Microsoft announced the introduction of their new phone operating system, Windows Phone 8, which replaces the not-so-loved Windows 7.5. I’ve seen and used a number of phones but for the life of me i cant seem to remember having even seen or touched a phone with Windows Phone 7.5. And there-in lies the problem. But i digress. (A friend of mine believes i either work for Microsoft or an receiving mula from them, this is my third straight post about them. But No i don’t, these guys seem to be releasing stuff every second Tuesday).
The new phone OS shares the core components with its bigger cousin Windows 8. This means they have abandoned the Windows CE core which lived beneath the covers of the mobile previously. For developers (like me, forget that i don’t code for windows phones) this is a welcome relief as it becomes very easy to develop apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. This announcement also means developers can develop apps using the full .Net Framework and not the compact one used in 7.5. Developers can also now code in native C/C++ which means the thousands of developers who were holding off on Windows Phone development no longer have an excuse for developing on the platform.
Other interesting titbits from the live event (which i managed to watch courtesy of Microsoft) include support for NFC (which has no relevance in America let alone down here in Africa), new start screen with resizable icons or tiles, support for in-app purchases, support for multiple cores up to 64 core. This last one had me smiling, why would someone want to have 64 cores in a phone? Maybe some phone server of some sort maybe?
Another titbit is the support for different screens including the HD 720p resolution. This is currently not supported in the current version of Windows Phone 7.5.
People running phones with Windows Phone 7.5 however have been given a big fat finger as they will not be upgraded to the latest and greatest. They will be upgraded to the Windows Phone 7.8 which is basically .2 short of the big one. This update will feature minor changes especially to the start screen but will contain no major features. For those that support MS and mostly Nokia during its lean times by buying their phones, sorry, buy a new phone or get left behind.
Personally, i love the promised changes. Its always good to see new competition to Google and Apple. Of course its going to be difficult to wean me of Android but this might be a good point to start. Lets wait for the phones to start shipping and wait to hear what the real consumers think about all this fancy stuff.