Microsoft Windows Phone 8 OS is the next generation Windows Phone OS, bringing some new features to the Windows smartphone platform. Windows Phone 8 brings the Windows platform at par with other leading smartphone platforms like Android and iOS. Now you can get microSD card support on Windows Phone devices, as well as integrated VOIP, 3D maps, and lots more.
Say Hello to Dual-Core
Windows Phone 8 introduces dual-core capability to the Windows Phone platform. One of the complaints of some about smartphones running the Windows Phone is their lack of impressive specs, which for most (largely due to ignorance) means having a dual-core processor.
Well, if you are in that class, then you would love the fact that Windows Phone 8 can run on multiple cores. This means we will begin to see Windows Phone Phones in the next coming months advertising dual-core and n-core processors like is now customary for Android Phones.
With Windows Phone 7 running smoothly on single core processors one hopes that the Windows Phone 8 will continue in the tradition and offer smooth performance whether on single or multiple core hardware.
More Customisable Tiles
The trademark Windows tiles now offer more customisation on Windows Phone 8. They are still live, you can still see latest updates on the tiles without opening an app, but now you can alter the sizes of the tiles. For example, you can reduce the size of some tiles to create room for more apps on your homescreen.
While the likes of Android and iOS are noted for drinking data, Microsoft is taking some proactive measures to make Windows Phone 8 data efficient. Windows Phone 8 incorporates DataSmart, which makes data management core on the Windows Phone platform and makes Windows Phone attractive to consumers on limited data plans.
DataSmart enables you control and manage your data usage. Internet Explorer 10 (IE 10) for mobile, which bundles with Windows Phone 8 OS features a server-based data compression feature that compresses your web traffic on Microsoft’s cloud before delivering to your mobile phone, saving you data cost.
Nokia 3D Maps
Windows Phone 8 will be benching Microsoft Bing Maps for Nokia Maps. Windows Phone 8 will be integrating Nokia 3D Maps as the default mapping system. This will come with turn-by-turn street navigation and Navteq Traffic service.
NFC Support with Microsoft Wallet
Windows Phone 8 OS supports Near Field Communication, NFC, which enables easy tap communication and payment in devices. With the support of NFC in Windows Phone 8, Microsoft has launched its own e-wallet app called Microsoft Wallet to compete with the likes of Google Wallet.
Users can store payment details like credit cards and loyalty cards on their mobile phones and easily make payment by tapping their phone on an NFC-enabled card reader. Microsoft also made its Wallet open, so that other payment systems like PayPal can tap into it.
Browser & Security
Windows Phone 8 is big on security. It will come with the latest Microsoft Browser, the Internet Explorer 10. IE 10 browser comes with a phishing filter and SmartScreen app reputation services baked in, to make it harder for malicious sites to trick you into giving them your personal information.
Like in the full Windows 8 OS, disk encryption and secure boot are core in Windows Phone 8, all working together to make your Windows Phone more secure. The IE 10 browser for mobile also features a data compression feature that reduces data cost on Windows Phone phones, something that the smartphone crowd in Nigeria will appreciate.
microSD card support
Windows Phone 7 lacked microSD support, which was a big issue for a number of users. So, adding microSD support on Windows Phone 8 was a good move by Microsoft. microSD makes moving data easy. It allows users to extend the storage available on the phone beyond the built-in storage.
Multiple Resolution Support
Windows Phone 7 supported only WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels), now Microsoft is adding 1280 x 768 pixels and 1280 x 720 pixels resolution to the Windows Phone 8. So, smartphone manufacturers now have options.
Integrated VOIP Calls
Microsoft is integrating VOIP calls (internet & video calls) into Windows Phone 8 with Skype. Making a VOIP call will just be like making your usual phone calls with call notifications for internet calls in the same interface as your normal call notifications.
No upgrades to Windows Phone 8
The downside of the Windows Phone 8 is that consumers currently using smartphones running Windows Phone 7 like the Nokia Lumia phones will not be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. This is largely due to hardware limitations in existing devices. However, Microsoft will be offering Windows Phone 7.8 updates, which will be offering some Windows Phone 8 features on existing Windows Phone 7 devices.