Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Balmer disclosed at the company's shareholder's meeting that sales of Windows Phone 8 were off to a great start. He attributes it to the combination of new software and more powerful hardware which resulted in four times as many sales compared to the same period in 2011.
In particular, Mr Balmer pointed to the brisk sales of HTC and Nokia units with Windows 8 OS in different countries.
Windows Phone is one of the four popular mobile operating systems in the market, sharing market along with iOS, Android OS, and BlackBerry OS.
Windows Phone 8 is the second generation its kind and initially launched by four companies: Nokia, Samsung, Huawei, and HTC. Devices running Windows Phone are based on System on Chips from Qualcomm.
Windows Phone line up are competing in the market of smartphones and has several features unique or far better in comparison with similar ones found in Android and iOS.
Famous Windows Phone 8 Devices
Samsung ATIV S under the ATIV family runs Windows 8 with a large 4.8" Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and with a choice of 16GB or 32GB internal storage.
Nokia Lumia 920 is a flagship Windows Phone from the Finnish Firm. It has 4.5" of HD display with 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8.7MP rear PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and 1GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage.
HTC Windows 8X with 4.3" of screen display and 8S with 4.0" of screen display exhibits solid and remarkable design made from premium materials. Both devices have Beat Audio Sound enhancement.
Huawei Ascend W1 is expected to be released January next year with 4.0" of screen display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and 5MP of rear camera with LED flash.
Features and Benefits of Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8 is the first mobile OS from Microsoft to use Windows NT Kernel, the same kernel used in Windows 8. The innovations from the previous version of Windows OS to Windows 8 have similarity with Windows Phone devices as well.
- The operating system adds improved file system, drivers, network stack, security components, media and graphic support
- Windows Phone 8 can now support multi-core CPUs of up to 64 cores
- Support for 1280x720 and 1280x768 display resolutions
- microSD card slot support
- BitLocker encryption and Secure Boot which are both featured in Windows 8
- Internet Explorer 10 is the default browser and affected by the key improvements of its desktop version
- Multitasking is now as true background instead of card-based, but still invoked by the "back" key on all Windows Phone devices
- Kids Corner which acts as a "guest mode" preventing data modification of the main user signed in to the Windows Phone and worries about accidental or unwanted apps purchase while still allowing access to games and apps.
- Rooms is a feature specifically for group messaging which allows the user to contact and see Facebook and Twitter updates only from the members of the group created
- NFC capability for data transfer between two Windows Phone devices or between a Windows Phone and a Windows 8 computer or tablet using "tap and send" feature
- Nokia Maps access replacing Bing Maps as the standard mapping application
- Windows Phone 8 apps in partnership with Nokia offer at least 100,000 apps
- Unique user interface found only in Windows Phone and similar to Windows 8 in computers
- Xbox SmartGlass for control of an Xbox 360 with a phone
- Xbos Music and Xbox video services support playback of video and audio files in Windows Phone
- Firmware over the air updates
- Minimum of 18 months support of Windows Phone updates to Windows Phone 8 devices
- Camera app now supports "lenses" which allows third party to skin and add features to camera interface
- Screen capture pressing "home" and "power" buttons at the same time
Software updates are directly from Microsoft and labelled as beta releases unlike others mobile networks which have to test and push out the updates
Current games may be re-tooled to fit the Windows Phone 8 because the audio, graphics and media playback will work like the Windows 8 counterpart. The advantage is it can do more with powerful games and entertainment applications.
Windows 8 desktop programs and gaming consoles like Skype and Xbox includes updates, accessibility, and synching for Windows Phone 8 from now on.