Discussion about
frankspin

June 20th 2012 12:50 pm

Windows Phone 8 gets officially announced bringing some pretty big improvements. Should Google and Apple be worried?

Windows Phone Summit is happening right now and Microsoft is currently talking about their improvements coming to Phone 8. Check them out below:
  1. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will be share some core architecture
  2. Multi-core processor support
  3. Display scaling is coming to Windows Phone with support for 720p and WXGA displays
  4. Removable microSD support
  5. IE10 will be on Phone 8 and will support the same rendering engine that the desktop version
  6. Native code development
  7. Native NFC Support
  8. The "Most Complete" Wallet experience with support for account balances, loyalty cards, saved deals and NFC payments.
  9. Nokia Maps will be available on all Windows 8 phones
  10. Business support with encryption and secure boot, device management and office apps.
  11. Start Screen is getting revamped with more customization and personal tile options
  12. Deeply integrated VoIP and Video Chat integration
  13. Device OS updates for at least 18 months
  14. Big blow here: No current devices will be getting Windows Phone 8
These are some pretty significant updates that should allow Windows Phone to better compete with Android and iOS.

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104 replies
timchoi89

All these sound like great improvements but, if WP8 doesn't have the app selection, I highly doubt that Android or iOS have to worry.
8 like dislike
jeffkoe

I think Microsoft is hitting some crucial improvements, and agree that 3rd party app development needs to accelerate exponentially for the platform to compete. Also, better integration of Google services needs to happen, or at least an easy tool to port Google contacts, caledar, etc over to MS Skydrive. Too many people are hooked into Google Services to ignore this.
2 like dislike
frankspin

Google provides support for Exchange ActiveSync which will give you pretty good integration for email, calendar and contacts.
5 like dislike
Met

It's pretty terrible support. You don't get full access to everything.

Calendar support is terrible. It mashes all the calendars you chose to sync as 1 big calendar. You can only choose which calendars it syncs by going to a specific link via any phone, but not on a computer, but on this link you can choose your sync options for any of your connected devices.

Contacts support is also annoying. Of all the numbers for a contact, it only syncs the first number of each contact, rather than all the numbers of that contact.

You also get very minimal email features. You're missing stars, you can't view chat logs, and many other great features are missing.

All in all, you'll get the bare essentials to survive, but not nearly an ideal situation.
1 like dislike
jpw2001

So my last phone was a Window Phone 7.5 Samsung Focus. I loved it until the hardware flaked out just after warranty. Anyway, I don't know if you've used a Windows Phone because it works great with Google services. In fact, no need to try and port any of it over to a Microsoft service. I stored all my contacts in Google contacts and it synced the seamlessly. I was able to set Google Contacts as the default as well so every contact I saved automatically synced with them. Plus, calendars, gmail, gchat pictures, etc. You name it, it synced and was seamless. All this before Windows Phone 8.
3 like dislike
colorfulchew

While I have Hotmail for my primary email, I agree with you that GMail integration is actually really great. For my school email I synced my HD7 up. Works really well really..
0 like dislike
timchoi89

I agree with the deeper Google integration but remember that the most popular email service out there is still Hotmail. Microsoft doesn't have much an incentive to build in deeper Google integration. After all, Microsoft gets money from most Android OEMs anyway.
1 like dislike
jpw2001

Once again, use the phones, the Google integration is fantastic. You email, contacts, calendars, all sync up seamlessly. Zero problems.
0 like dislike
sankara

I have a Lumia and as frankspin mentioned, support for Google services (except google+ and picasa) is excellent. I use Gmail, Calendar and Contacts and it's more than what I asked for.
0 like dislike
nerys

More than that. if WP8 requires "ZUNE" software for any interactions with the PC its a 100% non starter for me. Mass Storage or NO DEAL. Period. No negotiation. the ZUNE was one of the nicest mp3 players I have ever owned. FAR superior than ipods. why did it get relegated to my junk drawer? ZUNE software. 100% zune software. Horrible horrible. stuff.
1 like dislike
Jolly1976

Let me get this straight....you love the software and love the hardware, and never want to use it? I like your logic.
1 like dislike
nerys

Nope you aint got it straight. I love the hardware. I love the GUI on the hardware.

I HATE the ZUNE SOFTWARE. this would be the giant piece of filth you have to download to your pc in order to connect the "Zune" to your home computer.

if the ZUNE had a mass storage interface I would still be using it today. its that good. but after about 3 months I just gave up on the PC interface software. it was just that bad. mandating installing "windows updates" that were flat out NOT NEEDED for an mp3 player that I did NOT want on my system.

I have XP systems with years of uptime BECAUSE I do not install every damned update in the universe on it.

windows phone (lumia series) requires ZUNE software to move anything to or from the phone via usb from what I understand.

No thanks.
0 like dislike
daninbusiness

I hear you.

I think the Zune software is (at least) not ugly to look at, and the mix view is kind of neat in how it will automatically make a slide show of art of the musician you're listening to.

But as far as managing playlists, syncing stuff to the device, and other things that it's REQUIRED for; I'm not a fan:
  • it too aggressively signs you out of your account (annoying)
  • it's not a light app (to be fair, neither is iTunes)
  • It seems to take a lot of clicks to do anything
  • the streaming integration isn't as good as Spotify or Rdio
  • It's like MS tried so hard to be different than iTunes that they ignored some of the things that it does really well
The new MS Music app on Windows 8 isn't convincing me that MS has done much to improve usability. It's (again) a not-ugly app, but managing playlists & your collection is not at all intuitive (IMHO).
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

As do all windows phones. By not installing ANY update to your windows xp machines you are EXTREMELY vulnerable to viruses. Also, XP? Really? I cannot stand XP. I mean it was a great OS at the time, bu its wireless hookup interface SUCKED. Vista's was an improvement, but I hated Vista with a passion. Seven's was even better and I had no problem with that OS.
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

No he hates the desktop s/w but loves the firmware on the device. I understand exactly what he's saying.
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

ZUNE IS DEAD. MicroSD support AS IN EXTERNAL. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Xbox will now use the evolution of zune music and video services: Xbox Music. Also, the Zune software was 20x, no 1000x better than iTunes, and also the best sync client I have ever used. And one more thing(if you think of Uncle more power to you), GDGT left out that WINDOWS PHONE 8 WILL BE ABLE TO UPDATE OTA!!!!! There is no more need for a computer, or Zune for that matter.
0 like dislike
jkibuule

Zune software is gone.
0 like dislike
nerys

to be replaced with what? more "zune" software under a different name then NO CHANGE. if its a DRIVE LETTER then they might have a shot.
0 like dislike
colorfulchew

WP8 dosn't require you to ever hook up the phone to your PC, as they announced over the air updates. Didn't they?
0 like dislike
frankspin

Great point Tim! There are some apps I can't give up right now but if things change by time Phone 8 is out and the hardware improves a lot it's going to be hard to not consider it.
0 like dislike
TgD

Agreed, but you know developers are going to make apps for Windows 8, and the presentation claims the transition to get those apps on Windows Phone 8 is pretty seamless.

If this is true then Windows Phone 8 will get a bunch of apps by association
1 like dislike
frankspin

But wasn't easy porting always there? I thought MS advertised how easy it was to do this with Silverlight?
0 like dislike
peteamundson

Porting was always relatively easy:
  • Silverlight - Web/Desktop apps & Windows Phone 7
  • XNA - Xbox & Windows Phone 7
The problem was that no one really created Silverlight apps for consumers and XNA seemed to only be a hit in the Indie developer category.
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

But now instead of a "few lines of code" now it's "a few MINOR tweaks." In other words easy porting, especially from iPhone or Android, will be EXTREMELY Easy.
-1 like dislike
bkt66

it's go 100 thousand apps & counting. I switched from iOs & did not miss on any apps I used n iOS so far.
0 like dislike
daninbusiness

It probably depends from person to person and what you need as a 'must have' app...if you're really stuck to one particular, specialized/niche thing then that might hold someone back from switching (particular language dictionaries, banking apps, diabetic software, words with friends...).

Over time, that should be less of a thing (it's good news that the Chase app and Words with friends/draw something apps are on the way).
0 like dislike
moosamahsoom14

Android has the numbers. but, a lot of the apps are pretty much useless. trust me!!! Android has been unattractive for developers as it is not as profitable as iOS Of course, developers are attracted by the high number of Android Users. Windows phone marketplace is growing pretty fast. The ease of porting between Windows and Windows Phone is a major factor here and the presence of DirectX is a real deal breaker. For your info, all the games on your computer is powered by DirectX. Mobile devices are now powerful enough to run developers.
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

They have reached 100000 apps faster than Android. Zynga has announced support and A recent developer survey as shown that 54% of developers plan to build applications for Windows Phone in the future. In other words, Windows Phone was a complete reset and people tend to forget that Windows Phone is only a little more than a year old. Microsoft has been late to the game before (Xbox, anyone) and they have been able to pull off becoming the number one selling console on the planet. Also Windows Phone 7 application growth is growing exponentially, according to a recent study. With Windows Phone 8, Havok is bringing over their Physics engine and other companies can do the same thanks to native code development, so I expect to see some pretty awesome games and apps coming to Windows Phone. Also considering how well current Nokia Windows Phone 7.5 models are selling in Finland (the most adoption) and the rest of the world, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft's marketshare explodes when they release Apollo. In other words, If Microsoft plays their cards right, I think with Apollo, Apple and Google really do have to worry, especially if Microsoft can convince HTC, Nokia, Huawei, and Samsung to produce "God" devices and multiple devices at different price points on as many carriers as possible.
-1 like dislike
zuneratheart

I don't know why I was down-ranked, but if it was because of an underlying sassy tone, I apologize. Anyways, if you were looking for where I'm getting my information here's the link about developers planning to adopt Windows Phone: wmpoweruser.com­/survey­-finds­-57­-of­-mobile­-develope...
and acceleration in app growth:wmpoweruser.com­/flurry­-analytics­-windows­-phone­-app...
0 like dislike
aoctavio

No current devices will be getting Windows Phone 8

I think this is a huge problem. Windows phones are less than two years old, the iPhone 4 is older, will get iOS 6 this year and, probably, iOS 7 in a year. Windows Phone and Android may catch Apple in features, but they are still too far in service and customer allegiance. They´ll remain far if customers like me find that their phones are outdated while they still work. Most people will either not update (Android) , or not buy (Windows Phone).
5 like dislike
bkt66

FYI: not all iOS 6 features will will come to iPhone4. Hardware will not support it. Iphone 4s maybe but not 100% either. i have an iPhone 4 & yeah, I may have to upgrade to use all the new features. I also have a WP7 phone & no way I am switching back to iOS.
1 like dislike
ssstraub

iPhone 4 is 2 years old. Lumia 900 is months old and won't get WP8. That's quite a difference! The one year old 4S gets all the announced iOS 6 features.

The biggest blow by far is that WP8 apps will NOT be compatible with currently being sold WP7 hardware. This has never happened in the history of iOS.
0 like dislike
TgD

To be fair. Apple is currently still selling the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS

Still people know what they are expecting when they buy a phone from them.

As I usually say. Buy the phone that is good right now, not one that is promised to be good with updates. Things change and promises fall through. I feel bad for Lumia owners
1 like dislike
ssstraub

Oh it's still fair: iPhone 4 supports the full iOS 6 API a full 2 years after it was introduced and hasn't been the flagship iOS device for a year now. WP7 phones, including the VERY BEST flagship phones on sale now will not get any of the WP8 API.

Just brutal.
1 like dislike
zuneratheart

They're using 1- to 2-generation old h/w, though. The h/w they are running is simply not able to handle what is coming from Microsoft in Windows Phone 8.
0 like dislike
ssstraub

Are you saying the Lumia 900, released two months ago and still for sale, is simply that poor of hardware?
0 like dislike
zuneratheart

Considering that windows phone 7.5 doesn't need extraordinary hardware to run, no, but they have SINGLE CORE processors, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Considering the move to the windows core, I think that Microsoft made the right decision to not allow this update on single core devices. Have you ever used windows 7 on a single core atom processor? Horrid experience. I think that Microsoft would rather piss off a few that don't like being left behind rather than pissing off everyone with a poor running update that practically bricks phones. Microsoft Windows Phone 8 is made for MULTICORE PROCESSOR enabled phones. That is my point.
2 like dislike
nerys

but this only works because apple uses outdated lame hardware. so sure when you keep your hardware basically the same sucky hardware its easy to keep adding new OS's to it.

Seriously its a big reason I chose android (S2) over Apple. Horrible hardware from apple. tiny low res screen boring lame GUI etc.. and the "lock in" is a 100% deal breaker to me (ie you don't OWN your iphone apple retains partial ownership by refusing to allow you to install software from "ANYWHERE" but their store short of "hacking" your own device.

no thanks.
-1 like dislike
zuneratheart

There's a reason behind this: the switch from Windows CE to the actual Windows Core. Also the older h/w in use by current gen and last gen Windows Phones will not be powerful enough for Windows Phone 8. Though I understand the reasoning, there are several people like you who think this is a bad idea. Understand though, Microsoft is only trying to do things that people asked for. By doing that, though, Microsoft has alienated WP7/7.5 users. There is an understandable upside to this point, with the exception of Lumia buyers a lot of Windows Phone users are coming up on their contract upgrade dates. For example, I bought my HTC Trophy(US version) about a year ago and my upgrade date is in December, this is in perfect synchrony with When most Windows Phone 8 devices will be available from carriers.
-1 like dislike
metric152

As a phone nerd and wp7 users I'm not happy to hear that my phone won't receive wp8. It's nice that some of the features will be ported to wp78, but this solidifies my move to iphone 5.
2 like dislike
daninbusiness

It's not totally surprising though; the new OS is targeting new hardware (with more RAM, multi-core processors, and NFC support). Windows phones to date have all pretty much been based on the same 2010-era specs.
2 like dislike
baileylo

As obvious as it may have been, not adding WP8 to existing WP7.5 phones is a slap in the face to everybody who bought the Lumia 900.
1 like dislike
bkt66

When you were buying a WP7 phone, did you not know that any new hardware features like multi core, NFS etc cannot be be upgraded? I agree if some of the software features also don't get upgraded, then it's an issue. With 7.8 upgrade you are going to get the software part anyway. I don't understand why this is slap in the face.
2 like dislike
ssstraub

Except you aren't getting the software part. You won't get APIs from WP8, so no WP8 apps are compatible with WP7. This is a massive, massive issue for Microsoft.
0 like dislike
nerys

you seriously miss the point. there WILL BE NO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUR PHONE. Ever.

the reason is simple. WP8 is almost literally here. so NO developer in their right mind will develope for PRE 8 knowing its been 100% abandoned by MS and "NO" new hardware will be designed around it.

They just won;t it would be stupid. so while of course you won't get any MS updates and obviously you won't get any hardware updates you just slammed yourself with a nice sweet 2 year contract for a phone that is literally a "lame duck" that NO developer in their right mind except a hobbyist will design "ANY" software for.

There is not even a significant "EXISTING" user base to support the old software.

I mean after running those beta tester commercials and getting people to by the lumia 800/900 Microsoft just put two to the head to anyone who bought one and bi$%h slapped them while they shot them while laughing at them.

only a masochist would buy another MS phone after that assassination. and a highly insulting assassination at that.

They made a "HUGE" mistake doing this. Typical MS very conservative on the hardware. multi core and higher res screens are a freaking "DUH"

to CHANGE the architecture enough that they literally alienate the old but still brand spanking new hardware is just an incredibly stupid move on their part.

The only way I could see MS saving face is to GIVE a new WP8 phone to anyone who bought at least a LUMIA 900. ie any WP made in the last 12 months should be replace gratis.
-1 like dislike
vintagemooose

Actually, you're 100% wrong. WP7 software runs on both platforms - until the WP8 devices get a decent base developers will continue to write software that hits the largest number of devices.
0 like dislike
nerys

I disagree. I think 1 year from now developers will be designing for WP8 and won't even be "THINKING" about WP7 which means WP7 folks will be in the doghouse.
1 like dislike
zuneratheart

Actually you're 50% wrong. Windows Phone 8 apps may be able to run on windows phone 7.8 if developed in Silverlight, however, native development means that Certain Windows Phone 8 apps won't be able to run on the non-Windows RTP based Windows Phone 7 devices.
-1 like dislike
vintagemooose

You see that part where I said developers will continue to write software that hits the largest number of devices? You realise I didn't mean by accident right?
1 like dislike
nerys

and a slap in the face considering their smart phone beta tester commercials. Ouch. I wonder who will take advantage of that goofaa first apple or google.
1 like dislike
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