After having introduced Surface tablets earlier this week, Microsoft has gone a step ahead and unveiled their next major upgrade for the Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8. It is expected to be launched in fall later this year.
Inspite of the shipments of Nokia’s Lumia phones rising to 3.3 million earlier this year, Microsoft’s market share fell from 2.6 to 2.2 percent, owing to the fast pace at which the smartphone market is emerging. In such a case, Windows 8 can provide Microsoft the push it needs. At the Windows Phone Summit, developers and consumers were offered a preview of the Windows Phone 8 platform. Joe Belfiore, VP of Windows Phone explained that Windows Phone shares the same kernel as Windows 8 (Windows NT). Windows Phone 8’s NT core will permit developers to develop apps for Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8 and easily port them over.
Microsoft’s mobile wallet feature, available on every Windows Phone 8 device, resembles the wallet feature present on Android phones, incorporating elements from Apple’s Passbook app. This feature will support credit cards and banking cards apart from passes and tickets. Among carriers, Orange will be the first to offer this payment feature which will be introduced in US next year.
Nokia Maps will substitute Bing maps on Windows Phone 8, offering navigation and offline map services free of cost. Microsoft is introducing Bitlocker encryption, additional device management features and secure boot capability. The start screen of Windows Phone will be altered; the home screen will allow tiles to be resized and offers addition live tile options on the high resolution display. Most importantly, apps from version 7.5 will be available on Windows Phone 8 with very little change in code.