Windows Phone has been for a while in the smartphone market for almost 2 years now,it had its fare share of nice reviews as well as some harsh criticism by the Tech Enthusiasts for being late to the party.
The new platform from the Software Giant had to face a tough competition from the likes of android based phones and the iPhone.But it seems that it is finally getting a hold of its own in the smartphone market.According to the recent findings from Canalys,Windows Phone is having quite a good run at the mobile phone market.
As you can see from the above image,Windows Phone’s market share which was at 1.2% during the Q2 2011 has jumped up to 3.2% by the end of the 2nd quarter this year,which indicates a jump of approximately 277% from last year.Android which is currently the first one in the list also experienced a jump of 110% with the market share reaching 68.1% at the end of second quarter,while iOS remained on second position with 16.4% of market share.
It is to be noted that the two Platforms namely RIM’s Blackberry and the good old Symbian however faced a massive fall as compared to last year,with Blackberry loosing 32% from its last years standing and Symbian loosing 64% from where it was last year.
So by the look of it,it should indicate the uprising for Windows Phones with the launch of Windows Phone 8 in a few months and the debacle of Blackberry and Symbian,Windows Phone would reach the 3rd spot by the mid next year.With the new exciting features and high end hardware it would only get better for Windows Phone.
A couple of days ago Microsoft officially announced the release dates for the Windows 8 public release on 26th of October,but that is not the only product scheduled to be released by the software giant.
Windows Phone 8 and the next version of Microsoft office i.e Office 2013 is also expected to be released in the coming months,with the Preview release of Office 2013 which was released a few days ago,its about time for the rumors for the launch dates for both the products.
Apparently ZDNet has got some inside news from an unnamed sources about the supposed release dates for both Windows Phone 8 and Office 2013.According to their sources the Windows Phone 8 will hit RTM by the month of September while the devices will be available by the month of November.While the Office 2013 is said to be ready for RTM by November while the final release will be in the month of February 2013.
They also reported about the release dates of other Microsoft products like Visual Studio 2012 with RTM coming in August and General Availability by September and Microsoft Dynamics NAV RTM by September and general availability by October.
So it seems that there is a packed scheduled coming up as far as the product launch goes for the Software Giant.
One of the most missed features for the Windows Phones was the USB Mass Storage feature,mostly due to the closed system environment for the operating system.But now it seems that come Windows Phone 8 the users might very well get to use the USB Mass Storage feature without any registry hacks.
As reported earlier by WPSauce,Microsoft will add the USB Mass Storage support for Windows Phone 8.We already got to know about one of the new features a couple of weeks ago about the Micro SD card support for the upcoming update of Windows Phone.
So this is how it will work,
The Windows Phone 8 will create the media folders like Video, Music and Pictures in the SD Card and the users can directly drag the respective files to the phone,eventually bypassing the Zune sync usage which was required in the earlier version of Windows Phone.
Though the blog poster also raised a question about the syncing problems that might cause some issues while copying files,personally when i tried the Mass Storage hack on Windows Phone 7,even if i copied the file in the pictures folder the file gets automatically listed in the Video’s list in the Zune Player on the Phone,so i don’t think that would be any problem.
Talking about the Installation of apps more specifically Side loading of the apps there’s still no word from Microsoft about how it will work on the devices,but we can expect some of these questions to be answered soon enough as we inch closer to the official release of Windows Phone 8 which is expected to be released by the holiday season.
Nokia has sent up a press invite to some of the popular bloggers in India for an event which will be held at New Delhi on 6th of July.With the upcoming Batman movie Dark Knight Rises right around the corner,its about the right time to kick in with the promotions with special edition Phones.
If we have a look at the press invitation which sport a Dark Knight Rises poster in the background,indicates that we might see a Nokia Lumia 900 Special Dark Knight Rises Edition phones along with the normal version of Lumia 900 and the entry level Lumia 610.Though none of the releases have been confirmed from the official sources at this moment.
There’s also talks about the New Music Services from Nokia,The Nokia Music store might also be launched for the Lumia devices.Along with the Mix Radio Music Streaming application for Lumia and we can see a version of the same for the recently launched Pureview 808.
It remains to be seen after the announcement a couple of weeks ago about the future of existing Windows Phones not getting the Windows Phone 8 update and rather a Windows Phone 7.8,would people take interest in buying a hardware which won’t support the upcoming version of Windows Phone ?
All the phones in the existing mobile market feature either a hardware based keyboard or a touch screen based QWERTY keyboard.Gone are the days of the conventional keyboards which we used to type with one hand.Well Not Yet!
According to the recent leaks supposedly coming from Microsoft Research leaked slides,courtesy WMPowerUser,an image has surfaced which shows up an Arc soft keyboard running on HTC Trophy.The Arc design which is tailor made for one thumb typing as you can see from the screenshot above.
The keys are clustered together with a bunch of 3 to 4 letters per soft key,bringing the age old predictive text typing in the game.As the keyboard is being used on the first generation HTC Trophy there’s also a chance for this feature could very well make into the Windows Phone 7.8 update along with the Windows Phone 8.
Though the question remains,would people care about this as a feature in their smartphone as they are quite used to the existing soft key keyboards on their phones ? Well that is the question we need to ask ourselves.
Last week Microsoft detailed the Windows Phone 8 along with its new and improved features and specifications like multicore processor support,NFC support 1080P video support and the new Start Screen which offers re-sizable Live Tiles.It was also announced that there won’t be any upgrades for existing Windows Phones for this update due to the hardware limitations of the existing range of devices,for which they have created Windows Phone 7.8.
Recently Paul Thurrott who is well known for his Writing regarding Microsoft products ,detailed some of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 features on Windows IT Pro publication.Which includes the new and improved version of Office for Windows Phone i.e Office 2013,along with the new version of Internet Explorer as well as the New Xbox Music Services.
Amongst some of the new additions of the features on board is the side loading of the apps,so that now the enterprises can side load their apps onto the Windows Phone 8 devices without the use of the marketplace process.Courtesy the Common Core of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 it will also allow some of the features like Secure Boot Feature in Windows Phone 8,and some device encryption based on Bitlocker and the new Micro SD card support which will boost the device memory.
The new range of Windows Phone 8 devices is expected to be released by the holiday season,new devices with varying resolutions and form factors are expected from the partners like HTC,Samsung,Nokia and Huawei.
After the announcement last week about their first manufactured tablet the Surface Tablet,many of the blogs were speculating about a supposed phone in the making by the Software giant,after the event of Windows Phone 8 which followed the Surface tablet revelation.
But recently Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone confirmed to Information Week in an interview that the company have no plans of manufacturing a Windows Phone.He added to that by saying,”We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with”,since they already have announced their partners like Nokia,HTC,Samsung and Huawei.So as of now it seems like they are more eager to concentrate on only one manufactured product i.e Surface Tablet.
Windows Phone 8 will be released with a new array of hardware devices and new enhanced specifications like Multicore processor support,NFC support,1080P video support and a wide range of resolution for displays.Though the release dates are not yet revealed,they are hinting about a Holiday release time frame.
Windows Phone Marketplace has finally reached 100,000 mark,as announced yesterday at the developer summit where the upcoming Windows Phone 8′s first look was revealed.
Over the past few months Windows Phone Marketplace has been growing at an astounding rate,thanks to the growing developer interest in the platform.Though its comparatively way behind the leaders in the business like iOS and Google Play Store in terms of sheer number of apps,but if we consider the time it required to reach the landmark six figure mark its still 4 months quicker than android which took almost 2 years as compared to Microsoft’s Marketplace which achieved this feat in 20 months and more importantly over 50,o00 of those apps were added in the last 6 months.
Talking about the apps,Microsoft announced some big names yesterday which are planning to release their games on the Windows Phone platform,so we will see the popular titles like Draw Something,NOVA 3,Words With Friends,Asphalt 7 so the big developers like Gameloft,Big Fish,Havok and Zynga are eager to release their games to the Windows Phone Platform.
With yesterdays announcement we also saw the big change this time around with the common core coming into the picture with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone sharing the common core making it easy for developers to port their games and apps from PC to Windows Phone,SO we can expect a blitzkrieg of apps with that announcement.
Finally Microsoft announced the upcoming major release of Windows Phone post Mango release last year.At the Developer summit yesterday Microsoft revealed the Windows Phone 8 experience.
As we have already reported,that the existing Windows Phones won’t be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8,but some of them can be upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8.The reason behind this is the newly updated hardware for Windows Phone 8.With the announcement of Multicore Chips support for the Windows Phone 8 Microsoft enters into the dual core phone business with their partner Qualcomm which will provide the chips.
One more thing which was revealed that the new Windows Phone 8 will be sharing a common core With the Windows 8 desktop operating system,which will help bring new and exiting features,apps and games to Windows Phone 8 platform as there is a negligible amount of code change while porting the apps from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8.
As we can see from the above image,the newly updated start screen with Tile customization,so that we can re-size the tiles as and when we want according to our needs and preferences.
Here’s a look at the Features of Windows Phone 8:
- Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
- Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
- More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
- NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
- Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
- Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
- Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
- Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.
Apart from these features Microsoft also announced some more new features for the Business guys out there,announcing some great features for companies and the IT department people with the newly launched Company Hub.
Here’s a look at the new Business Features of Windows Phone 8,
- Device encryption: To help keep everything from documents to passwords safe, Windows Phone 8 includes built-in technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files.
- Better security: Windows Phone 8 supports the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol and features improved app “sandboxing,” so the phone is better protected from malware with multiple layers of security.
- Remote management: With Windows Phone 8, IT departments can manage apps and phones remotely, with tools similar to ones they now employ for Windows PCs.
- Company Hub and apps: Companies can create their own Windows Phone 8 Hub for custom employee apps and other critical business info.
Checkout the Official Blog Post for more Windows Phone 8 Features.
Over the past few months this topic has been one of the most discussed amongst the Windows Phone Enthusiasts,that if their existing Windows Phone devices can be updated to the major update codenamed Apollo.
Many of the article claiming the support for update and the discontinuation of the further major update have been making the rounds,but its now official,today Microsoft announced that the existing Windows Phone devices will not get the Windows Phone 8 update.However it will get the Windows Phone 7.8 update which will include the newly updated Start Screen with tile customization support (More on that and other Windows Phone 8 features in coming posts),though there wasn’t a mention about exactly which Windows Phone devices will get the Windows Phone 7.8 update.
A Major reason behind the No Update support for existing devices was the Hardware limitations,since the newly launched devices will feature Dual Core chips and NFC it won’t be possible for the existing devices to take advantage of the new features of Windows Phone 8.
There is no word on the Windows Phone 7.8 roll out just yet,we have to wait for the official announcement for the release date and the supported devices list.