Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8 operating system

By Graeme Burton
11 Jul 2012 View Comments
ZTE Orbit smartphone running Windows Phone

Microsoft has unveiled its new Windows Phone 8 operating system at its Windows Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada.

A device featuring the operating system was demoed live on the second day of the conference, with Microsoft announcing a release to manufacture in August and general availability from October. The formal launch will be synchronised with Windows 8, the company's new desktop operating system.

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The new operating system is built on a shared core with Windows 8 and both operating systems also feature Metro, the user interface originally designed for Windows Phone, which has been ported to Windows 8. 

The Metro user interface, though, will be familiar as it debuted on the Windows Phone 7 series, which was launch in autumn 2010.  

Thom Gruhler, head of marketing for Windows Phone 8, claimed that the phone would be "business ready". He added: "As well as integration with [Microsoft] Exchange and Lync, Windows Phone 8 also provides customers with an enterprise-grade security platform which will make it ideal for financial sectors, government and healthcare customers, for example."

Furthermore, he added, Windows Phone 8 no longer requires developers to publish apps solely through the Microsoft Marketplace, enabling organisations to develop private apps for their own use. It will also be available in 50 languages. "That is 25 more than Apple," he claimed.

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