Here is the summary of the key points brought up today at the Windows Phone 8 announcement, which is slated to be released in the fall. You can view the live coverage of the event here
The Good Things:
- Shared Core support, the phone will essentially use the same kernel and even drivers as Windows 8 PC/ Surface.
- Support for Multi-Core chips. There will be some much faster phones.
- Support for multiple scaled screen resolution even up to 720P.
- Micro-SD card support for expandable memory
- IE10 is coming to Windows Phone 8, bringing HTML5 to developers and mobile users
- Native Code for native apps and increased applications complexity including games.
- NFC included and integrated in almost all aspects of the UI, including a new Wallet platform for unified payment in stores and online. (everyone is doing this)
- Windows Phone 8 will now include Nokia’s NAVTEQ maps data for native turn by turn offline mapping & directions
- They are finally bringing in Business Tools including BitLocker Encryption, MDM integration (suspect this means they will leverage SCCM)
- Full Mobile Office will be included, not sure what this includes yet.
- New UI, which includes live action tiles that can customized and resized like on the Android.
The Not-So Good Things:
- Current Windows Phone 7 will not be upgradable, not even the latest and greatest Nokia Lumia n900 phone. Existing users will have to buy new phones.
- Existing phone will get a last 7.8 update to enable some of the new UI.
- Microsoft still believes that Windows Phone is a Personal Relative Connected device. It might have business connectivity and security, but this is still a personal phone: IT Consumerisation.
The new Windows Phone 8 is a big step forward for Microsoft which brings them up to date with what Android and Apple are doing. And reaffirms the general industry move towards IT Consumerisation in the Mobile space. The business additions are very good. Most Microsoft Shop we need to look at this new platform very seriously as I stated with the Surface announcement as they are probably already implementing all the server and management tools to manage these new phones at a very low-cost and effort.
Both noted Windows Watchers (bloggers) Mary Jo Foley (ZD|Net ) and Paul Thurrot (quoted and linked below) have excellent pieces on the new platform already.
More on Built for Business from Paul Thurrot WinSuperSite
Built for business
One of the legitimate knocks against Windows Phone 7.x is that the consumer-focused platform wasn’t suitable for certain businesses because it lacked some key technologies such as device and storage card encryption. These arguments are no longer valid in Windows Phone 8.
Windows Phone 8 provides always-on device encryption, which like the similar feature in Windows RT is based on the mature BitLocker encryption technologies from Windows 8. This encryption works with both device and storage card storage, is hardware accelerated, and is on by default.
Windows Phone 8 also supports Secure Boot, just like Windows 8. Secure Boot is technically a feature of the UEFI firmware type and it provides always-on protection against malware, including before the OS is loaded at boot time.
Windows Phone 8 will include new Office 2013-based Office apps.
Windows Phone 8 will include device manageability capabilities that exceed what’s possible with just Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). I assume and expect that this will be the same management functionality that Microsoft is building for Windows RT.
And it will support side-loading of line of business (LOB) apps, meaning that enterprises will be able to deploy apps to Windows Phone securely, just as they can now for iOS and Android. (Microsoft will build support for this into its Windows Intune PC and device management service.)