Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows Phone 8 and unlike Apple’s unifying iOS, WP8 will fragment user support.
Although it may share the tile interface introduced by Windows Phone 7, WP8 turns to the Windows computer OS for inspiration. According to GSMArena, it will share the kernel, drivers, security, graphicss and more found in Windows 8, endowing it with versatility and future potential.
In a recent review of HTC’s Titan 4G, I was harsh on Windows Phone for dictating HTC make use of dated hardware. Like all Windows Phone, it was limited to a single core processor, didn’t have the option of expandable memory and suffered from limp screen resolution.
Read: HTC’s Titan 4G Has A Bad Case Of Split Personality
Windows Phone 8 addresses all of these issues, offering support for multi-core processors, up to 720p smartphone displays and MicroSD (expandable memory) support.
The web browser of old is being upgraded to Internet Explorer 8, which manages to incorporate some of the sensibilities found on its computer iteration, offering improved support for HTML 5 features and speed.
Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is a topical inclusion that will allow compatible devices to share data by tapping them against one another, and will also link your smartphone electronically to your credit card account(s) for easy payments. (If this notion stumps you, think of MasterCard’s PayPass system, but with your smartphone.) Microsoft is touting their rendition of NFC is superior to Android’s as its security is linked to the SIM Card as opposed to the smartphone.
Although Windows Phone has been used to leverage support for Microsoft’s Bing, Nokia’s mapping will be used for the GPS.
Multitasking, the bane of Windows Phone, has also been improved as it now allows applications to continue running in the background. This way if you are using the navigation and receive a text message, you can tend to it without having to boot up the GPS on return.
Like Google’s Android before it, Windows Phone has spent its infancy playing catch up to Apple’s iOS. Although its application market will continue to do the same, the updated OS looks like it is embarking on maturity and will, hopefully soon, begin tending to innovation and not its deficiencies.
There is some bad news for loyal users of Windows Phone, and that is Windows Phone 8 will not be compatible on your existing set. This is also the case for owners of Nokia’s Lumia range; however, Microsoft and Nokia have pledged support for the now dated systems.
“We’re going to keep investing in Windows Phone 7 and continuing to grow the Windows Phone ecosystem for quite some time. I expect application providers to release apps that run on both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8,” Nokia senior vice president Kevin Shields told pcmag.com.
Ever Since Microsoft revamped its Windows mobile OS, it has strived to fend off fragmentation, dictating everything from software to hardware. With the advent of Windows 8, the company undermines their philosophy and offends the loyal few who supported the OS in its infancy.
According to IDC estimates, Windows Phone accounts for just 2.2% of smartphones shipped worldwide, with Apple nabbing 23% and Android dominating with 59%. However, with the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, an improved mobile OS, Microsoft’s content-savvy Xbox, its acquisition and deep integration of Skype, and its solid computer dominance, Microsoft is creating a unified ecosystem that will see its share rise.