One of the most important new features in Windows Phone 8 is the revised start screen. The new version of the start screen gives users more flexibility and control over how the live tiles look and work. The interface allows users to change the size of a tile between small, medium (the current size) and large.
Smartphones based on the new version of Microsoft's OS can be equipped with HD screens, multi-core processors, NFC and microSD card slots, which will help the platform catch up with its competitors on the hardware front.
When Nokia entered the Windows Phone space, development of the current version of the OS had already started. Being more involved in the development of Windows Phone 8 will allow the company to develop better products, according to Nokia.
While the company has differentiated its existing products with design and unique apps, Nokia thinks it can do a lot better than that, CEO Stephen Elop said earlier this year.
In 2010, Nokia's smartphone sales averaged well over 20 million per quarter. While the overall market has grown significantly Nokia sold only 10.2 million smartphones during the second quarter this year, and most of those were still based on Symbian.
But for Nokia to grow its Windows Phone sales, which it needs to do by many millions, it needs more than just new high-end devices, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC.
"It is very important to see a wider choice of smartphones based on Windows Phone at a lower price point. Nokia has started growing the portfolio and lowering the price with the Lumia 610 and 710, but much more is needed. Android only started to grow when a wider choice became available," said Jeronimo.
Last week, Samsung became the first to launch a smartphone based on Windows Phone 8. The ATIV S has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display. Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, the phone is 8.7 millimeters thick with NFC integrated and can access the Internet over HSPA+ networks at 42M bps.
The Samsung device was the first in a big lineup of new hardware that's coming with Windows Phone 8, according to Microsoft. HTC and Huawei are also expected to launch smartphones based on Microsoft's new OS in the near future.
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