We are front and center for the Windows Phone Summit at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. The treats and coffee were delicious. Next up is the first look at Windows Phone 8.
11:09 – It’s reception time. Thanks for following and check back later for more updates as we look for new details about Windows Phone 8.
11:08 – A review: the 7.8 update is coming for current customers. More apps are coming. He calls Windows Phone “the most modern platform.” And it looks like the presentation is over. We are back to the techno dance music and freakishly blue lighting scheme.
11:07 – Zynga is bringing Words with Friends and Draw Something “later this year.”
11:06 – Terry is back on stage, celebrating the fact that 100,000 Windows Phone apps are now available.
11:02 – More Nokia mapping features: Nokia Transport and Nokia Drive. The latter has a feature called My Commute. It shows how long your regular commute will be and predicts how long it will take. The demo is from his home to Nokia headquarters in Helsinki. The streets are eerily reminiscent of the names of IKEA furniture products.
11:01 – Shields is discussing a camera feature called Smart Group Shot. It compiles a series of group shots.
10:55 – Kevin Shields from Nokia is on stage, sporting some seriously skinny jeans. It is kind of painful to watch.
10:54 – Windows Phone 8 will not come to current handsets. However, Windows Phone 7.8 is coming to current devices with the new start screen.
All updates will be over the air. Devices will be supported for at least 18 months. He says, “registered enthusiasts can get early access to updates before the broad consumer push.” Interesting concept here.
10:52 – Myerson is back on stage. He says Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC will be the hardware partners for Windows Phone 8. The devices will work in 50 languages with apps available in 180-plus countries. A little dig at Apple: “twenty more countries than Apple announced last week.”
10:50 – The SDK will be available later this summer for developers. There will also be a series of developer events to get assistance in writing the applications.
10:48 – The Company Hub is a new app that an organization can use to monitor their app usage.
10:46 – A lot of technical details are coming our way. The discussion is about Windows Phone being “enterprise ready.” Secure boot, Bitlocker encryption are all available. Microsoft wants Windows Phone to be an appealing solution for enterprise.
10:42 – Audible is going to be available for Windows Phone 7.5 later today. It sounds like something we should review.
10:40 – He is showing voice commands. The first one failed, searching for St. Louis instead of what he said. It then finds Game of Thrones (which drew applause) and opened and read a book.
10:37 – You won’t believe this…another video. This one shows a woman using her phone to check traffic. She then gets in her car and has a Siri-like voice warn her about a traffic collision. It then wishes her a pleasant drive.
10:33 – VOIP calls will work just like any other phone call. Score one for heavy Skype users. Developers can also integrate this kind of functionality into their own apps.
10:29 – Now back to the nuts and bolts for developers. Discussing SQLite and use it for both a Windows 8 and Windows Phone application. Using one code base for both platforms is a needed boost for developers.
10:25 – Gameloft is one of the publishers bringing games. He is showing off Big Fish, which is a popular game on iOS. He is showing other games. A solitaire version “only took two weeks” to import from iOS.
10:24 – Andrew Bowell, head of product for Havok Technology Suite is now on stage to discuss games. A video is showing some of the games that we could see. Graphics are rather impressive.
10:23 – More about the developer platform: native code, multitasking improvements, a new speech platform and an increased “focus on developers.” Microsoft needs developer support in its battle against Apple and Google.
10:19 – On stage now is Kevin Gallo, who is the head of the developer platform. It is time for some more technical specifics. He is discussing the kernel (core of the operating system). He is reviewing the enhancements to security, drivers, networking, graphics/media, and the developer platform.
10:17 – Another video. A happy family goes out for coffee. Of course, happy music is playing. They are buying a deal through Groupon. The clerk, who is of course using a Windows slate, then redeems the coupon from the family’s Windows Phone. She gets a notification on her phone that the table is ready. LIke any good mother, the woman then lets kids play games with her phone. It concludes with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8: “Better Together.”
10:15 – Another subtle change today: the Windows Phones on display have the same Metro icon as Windows 8.
10:13 – The wallet has a pin. This is good for those who leave their phone in a New York City cab (oh wait, I did that).
10:11 – Back to the Nokia map, which will be replacing Bing Maps. The Local Scout finds deals and suggests places to do. The “deal card” is a digital coupon, Belfiore says. It can be pinned to the start menu or saved to the wallet for later redemption.
10:09 – The wallet has a deals section, which lists coupons and other specials. He is showing one with a QR code that could then be redeemed at the store.
10:07 A Chase app is coming to the Windows Phone wallet. He says it will be available later this year. There is some applause for that.
10:06 – Back to demoing the wallet feature. There sure is a lot of wasted screen real estate at the top with the 72-point font “wallet.”
10:04 – He is now playing a version of Scrabble. He plays a word on his phone, which then shows up on his tablet. They are really emphasizing the idea of an action on a phone would then be available on the tablet, and vice versa.
10:01 – Tap and Send is now a default method for sharing content from one’s phone to another device. It’s like Bump or Android Beam for Windows Phone.
10:00 – He is now showing the capabilities of the NFC chip. He interacts with an NFC-enabled business card, taps it, then has the content to add to his cloud-based address book.
9:57 – Next up is Marble Maze, a game sample that ships with the developer SDK. It is much like the iPad game where one tilts the screen to control a ball that is rolling through a labyrinth.
9:55 – He is now discussing HTML 5 support in IE 10. He is demoing a visual fountain of app icons that are flying around the screen.
9:53 – Just noticed that the Kindle tile on one of the demo phones lists the book and page number where one left off. Pretty cool.
9:51 – He says the API is more powerful for developers to make use of the constant data flow available in live tiles.
9:49 - Applause for the announcement that there will be more colors in Windows Phone 8.
9:48 – The interface overall functions much the same as the current version of Windows Phone, with the new capability of re-sizing the tiles.
9:44 – Behold: the new Windows Phone start screen. It has much smaller tiles to get more information on the screen. The tiles can also be re-sized.
9:43 – Discussing the live tiles. He is working up to a change in the start screen. And the room just went REALLY orange.
9:42 – The final platform feature. Which he is talking around in circles to drag it out.. though Belfiore says it is the “sexiest” thing in Windows Phone 8.
9:40 – Next up is discussing enterprise. He says there have been “a number of gaps.” Windows Phone 8 will support encryption and secure boot for IT departments that want to secure company data.
9:39 – Nokia map technology will be built into Windows Phone. It will include offline map support, map control for developers and turn-by-turn directions. There was substantial applause for the Nokia announcement.
9:36 – Next up is a video about the Windows Phone 8 wallet system. Every Windows Phone will have the wallet hub. He says Microsoft is “making good progress” on working with carriers, but the wallet feature won’t be available at launch.
9:35 – He says by putting the secure element in the device itself is the reason some carriers are not allowing Google Wallet. Next up is a demo.
9:33 – Windows Phone will have the “most complete wallet experience.” The battle is on between this and Pocketbook from iOS and Google Wallet.
He says it supports credit/debit cards, loyalty and membership cards, accesses saved deals and supports NFC “tap to pay” (like Google Wallet).
9:31 – There will be “freaking killer games.” He says it will be “super easy” to port games developed in DirectX from another device to Windows Phone. Also, a developer can write a game for Windows 8 and easily move it to Windows Phone.
9:30 – According to Belfiore Windows Phone 8 browsing is faster than the Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC One S, and iPhone 4S running iOS 6 beta. Interesting if it does not defeat iOS 5.
9:29 – IE 10 will be on Windows Phone 8. He says it is the same rendering, so HTML that is formatted for a desktop will work also on the phone.
9:27 – Removable MicroSD support. A user can now expand storage, transfer content, or install apps directly from an SD card.
9:25 – Windows Phone now supports more screen resolutions. They are adding a 720p, which is 1280×720.
9:23 – Belfiore is now going to detail eight new platform announcements that he says form “the foundation of Windows Phone 8″ from the shared core. He says we are “not disclosing” all the end-user features.
9:20 Belfiore says Windows is used by 1.3 billion people. He says the technology scales for mobile phones as well as PCs and tablets effectively.
9:18 – Myerson says we are looking at Windows Phone 8 today. He then discusses how the Microsoft mobile team decided they needed to revamp Windows Mobile.
He says Windows Phone is a device that “knows the user” and has rave reviews from Amazon.com. He says seven of the top nine smartphones are Windows Phones. He calls it “humbling” to work on a phone that is reviewed so highly. He calls the interface “buttery smooth.”
9:16 Terry Myerson, the corporate vice president for Windows Phone is now on stage.
9:14 AM – OK, it’s video time. It is a promo of Windows phone in use, with quotes of other tech and media sites praising the interface.
My favorite quote: Time called Windows Phone: “silky smooth.”
The conference room looks more like a nightclub right now, with a remix of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People blasting through the speakers.
9:07 - An ominous voice just told us the program is beginning in a few minutes. Stay tuned.
The main stage has two enormous video screens. Three mock Windows Phones with live tiles are sharing the stage. Steve Ballmer must have given these out on loan from his office.
They are really digging the techno vibe here. We are getting the obligatory reminders about no video recording, audio, or use of fluffy bunnies.