if not all current handsets would get the update.

    Btw. There is nothing technically keeping app developers to use the faster graphics on 2nd gen devices. It’s the same as on the PC where you could implement different quality levels. The same is also done on other platforms. But we have to note that the Windows Phone userbase is still very small. Implementing anything is costly – so the providers only do the minimum.