It’s been a huge week for Microsoft.
While the news of the company’s new Surface tablet has been getting the most attention, we now have a good idea what the future of Windows Phone will look like too.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 keynote on Wednesday was a developers event, so the company didn’t focus too much on user-facing features. But what it did announce provides a glimpse at what Windows Phone 8 devices will be like when they start selling later this year. Unfortunately for Windows Phone fans, it feels like Microsoft is playing catch up instead of creating innovative new tools for its smartphones.
Almost every single new feature in Windows Phone 8 is already available on Android, iPhone, or both.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Support for phones running dual-core processors.
- Support for phones with high definition screens.
- Removable Micro SD
- Sharing content with near field communication (NFC) chips.
- Mobile credit card payments.
The big exception is obviously the customisable Start screen, which is a very handy way to organise your phone’s “Live Tiles” to meet your needs. But beyond that, it’s taken Microsoft nearly two years to come out with features that are pretty much standard in today’s high-end smartphones.
It’s great that Microsoft added these features to Windows Phone 8, but there’s still nothing new or exciting enough to entice people to choose it over iPhone or Android.
It doesn’t help either that Microsoft is abandoning current Windows Phone 7 hardware like the Nokia Lumia 900. Current Windows Phones won’t be compatible with Windows Phone 8, so they’re going to miss out on these features. (Yes, there is a minor update coming to Windows Phone 7 that will let you customise your Start screen, but that’s about it.)
Still, there’s a glimmer of hope. Microsoft hasn’t announced everything new with Windows Phone 8 yet, so there’s time for the company to come up with some slick new features that’ll really wow people.
Don’t Miss: The first photos of Microsoft’s Surface tablet >