Windows Phone Summit

A sneak peek of what's beyond the escalator for Windows Phone 8

We're here in lovely (and surprisingly chilly) San Francisco for the other big Microsoft event this week--the Windows Phone Summit

During this one-day event, Microsoft are expected to show off bits of Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo. The big question though is what are they going to talk about specifically and what do we already know? We'll give your our thoughts and expectations below. Some of this we've been revealing over the last few weeks and hopefully you were clever enough to catch it.

  • Upgrades - Will Microsoft finally answer the question regarding legacy devices getting the new OS? Yes, they will. You should know our position on the matter, we detailed it back in April when we talked about a two-pronged approach. We're still standing by that position.
  • Resolutions - We told you there were four a few weeks ago but now we're confident that one of those were dropped. In short, besides the 480x800 display resolutions you'll also see the addition of 768x1280 and 720x1280.
  • A new UI? - Will the new Windows Phone 8 look like Windows Phone 7? For the most part we're betting on yes, it will look the same. There are some changes but if you were expecting it to look like Windows 8 desktop, we'd say calm your expectations.
  • Native development - Yup, expect some news in this regard for Windows Phone 8. We've heard from game developers that this optional path for app development will be discussed
  • Skype and VOIP - Microsoft are expected to talk about how Skype (and 3rd party VOIP apps) can be more deeply integrated into the OS
  • Nokia Mapping - Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up and not just for phones but back-end services. Their relationship goes deep with mapping in Windows Phone.
  • Windows 8 kernel - What makes Windows Phone 8 such a big deal is the expected switch from Windows CE to NT (and Win 8 PRT) for its core. This will have huge ramifications for app developers and as a technology philosophy for Microsoft. 

There is a whole list of other changes we're also expecting in Windows Phone 8 from Data Sense to NFC to all the enterprise tools (BitLocker) to removal SD card support. Windows Phone 8 should rival Windows Phone "Mango" in terms of new features both for consumers and developers.  

Whether or not Microsoft talks about all of that tomorrow remains to be seen. Our hunch tells us that since there's so much to reveal, Microsoft will show only some of Windows Phone 8 during the summit. That makes sense if you're trying to control the message and trying to ensure that the finer details are all absorbed.

WP Central

The view from the Marriott Marquis last night

Regardless, you can tune in the official Microsoft live-stream of the event tomorrow. But you'll also want to keep a browser Tab open on Windows Phone Central too as Rafael Rivera and myself will be on hand here all day making sense of all the news as it comes out.

That means yes, we'll have a live WPCentral Podcast sometime tomorrow afternoon, numerous technical articles from myself, Rafael and Jay Bennett, some interviews and as much media as we can upload.

It all starts at 9:30am PDT/12:30pm EST and you'll definitely want to catch all of it right here on WPCentral.