Another week, another Microsoft launch. Last week we were lucky enough to take part in the launch of Windows 8. Today, Microsoft officially announces Windows Phone 8. Will there be any extras in store, or will Microsoft simply unveil a solid, yet extremely well-known OS sans sans surprises?
Join us as we liveblog from San Francisco at 7pm CAT tonight.
That’s it. Night all. Thanks for joining our live blog.
“I don’t think you’re never going to mistake me and Joe, and I’m quite sure you’re never going to mistake me and Jessica. But you’re never going to mistake our phones either!” no fireworks?
“Windows Phone is the best phone for Windows. It’s the most personal smartphone available. We reinvented the smartphone around you.” and so will we, as we move the Live Tiles around.
“If somehow somebody wasn’t convinced yet, Microsoft is certainly all-in. We’ve brought the best of Windows to WP8 devices.”, oh Steve.
This is also the start of a global marketing drive for Windows 8 Phone.
Nokia Lumia 920 hits states first November.
ATIV Odyssey, Windows Phone 8X hits the States first in December.
“Today, we’re thrilled to announce that these phones will start to go on sale in Europe this coming weekend and will continue to roll throughout the world in November.” yeah that’ll work.
“It is a remarkable phone. HTC’s designers saw our Live Tiles and were inspired to build the design from the ground up with the same elegant colors. They have killer sound thanks to Beats Audio. Music sounds incredible on these phones.” about the Windows Phone 8X from HTC.
“It’s unbelievably thin and incredibly light.” the ATIV S. It is a hot phone.
“This is the only smartphone in the world that includes optical image stabilization.”
“Nokia’s also doing work with wireless charging.” nil surprises.
Lumia 920 first up.
Now for the sweet stuff: “I would argue this is some of the best hardware you can find in any form factor. I want to show you some of the new phones.”
“The microsoft account is key to accessing all of your xbox music and games as well as skydrive, and app devs will participate in that.” we know this already, but keep going.
It’s “The most personal smartphone”
“Windows Phone 8 is the culmination of this effort. The simple act of pinning who and what you care about will immediately make the phone yours.”
“Today, we’re bringing phones into the Windows family with WP8. Four years ago we really started on what became Windows Phone. We had a very different perspective on what a smartphone should be. We didn’t want to just build a phone for all of us, we wanted to build one for each of us. Different shapes, sizes and colors to make them personal for each of us.” we swear, some of the people here are welling with emotion.
pretty pictures of Windows 8 Phones…
“Windows 8 PCs really are the best PCs ever.” apparently not.
“Over the weekend we saw an incredible response around the globe to Win 8 and Microsoft Surface. We saw preliminary demand above what we expected, which is great.”
“The lines we’ve seen at the stores have been heartening.”
“Windows 8 PCs really are the best PCs ever.” thank you Steve but we are here for the phones.
Steve Ballmer on stage now.
Mac, Windows 8 and Windows 7 phones will be able to use iTunes to sync as well. “Our focus on people is what makes us unique. We reinvented the smartphone around you. And you. And you!”
Will most likely be a super-seamless system.
just like with iTunes, any content taken from the Music Store will synch to the cloud and to your device.
Xbox Music will rock out with Windows Phone.
So we can lug a fair amount of our tunes and pictures with us.
7GB free on Skydrive. Better than the 2GB or so for iCloud.
Pics are full res in the cloud, not compressed. I think the show is coming to a close here, when the info is a dry as this.
Can get Lenses on Windows Phone. It’s a nifty Nokia app.
Photo time, Skydrive talk (which was below, sorry) is done.
“unlike other services, it isn’t just about photos and video. You can access all of your documents. Think of it as a virtual office.” office documents as well.
It’s pretty cool it works with all modern Windows platforms such Xbox Live, Windows RT…
Competing platforms can have limited use in the Family Room. Pleasant to see device harmony at least.
“Because my wife is my wife, she gets her hands on a WP8 device a little bit earlier, and she loves it.” terrible where’s ours?
Belfiore is looking at a family room, where he sees photos and whatnot.
we think this is a like an invite only Whatsapp, BBM, etc.
“With WP8, the people hub gets even better because it has a new feature called Rooms.” ah something not Kids Corner.
People Hub time. thankfully Jessica is gone.
Oh, Alba is pimping an app now. Her app. The Honest Company. We’re not even going to waste text on it.
“A lot of my mom’s friends love the tile sizes are customized to me, instead of a grid of icons.”
“We installed the Mac connector app and within a couple minutes we got all of her playlists on her phone.” oh, you saved the day Joe.
“My phone is an extension of me. Everything I really care about is shown right there on the screen. I’m obsessed with the camera. I was concerned about my music. Will my playlists move over?” this is painful.
Here’s what Jessica Alba says, we can all trust her for gadget advice: “I think it’s awesome! My daughter is totally into it. I love that I can curate the content. It’s a very clutch feature. I don’t have to worry about my kids going into my social networks or media partners.”
Of course, she’s going to talk about Kids Corner. Is this really the highlight of the package because it’s gone on for a bit and now they’re pushing it with Jessica Alba.
Hm that’s Jessica Alba.
“We went out and showed it to a bunch of parents, and we’ve never seen feedback more universally positive on any other feature.” cool, next please.
You swipe to the left (before unlocking) to get to Kids Corner. Please, anything else.
Kids corner is up on stage… you can customise the phone for the tiny ones.
Okay the kids are playing with the phones. We’ll update when something interesting happens again.
Urgh there’s kids on stage. Kids are only allowed at these events if a Kinect is present.
So it’s Kids Corner, an account for children. Like a “phone within a phone.”
Something very twee is happening now.
“This feature is for all the little ones in our lives that drive us crazy. Parents can relate — they play on our phones, but what if they delete an important email or rack up hundreds of dollars in apps?” get relatable!
“I’m happy I’ll be getting less texts from my mother-in-law.” hilarity. Warm, comforting humor.
This gives 45% more web browsing than “competing platforms”.
“You might be comparing this to features on other platforms. What’s different here is that you’re going to be using less data in the process.” ha and we just did.
The Live Tile will keep you updated on data usage.
Our S3 has a similar feature. Not iPhone though.
“There’s nothing different on the page, but you’re using less data because it’s compressed.” – compressed data saves money. Neat.
“We’re going to help her learn how to use her apps to the fullest extent so she doesn’t have to worry about using up her data plan.”
Data Sense will fix that and break down data usage.
“She started downloading games on it. But the downside is that she keeps texting me, asking me if it’s okay to use Solitaire on her phone.” Belfiore talks of data costs and how it affects his mother in law.
“If you’re a dev and can’t get your hands on the SDK, tune in to Build tomorrow and download the SDK which will be publicly available for everyone.” and now Belfiore gets cosy with us. “I want to tell you about a problem I have at home.”
Pandora is launching 2013. It’s internet radio, and a damn fine one at that.
Angry Birds Star Wars. Guilty pleasure it will be.
All the games are from iTunes. Angry birds, where’s my water. All great additions mind you, will help iPhone owners to migrate.
More app speak it seems.
“Besides just getting current apps updated, there’s a few new ones. Words with Friends, Draw Something, PayPal, Chase.” those are not ‘old’ but they are new for Windows 8 Phone.
“On WP8, we’ve built Skype so it can integrate naturally into the phone experience. For the first time ever, the new Skype app is always on. It’s ready to receive a call or message at any time, and it does this without running code in the background and running your battery.” all right, that sounds pretty damn exceptional.
Twitter and Skype will work from the lock screen.
“You can customize the text that’s in your lock screen. Today you can use your calendar, but we wanted to make it completely flexible so you can pick what you want to show up there.” it’s so orange in here.
Facebook for instance, can be integrated with the lock screen. “You can have a collage of facebook photos, or you can show it as a full screen photo.” the pictures make it look pretty sweet, but we can feel an Android patch coming soon that will let us do this.
“The new lock screen is going to make the phone feel personal because it will refresh content, notifications and other things from your favorite apps.” non stop content then. Awesome.
Even the lock screen gets Live Apps. Belfiore notes how boring old lock screens are. The S 3 has a nifty one?
Live Apps can be integrated with standard apps says Belfiore.
“We had to reinvent the app experience, and not have it be part of a static grid of icons.” works for some.
“Your phone becomes like your fingerprint. It becomes a unique expression of who you are.” yes with resizable live tiles.
“This is what we’re pouring our heart and energy into, so you can get a smartphone that’s made for you.” says Belfiore as he gets back on stage. And now the features are being listed:
He’s fiddling with the Start screen a bit…
“We’re not for everybody… we’re for the individual. The movie lover, the food lover, the road-tripper, the music mentor.” – this is true, it’s not going to be an easy sell. Might as well pinpoint individuals.
Nevermind it’s iPhone 5 style advertising time.
“You get a sense of how this new interface improves your experience. It’s not about having a lot of apps to choose from. It’s being able to choose apps that light up your experience so it means more to you.” mmm good. Please get to the launch.
Pictures of touch screen phones on stage.
“We wanted to come at it with a different point of view. We created a new way for people to connect with their phones. Our way is to put people at the center of the experience.”
This is a good poke at the iPhone and android handsets: “I’d say the state of the art in the core smartphone experience hasn’t evolved much since its inception 5 years ago. “
“Back in June we announced a lot of capabilities of the new platform, and how we’re expanding it so we can reach around the world. We’re doubling language support, and tripling the number of countries that can access apps in the Store, up to 191 countries.” Belfiore continues
“We’ve been working on this for quite some time. Let’s tell you a little bit about what’s happening with us lately. We’ve introduced the most beautiful lineup of hardware yet. Fantastic phones coming from HTC, Nokia and Samsung.” Belifore talking about Windows Phone 8 of course.
Joe Belfiore to you.
Joe is on the mic ladies and gents: “It’s a big week for Microsoft customers, fans, and partners, with the Win 8 launch. There’s lines of people waiting outside of our stores to get their hands on this terrific stuff!”
Microsoft events are obsessed with providing a delicate ambiance. At the Windows 8 launch, there were so many soft colours we thought we were at Woodstock.
Everyone is already inside, place is blue as hell.
Hi everyone. Welcome to the Window Phone 8 live blog.
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