Windows Phone 8 RTM ready, expected to reach OEMs soon
Microsoft might have just signed off on Windows Phone 8’s final build. A photo uploaded to a Chinese social networking site called Sina Weibo, which was discovered by LiveSino, shows Microsoft employees signing off on a poster off that reads Windows Phone 8 RTM. Microsoft Phone’s Corporate Vice President, Terry Myerson is seen signing off on the poster. There’s a lot happening in the Microsoft camp this year, apart from of course, the major Windows 8 OS launch. Windows Phone 8 is expected to launch very soon after that or around the same time. Windows Phone 8 is the mobile operating system being developed by Microsoft to take on Google’s dominant Android and Apple’s iPhone smartphone market. After lagging behind the mobile OS race, Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 back in 2010, which was then followed by Windows Phone 7.5 in late 2011.
Enter the next level in Windows mobility
There’s no official date of launch for Windows Phone 8 just yet, but the news of the RTM build being final means that phone manufacturers and OEMs should be receiving this final build of the OS real soon. The first of the phones are expected to hit markets sometime in November this year. So far, the officially announced smartphones to ship with the Windows Phone 8 OS are Samsung’s ATIV S and Nokia’s own Lumia 920 and 820 models.
There are quite a few improvements over the older version. Here are some of the highlighted features that users can expect to find on Windows Phone 8:
Multi-core processor support – Windows Phone was a slick OS that ran smoothly on handsets with a single processor. The latest OS now features multi-core support with Belfoire claiming that they’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
Bigger, sharper screens - Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions — 1280 x 768 and 1280 x 720, making it compatible with new handsets that will feature high-definition 720p displays.
More flexible storage - Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so users can stuff their phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important and then easily move it all onto their PC.
NFC wireless sharing - In Windows Phone 8, NFC helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier. One can achieve this by tapping their phone on another NFC-equipped device.
Internet Explorer 10 - The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. Microsoft claims that IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
Wallet - Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes and other important info right at one’s fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, users can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
Better maps and directions - Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. This partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
Improved apps and games – Microsoft states that basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games.