A few years back, a group of designers and engineers here looked at the smartphones people were carrying and saw an opportunity for something better. Phones had become centered on icons and technology, and we believed they should be centered on people. So we set out to build a phone for each of us, rather than a single phone for all of us. The result, in November 2010, was Windows Phone 7. We didn’t expect to change the world overnight. But the design awards and glowing reviews that poured in from customers and critics told us we were onto something special.
Today I’m pleased to announce the launch of Windows Phone 8, the world’s most personal smartphone operating system and perfect companion to your new Windows 8 PC. The first new phones are expected to start going on sale at operators and retailers in Europe this weekend, and continue to roll out around the world throughout the month of November.
A history-making month
Our event in San Francisco today and arrival of Windows 8 last week caps an absolutely epic, history-making month for Microsoft. For the first time both Windows products share design innovations like Live Tiles and a seamless connection to services like SkyDrive for easy access to photos and documents from any device. As Steve Ballmer put it on stage today: “If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people who will use Windows 8 in the next year, there is no better phone for you than a Windows Phone.”
I’m proud of all the new features in Windows Phone 8, but especially its obsessive focus on real people and what they really want to do on their phones. Windows Phone 8 is truly the smartphone reinvented around you. After testing the software for the last year myself, I’m absolutely convinced you’ll love the new Start screen with resizable Live Tiles; new family-focused features like Kid’s Corner and Rooms; and the seamless integration with SkyDrive, Skype, and other Microsoft services.
I’m only scratching the surface. I also love Word Flow, which helps make our keyboard the most intelligent on any phone, and the new personalized recommendations you’ll find in Local Scout and the Windows Phone Store. But really the best way to appreciate Windows Phone 8 is to see it in action. And there’s nobody better to show you than Joe Belfiore, who oversees Windows Phone product definition and design. Here he is showing off his favorite highlights, many of which our competitors lack or simply can’t match.
I can’t wait for you to experience all the new killer hardware that comes with Windows Phone 8. Sleek, powerful, and fun, the colorful new wave of phones from Nokia, HTC, and Samsung are beautiful and absolutely demand to be held. The good news is you won’t have to wait long. Windows Phone 8 devices officially go on sale in Europe this weekend. In the U.S., AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon plan to roll out models from Nokia and HTC in November. Microsoft Stores, meanwhile, will carry every phone available for sale in the U.S., and every color option will be available through its website.
On the way: Pandora, Temple Run, and more
Just 24 months after our debut, we’ve gone from supporting a mere 6 languages to 50, and from offering apps in 16 countries or regions to 191 today. The Windows Phone Store now has 120,000 apps and continues to see great new titles pour in. Here are just some of the apps and games coming this holiday: Temple Run, Jetpack Joyride, Angry Birds Star Wars, Angry Birds Space, Draw Something, Words with Friends, Urban Spoon, Fairway Solitaire, Asphalt 7: Heat, Living Social, Cut the Rope, and Disney’s Where’s My Water and Where’s My Perry.
Today we also announced that Pandora is coming to Windows Phone in early 2013— with one year of ad-free music courtesy of Microsoft. With Pandora and the rest of our holiday list, Windows Phone will have 46 of the top 50 apps available on other platforms. Finally, make sure to watch our developer blog and the 2012 BUILD conference tomorrow for details on the free Windows Phone 8 Software Development Kit (SDK). I can’t wait to see the next wave of Windows Phone apps our amazing developers unleash.
People all over the world are about to fall in love with Windows Phone—and it starts today.
Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone
Check out Notelook for Windows Phone. This is a great new app for reading and editing Exchange Notes on your Windows Phone. It is fast and secure, and available for WP8 and WP7. Hope you like it!
Pfff can't wait to get it :ss
Don't mean to be a whiner, but... Where are these apps? Temple Run, Solitaire, Asphalt 7, Living Social... I don't see them and the post says "this holiday". I love WP8, but was really hoping for some of these apps and also hoping to see Pandora by this point.
any updates on Pandora???
I am using windows 8 and find that it is easy to use.Its display on mobile phone look good.There is a blog of mine also giving information about latest update in windows at www.mswinupdate.com
We need Adobe Reader and WAV reader!!!
got my new nokia lumia 920 today! well impressed great size screen without being bulky to hold, a little heavy but nothing major and the screen has lived upto the hype super smooth and crystal clear even out side! 100% pleased that i waited instead of jumping for another model. 10 out of 10 to the designers at nokia and microsoft. :D
We love Windows Phone 8... announcing the 7.8 update wont affect the sales of WindowsPhone 8.
Believe In What You Make Always.!!! Trust.!!! jus let out 7.8 update master MS.
Wow, just noticed a lot of the other comments are similar to me in that WP7 users kind of get the shaft. No real update just the home screen. The real thing they need to do is help out people stuck in long term contracts.
So, Windows Phone 8 looks great. There's is one major problem for me though. Since I was an early adopter of Windows Phone 7 and I live in Canada I have a 3 year contract meaning I'm stuck with what I've got until at least August next year. It would be great if Microsoft made some kind of deal to allow people like me who supported them to trade their phones in and not have to pay a contract termination fee so we can get WP8 phones now instead of waiting. I can't imagine how angry those who got Lumia 800 or 900's last year or even worse, this year.
Please do something about this Microsoft. Don't abandon the ones who helped you launch your platform. And don't tell me 7.8 is good enough, it's not.
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Microsoft, you got my attention again with WindowsPhone 7. Anxious to see what WindowsPhone 8 would would bring to the table, I'm now sorely DISAPOINTED.
Sure, all of the BIG new features like Skype integration and Pandora are great and all, but what about improving the core FUNCTIONALITY and adding user-interface features that everyone kept asking for? I'm even talking about the small but EXTREMELY useful interface features that were available in WindowsMobile 6 and earlier, but thrown out the window in 7.
The user interface of WindowsPhone is by far the BEST UI I have seen and used to date, but it's lacking in real usability. Windows Mobile 6.5 had a very old and dated UI, but it's greatest strengh was that it was a MATURE OS, and it had very many small but very useful features that actually made a difference in productivity.
What am I talking about? Small features like SMART DIALING, allowing us to disable auto-screen rotation, showing multiple upcoming appointments on the home/lock screen, support for Outlook categories, being able to copy/paste phone #'s into the phone dialer (not all web pages format phone #'s properly), inability to click on phone #'s less than 7 digits to dial them, no reply/forward status indicator, and MANY more useful features that we had in previous versions of WindowsMobile that are still missing.
You can add big and cool LOOKING features until you're blue in the face, but if you don't make the WindowsPhone platform something that is actually usable by power users and business users, you're not going to win the battle. You don't have to make the UI more complicated improving usability. Just give us more options, the options we've asked for.
Microsoft, you got my attention again with WindowsPhone 7. Anxious to see what WindowsPhone 8 would would bring to the table, I'm now sorely DISAPPOINTED.
Sure, all of the BIG new features like Skype integration and Pandora are great and all, but what about improving the core FUNCTIONALITY and adding user-interface features that everyone kept asking for? I'm even talking about the small but EXTREMELY useful interface features that were available in WindowsMobile 6 and earlier, but thrown out the window in WP7 on.
The user interface of WindowsPhone is by far the BEST UI I have seen and used to date, but it's lacking in real usability. Windows Mobile 6.5 had a very old and dated UI, but it's greatest strength was that it was a MATURE OS, and it had very many small but very useful features that actually made a difference in actual productivity.
What am I talking about? Small features like SMART DIALING, allowing us to disable auto-screen rotation, showing multiple upcoming appointments on the home/lock screen, support for Outlook categories, being able to copy/paste phone #'s into the phone dialer (not all web pages format phone #'s properly), inability to click on phone numbers less than 7 digits (cell phone codes) to dial them, no reply/forward status indicator in email, and MANY other useful features that we had in previous versions of WindowsMobile that are still missing today.
You can add big and cool LOOKING features until you're blue in the face, but if you don't make the WindowsPhone platform something that is actually usable by power users and business users, you're not going to win the battle.
You don't have to make the UI more complicated to improve usability. Just give us more options, the options we've asked for.
I just got the HTC radar a month back and I would like to know if these games (mentioned above) would work on my phone. And why is every game charged?? Google play offers a whole lot of games for free. :/
Please don't tell me to "MeetYours" when I can't even buy one. Pointless marketing, and it angers consumers.
Iam waiting for new htc and nokia windows 8 devices.And lets hope there will be more developers for windows 8 apps and games.
Does WP8 fully support USSD ? For models with micro-SD cards, can I install Windows Phone Store Apps into the micro-SD cards ?
If you guys really listen and care about Windows Phone as you guys say please release Instagram for Windows phone that is a huge sales point for people. or else prospective customer and adopter will turn to other platforms where there can find the most popular and used photo sharing social app.
and still no fill device backup to a PC. WTF Microsoft???
FYI...you can go to the authors profile link and add a comment!
Now that WP8 is launched officially, any updates about WP7.8 for existing WP7.5 handsets?
I was hoping to see the Ativ S at ATT but I guess that is out...
I did not see any new features talked about today that were not already known.
Where are the killer features that delayed the release of the SDK?
hopefully get a nokia 920 by the weekend! and wont have to worry about my son pinching it he's have my old mozart with all HIS GAMES on it!
Where can we see the list of languages?
Is everyone able to see all the comments? This specific article shows 27 comments but only 10 in the comment section. I would expect to see way more than 10 comments!
Even though I am a current Windows Phone user, I already thinking of getting a new phone because the phone that I bought started out with the Windows Phone Inception. As my phone gets older each minute, I no longer want to wait for the 7.8 update. In fact I wanted to buy the Nokia Lumia 920 because I want a phone that can replace a camera and a gps system.
We need VPN
this is one of most lacking feature of wp!
My favorite features are:
- Full device backup to a PC
- Complete bluetooth profile support
- Ability to kill apps from task screen
- Exchange notes and categories support
- VPN and Remote Desktop support
- Built-in app to edit MMS APN info
Oh wait, these are the features that AREN'T included in WP8! Wake up, Microsoft!!
The big foul here was not having firm information on availability. Huge, huge, fail. And the WPCentral article on the expected availability of the WP7.8 update mistakenly claims that WP7.8 and WP8 are largely the same. They are, in fact, NOT. The only thing that WP7.8 brings is the new Start screen. That's it.
Sadly, I was really hoping to give AT&T my money to order (or, at least, pre-order) the Lumia 920 today. But our local store simply said, "Lumia 920? We haven't heard anything about that. We have the 900." Unbelievable.
What was the big secret that was the reason for keeping the SDK from developers (even those who pay for AppHub subscriptions)? I didn't see anything today worth that...except giving a device early to someone with 4 million followers and some tech bloggers, who just complain about there being no apps...when you won't give people the SDK to make them... I don't plan on renewing my AppHub subscription after this..
Good grief. Not only did we STILL not find out when we can get the Lumia 920 from AT&T, but Microsoft couldn't even tell us when we'll even find out when we can get it! Very disappointing! Is it really so impossible to just say a date? I guess I should be used to this since I pre-ordered a Surface, but it still hasn't shipped and I have NO IDEA when it will. I got my nice cyan TouchCover and looks pretty neat, but it's fairly useless without a Surface to connect it to. Why does Microsoft resist giving specific dates so much??
The Windows Phone features keep improving. Great stuff to come... But, I also agree that some information on 7.8 would be nice for those still a year or more away from an upgrade here in the US. Nevertheless, Kudos to Joe and team for all the great work on Windows Phone.
Windows Phone 8 looks great. But I'm still bummed about my Windows Phone 7. A premier phone (Samsung Focus) on their premier carrier (AT&T) and I haven't gotten updates since the 7.10.7720 release. Will I get 7.8? I'm really doubting it.
Windows Phone 8 has a lot of momentum now but so did Windows Phone 7 out of the gates... up until Mango. And then Microsoft started ignoring us. Before I am sold on WP8, Microsoft needs to prove themselves able to deliver seamless updates to the phone, expose more capable APIs than WP7 had available, and don't obsolete a product that had so many great reviews so soon.
congratulations on the event love it :)
please give us info about 7.8 features and supported languages
can't wait to get my hands on windows phone 8 and i might get another 7.8 if i know more details about its features and supported languages
no updates on wp7.8 , no sdk available dates, no demos....more excited and more disappointed.. :(
Simple question - does Windows Phone 8 now allow Desktop Sync via USB to Outlook, and with All Outlook Item-types (Tasks, Notes etc.) being recognised?...
... er - the situation we had in Windows Mobile 6.5. Like many others I've been holding on to my HD2 waiting for Windows Phone to offer this, and if it still doesn't then there I guess Android and iOS are equally good choices for my next phone.
If the Cloud is so wonderful, stable and private at the moment, then I am sure there is no need to force customers to use it - we will all opt to join it ourselves.
But, if only it were available on Sprint.
Just posted I see - "Probably coming late" (sic): www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-78-probably-coming-late
Am I the only one that laughed at the way devices were exchanged with Joe in the video?
Ok, just after the session ended all my friends call me or texted me about 7.8, I really think you need to speak up about 7.8. It was very hard to get them change from android and iOS and now they are coming around again because you cut them loose... Act fast MS, this will happen very fast, other options are already available in the market, people where just waiting to see how you would behave about the 7.8 trust issue. You need to listen to 7.5 customers, they spread the word in the early days, mouth to mouth when the platform was unknown and are feeling betrayed.
One of my friends that called me said "Why do I need to have a new wp 8 to send my contact by blueetoth, my current lumia 800 can do it , it's just software!!"
What about the 7.8 Update? =/
Won`t believe that you`re leaving the "old" users and phones behind and DON`T give them ANY kind of Information about it?
And what about the Features of 7.8?
It would be realy dissappointing for all WP 7.5 users and al who had bought a "NEW" WP device in the last time, if it is ONLY the new startscreen! =/
Come on Microsoft, can`t believe that this will be all we get...
If you want SkyDrive to be a good experience with Windows Phone, tell the SkyDrive team that adding pictures to an album counts as modifying an album. That way, when pictures are posted to SkyDrive by a Windows Phone, the album that they're posted to gets pushed to the top of the lists of albums for that user.
Talk about a waste of time! Nice to see Pandora and a few other apps coming to WP but no mention of a 7.8 update and really nothing else that would keep someone from buying an iPhone or Android.
Not mentioning 7.8 is pretty despicable. As a minority player in the phone market at the moment, Microsoft should be looking to build a loyal userbase. Completely ignoring their existing customers is no way to do this. I have been very happy with my Windows phone so far, but if this is how we are to be considered then I'm not interested.
Who wrote these apps? The 3rd party developers or Microsoft? Will these apps be updated? Or will they be left to die like the extremely buggy Spotify app?
Please address the availability of WP 7.8 as soon as possible. Thank you.
David - true. I suppose I am not that worried since I am getting a Lumia 920. They may mention it at the Build / Dev event happening tomorrow, or hopefully at least give a timeline sometime soon. Keep the faith, it will be here soon! :-)
I understand that they wanted to wait to release 7.8.. But the least they could've done was say something about it. Give us some hope that it's coming soon.
Windows Phone 7.8 I heard will take a few more weeks, and I am happy with that. I think they will let the phones hit the market, and will then update the older generation, which makes business sense. All in all, I think it was a good webcast and I will get the Lumia 920, and will update my Lumia 800 to 7.8 when that is launched, and keep it in the family. Well done Microsoft! :-)
I was waiting for this event to know more about windows phone 8.... I have heard everything from everyone about the new OS.. but what about the old customers who cannot get their upgrade to the new OS.. where is the news about 7.8.. I was waiting waiting and waiting... phew... the end of the event... please tell us about the 7.8 upgrade
Between all the new features, amazing looking hardware and the release of Surface; Microsoft seriously has me thinking Windows! Now if there was only some way I could get my June Verizon upgrade date here sooner, I could get me one of those sweet looking HTC 8X's!
No Windows Phone 7.8 announcement. No Lumia 920 dates for AT&T. I'm a pretty upset customer at the moment.