Oct 292012

The latest launch event to rock the technological launch season comes from Microsoft with the official unveiling of Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and Steve Ballmer revealed the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system just a few hours ago. Let’s get a quick look at what is new in this new smart phone.

Multi-core Processing

Windows Phone 8 offers support for processors with up to 64 cores, though this may not come that soon – Microsoft says there may be some quad-core Windows Phones out this year, but it mostly expects dual-core. It should be enough to see the join: for all the criticism lobbed Microsoft’s way over its mobile offerings, Windows Phone has always been light on hardware. So Windows Phone 8 should be zippy, with the right processors.

The primary benefit of multi-core processing for users is that background multi-tasking should become a cinch, and general speed when using your phone for multiple tasks should increase. Windows Phone developers face the challenge of living up to this promise, however.

MicroSD Storage Expansion

Windows Phone 8 supports MicroSD cards, meaning that it will be relatively inexpensive and straightforward to boost the storage in your phone. As a result, you are no longer limited to the amount of onboard storage with which your handset’s manufacturer deigned to bless you.

Fresh Start Screen

One of the big complains about existing Windows Phones is the lack of customization with regard to the home screens, though they are good in looking. Windows Phone 8 rectifies this, to an extent. The Start Screen still features the familiar Moder UI live tiles, but there is the option to change the tiles’ size, move them around and change the color scheme. Actually, you can now choose from up to 20 color schemes, which is very nice.

Kids Corner

Another intriguing new feature of Windows Phone 8 is called ‘Kids Corner’, which creates a separate place on your phone where children can access only the things you want them to. So they could, for instance play games and watch videos, but nothing else.

If you want to access Kids Corner, you should first head over to Settings, Turn on Kids Corner. There’s an off switch for those who don’t need this feature and checkboxes to choose what the kids can access. The Kids Corner home screen then displays only the apps that you have chosen, in the familiar live tile format. It sounds so simple and useful you wonder why no other smart phone platform has yet provided such a feature.

Easy Integration with SkyDrive

Microsoft has done a great job integrating all kinds of different services, like SkyDrive and various social networks, into Windows 8.  As to Windows Phone 8 key to this is Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud computing function. Using Windows Phone 8 and SkyDrive allows you to move files and apps from PC to tablet to phone to Xbox, according to Microsoft, and will “not only feel the same way, but work together in some powerful ways”. SkyDrive is built right into the PC and the phone, and is available on the Xbox as well.

It is undoubtedly that the biggest thing in Windows Phone 8’s favor is the billion or so people who use Windows on PC, laptop or tablet. And Microsoft is determined to make a great deal out of this. Speaking about the combination of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Belfiore said that using a Windows Phone 8 handset offered: “All of your content: office documents, photos, and music wherever you are.”

If you create a new document with your phone, it can be accessed on your laptop, PC or tablet as well. SkyDrive also supports voice notes. You start with 7GB of free space, and you can pay to add more so you don’t have to worry about running out of space.

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