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Windows Phone 8: Star Features

Microsoft pulled out all the stops to introduce its new mobile OS -- but will it be enough to tempt iOS and Android users?
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Belfiore said that Microsoft "talked to a bunch of parents" while developing Kids' Corner, remarking that he wanted to introduce the audience to "a busy mom with a million balls in the air" who could testify to the feature's value. Much to attendees' collective surprise, the parent in question was actress Jessica Alba.

Alba maintained the event's enthusiastic vibe, telling the audience that it was "the best tech crowd" she'd seen. She also touted Kids' Corner as a great resource to engage her kids while keeping them out of her "stuff." The endorsement was a little difficult to take at face value, as the celebrity guest also spent several minutes plugging Honest Company, a new venture Alba started to provide products to parents, and which includes an app that will run on WP8.

Even so, she shared an anecdote that, notwithstanding multiple agendas, spoke to the new feature's worth. A few years ago, her daughter, who was then two, grabbed Alba's phone and sent a stream of gibberish to the actress's Twitter followers. This situation would probably embarrass a typical user of the micro-blogging service-- but with over 4 million followers, Alba is no typical user.

To most parents, such moments probably seem cute in retrospect -- but with Kids' Corner, they're now spared the upfront frustration.


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