Microsoft took to the stage today and announced Windows Phone 8. The biggest change is the core OS which will share some components with the desktop version of Windows 8. The kernel, networking, multimedia, graphics support will be shared between platforms. Windows Phone core will let manufacturers sell more phones at more price points, and improved PC and phone integration, says Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. This move will be good for hardware vendors consumers and developers.
Some of the features included in this combined OS will include:
- Shared core will work on multi-core chips, starting with dual-core and working up 64-core if necessary
- Scaling up its support for screen resolution, including HD 720P and WXGA. No changes needed by developers to support this resolution.
- Removable media support that can be added at any point
- Native code development is now supported. Shared direct X and graphics components will let desktop games be ported to the mobile platform.
- NFC support
- New Wallet hub for credit card, membership cards, coupons and more. Works with third-party services and supports secure NFC payments with the security embedded in the SIM (Android embeds its security on the phone). Microsoft is working closely with carriers on this, in particular Orange of France. Orange will be the first to launch these secure SIMs. ISIS support coming next year.
- Nokia Map technology. Includes detailed maps from Navteq maps and support for offline mapping and turn-by-turn directions. Developers will be able to tap into these maps.
- Windows Phone will be ready to take on the enterprise market. The OS will include encryption and secure boot, LOB App deployments for business to push out its own maps, device management to manage PC can be used for mobile and Office apps.
- New start screen. Tiles will now fill up the screen with smaller tiles that you can set yourself. You can put on as many or as few tiles as you want. All tiles are still live. Makes Windows Phone more personal and customizable.
We will add updates to this post as the Microsoft event progresses.