Microsoft unveiled today the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It is the next version of its Windows Phone OS and from what Microsoft revealed so far, it looks like Windows Phone finally has a shot at getting substantial share of the mobile phone pie, majority of which currently belongs to iOS and Android.
Windows Phone 8 is still based mainly on Windows Phone Mango but in terms of aesthetics, the biggest tweak is in the Start screen. I have used Windows Phone Mango and what I don’t like about the Start screen is how tiles are too large and real estate is wasted on that blank space on the right of the screen. That’s not the case now as the new Start screen on Windows 8 makes full use of the screen’s real estate and the tiles can even be resized. There are three sizes to choose from – small, medium, and large.
Here’s a video showing the new Start screen on Windows Phone 8.
What’s considered as the biggest change in Windows Phone 8 is the shift to the NT kernel. This now makes it possible for Windows 8 to support multi-core processors, device encryption, removable storage with microSD cards, and other improvements that were previously not possible. A lot of other new features will be seen on Windows Phone 8 including support for NFC, a new Wallet hub, deeper Skype integration, and support for three resolutions, i.e., WVGA, WXGA, and 720p.
The bad news for current Windows Phone users is that Windows Phone 8 will not be available as an update. What Microsoft did is to make another version called Windows Phone 7.8 which does not really have all features of Windows Phone 8 but will offer the same look and feel, including of course the new Start screen.