Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 8 start screen, adds dual-core support

winphone8 demo1 Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 8 start screen, adds dual core support

Microsoft has announced a host of new features that will come with Windows Phone 8, including a revamped start screen, dual-core processor support, more screen resolutions, microSD support, a digital wallet, and several improvements for business users.

Microsoft has announced a host of new features that will come with Windows Phone 8, including a revamped start screen, dual-core processor support, more screen resolutions, microSD support, a digital wallet, and several improvements for business users.

 
The new start screen is, besides the shared Windows core, the main attraction of Windows Phone 8. On the surface it looks just like Windows Phone 7, but the customisation options are vastly superior, mimicking those of the upcoming desktop OS.
 
Essentially users can load pretty much anything into a tile, change the tile size, move things around, and generally make their phone look and feel more unique to them. Microsoft gave examples of what this meant, with the start screen showing a variety of music-based tiles for a music lover, book-based tiles for a bookworm, game-based tilers for a gamer, and so on.
 
winphone8 start Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 8 start screen, adds dual core support
 
Dual-core support is an important addition, given that rival mobile platforms are skyrocketing ahead with faster processors that have many more cores. Efficiency and battery life are two things that are holding back further multi-core support, but we can also expect quad-core support in the future.
 
Microsoft is also adding two new resolutions, making three total on offer: WVGA (800×480), WXGA (1280×768), and 720p (1280×720).
 
The long-awaited microSD support will arrive with Windows Phone 8, giving users more storage options.
 
Internet Explorer 10 is built into Windows Phone 8, featuring an anti-phising filter, four times faster JavaScript performance compared to Windows Phone 7.5, and two times the HTML5 feature support. Microsoft showed some SunSpider charts that revealed that the browser is faster on Windows Phone 8 than rival smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S.
 
winphone8 demo Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 8 start screen, adds dual core support
 
NFC support and the new Wallet feature are another major element of Windows Phone 8, with Microsoft touting it as “the most complete wallet experience.” Instead of just focusing on payments, the company wants to replace the entire wallet, including credit and debit cards, loyalty and membership cards, saved deals, and tap-to-pay via NFC. This makes it much more comprehensive than even Apple's recently unveiled Passbook feature, though it will remain to be seen how it works in action.
 
Microsoft is again following in Apple's footsteps with a map update of its own, but instead of relying on TomTom maps, it is using Nokia maps, with turn-by-turn directions and offline map support. 
 
Finally, the company is not ignoring the huge business user base out there, noting dissatisfaction with Windows Phone 7's enterprise features. Windows Phone 8 will fill the gaps, with encryption and secure boot, thanks to Bitlocker. It will also come with LOB app deployment, easy device management that will be similar to the desktop Windows experience, and, of course, Microsoft Office.
 
Overall, Windows Phone 8 takes what was good about the previous version and fills in a lot of missing features. The shared code with Windows 8 remains the big reveal, however, and that will likely be the deciding factor in the growth of this platform.
 
winphone8 demo1 Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 8 start screen, adds dual core support