While the launch of Windows Phone 8 is not slated until late October 2012, delegates at Tech Ed 2012 on the Gold Coast got the opportunity to hear about some of the new functions including near field communications (NFC) capability.
Built to Roam owner, Nick Randolph, confirmed that Windows Phone 8 will support NFC technology which allows for two-way communication between a mobile device and an NFC terminal at a cash register or pay station.
“As developers you will be able to write applications for NFC while users will have NFC support in their virtual wallet experience,” he said.
For example, Windows Phone 8 users will have a `tap to pay’ option and be able to store credit cards in the virtual wallet on their phone. However, Microsoft had no announcements to make on NFC phone support partnerships with any of the major Australian banks.
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In addition, he said Microsoft was aiming to bring the Windows 8 operating system (OS) experience across to its new phone OS with innovations, including two screen resolutions — 15x9 and 16x9.
According to Randolph, the advantage of the 16x9 resolution is that it will give users a high-definition screen display for multi media content viewing.
A Micro SD card will be available so users have expanded memory on their Windows Phone 8 to allow them to store more content.
According to Randolph, the multitasking functionality on the current Windows Phone is “not great” which is why Microsoft has improved multitasking of calls for the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.
For example, if the user receives a voice over IP (VoIP) call on Skype, they can choose to put it on hold and answer a phone call. If the user decides to use another application, the VoIP call will continue to run in the background.
“Multitasking support is going to enable VoIP call waiting and if you happen to have a VoIP technology that you want to build for Windows Phone, now is the time to start working on it,” he said.
Microsoft Australia developer evangelist, Dave Glover, said the vendor is offering full encryption and support for enterprise customers who deploy Windows 8 phones.
In addition, organisations will be able to control the deployment of apps onto Windows Phone devices that are used by employees.
“In terms of where we are trying to get to with the Windows Phone 8 platform is a consistent user experience, choice and prices,” he said.
Hamish Barwick travelled to Tech Ed 2012 on the Gold Coast as a guest of Microsoft
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick