Microsoft Windows 8 SmartPhones

Microsoft has created Windows Phone 8 as a polished and versatile operating system for virtually any device, including smartphones. It represents a distinct departure from the previous Windows CE phone OS and shares components of the Windows Core architecture with Microsoft Windows 8 OS. Similar file system code has been adapted along with such code modules as graphics, networking stack, security models and device drives.

The shared codebase components allow developers to make apps that are consistent in design across various desktop and mobile platforms. Games and apps may be more readily developed and ported from one platform to the other.

Windows Phone 8 will be instantly recognized as using the Modern User Interface common to the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. It has the identifiable Start Screen format of resizable tiles that are powered by Microsoft Windows 8 OS in desktops and portables.

Users will be able to color customize and personalize the tiles – adjustable to three sizes – across the full screen. Early layouts of the screens shown in the June press conference had colorful Start Screen tiles indicating such apps as Phone, Calendar, Games, ESPAN, Facebook and Yelp.

Improved Performance

Several hardware improvements are intended to make the new smartphone cutting edge. It will be able to run on multi-core processors and will have better screen resolutions from 800 x 480 pixels to 1,280 x 768 pixels. MicroSD expansion slots will allow extra memory access and storage for 16GB and 32GB memory cards, with 64GB slated for the future.

Users will be able to enjoy near field communication (NFC) advances that allow them to use their smartphones as traveling wallets and make payments by tap-to-pay gestures. They will also be able to share files, pictures and document content by merely tapping their phones next to another.

The use of QR codes will allow the smartphones not only to get retail store information and flash retail coupons, but to also function as passports in the way of showing boarding pass information and paid tickets. Microsoft will be consolidating the NFC technologies increasingly used by Google and Apple and developed in Windows 7 phones.

The many additional features include the ability to place different imaging lenses over the camera for added effects and better VOIP integration that will allow any VOIP app, including Microsoft’s Skype, to run seamlessly on the hardware. Improved mapping will come from Nokia’s native Navteq map technologies allowing turn-by-turn navigation and offline use.

SkyDrive and Business Integration

Highlighting improved connectivity between devices, a registered Microsoft account will enable the user to access documents, pictures and OneNote notebooks stored in the SkyDrive cloud apparatus. Pictures taken on the smartphone will be immediately accessible on other platforms such as desktops and tablets via the user account.

On-device encryption will enable business enterprises to use 128-bit Bitlocker and Secure Boot features bringing the smartphone up to desktop-level security. Device management support will be an important feature as well as support for internal business software.

Preliminary Models

HTC, Samsung and Nokia have recently produced preliminary Windows Phone 8 models. Samsung introduced the 1.5GHz dual-core Ativ S – “vita” backwards. It has a 4.8-inch HD display, an 8-megapixel back camera and a 1.9-megapixel front camera. The HTC 8X Accord has a 4.3-inch 720p HD display and Beats Audio enhancements.

Nokia recently publicized its forthcoming Lumia 920 PureView. Following a wireless standard called Qi, the Lumia 920 can charge itself without plugs by being placed near or on top of third-party docks and charging devices. The phone has an 8.7-megapixel front camera and image stabilization. The 4.5-inch screen has 1,280 by 768 pixel resolution and runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. A smaller 4.3-inch display Lumia 820 Arrow has 800 by 480 pixel display.