Microsoft may be a little late to the game, but better late than never. Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft's version of phone operating systems. It enters into the mix with Andriod and iOS (Apple). Someone has to show those guys who's boss, right? The new operating system enters the arena with a strong start, offering itself as a viable contender. So what's Windows Phone 8 really about and what makes it unique from the other two? Here are the top 10 facts you need to know about Windows Phone 8.
1. The First Windows Phone 8 System Releases in the U.S. Nov. 9
While the U.K. has been enjoying Windows Phone 8 since Nov. 2, the U.S. doesn't get to have it until Nov 9. Tomorrow, the first wave of Windows Phone 8 phones will hit the market with the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820. That's right, Nokia is making a comeback by entering the Smartphone trend with Windows Phone 8. The 920 is priced at just $99.99 and the 820 even more affordable at $49.99. The Lumia 920 will be available in red, white, black, yellow and cyan and he Lumia 820 will be available in only black.
2. It’s Also Known as Apollo
If you hear anyone talking about Windows Apollo and get confused because you thought the Windows operating system was called Windows Phone 8, it's the same thing. Apollo was a codename for the operating system, but it is officially called Windows Phone 8. Personally, I would have preferred they stuck with Apollo. "Windows Phone 8" sounds like it is a physical phone, not an operating system and may be confusing to consumers at first.
3. Nokia, HTC and Samsung All Offer Windows Phone 8 Phones
Nokia, HTC and Samsung are all releasing Windows Phone 8 phones starting with the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820. The HTC Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S and Samsung Galaxy Ativ S have unknown release dates, but are said to hit the market sometime before Thanksgiving.
4. There Was a Windows Phone 7
Microsoft has been trying to make phones for awhile. Remember Windows Pocket PC's and PDA's? Yeah, Microsoft used to make all kinds of smartphones and did pretty well until Andriod and Apple came along. The previous Windows operating system, Windows Phone 7, didn't do too well. Microsoft is jumping back into the scene with Windows Phone 8 and is serious about getting its consumers back.
5. The Windows Phone Marketplace is Up to 100,000 Apps
The Windows Phone Marketplace has nowhere near the amount of apps than its competitors, Android and Apple, but its strongly working to fix that. Microsoft is working hard at getting developers more interested in making apps for the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can already get most of the useful apps that you do with Andriod and Apple, like Skype, Facebook, Evernote, and even Angry Birds.
6. Like Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 Will Have Live Tiles
Like Windows 8 devices, Windows Phone 8 will have a start screen made up of live tiles. The live tiles are icons that make up your screen that update automatically with information like news stories, sports updates and picture galleries from social media accounts.
7. Windows Phone 8 Has the Ability to Create Rooms for Family and Friends
One of the new and unique features of the Windows Phone 8 operating system is the feature of "Rooms." A Windows Phone 8 user can create rooms that you can share with certain people such as your family, friends or coworkers. There is also a "People Hub" feature that lets you view a contact and all of your interactions with them including text messages, e-mails, social media comments and more.
8. Windows Phone 8 is Equipped With a “Kid’s Corner”
The Windows Phone 8 "Kid's Corner" is designed to let your kids distract themselves with your phone without you worrying about them downloading any costly apps. The feature lets you choose what apps they can access and it even gives them their own homescreen.
9. You can Share Data Across Multiple Devices
Windows Phone 8 uses the SkyDrive app to enable sharing information between devices, such as you phone to Xbox 360 to Windows PCs. This allows for the ability to share things like your music across all devices.
10. Windows Phone 8 Will Get Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 is Microsoft's latest web browser upgrade and it will be active on the Windows Phone 8 devices as well. Features of IE 10 include stricter security to keep browsing on your phone safe.