IT giant Microsoft today unveiled the Windows Phone 8 which is the latest version of the company's smartphone operating system.
In an announcement today, the company revealed new features of the mobile OS and showcased a range of new smartphones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC.
Major mobile operators and handset partners across Asia Pacific will start selling Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks, said a company spokesperson.
According to the company, Windows Phone 8 is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8 PCs and the Xbox 360 console. For example, this enables a user to edit a document on the go with Windows Phone 8 and pick right up again on her PC when she gets home.
Most Personal Smartphone
"We can't wait for the world to meet Windows Phone 8, the most personal smartphone there is," said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft. "Windows Phone 8 comes on a range of phones that are stunning, colourful and unique."
According to the company, Live Tiles are the heart and soul of Windows Phone, one of its unique features that allows people to arrange the iconic Start screen however they want.
In addition to Live Tiles, Windows Phone 8 has a range of new features such as Live Apps (which brings information right to the Start screen, such as the Groupon deal of the day, flight information and news headlines), Top apps (the Windows Phone Store has 120,000 apps to choose from), Kid's Corner (an exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Kid's Corner is a worry-free way to share your phone with your kids), Rooms (allows you to create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8) and Always-on, premium Skype experience.
"With the new Skype app, coming soon to Windows Phone 8, you can make and receive Skype calls just like a regular phone call," said a company spokesperson. "Simply tap a friend or family member's contact card in the People Hub, or just pick up when the phone rings. Skype is always on and available so you can choose how to connect with people."
Leading up to today's launch, Nokia, Samsung and HTC have announced an array of phones for Windows Phone 8, featuring large, vivid screens, new camera innovations, NFC capabilities, and bold colours. Examples are the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820; HTC's Windows Phone 8X and Samsung's ATIV S.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.