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Windows Phone 8 Officially Unveiled

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  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:12PM (#40387971) Journal

    Why would you limit the max res like that? Why not design it to scale from the very beginning so you don't have to hack it on later?

    It's mainly to make things easier for app developers so that they have specific resolutions to target. Much like the iOS ecosystem.

    Arguably, this made more sense back when there was just one resolution, less so when there are three...

  • Native code (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:14PM (#40387999) Journal

    The most interesting point by far is arguably native code support, something that was sorely missing from WP7, and made porting apps from iOS and Android incredibly difficult (since you couldn't just share model code in C/C++ between the platforms). Not to mention the perf issues it created for games.

  • by Haxagon (2454432) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:18PM (#40388071)

    It will run 7.8, an update that has most (if not all) of the non-hardware-specific features. The summary is incorrect.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:19PM (#40388083) Journal

    You're probably not a designer - these guys are crazy about things being pixel perfect, which can be hard to achieve with vector graphics. Apple does the same thing here.

    For Metro, though, it makes less sense due to its emphasis on simple flat shapes and typography over colorful icons. Yes, personally, I also don't see much point in not using vector graphics for a Metro app and having it scale seamlessly. And the UI framework already has flexible layouts and such, so really there's no excuse to not make it all scale nicely.

    Interestingly enough, there is no set of predefined resolutions for Win8 Metro. So there isn't much consistency here. I hope that WP would eventually follow the big brother, of course.

  • by Haxagon (2454432) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:19PM (#40388093)

    The conference was for developers, mostly. They said they weren't gonna unveil the end-user featureset that they have until closer to launch, probably to avoid what happened last time: all of the Mango features they unveiled were promptly implemented by Apple.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:22PM (#40388149) Journal

    Why would you limit the max res like that?

    to make us buy windows phone 9 supporting HD in 2013/14... which probably won't work on current windows phone 8 devices.

    Sorry M$, everything was good until " Windows Phone 8 won't be coming to current Windows Phone devices". A 2009 iPhone [wikipedia.org] runs 2012 iOS 5.1.1, [wikipedia.org] and I have to tell you it's been pretty nice not having to throw away my phone every time a new OS comes out and being able to download the "latest and greatest" apps because everything new works on my old phone. After all, it's a phone first, not a PC, I don't like the idea of having to throw out my phone with all my contacts and info and all the cases and chargers and everything I've spent supporting it. I don't mind the constant upgrades on a PC, that's the nature of the beast, but I don't want to go through the same mess with my phone. Oh, and my 2009 iPhone will support 2013 iOS 6. [theverge.com] Wow, say what you want about Apple, but sometimes they just get it.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:26PM (#40388187)

    To make it even faster you can generate the ones for common display sizes at build time. The device can even delete the files that do not match resolutions it supports during install to save local storage space.

  • Re:microSD cards (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith (54737) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:29PM (#40388247)

    No, they leveraged the "Secure" part of "Secure Digital" cards and had issues with some cards that weren't fully compliant since no one else really implemented the secure half. They need it for DRM, after all, and have probably come up with a workaround for it.

  • Re:I'm excited (Score:2, Informative)

    by Haxagon (2454432) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:33PM (#40388305)

    It's upgradeable to Windows Phone 7.8, AC. Plus, a Windows Phone on Virgin Mobile would be a lot better than the cheap, often laggy Android devices they have.

  • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:34PM (#40388317) Homepage Journal

    Why does M$ do any of the dumb shit they do?

    Because Balmer is fat and sweaty and touches himself at night. That's why.

    Haters gotta hate.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#40388509) Journal

    1280 x 768 isn't common.

    We're talking phones here, not desktops or netbooks. 1280x768 is pretty common for phones now (Galaxy Nexus etc).

  • Re:I'm excited (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:48PM (#40388549)

    Plus, a Windows Phone on Virgin Mobile would be a lot better than the cheap, often laggy Android devices they have.

    I've read several of your comments and finally the bias comes out. I have the HTC Evo 4G on Virgin Mobile and it is not even remotely laggy. As far as WP7.8, it's fucking bullshit as WP8 apps will not be backward compatible.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:51PM (#40388625)

    The iPhone 3GS, which was released in June 2009, is still being sold as Apple's low-end iPhone (usually for $0.99 on a contract), and it runs the current iOS 5. When iOS 6 is released this Fall, the 3GS will run that as well.

    The difference between this and the WP8 situation is mostly marketing. WP7 devices will get WP7.8, which includes many WP8 features, but not some that MS considers dependent on the hardware specs that differ betwen WP8 and WP7 (either because the older hardware doesn't support the feature at all or because using it on the older hardware would produce an unacceptable -- in MS's eyes -- user experience.)

    While older iPhones nominally get the current iOS versions, the versions they get are lacking features that Apple feels are dependent on the newer device hardware (either because the older hardware doesn't support the feature at all or because using it on the older hardware would produce an unacceptable -- in Apple's eyes -- user experience.)

    iOS 5 on the iPhone 3GS doesn't support the same features as iOS 5 on the iPhone 4, which doesn't support the same features as iOS 5 on the iPhone 4S. With iOS 6, that'll all still be true (and is increasingly true as more iOS devices are supported by the same nominal OS version.)

  • Re:64 cores (Score:5, Informative)

    by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:03PM (#40388929) Journal

    But Flash is single threaded!

  • Re:microSD cards (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:41PM (#40389663)

    What does "better support for microSD cards" mean? Were they having problems with reliable reads/writes?

    Not quite - they were having problems using them in a way that's sensible:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2450831

    In short, once you put an SD card into a WP7 phone you can't take it out (or the phone won't boot) and you can't read it on any other devices. Each card model also needed to be "certified" before use.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:59PM (#40389949)

    >>>It worked very well for desktop Windows - Microsoft writes the minimum requirements in order to force hardware manufacturers/OEMs to actually make powerful devices,

    And this is what we call "spin". Also known as "false". With every WinOS released (except 7) Microsoft wrote the requirements to make it EASY for manufacturers to qualify with older hardware. Like when they claimed XP could run on 64 meg (but it ran like a snail). Or that Vista could run on 512 meg, but instead made my brother's new P4 PC randomly freeze for 2-3 minutes (while vista thrashed the HD swapfile). Microsoft has always *under* specced their OSes to try and boost sales for older computers that barely run the poorly-coded memory hog.

    Vice-versa Apple sells hardware, so they tend to over spec their OS requirements, in order to make older machines obsolete and force an upgrade if you want the new OS (or the latest Safari or latest iTunes). Example: When I tried to upgrade to 10.4 and discovered my 400 MHz Mac was blocked by Apple ("does not meet minimum specs"). I found an online hack to override Apple's block (an illegal act under DMCA) and discovered 10.4 worked just fine on my machine. Apple was just trying to force me and others to buy new machines.

  • by citizenr (871508) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:23PM (#40390259) Homepage

    Well, you're not going to get 1080p resolution on a 5" device the next couple of years, so WP8 will be fine with 1280x720.

    oh RLY?
    http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/5-inch-lg-display-packs-440ppi-1080p-resolution-20120528/ [geek.com]

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @05:06PM (#40390883) Homepage Journal
    A lot of things from Longhorn never happened—most notably WinFS, Microsoft's fabled tag-centric filesystem. It's too bad they couldn't keep their act together when the market was eager.
  • Re:64 cores (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:41PM (#40391887)

    The iPad2 and the iPhone 4 don't have the noise cancellation hardware that the iPad 3 and the 4S have. Although you can get it to run, it lacks the accuracy of the newer models, so it wasn't included. Although I'm sure other phone vendors would probably throw it in anyway with a "Your mileage may vary", Apple chose not to because the results weren't good enough.

    A few different test results can be found on Google showing the loss of accuracy, especially in a noisy environment where Siri was unusable on the older hardware, but still usable on the newer.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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