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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
Lorenz67

And kills the chance that any informed customer (me) buys one for fun...
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Jolly1976

Wait, there was an iphone 5 announcement? You're going to go out and buy an iphone 5 instead or buying a WP8. You'd still be spending money. Something about your post doesn't make sense.
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metric152

I like what I've seen in iOS6 and the new iphone hardware should be nice. We know it's coming out this year. So it's really just a matter of time.
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zuneratheart

See that's funny. I think you mistakenly think that iOS6 deserves the 6. Let's see, iOS 6 features, Facebook integration (WP7/Android had it first), Turn-by-Turn directions(Android/WP7.5(albeit mediocre) had it first), and Siri updates that were very basic things. iOS6 should be called iOS5.2. With what they announced at WWDC. I'm not saying that iOS6 isn't a great OS choice, but beware the bitten fruit. If your on Windows Phone now, and have an upgrade coming up, why not get a Windows Phone 8 device.
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Jolly1976

I must have missed the big ios6 update. I watched the whole WWDC conference, it must have been shown somewhere else. We know new hardware is coming this year? Will it be "nice" like the iphone 4 with the bad antenna and the fragile glass? It sort of sounds like all you have ever owned are iphones.
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Funderful

From what I've heard and read across the web the only features of 7.8 are new live tile sizes on the start screen, the ability for the user to specify the size of any tile and maybe a few added accent colours.
My Lumia 800 is currently back at the store because it kept freezing up on me requiring reboots at random intervals and with the news that it won't ever actually see any real OS updates, getting timely updates being a key reason I left Android, I'm not sure how long I'll keep it once I get it or a replacement back.
I'm seriously considering switching to the Iphone despite all the fake leather and felt.
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zuneratheart

I'd use the Lumia 800 until the new Windows Phones come out. Microsoft has worked with carriers to deliver timely updates and they're OTA. I mean the choice is yours, obviously, but part of the reason that there are so many problems with updates, is because microsoft chose a middle ground between Apple and Google and chose to let carriers test the updates themselves. I understand your disappointment in that promise not being fulfilled. However, you bought a device running the most recent build of Windows Phone and haven't had the chance to experience the problem. I've had the LG Quantum(AT&T) and now I have the HTC Trophy from Verizon Wireless, one shipped with OG windows phone on it and the other shipped with NoDo on it. Unlike Android where either of these phones have a high probability of not seeing an update, both of my phones are running the latest release of Mango.
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xraydj

I'm one of the few current Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 900) users, but I have to say that the zero upgrade to WP8 and, more importantly, no backwards compatibility of WP8 apps to WP7.x is very disappointing. I had considered the lack of guaranteed upgrade path to WP8 when getting my Lumia 900 (though I honestly didn't believe they'd be willing to throw so many new Lumia 900 users under the bus), but hadn't considered that I might have to go 18 months of a two year contract without the ability to add new applications to my phone. They better come up with some incentives for current WP users, or they will be losing whatever few customers they already have (maybe we are so few in number that they don't care?).

Getting back to the question at hand, I think that the tighter integration between Windows 8 and WP8 could allow it to surpass Android and iOS in terms of the utility of the OS, but the question still remains as to whether or not people will develop useful apps for it. (I love that they announced tight Audible integration into the OS, and there is no audible.com (unrelated) app for WP).
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zuneratheart

There isn't audible integration, it is an app, which is now available on the windows phone marketplace. Windows phone 7.8 will at least give the look and feel of the new OS Without having issues running on the older h/w. Honestly think about it like this: Microsoft thought seriously about this decision and decided that While pissing off current gen owners with an update is bad, pissing them off with an update that the h/w couldn't handle would be even worse. here is the audible app(www.windowsphone.com­/en­-US­/apps­/bdc813dd­-c20b­-41f8...)
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davezeking

Having recently received a Windows Phone, to hear that my device will not receive an update has killed Windows Phone for me. The platform has so many irritating aspects (cannot charge whilst switched off, no silent mode, no VPN options, cannot add a manual POI in Nokia maps [but that could be me!] etc.) that needed to be fixed, and quickly just to keep up with their competitors, that I will be abandoning this platform altogether.

I don't care about screen resolutions, Windows 8 integration, and all the other headline features they announced, what I wanted was for things that I can currently do on Android and iOS to be released for Windows Phone - for example VPN support. Whilst I maybe talking about a niche item it's a multitude of these smaller non-headline features which means my Windows Phone cannot compete with a current Android or IOS device. I'm not even a gamer which would open up another whole avenue of criticism.

It's no good to keep promising that the "next" version is going to solve all the problems - they needed small incremental updates every 6 months that built on the current functionality. When you take into account the lack of quality apps and changing the goalposts for developers (yet again) who is honestly going to be buying one of these devices!? The market share is already low and is effectively being reset to 0.

On a different note, I'd hate to be a Nokia shareholder as I'm sure most customers will leave the lack of an upgrade "blame" at their door, not at Microsoft's which will result in many people never choosing a Nokia device again.
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Bravmo

Nokia might as well pull out now - what they did is not right and will definitely bite them in the ass!!! so much for a come-back-
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Jolly1976

I think that this all sounds really great! I also like they are giving the old wp7 phones something. I know it isn't the whole update, but the new start screen really looks nice.
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whiskeymb

I really like my Samsung Focus with WP7.5 on it. I use it for work (work supplied) and it's fantastic and things like email, meetings, sp, office. However, it's the third party apps and considerable lack thereof that make me incapable of replacing my Galaxy Nexus with one. The stuff in WP8 help a little, but MS has to know that if they can't get the 3rd party developers onboard creating great apps then it doesn't matter much (where the heck is the Pandora app!?!?!?)

Microsoft needs to focus on the Enterprise/Business market more. Apple and Android have a lot of weaknesses in the features needed for Enterprises (remote wipe, encryption, cert provisioning) and MS could easily win at.
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eawortman

The iPhone already supports remote wipe, encryption, and certificates.

www.apple.com­/iphone­/business­/integration/
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frankspin

If this gets handled properly and integrated within Exchange or Active Directory it will be just as good as BES. The idea is to have seamless integration and support from within a console a sys admin will already be in.
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whiskeymb

Yes it does, but actually maintaining that information requires 3rd party MDM software like Mobile Iron or GOOD, otherwise you're asking your admins to sit there and do a lot of work for every one of your users that has an iPhone. We have over 1000. MS's offering builds this into the tools that we already use (we are a MS shop) which offers a huge cost/training/resource savings over what we have to do for iOS and Android.
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cass

Seems like Windows Phone 8 is still playing a bit of catch up to what Android and iOS has already done. The only thing that I'm a bit jelly about is the revamped homescreen:



Image via Engadget: www.engadget.com­/2012­/06­/20­/windows­-phone­-8­-introd...
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frankspin

I don't view it as catch up so much as implementing when they feel comfortable with the product. I'd rather see Android slow down the features race than worry about pushing out OS fixes so often.
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adriel623

Definitely not catch-up, they're updating WP to the natural course and flow from which it was destined to run since they released Windows Phone. They've been laying the base-work and are now expanding and some of the expansions will surpass what Google/Apple have done/are now implementing for ex. Mobile Wallet hub.
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zuneratheart

Microsoft may be playing "catch-up," but all they've revealed is a "sneak-peek" Android and iPhone are not going to have some of the capabilities windows phone has, of that, I am certain.
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zuneratheart

I remember when we said that about Apple. iOS 2: 3rd party Applications, iOS3: copy&paste, MMS, iOS4: "multitasking" support, iOS5: Twitter integration, notification center, iOS6: Facebook integration, turn-by-turn directions. Most operating systems today have features that are ahead of others because they want to be able to say I'm first.
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DennisWhite

I'll admit that I may be a bit of an apple fan boy, but I think Microsoft may still be a little late to the game. I don think that anyone is going to rush out and wait in line for a Windows Phone. I didn't see anything that would make me want to give up my iPhone.
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AF

That's probably true today -- Windows Phone 8 will get nowhere near the attention of an iPhone 5 announcement. But keep in mind, starting later this year anyone who buys a new Windows computer is going to get Windows 8 with it, so the Metro interface will gradually become something the public is accustomed to using. Once there's that familiarity there, it may be only natural to get a phone that works the same way as your computer, and shares info seamlessly with it.

Or to your point, by then it may be too late for Microsoft, because everyone's buying iPads instead of Windows computers!

I do like the simplicity of iOS; even my small kids can use it. But on the other hand, it looks nearly identical to PalmOS, circa 2001. A co-worker of mine gave me a quick demo of his Windows Phone, and I was impressed by how modern it felt in comparison. Oh well; either way, I'm grateful that competition is producing more compelling products for us consumers!
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AndyThilo

So Is 7.8 coming to 7.5 phones? Or is it simply a precursor to 8 which 7.5's wont be able to upgrade to?

I really is bull that 7.5 phones can't upgrade to 8. iOS devices have had full upgrade paths to allow them to enjoy the latest and greatest software. Why should we not be allowed this simply because MS don't think our phones hardware will run it silky smooth? Not all of us are worried about having blazing fast phones...we use them to make phone calls!!
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vintagemooose

Yes, 7.8 will be available for all 7.5 phones
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ssstraub

...But won't be compatible with WP8 apps...
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zuneratheart

let me put this to you as simply as possible:
Windows Phone 8=new devices
Windows Phone 7.8=old device update
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Bravmo

WE bought the Lumina 900 based on the info out in the market place - since Windows and
offfice is very important to our business - I will put them in a draw and re-activate my
Iphones.....as far as Nokia (leave town) and ATT - shame on you....a real shame,
the Nokia seemed to be a great phone - unless we can trade it in on a real "8" phone-
I will never buy another Nokia product!!!
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ssstraub

With no support for WP8 apps on WP7, they effectively end-of-life'd the currently still on sale line of WP7 phones. Including the entire Lumia line that is only a couple months old.

Imagine if iPhone 5 came out in September, then in December they said iOS 7 apps won't run on iPhone 5 or lower. Heads would explode. But Microsoft gets a free pass because they're underdogs? Expect the Osborne Effect on the entire line of WP7 phones.
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daninbusiness

I think it was a known risk with this announcement; ever since the Windows Phone 8 leak in February this was a question that kept coming up.

Not that it makes their customers who feel burned any better...so yeah, it will probably be slow/rough going between now and whenever Windows Phone 8 devices hit the market.

(Maybe if they did a Palm-Centro type campaign positioning these Mango 7.5 devices for complete smartphone noobs???)
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mm2

Apple did that also, my iPod touch 1st gen can only be updated to iOS 3.2.1. While this may seem like not such a big deal, almost every app since '09 won't run on my device.
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AAVDB

Too littelle too late ? Or just in time ? Time will indeed tell!

AAVDB Netherlands
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TgD

Watching the stream now, I like the idea of Nokia Offline maps, but its a spit in the face of Microsoft's own bing maps
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daninbusiness

It's not really a spit in the face at all - that partnership has been in the works for a while: www.bing.com­/community­/site­_blogs­/b­/maps­/archive­/2...
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StriderNo9

Some great changes have been made. I for one have been dying for microSD support. IE10 sounds great too, hopefully the platform gets more big name games and apps in the process. Also, I don't like how they've changed the Start Screen, not that it's not useful but I'll be keeping my phone (if I get one) with the same layout as a WP7 device.
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daninbusiness

Seems like Windows Phone 8 will actually be pushing the envelope a bit instead of catch-up to last year's devices.

But I guess we still need to see what happens with the following:
  • New Windows Phone 8 hardware - needs to be exciting, attractive, and priced right, and still competitive against whatever new devices Google & Apple announce.
  • New Apple iPhone - Nothing really mind-blowing announced yet with iOS 6, but that might change when the iPhone 5 is announced. I would be surprised if the next iPhone doesn't have some new features that were not anticipated by anyone yet.
  • New Android OS & new Nexus device - Google has done nothing to indicate it is slowing down on the rate of updating Android; we're on track to see something about Jelly Bean next week. Not a lot of leaks surrounding that yet, perhaps Google has some surprises. Correspondingly, we're also due for a new Nexus device (maybe several if Google-rola participates)...so that + the iPhone 5 + the new crop of Win Phone 8 devices will be hitting the market at the same time.
Arguably, MS may be in the lead position for Smartphone platforms this week, but we'll have to see how it compares after the competition shows their latest and greatest.

It should also be noted that Microsoft doesn't appear to have shown off EVERYTHING yet; they were focusing today's presentation on the main 8 features of the phone. It's possible that MS might still have a few tricks up their sleeve too.

At this point, system-wise, all 3 of the big smartphone platforms seem pretty competitive. Though the existing marketbase of Android & iOS cannot be ignored, the latest MS offering should give MS a chance to claw back some marketshare.
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frankspin

I agree. All of this stuff is great but if the hardware is still stale it like it was with previous phones it will be a lost cause. I'm hoping with the new photo enhancements and HTC being on board we can see something comparable to what HTC did with the One series.

Of course the one big concern is by opening up hardware options will it cause the market to become over saturated like Android.
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daninbusiness

Well, if nothing else, the mobile landscape will not be boring over the next 6+ months. :)
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rcereghino

I think this is one of the freshest and most exciting OS ideas ("metro") in a long time. The rest (iOS, ANdroid, webOS, etc) are all relatively "palm" derived (app startup, etc) of course. I really hope MS gets it rignt to keep things advancing. And (lastly) I also think that MS has understood what being cool is all about. Just my 2c
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vintagemooose

I had a WP7 phone near the beginning for development purposes, the only reason I didn't swap from my iPhone was because of the lack of Apps. Porting apps from Android/iOS was time consuming and MS didn't help with an initially unfriendly App program. All of these problems have now been resolved. Being able to program in C#/C++ or JS/HTML means porting the apps got a lot easier, the dev program is much more streamlined and the annual cost is more in line with Apple now (still doesn't beat the £20 one off fee for Android though). The fact that it's a snap to port onwards to Windows 8 is just icing on the cake.

I've still got the original WP7 phone, obviously it doesn't really bother me that it won't be update (although the buzz in the dev camps is that there will also be a 7.9 in the future which ports a few more nice things across) but you've got to feel for the recent buyers, especially those sold on the Lumias

But it had to happen, the original hardware spec for WP7 is now barely better than high-end dumbphone spec, there was no way the WP8 core was ever going to run on anything less than dual core.
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mm2

Google and Apple shouldn't be worried, I don't think that Android/iPhone users will give up their devices in favor of WP8. WP7 users will mainly be the ones buying these phones
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zuneratheart

While a ton of iPhone/Android users will not switch, I think that there will be a few who do switch. Windows phone 8 is going to be extremely easy to use. The average consumer may, if the wireless store salesmen get behind selling the product, actually consider buying Windows Phone. Especially those who are frustrated with the android operating system. Apple users will be harder to sell considering that most Apple users are extremely anti-Microsoft.
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mm2

I agree with the ease of use factor. I know that many iPhone users like the iPhone because of it's simplicity. While some may be devoted to Apple, or think the iPhone is "cooler" than other devices, I think you are correct that those who appreciate it's simplicity will switch. Android users, on the other hand, like their devices because of their extreme customizability, which is why people jailbreak iPhones. I do not know if Windows Phones are open source, but I don't think the app store is even close to the size of Apple's App Store or the Play Store (Android Market).
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brett

I'm not sure that they should be worried but they should definitely see it as a chance to push harder when innovating instead of stagnating. They also need to take a page from Microsoft and Apple's playbook by gaining more control over the update process.
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tatsumaki

If the interprogramability between all of the "screens" works the way Microsoft envisions, I think there's some worry to be had.
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btate0121

Bluntly? No.
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sillymansamOCN

I don't have many concerns other than IE 10 and how well it will respond to connecting to other windows devices. If they can pull it off then Apple may have something to worry about.
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NeuroMan42

I think overall Apple should be worried of M$ and G... their biggest sales offer on the iPhone has always been "Look what our phone can do, that your phone cannot" now all Smartphones can technically use the same apps and do the same thing.
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Jolly1976

Most of the time they can do more.
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trixxxter750

I would be more worried about the surface tablets.... I don't think Apple has to worry but Android is in for it...
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