8 Must-Haves For Windows Phone 8
Microsoft plans to formally launch the next version of its mobile OS on Oct. 29. It could be the company's last chance to make a dent in the smartphone market.
1. Don't be coy. Microsoft and Nokia hyped a launch event for the Lumia 920 in New York City on Sept. 5. What a letdown. They offered few details about the new phone, and didn't disclose pricing and availability.
That can't happen in San Francisco. Microsoft must provide full specs for the Windows Phone 8 platform, and its partners need to get specific about devices. Otherwise, consumers, many of whom are already planning holiday gadget purchases, will look elsewhere.
2. Future-proof WP8. Microsoft let down Windows Phone 7 buyers when it revealed that those devices would not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.
Most upset were owners of the Lumia 900, which launched as recently as April. Little did buyers know it would be outdated just six months later. iPhone users can upgrade to the latest version of iOS, so it's inexcusable that Windows Phone users can't. Microsoft must commit to making Windows Phone 8 devices upgradeable to Windows Phone 9, whenever that rolls around.
[ They're here, but does anyone care? See Nokia Windows Phone 8 Devices Arrive With Thud. ]
3. Full enterprise support. Windows Phone 7 failed to dent the enterprise market because it was inexplicably lacking when it came to full compatibility with Microsoft back-end tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager. Windows Phone 8 must plug directly into Microsoft's security and admin environment, or Redmond will again have missed out on what should be a major advantage for it in the business phone market.
4. Push quad core. Windows Phone 8 can support quad-core processors, so pundits were unimpressed when Nokia revealed that the "flagship" 920 uses a dual-core chip. That gave gamers and other power users just one more reason not to wait until the phone ships and instead opt for a device like the Samsung Galaxy S3, which features the quad-core Exynos 4412 chip at 1.4 GHz.