20 June 2012

Highlights of the Windows Phone Summit

Today, Microsoft held their first ever Windows Phone Summit.  Although the event lasted only two hours, there was quite a bit of information provided, lots of questions answered, and several questions still left to be answered.  Below are some of highlights of the event (in no particular order):

  • Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will both utilize a Shared Windows Core
  • Device drivers can be built once to support Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8
  • Support for multi-core chipsets
  • A total of three screen resolutions to be supported:
    • 800x400 (current resolution for Windows Phone 7.x)
    • 1280x768
    • 1280x720
  • Support for (removable) MicroSD cards (can be used for photos, music, videos, apps)
  • Internet Explorer 10 – includes SmartScreen anti-phishing filter (same as in Windows 8) as well as improvements to JavaScript and HTML5 performance
  • Native code support for game development
  • NFC support including “Tap-to-Share”
  • New Wallet Hub with support for credit and debit cards, loyalty and membership cards, and coupons.  Can utilize NFC capabilities for “Tap-to-Pay”.
  • Nokia maps – all Windows Phone 8 devices will include Nokia map technology (not just the Nokia devices)
  • Enterprise features such as:
    • Trusted Shared Windows Core
    • Encryption and Secure Boot
    • Line-of-Business app deployment
    • Device management
    • Familiar Office apps
  • New and improved Start Screen – can now resize tiles to one of three sizes (small, medium, and large).  Can have up to four (small) tiles running horizontally across the Start Screen.  The tiles still retain their “live” feature regardless of size.
  • Support for IPv6
  • Improved Bluetooth support (details not announced)
  • Native support for Voice over IP (VoIP) and Video Chat – integrated into the standard phone experience (i.e. you can receive a Skype call just as you would any other call)
  • DataSmart feature allowing to you better manage your data usage
  • Developer SDK will be released later this summer
  • Visual Studio 2012 will support development for Windows Phone 7.5, 7.8, and 8
  • Windows Phone 7.5 apps will run on Windows Phone 8.  They will be compiled “in the cloud” automatically by Microsoft as they are published to the Windows Phone Marketplace.  Existing apps will be compiled as well.
  • Windows Phone 8 will not be provided for existing (Windows Phone 7.x) devices.  However, a Windows Phone 7.8 release will be made available that provides the new Start Screen experience.
  • Audible app due in the Windows Phone Marketplace later today
  • Location apps can run in background (e.g. turn-by-turn instructions will continue to announce instructions, even if another app is running in the foreground)
  • SQLite has been ported to run on Windows 8 RT and will also run on Windows Phone 8
  • Introduced support by various game technology providers such as:

I have no doubt left out a few details covered during the summit but you can get all the details yourself by watching the recorded presentation currently available here (I’ll update this link if the video is moved).

I look forward to seeing what else has yet to be announced for Windows Phone 8.