Here's Everything We Know About Windows Phone 8 So Far

joe belfiore windows phone 8 demoJoe Belfiore is the Windows Phone 8 product boss

Photo: Screenshot

Windows Phone 8, the newest version of Microsoft’s mobile-phone operating system, launches at the end of the month.Between various leaks and legitimate announcements, we’ve gathered all the substantive details on it for you here.

We finally have screenshot capabilities

Windows Phone 8 introduces the long-missing ability to capture screenshots.

The Windows Phone 8 camera has learned some new tricks. 'Lenses' is Microsoft's word for what basically amounts to camera plugins.

Give your photos Instagram-like style with various filters or use a panoramic lens to stitch together lots of single images into one large image.

There's also Bing Vision, which functions a lot like Google Goggles: Photograph an object and let Bing search for it and identify it.

SkyDrive integration

All your photos and data can be easily stored online with Microsoft's SkyDrive integrated right into Windows Phone 8.

NFC support

NFC, or near-field communication, is a technology that lets you pay for things by tapping your phone against a receiver at cash registers. You can also use it to exchange data between other NFC-enabled phones. As it continues to develop and catch on, you might soon be leaving your wallet at home.

MicroSD card support

You no longer have to worry about running out of space to store your media like you do on an iPhone. Instead of limiting you to a fixed number of gigabytes when you buy the device, Windows Phone 8 will let you add an MicroSD card for as much storage as you like.

Turn-by-turn navigation

All phones running WP8 will have access to detailed visual navigation. As part of the deal that had Nokia adopt Windows Phone 8, it's providing maps data to all Windows Phone devices, not just the ones it makes.

Improved resolution support

WP8 will support a screen resolution of up to 1280 x 720 pixels, so developers will be able to create rich-looking apps loaded with detail.

Background multitasking

Run multiple apps at once! Stream music while taking a picture, for example. This capability makes your phone a productivity monster.

Instagram is on the way

As we've previously mentioned, the famed photo-filtering app, now owned by Microsoft ally Facebook, will eventually be available on the platform.

Preorders start soon

If you're already sold, you can preorder Nokia's Lumia on October 21.

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