Microsoft's holistic approach to the Windows platform will bring people to Windows Phone, just as Windows Phone will bring people to RT, Xbox to Windows 8, along with all the other combinations. But Microsoft can look beyond that, and use their online services such as Xbox Music to reach out to a new platform. Apple's platform.
Following the launch of Windows Phone 8, I had the chance to spend some time with the first smartphone announced as a WP8 device, the Samsung ATIV S. Both Nokia and HTC have been pushing their new handsets hard, while Samsung has been, well, focussing on the new Galaxy devices, running Android.
The big question, the thing everyone (around here) wants to know. How does the Nokia PureView 'phase 2' camera in the Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 920 compare to that in the 'phase 1' camera unit in the Symbian-powered Nokia 808? In the seven comparisons below, Rafe and I try to answer the question, and throw in comparisons with the Lumia 900 and HTC One X camera at the same time, where appropriate. This feature represents our 'first look' at the 920 hardware - there will be formal review parts coming your way very shortly, including a broader look at its camera in all modes and settings.
For the last month, the Windows Phone 8 hardware has been on show, but until today the second half of the experience - the software - was not. The strategic choice to build up some silence and mystique has been discussed and disected over countless posts and podcasts on All About Windows Phone and beyond. The Windows Phone 8 launch needed to make the case for Windows Phone 8 to the consumer, to the media, and to the world. Did it?
Readers of this site already know all about live tiles and Microsoft's Modern user interface (UI). Until now, knowing this has almost been secret knowledge in a world full of iPhones and Android phones. With the release of Windows 8, though, that state of affairs is due to come to an end as anyone buying a new PC will have tiles put in front of them by default. In anticipation of the official release of Windows 8, we take a look beneath the surface, and ask what does all of this mean for Windows Phone?
The UK's first 4G network, Everything Everywhere (EE), has announced their pricing plans this morning, and it makes for some interesting reading. EE will be selling the Nokia Lumia 920 exclusively in the UK, and their pricing is going to have a notable impact on the fortune of Nokia's Windows Phone programme. Which makes their initial offering of £36/month for 500MB of data problematic for Windows Phone 8 in the UK.
Whichever smartphone you're currently rocking or aspiring to, the chances are that there will be a certain amount of extra hardware that you'll find helps you get through the day, enhancing what the phone does and helping it do it for longer. Here, in a somewhat personal, though fairly cross-platform selection, I pick my top dozen smartphone accessories. Don't sneer at the back, I bet you get grabbed by a few of these too....
OneNote is Microsoft's cloud notetaking system, and is part of the Office 2010 suite. OneNote is also built into the Windows Phone Office Hub, allowing you to sync your notes via SkyDrive. If you've always taken OneNote for granted and never investigated its abilities in-depth, then stop to read our guide as we take you through all of the tips and tricks.
Following on from yesterday's news of Microsoft's new Xbox Music service, there's been some confusion on what this means to people with the Zune Music pass, the music subscription service that is built into Windows Phone 7 handsets. Microsoft have clarified the impact the updated service will have. The short answer is that nothing is going to change beyond the rebranding, but there are some points and limitations for people to take note of. In the long term, Microsoft seemed to have played a blinder with their music service.
I'll say one thing about the current round of handset/network leaks, it's making sure everyone knows that Windows Phone 8 is nearly here. Just this morning images of a purported Lumia 822 for the US network Verizon leaked, and it looks like the Lumia 810 is heading for T-Mobile USA. HTC's leak are reinforcing the idea that the Windows Phone 8X will be on every carrier in the US network. Assuming these are all true, that's two wildly different strategies at play, and the exciting news is that both strategies are right.