Microsoft Windows Phone 8 Launched
It’s been a busy past few days for Microsoft. Following the release late last week of Windows 8 and its tablet counterpart, Windows RT, the Redmond-based operating system maker has formally launched Windows Phone 8, its bid to carve out space in the lucrative smartphone market.
We’ve seen bits and pieces of the new mobile platform over the past few months, but only now has Microsoft announced the full spate of software features that the upcoming handsets from Nokia, Samsung and HTC would be equipped with once they start hitting store shelves later this month.
At its core, Windows Phone 8 uses the Windows NT kernel, which is the same used by Windows 8 and Windows RT. This necessitates a clean break from the Windows CE kernel that Windows Phone 7 used, and apps written for the new mobile operating system won’t work on its predecessor. Still, this could turn out to be a good thing overall, since the easy portability of software could help spur development across all of Microsoft’s current platforms.
More obvious to the end user are refinements to the user interface, the addition of a “kid’s corner” that serves to give a rudimentary multi-user capability, support for higher-resolution displays and multi-core processors as well as NFC capabilities.
In the United States, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T will offer a selection of Windows Phone 8 handsets starting this month. Verizon has confirmed that it would release the HTC Windows Phone 8X for $199.99 and the Nokia Lumia 822 for $99.99 by Thanksgiving, followed by the Samsung Ativ Odyssey sometime next month.
T-Mobile offers a $50 discount over Verizon’s asking price for the HTC 8X, and would also offer the Nokia Lumia 810 for $99.99.
Finally, AT&T has committed to offering the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and HTC 8X this month, but hasn’t given any pricing details.