Windows Phone 8: Star Features
October 31, 2012 09:06 AM Microsoft pulled out all the stops to introduce its new mobile OS -- but will it be enough to tempt iOS and Android users?
A Complete Ecosystem
Belfiore remarked that "today's consumers are not using phones in isolation," and asserted that WP8 is the "perfect companion" to other devices in the Microsoft ecosystem. With products ranging from phones to PCs to the Xbox running on the same Windows 8 kernel, the user experience, he stated, "feels the same" from one screen to the next.
Microsoft, however, knows that aesthetic similarities are a superficial benefit, so the company has established services to allow users to leave an activity on one piece of hardware and pick it up on another. "You can move documents, photos and music across devices wherever you are," Belfiore explained, adding that the capability amounts to a "virtual office."
SkyDrive, the company's cloud storage service, is central to this functionality. The service offers 7 GB of free storage, with the option to add more later, and can synch devices automatically, without user action. Belfiore mentioned that unlike similar services offered by competitors, SkyDrive allows content to be stored in perpetuity.
"All of this provides an unprecedented level of interaction and choice," he declared, adding that synch companions will be available so that Windows 7 and OS X-based content can be easily transferred to Microsoft's cloud. He remarked that this utility protects the effort users have applied toward not only assembling music collections, but also crafting specific playlists.