Samsung were the first out of the block with an announcement of a Windows Phone 8 device thanks to yesterday's reveal of the ATIV S, and one thing is for sure... this is not the only Windows Phone 8 we're going to see around the launch of the updated operating system. As the first handset, Samsung's ATIV S puts down an impressive marker in terms of specification and construction, while leaving a lot of space for competitors (and Samsung themselves) to ensure a Windows Phone 8 device at every price point.
Since Friday, the tech media has been flooded with news and commentary about the jury's verdict on the Apple versus Samsung case in the USA. Many of the headlines would have you believe this is the turning point for Windows Phone (e.g. this one on Forbes by our own Ewan Spence), because Android has been mortally wounded by a thermonuclear bomb sent from beyond the grave by Steve Jobs himself. Then again, Gizmodo have said "Who cares if Samsung copied Apple?". As is always the case though, reality is much more complicated and far less clear cut.
If there's one thing that is going to get developers interested in programming on Windows Phone, it's money. If Windows Phone proves to be a fruitful place to do business, then people will do business. But one of the biggest tools to help developers earn money isn't available on Windows Phone, and when it is, it may not have the reach to be effective.
After travelling across the West of England over the last four days, the disconnect between the hype at the cutting edge of the smartphone world (where a phone or system gets blasted because it 'only' offers 6Mbps downloads, etc.) and the reality for normal people has never been more evident. I know I've ranted in the distant past along similar lines, but the situation's getting worse, not better, with time.
Here's what we do know for sure... Microsoft's UI is no longer going to be called Metro. Whatever the new name is going to be ('Blue?' 'Windows 8 UI'? 'Colin?') this is great news for Microsoft. They have a chance to simplify the Windows 8 message, a chance they might not have taken if Metro had been allowed to carry on.
Much fanfare has been given the Nokia 808 PureView – widely heralded as the best camera phone in the world; and our sister site, All About Symbian, has recently shown how you can get artistic by taking bokeh shots with the 808 PureView. This is great for anyone who wishes to remain in the Symbian world. However, those who have bought a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900 may be feeling a little short changed after the double whammy of not being able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 and hearing that PureView technology will now feature in Nokia's Windows Phone 8 devices. On the bright side, current Lumias are not losing any functionality, and they already have a great camera. In this, our guide to Windows Phone 7 bokeh photography, we step up against the 808 PureView and show it just what we can do.
Internet sharing, or tethering, is the way in which you can use your smartphone and its mobile data connection to act as an access point to the Internet for other devices you have with you. Whether you're using a laptop, tablet, or even another smartphone, your phone acts as a WiFi hotspot which relays data between your devices and the rest of the world, via your phone's mobile data connection. It's been a feature of Windows Phone 7 for some time, but Nokia have only recently enabled it for Lumia devices. I took the Lumia 800 on the road and put its Internet Sharing to the test.
This is the fourth in a series of articles giving real world, honest feedback from Symbian users of varying levels of expertise who have tried moving to Windows Phone in general and the Nokia Lumia 710 in particular. Here uber-power user James Honeyball, despite generally being very open in terms of mobile platforms, finds a few showstoppers for him, at least, with many astute observations along the way. Here's his attempted move from Nokia N8 (and then 808) to Windows Phone on the 710.
TechRepublic's Debra Shinder is looking over at Windows Phone 8, and wondering if she'll be jumping mobile platforms when her next upgrade is due. "Ten reasons I want a Windows Phone 8 device" makes for interesting reading, and likely mirrors the thoughts and discussions that many people are having over the upcoming platform. More importantly, it shows that by filling in the gaps in the specs and features on Windows Phone, Microsoft will make it easier for people to jump to a new platform.
This is the third in a series of articles giving real world, honest feedback from Symbian users of varying levels of expertise who have tried moving to Windows Phone in general and the Nokia Lumia 710 in particular. Here Stephanie Brear, admittedly a user quite far from the Symbian cutting edge, finds that the 710 is a 'massive improvement' from her 5230 - perhaps not surprising, but a good example of the type of user upgrade that Windows Phone is perfect for.