Monday, 29 October 2012

Windows Phone 8 Announced

On Monday the 29th October 2012 at 5PM GMT Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.

They started off with a short clip about Joe Belfiore who is the manager of Windows Phone. The video showed how he used his Windows Phone and how it balances his work and family life.

He then welcomed everyone and gave a quick introduction. There are 5 main phones running Windows 8 which are going to be coming out soon. There are now over 120,00 apps available for Windows Phone and that is constantly growing.
Windows 8 is becoming more available around the world. They are adding a lot more new languages and making apps more available in certain countries.

Windows Phone is unique because unlike Apple and Android, it has 'live-tiles' based around people instead of a dull icon.

"We are trying to reinvent the smartphone around you!" ~ Joe

They then had another video about who Windows Phone is for, basically everyone. It is a personal operating system and it syncs perfectly with your PC and XBOX.

First demo he did was about 'live-tiles' these are icons on your start page which deliver real time information to you. So your calendar is always up to date and your messages pop up instantly.
Microsoft has now made the lock screen live to. This means that you can have Facebook on your lock screen so your friends profile pictures come up as a collage on your screen. Or you can have live sports scores coming up when your phone is locked.

Microsoft is working with Facebook to produce a new app which will be deeply integrated in the phone. Twitter is also launching a new app which if we're lucky might actually work! (as the current version does not) Despite Zynga's financial troubles recently they are still keen to launch Windows Phone apps, this means Windows Phone users will soon be able to download 'Words with Friends' or 'Draw Something'.
Skype is getting updated to. It is integrated into the phone so this means that even if you're not on the app you can still receive a call instantly if someone wants to talk to you. They have made this cleverly so it doesn't drain your battery running in the background.
New apps coming to Windows Phone 8 which we hadn't even heard rumours about include 'Temple Run', 'Jetpack Joyride' and 'Angry Birds Star Wars'!
'Pandora' is coming to Windows Phone 8 in early 2013 and it will include 1 year of add-free music for no charge whatsoever.

Windows Phone 8's goal is to have 46 out of the top 50 apps from other phones, on Windows Phone.

The new API for developers is released in another Microsoft conference tomorrow.

The next thing he went on to talk about was a new integrated App called 'Data Sense'. It monitors how much of your mobile data you use. You only need to put in how much data you get a month and when your data plan ends. It also helps you find a Wifi network. This app compresses web pages so you don't waste your monthly data surfing the web.

Joe then explained 2 new features one called 'Kids Corner' which creates a separate place on your phone for your children.
To demonstrate how 'Kids Corner' works, Joe got his 3 children out onto stage to play on his phone. He then demonstrated how to set 'Kids Corner' up. Parents can set what apps, music or videos they want their children to be able to access  then when kids get the phone, they can slide right from the normal lock screen and then they are in 'Kids Corner'. If you are not a parent don't worry, this feature can be turned on and off.

They then showed a video starring Jessica Alba and she explained why she uses 'Kids Corner'.
"I don't need to worry about my kids going into my social networks or emailing my partners." ~ Jessica Alba.

The 2nd feature is in the People Hub. You can now have rooms. Rooms are basically groups of people who you can share your location with, message, share notes with or even organise an event with. Even if you don't have a Windows Phone, you can get a more limited version for iPhone however you can still share loads of stuff.

The last thing Joe talked about was how Windows Phone 8 uses Skydrive to sync documents, photos and Music.

Joe then left with a video about how Windows Phone 8 is based around people. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, then took centre stage and started talking about Windows 8 and how enthusiastic people are being about it. He then gave a summary of Windows 8 and how it is unique from Apple and Android and how it is unique for different users. They are all about personalisation.

Hardware was the next point, he says that Windows Phone has the best hardware available. Nokia, HTC and Samsung have all made phones for Windows Phone 8 and those phones will come out in November.

In conclusion, I would definitely be buying a Windows Phone 8 if I hadn't bought a Windows Phone 7.5 only a few months ago. I was disappointed that there was no mention of Windows Phone 7.8 which is supposed to add some of the Windows Phone 8 features to current Windows Phone 7.5 users.