Microsoft today publicly previewed its new Windows Phone 8 operating system for smartphones which will launch in the autumn. The company revealed that the new mobile OS will share many attributes of its core code with Windows 8, signalling the march towards a unified operating system.
It has been a turbulent week for Microsoft with the unveiling of its new Surface tablet computers and now, with the unveiling of Windows Phone 8 it is clear that by sharing the same code kernel as Windows 8 Microsoft is attempting to up the ante in the battle against Apple. Apple has so far managed to gain considerable advantage by leveraging the strengths of iOS and OS X to be mutually complementary.
The new OS will support multi-core processors (up to 64 cores), a faster GPU for gaming, in-app purchases and faster web browsing with Internet Explorer 10. Windows Phone 8 coming this autumn – shares code core with Windows 8, plus NFC capabilities.
It also shares its core code with Windows 8 – called the NT Kernel.
NFC capabilities and security
It will also support devices in terms of near field communications for m-commerce via a Wallet Hub.
The new OS will also support higher-resolution devices, including 720p and WXGA.
Another key feature will be enhanced security to support encryption and enterprise secure boot.
The new OS will also include Nokia’s mapping technology.
It is understood that Microsoft is working very closely with Orange on NFC capabilities, which will launch with Wallet next year.
Part of the collaboration involves the development of special secure SIMs.
On stage at an event today at the Windows Phone keynote in San Francisco, Windows Phone 8 product manager Joe Belfiore demonstrated how the shared core between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 leads to some interesting synergies.
For example, IE 10 detects unsafe websites and the mobile OS and the computer OS have a common code to protect consumers.
He also demonstrated how HTML 5 capabilities were part of the shared core componentry.
In terms of the NFC capability, he was able to show how the phone works by touching it off an NFC-enabled GQ ad inside this month’s Wired magazine for North America was unable to unlock web content.
He also talked about NFC tags in posters for apps, or using NFC to execute a call to a taxi, or using tags on business cards to receive contact information.