Updated 19 Jun, 2013, 5:30 pm IST
All you need to know about Windows Phone 8
| by Karan Shah
After the announcement of Microsoft Surface, the software giant recently gave a sneak peek of their swanky new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8. At an event in San Francisco, the brand officially raised the curtains on this latest mobile OS and claimed that it is the most advanced one Microsoft has ever made. This OS will be available on new handsets that will be launched later this year. Windows Phone 8 was earlier codenamed Apollo and it is the successor to Windows 7.5 Mango.
So, what is Windows Phone 8 all about? Is it a worthy increment over the previous iterations by Microsoft? This and more has been delved into below, so read on.
Microsoft has changed the look of their homescreen by making it more personal and customizable. Live Tiles will now come in three different sizes, with different theme colours, all of which are under the control of the user. Live Tiles has been one of the standout features of Windows Phone and something that their current owners really love, so they’ve made it more flexible and unique. Check out the video of Live Tiles after the break.
This means that you can now adjust the tiles, as per your liking and your requirement, be it sports, social networking or even music. The other unimportant things take a backseat to give you the content you care about the most. The screen display now supports higher resolutions as well. The two new ones to be supported, include 1280 x 768 and 1280 x 720p, so no more sticking to 480 x 800 resolution screens. When we had made our wishlist last year, we had spoken about more customization from the user end for the homescreen and that has finally arrived. However, the demo video still hasn’t showcased what happens when you press ‘right’ on the homescreen. A lot of people weren’t particularly happy with the long list that came after that.
Belfiore announcing the new updates
Here's the complete video of the Windows Phone 8 Summit:
Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single-core processor. It’s even faster than dual-core Androids at present, but Microsoft isn’t giving one extra reason to critics. With Windows Phone 8 multiple cores are supported, so hardware makers can push the boundaries of their smartphone specs. Not only that, there’s support for 64 multi core processors, if it does happen in Windows Phone 8’s lifetime.
Multi core support
It seems that Microsoft will continue its partnership with Qualcomm to provide SoCs for Windows Phone handsets and their announced Windows Phone 8 devices will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Plus SoCs. The actual chipset is the MSM8960, which packs in two Krait-based CPU cores running anywhere between 1.5GHz and 1.7GHz. It will also pack in an Adreno 225 GPU onboard, along with an LTE chip. This makes it one of the most efficient systems on a chip solution in the market and is highly sought after by many top OEMs. For instance, Samsung will be using the S4 chipset in their U.S variant of the S III, while the HTC uses the S4 in the international version of the One S. Qualcomm’s SoC continues to power 100 percent of all Windows Phone devices to date and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change anytime soon. With WP8, Microsoft will continue to set a strict guideline for OEMs, which means they probably will not be able to use other SoCs in the new WP8 handsets. While this could seem a bit restrictive, think about it this way, with Microsoft allowing just a single series of chipsets to be used with their new OS, they can fine tune the SoC to work best with WP8 and also avoid fragmentation. This will deliver a uniform experience across OEMs.
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