Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8

Image Credit: Windows Phone 8 | Official Website

Following the release of Surface RT and Windows 8, Microsoft finally unveiled their Windows Phone 8. In a press event in San Francisco, California, the company showed off the smartphones that will run their latest mobile operating system, as well as their prices and release dates.

Meet the Windows Phone 8

Although a couple of Windows Phone 8 features were already announced last June, the company saved many key details for the event like the new Lock screen. Windows Phone 8’s Lock screen will be customizable, making third-party apps accessible without the need to unlock it.

The company also integrated Skype on their new handsets, so users can now receive new messages and calls through the instant messaging service. The good thing about this is that it doesn’t run any battery-consuming code in the background. Other apps such as Facebook and Twitter were updated for the new mobile OS, while other applications will be coming to the mobile platform for the first time. This includes PayPal and Words With Friends.

Windows Phone 8 also boasts Data Sense, a one-stop app for keeping data use under control. It compresses web pages automatically, reducing the amount of data that users consume. The app also suggests nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as reduces data use when reaching the monthly limit.

Microsoft’s latest smartphone is also safe for the kids, as the handset has “Kids Corner”. This enables parents to create a separate set of tiles for their children; making only approved games, music, videos and app accessible. It also prevents the kids from buying things and sending emails.

In addition, there is the “Rooms” function, which is like an offshoot of “Groups”. Users are allowed to create rooms and add several contacts in it to share information such as location, calendar appointments, and notes. The good thing about this is that users can invite non-Windows Phone 8 users, and they can take part in the experience although not entirely.

Pricing and Availability

According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Windows Phone 8 handsets such as Nokia Lumia 920 and 820, HTC Windows Phone 8X and 8S, and Samsung Ativ S will go on sale in Europe this weekend, and it will have a worldwide release next month. The HTC Windows 8X will be available in Verizon for $199 together with the Nokia Lumia that costs $49 this November.

Head on to Microsoft’s official press release to learn more about Windows Phone 8 and its availability.

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