As MMi reported early Wednesday, Microsoft was expected to unveil its new Windows Phone 8 today at the company's Windows Phone Developer Summit. The speculation proved correct just moments ago as the software giant raised the curtain on a dazzling new smartphone that will all but certainly turn heads (even among some iPhone owners).
Launching this fall in conjunction with Microsoft's Windows Surface tablet, Windows Phone 8 is a striking handset with an HD screen that will support multi-core CPUs and deliver mobile payments capabilities through Near Field Communications (NFC) technology.
Support for three new screen resolutions include: WVGA (800x480 pixels), WXVGA (1280x768), and "True 720p" (1280x720). Not surprisingly, the Windows Phone 8 will will draw heavily from its code foundation in Windows 8, a platform that will let developers create new mobile applications capable of running on Microsoft phones, tablets, and computers.
Handsets that use the new Windows Phone 8 operating system will come with built-in mapping technology from Nokia, Microsoft's key partner in the smartphone market, the company said.
Microsoft, with a nod to an iPhone feature called Siri—also showed off speech recognition software that developers can harness to let users launch and control apps with their voice, "something Siri just now is learning to do," said Kevin Gallo, the head of developer platform for Windows Phone.
"We will have the best device lineup we've ever had before," said Terry Myerson, the head of the Windows Phone group. This fall, however, we'll find out if smartphone buyers agree with that assessment.