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Microsoft Publicly Outs Windows Phone 8, Outlines Developer Support

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Up until today, Microsoft hasn’t openly acknowledged the existence of Windows Phone 8. Afterwards an unfortunate leak last week and a video meant for hardware partners prior to that, a handful of new features in the straightway build have already been outed. However like most leaks, it doesn’t quite paint the whole picture. They rarely do.

Microsoft is shifting the core kernel of Windows Phone over to one that’s a bit more familiar to developers. Yes, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be incestuously intertwined at its NT kernel core, the same one that’s been used in Windows proper since XP. The long term vision is to have a unified operating system however at this moment the notion of ‘writing once for all platforms’ doesn’t apply. It will in the end but there are some baby steps to get to that point. A shared core benefits everyone involved: consumers, developers and hardware partners. During Windows Phone 7 apps will work on Windows Phone 8 the same won’t be true in the in contrast direction.

Taste of what’s to come

Today Microsoft is squarely focused on giving developers a taste of what’s to come. Although they aren’t providing any dev sleds or software until later this summer, Microsoft says that “developers will be taken care of.” The first batch of Windows Phone 8 devices will ship this fall.

Microsoft has but to announce details of how or whether or not Windows Phone 7 devices will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8. More here.

Native code in WP8 will allow developers to simplify the porting process for apps that may already be available for iOS and Android. DirectX, Direct3D, and SQLite can be used for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

The consumer features may be Wallet

Most notable of the consumer features may be Wallet, Microsoft’s gamble on NFC. The Wallet hub, but, will integrate third party apps, including loyalty rewards programs and the like. Content between devices like a Windows 8 slate and WP8 device can as well be shared via NFC by tapping devices at the same time. A native Chase app is on the way this summer. Local deals shared amongst friends or found on the web can as well be stored in the wallet hub for redemption on the move. A separate PIN can be used to protect your wallet.

VoIP apps will as well function more natively in WP8. And no, Skype will not be baked into the core OS. WP8 will support three screen resolutions: WVGA, WXVGA and true 720p. SD card expansion will be possible for file transfers and you’ll when all is said and done be able to side load apps, load music or transfer files from phone to phone.

Windows Phone 8 will be enterprise ready with secure boot and a form of BitLocker. App distribution will be flexible and controlled by the business and devices will be able to integrate with software management systems of their own.

Fundamental shift for the future of Microsoft

Monday marked a fundamental shift for the future of Microsoft. Ballmer repeatedly hammered home the importance of unifying hardware and software, something Apple has nailed for quite a during. The Surface appears to be the first arm of the business to wholeheartedly embrace that notion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or insider knowledge to know that the Windows Phone team hasn’t been tasked with the same objective. Nevertheless at it’s core, the team in Redmond needs to nail the software earlier they even think about hardware.

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products just as the Zune and...

More information: Techcrunch