Microsoft Celebrates Launch of Windows Phone 8, Announces SDK Available October 30.

At a company event in San Francisco yesterday, Microsoft launched the highly anticipated Windows Phone 8. Chris Velazco of TechCrunch was in attendance at the event, and reported that in addition to the launch of the new Windows Phone, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will be available for developers to download October 30, 2012.

Windows Phone 8 Features

Windows Phone 8 Features: Data Sense, Xbox built-in and Live Tiles --- Image Credit: Windows Phone Newsroom: Image Gallery

The official press release made available at the Microsoft News Center, provides detailed information about new features that can be found in Windows Phone 8 such as:

  • Live Apps - Microsoft states that Windows Phone 8 is currently the only smartphone "with live apps." Live apps allow real-time information to be sent directly to the smart screen, even when the screen is locked.
  • Top Apps - According to Microsoft, there are 120,000 apps currently available and new apps will be made available this holiday season including Angry Birds Star Wars, LivingSocial and Urbanspoon.
  • Data Sense - The Data Sense feature helps phone users conserve their data allowance and monitor data usage for individual phone applications.
  • Pandora - Pandora will be available early 2013 and will be offered with "one year of ad-free music."

"We can’t wait for the world to meet Windows Phone 8, the most personal smartphone there is," said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft. "Windows Phone 8 comes on a range of phones that are stunning, colorful and unique."

Smartphone manufacturers Nokia, HTC and Samsung will be offering phones that include the Windows 8 OS this November.

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Available October 30, 2012

Although not included in the official press release, an announcement was made at the Windows Phone 8 Event In San Francisco that the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 will be available to developers October 30, 2012. A preview of the SDK was made available to developers earlier this year and MobileTechWorld published the complete "Application platform overview for Windows Phone 8" on their website.

Per the Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview Documentation, Windows Phone SDK 8.0 provides developers new features via new native APIs that include:

  • Speech API - Allows phone apps to be launched using speech recognition technology.
  • Camera API - Advanced camera features now available such as access to live previews and additional camera configuration options.
  • In-App Purchasing API - This API allows users to make in-app purchases; "gold coins in a game" or other "downloadable content."

To further encourage developers to create apps for Windows Phone 8, the "Microsoft Advertising Ad Control for Windows Phone" is incorporated with the Windows Phone SDK. This makes it possible for developers to monetize applications and games they have created by including ads from Microsoft Advertising.

Developers can find information about creating applications for Windows Smartphones at the Windows Phone Dev Center.

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