Today Microsoft had another unveiling and this time it was for Windows Phone 8. Joe Belfiore started out recapping the fact that they have worked closely with Qualcomm and their Dual Core Snapdragon processor to make Windows Phone 8 run as smooth as Possible. Joe also took time to talk about the expansion of Apps which are not over 120000. I still would have liked to have seen more energy from him but the crowd seemed pretty enthused.
Windows Phone 8 Announcement Recap
Joe took some time to talk about how the iPhone set the standard for the modern smartphone and took no shorts in talking about how Android copied them. He also rehashed the “People First” moniker that Windows Phone has been using since day 1. After slamming Google and Apple for the same old tired UI he began talking about some of the new features.
One of the first new features Joe talked about is an updated lock screen that can take and show information from various apps such as an updated Facebook app where pictures can be shown on the Lock Screen either rotating or as a collage. Essentially you can pick and choose which apps update the lock screen.
The next update Joe talked about was how Skype is deeply integrated into the phone allowing for background phone calls with out the app running and draining the battery.
46 of the top 50 apps will be on Windows Phone 8 such as:
- Temple Run
- Urban Spoon – includes
- JetPack Joy Ride
- Angry Birds
- Pandora for Windows Phone 8 with a year free of music streaming
Microsoft also took the time to talk about Data Sense App which will help phone users understand and control data usage to keep them from going over their plan. Data sense seems to be a two part thing where webpages are compressed and served to Windows Phone 8 to keep the data usage down and during their tests they saw a reduction as much as 45%. This feature will be offered to Verizon customers first not word on other carriers.
The next new feature talked about was the new Kids Corner. This feature allows parents to setup a section on the phone for apps that can run for your children while protecting your data and information.
Next up was the new Rooms feature which allows you to segment off communications for specific people as opposed to with everyone. Things that can be shared between the members of the room are Notes, Calendars and just regular messages. Microsoft continued to support cross platforms boy allowing a portion of the Room experience to be sued on other platforms such as the iPhone.
Towards the end of the presentation Microsoft showed off syncing cross Windows Powered device via SkyDrive such as Documents and Photos. Also adding to the cross syncing theme was the newly announced Xbox Music which will automatically sync things like your music Playlist.
Finally Steve Ballmer came up and talked about the initial demand for Windows 8 and tied it into the fact that Windows Phone 8 is running much of what is Windows 8. Some of the devices will begin going on sale this weekend while some will be going on sale before Thanksgiving.
While the energy was no where neat the Surface RT announcement it was till much better that I have seen in the past. Kudos for Microsoft for bringing in Jessica Alba to talk about the kids corner feature which I think will hit home with a lot of parents. There was one new device that was talked about headed for Verizon called the Samsung Odyssey so we can’t wait to get more information about that device. All in all there weren’t any new features talked about that we haven’t heard of before but Pandora was a really good reveal for Microsoft. Over all I was happy with the launch but I still wished there was one big boom of a feature that could have been talked about.