Microsoft introduces Windows Phone 8 for fall release, incompatible with current devices

Microsoft has finally and officially removed the wraps from the OS formerly known as Apollo. It’s now just Windows Phone 8 and, at their "sneak peek" event we’re learning a good bit about that OS, and some of the great new hardware support that it offers. But, there’s one thing we want to make clear right away: if you’re currently holding a Windows Phone device you won’t be getting a taste of this action. Well, not unless you buy a new phone, that is. That back and forth about upgrade paths has been proven to be incorrect, as the hardware requirements for WP8 preclude its running on any current WP device — even that hot blue Lumia 900 you got for a steal.

And what are those hardware requirements? As detailed here, multi-core processors (up to 64) are now allowable, displays up to WXGA (1280 x 768) and external storage on SD. This better, faster hardware will enable new, faster games and other demanding apps which, for the first time, can be written in native code. (Well, it’s C/C++, which at least lets developers get out of CLR land.) All this will run on a kernel shared with Windows 8 and Windows RT. In other words: yes, Microsoft has managed to get one platform running on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones, the idea being that apps can be more easily ported from one to the next, promising "games we’ve never seen before" running on your phones.

There’s also a new wallet functionality thanks to the NFC support, as detailed here, but reliant on an augmented SIM, not hardware on the phone itself. This means carriers won’t have to remove apps (as we’ve seen with Google Wallet in the past) but they can block support altogether. Nokia maps is now built into the OS, including offline map support.

This is a big step forward on many levels, but Microsoft is naturally sticking to its roots, promising enterprise-ready security and support, enabling admins to deploy and restrict apps on corporate-provided phones and manage them remotely. There’s also encryption and secure booting integrated.

It’s all set to arrive this fall, which just so happens to be when Windows 8 (and those fancy new Surface tablets) will start shipping, too.

Source: Engadget http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/20/microsoft-introduces-windows-phone-8/

Xbox SmartGlass, Microsoft at E3

The Microsoft software, unveiled at the E3 videogame conference in Los Angeles on Monday, promises to bring together several key Microsoft products: its Xbox videogame console, tablets running the new Windows 8 operating system and Windows phone devices.

SmartGlass, Microsoft says, will allow a tablet or smartphone to stream media to a big screen controlled by the Xbox console. It also can augment videogames with additional information such as team formations in a sports game.

Microsoft says SmartGlass will be free and work with Windows phones, Windows 8 and other portable devices.

"We all go into our living room and have a touch surface like a phone or a tablet, but it has no idea what’s occurring on the TV," said Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft’s gaming business. The SmartGlass apps he said, by contrast will allow the Xbox to "communicate with whatever glass surface you have."

He said Microsoft spent about a year developing SmartGlass, and that it will work with devices customers already own, including Apple Inc.’s. iPad and iPhone as well as devices that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system, aside from Microsoft’s own devices.

"All they do is download the app and it knits their content together," he added.

The Redmond, Wash., company’s efforts to expand its Xbox 360 game console come as Nintendo prepares to release its next generation Wii U game console later this year. The console, which has so far had mixed reactions from investors and industry analysts alike, includes a tabletlike controller called the Wii U GamePad. Nintendo says the device will use its touch screen and onboard sensors to interact with games.

There are existing products on the market that try to accomplish similar chores. Apple, for example, has a technology called AirPlay, which can stream video, music and images from an iPhone or iPad to an Apple TV.

 

Original source is from : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303830204577446753653041174.html