Windows Phone 8: Microsoft Shows Off Some New (Much Needed) Features

At today’s Windows Phone summit, Microsoft revealed a slew of new features and hardware that will be supported by Windows Phone 8.  What’s that you ask…Can I list out some of these new features? Sure, no problem!

Multi-core CPU’s

To those of you who use Windows Phone devices, it’s often times hard to believe that our phones don’t have multi-core processors in them. Microsoft did an amazing job optimizing Windows Phone 7 & 7.5 to ensure that it ran as smooth as eggs on single core processors. That being said, the new iPhone and all new Android phones are running on multiple cores. Although in many cases, Windows Phone on a single processor runs smoother than Android (especially android) and iOS devices on multiple cores; the fact of the matter is, a single core made Windows Phone look inferior. Windows Phone 8 will make up for this defiency by bringing support for multi-core processors; not just 2 or 4 cores, but will support as many as 64 (thank you for future proofing your OS Microsoft).

HD resolutions

Goodbye 480 x 800 display resolution…Hello 1280 x 720 (720p) & 1280 x 768 (WXGA) resolutions. Increased pixel density will translate to cleaner and sharper images, words, games and videos which is never a bad thing…just ask owners of the new iPad.

SD cards

The lack of support of expandable memory has always been a major gripe for anyone with a Windows Phone or anyone who has ever thought of owning a Windows Phone. There’s no feeling worse (obviously there are worse feelings) than having to delete music and videos that I find extremely important off of my Lumia 900 because its 16GB of storage had been surpassed. Microsoft has finally heard the grumblings of the people and announced SD card support for Windows Phone 8 devices. We will now be able to expand phone memory, use or devices as flash drives and share documents, pictures, and videos with our friends simply by handing over the SD card. This is much better than having to sync everything via Zune.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

Microsoft will be building their own wallet feature into Windows Phone 8. This wallet will support “tap to pay”, storing of credit and debit cards and integration with third party apps. All of which will be secured on the SIM card courtesy of a PIN code instead of the phone…losing your phone doesn’t mean you have to cancel all your accounts now. With background apps now supporting location awareness, this wallet will most likely be able to use the information stored in it to alert you on deals and events…in many ways similar to Apple’s Passbook

Skype & VoIP Integration

Microsoft will be integrating video chat and VoIP services deeply into Windows Phone 8. Incoming VoIP calls will feel like any other call coming in. Skype and other VoIP provide apps will integrate with built-in phone features and contacts within the address book so calls can be made from the contact instead of a separate app…this allows for a seamless calling experience. VoIP apps will be able to take advantage of the full background multitasking by being able to run continuously. Say goodbye to missed Skype calls because you accidentally signed out or closed the app!

Nokia Map Technology

Microsoft also announced that will build Nokia Map Technology right into Windows Phone 8. With that comes more comprehensive global NAVTEQ Map data, offline map support, increased developer control over maps and turn-by-turn navigation. Nokia maps will also be supported by Microsoft’s deals feature so you will now be kept up to date with deals going on around you.

Conclusion

Microsoft is certainly putting its best foot forward in addressing the shortcomings of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5. The inclusion of these features is a necessary first step in Microsoft’s gargantuan quest to regain marketshare from Android and iOS. At one time, Windows Mobile was considered king amongst smartphone operating systems; but Microsoft rested on its laurels and was surpassed by Android and iOS. For all the Microsoft fans out there, it finally feels good to see Microsoft reaching for the throne once again.

What do you think about these new features? Has Microsoft finally caught up to iOS and Android? Have they surpassed them? share your thoughts in the comments below.

By: Chisom Agada

Source: Engadget

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Editorial, Windows Phone 8

Author:chizzwhiz

Full Time Engineer, Oil and Gas Industry Full Time Tech Enthusiast...Part Time Blogger Favorite Sport: Soccer

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