(Page 2 of 2)
"It was expected and necessary for Windows Phone 8 to support multi-core processor and HD resolution displays in order to compete with the iPhone and flagship Android devices," said Peter Han of Current Analysis. "NFC is not a major factor for consumers looking to purchase a smartphone but it also does not hurt."
Microsoft is also promising better maps and directions, and what Belfiore promised would be "freaking killer games" in the company's fast-growing game and app Marketplace.
More Encryption, Custom Apps
In a bid to gain some traction in the enterprise market as longtime leader BlackBerry slips, Microsoft has enhanced device encryption with built-in technology and Windows 8 supports the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol. Other business features include remote management and individual, customized hubs and apps for companies.
"The update looks to be very compelling," said analyst Michael Gartenberg of Gartner . "Clearly Microsoft isn't ceding any part of the market to their competition and it looks like they will definitely be targeting Android for the holiday season."
In addition to Nokia, which partnered with Microsoft last year in a smartphone joint venture, hardware partners will include Samsung, HTC and Huawei.
The Windows platform has some major growing to do to stay competitive. Its single-digit share of the market is so small that in some surveys it is included in the "other" category.
Numbers for the current quarter may slow considerably because the update won't work on current phones.
"Consumers who are looking to purchase a smartphone could easily pass on current Windows Phone handsets because they are not looking to invest in a device that will not run the latest OS and apps," said Han of Current Analysis.