Windows Phone is the newest operating system on the market. Windows Phone has proven that specs do not matter if the operating system is perfected for the hardware requirements. This has even eluded iPhone, which sees dramatic increases in system performance with better hardware. With Windows Phone, the operation is always fast, fluid, and smooth regardless of which hardware requirement you are using.
To clarify that statement, Windows Phone was released with requirements of 1 gigahertz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 256 system RAM, DirectX9 rendering, FM radio tuner, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, assisted GPS, capacitive 4 point multi-touch screen, 800 X 480 screen resolution, and six dedicated hardware buttons consisting of back, search, start, 2 stage camera, power/sleep, and volume. The built-in RAM and non-removable SD cards are tested to meet operational requirements. A Windows Phone is required to turn on and be fully operational within 30 seconds from the time you press the power button. My 1st generation Dell Venue Pro is up and running in 21 seconds. The 2nd generation Nokia Lumia 710 in my house is up and running in 16 seconds.
All 1st and 2nd gen Windows Phones have 1-1.4 gigahertz processors and 512 of RAM. The third generation that is starting to come out will have 256 RAM and smaller processors to accommodate Android’s lower-end cell phone market. The smaller RAM and processor lowers the cost of a phone, but some apps will not work at this time with the lower RAM and processor; hence a lower end phone VS. a higher end phone with more RAM. Now I mention 3rd generation as accommodating the lower end. However, Microsoft is giving some sneak peek information on June 20th, 2012, and has already shown off the new SmartGlass feature incorporated into the entire Microsoft product line.
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Windows Phone was the beginning of total incorporation of all your cell, computer, and gaming systems. This started with introducing the Windows Phone operating system and its Metro interface, replacing the icon-driven screens of the past. This was followed up with the last Xbox 360 update, which turned the Xbox 360 into a Metro interface. This included the Windows Phone Xbox Companion aapp’s release that allows users to use their Windows Phone as a remote control for their Xbox 360.
This also brought the Halo Waypoint app release that allows your Windows Phone to track your game information and maps in real-time while you play the game on your Xbox 360. Now Microsoft has announced and shown the Xbox Companion app is turning into SmartGlass. SmartGlass will incorporate your PC, Laptop, Tablet, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone into one smooth operating system. Watching a movie on your Xbox 360 will pick it up where you left off on your tablet. Surfing the web on your PC, it will pick up where you left it on your laptop. Playing an Xbox 360 Live game will pick it up where you left it on your Windows Phone. This is the idea. Implementation is supposed to occur around October 2012.
Current software requirements are full Microsoft Office Suite with Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Office 365, and SharePoint. Facebook integration without requiring a separate app though one is available, and I find it useful if not necessary. Xbox Live allows you access to your game stats and Avatar and Xbox Live friends connection and messaging. This includes access to Xbox Live Spotlight videos. The user may set up a single inbox to receive all email in one place though it may be separated by folders so it’s not all mashed together.
The ME tile allows you to set your personal info and profile and allows quick access to Facebook post a message, check-in, set chat status, notifications, and what’s new. Under the People tile, you may, of course, access your contact information. Contacts may be accessed by scrolling, using the search button, or touching a letter representing the first letter in the name you want to find. For example, you want to call John, click J, and go right to the J names’ beginning. These factors also work for app search—no more lost apps. I was looking for HoloPhone 3D in my apps list but couldn’t remember the app’s name. I hit search and typed the number 3. HoloPhone 3D came right up.
Full Bing search integration, which includes local search, as well as Bing Maps integration. A small but fun feature, pictures put in favorites give a nice picture show on the picture tile on your home screen. The live tile integration allows your home screen tiles to update to show new information as it occurs for tiles you have pinned. Examples include weather updates every 30 minutes and push email notifications. Internet Explorer 9 mobile version with HTML5 is fully integrated.
The Windows Phone Marketplace has just passed the 100,000 marks and attained this faster than iTunes or Google Play. Ben, the PC Guy from Microsoft, has toured the world, challenging all phones to compete against Windows Phone in everyday tasks with Windows in the Smoked by Windows Phone challenge. For more info on the challenge, follow this link.
There have been 10 upgrades to the platform, mostly identified by the numerical code. The Windows Phone operating system’s named versions have been called NoDo, a minor update fixing some bug issues. Mango, which has been the major update to the platform adding 500 features, and Apollo will be a major refresh to the platform. You will also hear the mention of Tango, which actually refers to the lower end specification cell phones described above. An excellent comparison between current Mango specs and lower-end Tango specs in real-world use here is a comparison video by Pocketnow that shows it’s possible to have lower specs and still maintain performance.