Live Blog: The Windows Phone 8 Launch Event
Live from San Francisco, it’s Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event. Our live blogging will begin when the event starts at 10am, so stay tuned. We’ll update as things begin to happen!
And we’re off. Joe Belfiore, corporate VP is coming to welcome us, asking for Windows Phones to be held up.
Saying have been working to improve the phones over time, working with Qualcomm to improve the processor, app store now has 120,000 apps. In fall, 191 countries will have access to the store.
State of art of smart phone hasn’t evolved much in five years after being “standardized” by the iPhone and “copied” by Android. Makes slam at Apple about improving by adding fifth row of icons and Windows isn’t using that “tired old metaphor.”
People are the center of everything with Windows Phone he says. “To reinvent the smart phone around you,” he says, with “The smartphone reinvented around you” slogan up. Now a video.
Windows Phone is “most personal” phone operating system you can get, he says, perfect companion for Windows PC and Xbox.
Live Tiles, they wanted apps to light up the phone, “live apps.” But in Windows Phone 8, live apps can integrate into wallet and other hubs.
Live apps will integrate into the lock screen. He’s really playing this up as far more big a deal than it really feels to be.
One example is you can have the lock screen show all the pictures from your Facebook account. Woot.
New version of Twitter coming, will be a live app, have notifications. New Skype app coming, too, so can integrate into the phone (sounds like similar to Google Voice).
Says will have 46 of to 50 apps soon. Temple Run is coming. So is Urban Spoon.
Pandora will come after the New Year with one year ad-free music.
Data Sense will help control data costs. It will compress web pages, look for local wifi points and as you get to a monthly limit, can adjust the phone to keep you over your cap. Estimates you can get 45% more web browsing out of a data plan. Will rollout with Verizon and then others in 2013.
Now “Daddy Can I Play On Your Phone” segment. Windows Phone will build in new feature called “Kid’s Corner.” Place where kids can run apps picked for them but in way that protects your stuff. “A phone within a phone that’s there for your kids.”
Three kids out now. “Three kids, two phones, anyone sense a problem?” Live demo, he shows how you tick what apps they can use, then they can go to their own area after you unlock the phone. Our little demo kid is having some problems. “Remember how to do it?”
Kids can have custom colors and names for their area. If it all works, sounds like a nice feature.
Short movie, and now Jessica Alba is out, saying how great this is, will keep her four-year -old daughter tweeting again on her behalf. Like this (look at the tweet above her head):
She also talks about using Windows Phone. She moved from the iPhone. “I was a little bit concerned about my music,” she’s saying but then how Microsoft installed the Mac connector for Windows Phone on her Mac and moved her iTunes over very quickly. Says shows it to others, like moms she knows, who like large screen for seeing pictures of kids.
On to a new Rooms feature, where you can share calendar, notes, to do lists. Rooms also work off Windows Phone, as well, so people who don’t have them can still have some of the experience.
Wrapping up now, talking about Windows Phone 8 as “the perfect companion” for Windows PCs and Xbox. SkyDrive unifies this. “Unlike other similar services,” SkyDrive not just for photos and videos. Can access and edit documents where you left off, regardless of device.
Voice notes get transcribed and stored as text on SkyDrive. That’s nice. SkyDrive comes with 7GB of storage and unlike iCloud, can have more than 1000 photos past 30 days, can store “as long as you like.” I guess kind of like how Google+ photo storage that’s not limited works.
Xbox Music, cloud sync of music and playlists.
Steve Ballmer out now, talking about the lines for Surface, excitement over Windows in general. “Today, we’re bringing phones into the Windows Phone family with Windows Phone 8.” Says started with phones four years ago with a different idea of what the smartphone should be (apparently not what it was from Microsoft before those four years).
“There is no better phone for you,” he says if you’re one of the “100s of millions” of Windows users out there.
Now he’s going through hardware, smarting with the new Nokia phone. Lots of praise he’s giving Nokia for being exclusively focused on Windows Phone.
Moving to the Samsung Ativ S, 4.8″ screen. Now to an HTC, the Windows Phone 8X. Designers were inspired to build a phone from the ground up, he says, to mirror live tiles.
Phones coming to Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T as shown below, some exclusive to each provider:
Microsoft Stores will carry every phone and color option. And first time, will be able to buy phone, tablet or PC with same iconic feel.
“People all over the world are about to fall in love with Windows Phone,” he says, and that it’s the best phone for Windows. Jessica’s back, everyone’s showing their phones:
And that’s it, free phones for everyone now being handed out on stage (FYI, I’ll be taking one of this but still buying one, keeping with my buy what I use policy. I figure this will give me two models to try for testing).
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- Windows 8: A Touch Too Far?