Review: Windows Phone 8
Microsoft has done a commendable job at delivering a truly modern operating system that is just as feature-rich as the competition. Windows Phone 8 takes all the strengths of Windows Phone 7.x and pushes them to the next level. Like Apple, Microsoft now has a broad ecosystem of platforms, devices, apps, and services that run across its product portfolio. It's a compelling selling point that can't be underestimated.
On a feature-for-feature level, no one can tell you that Windows Phone 8 lacks anything. It has just as many tools available as competing platforms when it comes to communication, media, the cloud, and productivity. It surpasses even surpasses iOS and Android in some respects, such as gaming with WP8's tie-in with the XBox ecosystem. Microsoft's approach has never been about focusing on individual features, but on getting the basics better than anyone else. We can see that in the Hubs Microsoft has created for Windows Phone 8.
The People Hub, for example, is the central point on which everything else to do with the platform hinges. The People Hub lets you manage your various social networks and contacts in one place that is visually appealing and robust when it comes to avenues for communicating. By adding the Rooms functionality, for example, WP8 users have an incredibly powerful tool to interact in a more intimate way with their closest social circles.
Kids Corner is another excellent idea that's well implemented, and frankly is a feature that's long overdue for all smartphones. It sets up a nook in the operating system that lets kids access parent-controlled features without risking the security of the entire device. Well done, Microsoft.
I can't say that WP8 is as straight-forward to use as iOS, or as wildly customizable as Android, but it offers a refined experience that still includes plenty of flexibility for making each device personal. The overall experience is slick and modern, and once you learn the ins and outs of the platform, it is simple to control.
Combine the many new and improved features with the forthcoming wider array of appealing handsets, and Windows Phone 8 is primed to bring Microsoft back into the smartphone game from the fringes, as a real contender.
Review: Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile
Window 10 for smartphones builds on the foundation created by Microsoft for its desktops, laptops, and tablets. Windows 10 is a unifying platform that boasts universal apps and common, key functions that make for a seamless experience across form factors.
Microsoft Lets Android Owners Compare Apps
Microsoft has released a new tool aimed at helping people switch from an Android smartphone to a Windows smartphone. AppComparison, an app for Android handsets, scans the device for apps and then finds the corresponding Windows apps.
Windows 10 On Phones Can Be Extended to PCs
Microsoft today demonstrated how Windows 10 on phones will be able to serve as full PCs thanks to the Continuum user interface idea. Continuum helps keep the UI approximately the same as users move from PC to tablet to phone.
Windows 10 for PCs Lands July 29; No Word On Mobile
Microsoft today announced that Windows 10 will be available as a free download to PCs and tablets on July 29. Most hardware running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 should be able to upgrade to the new operating system.