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Microsoft's Stage Show Extended with Windows Phone 8 Launch

Why have one launch event when you can have three? That was Microsoft's thinking as it held its third launch event in less than five days on Monday. This time around, Windows Phone 8 was the guest of honor.

Just like the events for Microsoft Surface and Windows 8, presentations by Joe Belfiore, Steve Ballmer and Jessica Alba (yes, it was as awkward as you can imagine) were light on news and heavy on cheerleading. But that's the whole point of these events. For us that have followed these products since their conceptions, these events aren't for us; they're to let the general public know that these products are now awaiting your money.

Microsoft's newest mobile OS shares the same "Live Tile" interface as Windows 8 and RT. The benefit of bringing these active tiles to the smartphone is that the info important to you will be displayed right there on the home screen; no more waiting for the ESPN app to load up to grab the score of your favorite team.

While this is a welcome change to a smartphone OS landscape that has felt a bit stale in the past few years, we all know that an OS is only as strong as its developer support. I'm one of the few that actually took the plunge on a Windows Phone 7 device. And, as someone who has owned both an Android and an Apple smartphone in the past, Windows knocked it out of the park for me in terms of usability and its overall look. However, the app support just wasn't there.

Hopefully the relationship between Windows Phone 8, Windows RT and Windows 8 will help to streamline the process of adapting the same apps for all three platforms, as Microsoft has been advertising. But without concrete evidence of this, I'm going to be much more hesitant about taking the Windows Phone 8 plunge than I was with the last generation Microsoft mobile OS.

Developers can start changing the public's perception of all things Windows mobile now -- the SDK was released for developers yesterday. And look for devices by Nokia, HTC and Samsung to start trickling out worldwide in the next few months.

What's your take on Windows 8? Will Microsoft finally find success in the mobile market or will this be just another swing and a miss? Let Doug know a
-- By Chris Paoli

Posted by Chris Paoli on 10/31/2012 at 1:19 PM


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