back to article Windows Phone 8: Everything you need to know at a glance

There used to be a popular saying in the industry: "Microsoft doesn't get it right until version 3.0." I say used to because you don't hear it very much any more. It was arguably true of Windows, which first hit its stride with version 3.0, but not for much else. The Xbox sold from the first incarnation. Windows CE passed the …


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  1. LarsG

    If it was on colour, I'd buy the purple one. It isn't so I won't.

    1. N13L5

      We should vote with our wallets against corporate controlled single source app stores

      If you want to be patronized like children and told what to do and what not to do with your devices, its still better to buy Apple than Microsoft.

      But I think buying either will eventually land us in a corporate landscape where our mobile devices are treated like Sony's playstation: If you install an alternate OS or software on them, you get sued, cause you had to sign a lengthy agreement nobody reads, that forbids you to do anything that would circumvent all the toll booths they are planning to surround you with.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Microsoft needs to bring out an upgrade sooner rather than later - say early Q2 - to keep up the pace"..with iOS which is just shite!

    1. Toothpick

      Here's Obviously!......

      ... posting in articles he has no interest in except to slag thing off.

      Why not try posting some constructive comments? Or even better just fuck off

      1. Ragarath

        Re: Here's Obviously!......

        <blockquote>. posting in articles he has no interest in except to slag thing off.

        Why not try posting some constructive comments? Or even better just fuck off</blockquote>

        Just to be a pedant, you have posted to tell some one they posted to an article they had no interest in yet did the same thing yourself. You then proceeded to do the same by slagging off the poster. You did not mention anything about the article except the article itself.

        I will be considering W8 soon, it may get me away from Android for the first time in years as I feel that WP8 has solved a few issues that stopped me getting WP7.

  3. IJC

    A Positive Review?

    Shocking - nice things said about MS. What is the world coming to? Oh yes, I know, it's about to end!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Positive Review?

      You may be right, not only has WP8 been getting positive reviews but mainstream media have finally been publishing negative articles about Apple. That was almost unheard of just a few months ago.

      Surely the end is nigh.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: A Positive Review?

        >Surely the end is nigh.

        Not only that, but MS have gone back, rewritten and polished the OS, rather than try and introduce new 'features' and ways of working. Finally they've got the right idea. Cats and dogs living together etc.

      2. Manu T

        Re: A Positive Review?

        The only reason why they are talking nice about WP is because it locks you even tighter to telco's. You need a cloud account to do ANYTHING on these devices. Apple is a bit less restrictive in even setting up your device. The telco's see money because with everything you do, you need to go online...

        The only advantage is that (when going for a Nokia device) that, at least, it doesn't require internet access when using it as a car navigation tool (unlike Google or Apple's offering). Otherwise it would just be the extreme milk-cow device for punters. Ripp off the folks, in the name of the cloud!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: A Positive Review?

          Isn't it MS and Apple that get the money, not the telecos? Nokia went through torturous backflips to take into account operators' concerns, originally restricting OTA updates and the shop to the network instead of wifi and their agreements over operator billing.

          Apple just drove a steamroller through all that and MS just copied Apple. If anything they bypass the telecos and just use them as a bit pipe when the user doesn't have wifi access.

    2. James Loughner

      Re: A Positive Review?

      Couldn’t have something to do with the 1.5 billion MS is spending on advertizing? Might not get a taste of that if you had a bad review.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: A Positive Review?

        "Might not get a taste of that if you had a bad review."

        After all we've said about Windows 8? ;-)


  4. EddieD

    Sounds great.

    I have a Lumia 800, and, yes, like the other 6, I'm feeling grumpy.

    Fortunately, I don't upgrade until July next year, so I'll see if I'm going to be hit by a bait and switch again.

    I do like a lot of WP7.5, and I'd like to go on, but, I don't want to be screwed over again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WP 7.5 users aren't missing out much

      I, too, have a Lumia 800, but after WP8 has finally launched I feel a lot less grumpy than before. Considering all the secrecy, I had expected something a bit more spectacular than what essentially (to the user) are generally minor improvements. Yes, I know, there's now the unified W8 kernel which is great, but for an user that's as exciting as reading the Android source code. Now WP8 has Opera Mobile-like web traffic compression (I guess the Yanks with their low data caps on their expensive contracts really need that, personally with unlimited data at £15 a month I can't care less), a kid's corner (which still doesn't prevent your new £600 phone from being dropped or physically abused by children), some rooms, limited Bluetooth transfer and Xbox Music (and both BT transfers and XB Music will come to WP 7.5 devices with the WP8 update anyways). We still haven't got a better browser interface with sane tab handling, or the capability to download and save locally any type of file (i.e. iso files). Oh, WP8 also come with a USB Storage mode, but it also got rid of Zune (which at least made Media transfers very easy and comfortable) and replaced it with some uncomfortable and inflexible sync utilities.

      WP 8 is also said to be blazingly fast, but on the other side WP 7.5 is already completely fluent (much more than Android or iOS), even with just one core, so I can't see how much better it can be.

      I'm sure I will eventually go for a WP 8 device, but not in the near future. There just aren't any compelling reasons to upgrade from my Lumia 800 at the moment. Maybe a year down the line this will be different.

      1. The_Regulator

        Re: WP 7.5 users aren't missing out much

        So wait drag and drop to a folder for syncing is too difficult? I heard you can do that with wp8 do not have hands on experience yet though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So wait drag and drop to a folder for syncing is too difficult

          Yeah, well, it's not 1998 any more, and not everyone wants to have to manually fiddle around with folders if applications like Zune can manage TBs of videos and music and sync the titles one wants by the click of a button even if the phone is not connected to the computer (Zune can do sync over WiFi, another thing that got lost in WP8).

          It's certainly great to have the option to access folders directly in WP8. It's not great when comfortable functionality has been removed.

    2. The_Regulator

      Re: Sounds great.

      Pretty sure the OS Kernel is gonna be the same for a while now so I think you will be all good with upgrades over the next couple of years. WP7.5 is nice, I am still using my samsung focus and still enjoy it's simplicity.

      There are a few games/apps I would like every now and again that are not available but all in all I have really not had problems doing everything I wanted to on this phone.

      Who knows, maybe MS will have a Surface Phone by the time you upgrade!!

      1. Chris 171

        Re: Sounds great.

        Orange told me earlier the 920 will be available from them mid Nov.

        If true, then Win Pho me up.

  5. Big_Ted

    Think you missed something

    [QUOTE]One thing Windows Phone 8 early adopters may already be noticing about Microsoft's new operating system is that unlike Android and iOS, there's no notification centre.

    Well turns out it's not a deliberate omission. It was meant to have one – Microsoft just didn't get it finished in time.

    Let's face it: it's virtually unheard of for any great endeavour – be it Windows Phone 8, the Olympic Stadium or the lifesaving kebab you'll be scarfing down while staggering home later this evening – to arrive ahead of schedule. It's just how these things go.....................................[/QUOTE]

  6. Falmari Bronze badge

    Windows phone 8 looks good and I was looking forward to getting the Nokia 920 to replace my current windows phone.

    But it seems like Nokia are not interested in selling many phones.

    Locking the 920 to a single network (EE) even if you buy it sim free will surely dent sales.

    I for one will not buy it if I have to be locked to a network.

    So I will hold off on the purchase of a new windows phone for now.

    1. Andy Hards

      I thought you could..

      ..pick 3G if you wanted rather than only 4G. I was planning n doing just this. Will wait till it comes out to see cos I'm not going EE for anyone!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      WP8 looks and operates more-or-less like WP7 only it's got a honking great NT kernel in there, I'm at a loss to see how this is a great improvement. If you're tasked with selling phones, how are you going to sell that to customers who have already been ignoring WP7 in droves?

  7. David Webb

    Battery Life

    Like EddieD I have a Lumia 800 and have no issues with battery life, in fairness I do have a Vodafone Sure Signal so it's not really going to be expending a lot of effort trying to find a base station but the battery does last several days.

  8. Jemma

    I would hate to say I told you so...

    But... Guess what...

  9. Chris 171


    As in infrastructure mode?

    The only failing of my N8 is it will only do ad hoc.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of the box...

    Lumia 800 with WP 7.5 is miles ahead of the competition. Lumia with WP 8.0, there is no competition.

    And that's just just the software.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Out of the box...


      Market share for both is indistinguishable from floor noise, so if you can't measure it you can't say what the competition level is.

      1. Bob Vistakin

        Re: Out of the box...

        (Taking the unprecedented step of replying to myself)

        Speaking of market share, here we see Android 75%, and iOS on 14.9%, so microsoft are welcome to whatever dregs blackberry etc leave them from the remaining 10%:

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Out of the box...

        Bob - Do you really equate populatiry with quality?

        As something to think about: The Sun is the most popular daily newspaper in the UK.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Out of the box...

          Exactly right, look at the music charts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Out of the box...

      "Lumia 800 with WP 7.5 is miles ahead of the competition."

      No it isn't. Even Nokia's own Symbian is vastly superior on many fronts than this handicapped, dememented monstrosity.

      - no proper multitasking

      - no full 2-way call recording

      - no file manager

      - no notifications

      It's fast because Microsoft ditched most of their old WM-code. The same reason why Nokia Belle is fast (because nokia removed countless menus and capacities from Symbian e.g. disable theme efects menu or webfolders from filemanager etc...). In fact if cutting bits of productivity is needed to make stuff faster then your incompetent in my book. And in this book both Nokia and Microsoft are incompetent!

      It's good that they're together. A match made in heaven destined to fail!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Out of the box...

        I don't know about Belle FP2 but theme effects are in Belle up to FP1, they're just off by default. It's in a submenu which just has one option (theme effects) buried in theme settings. I suppose that was some obscure hangover from S60 r3.

        The removal of webdav support in Belle is annoying though, I can only assume that it was ditched in an effort to push SkyDrive.

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Fake enthusiasm

      At time of writing, all the commenters - except two - are long-standing regulars. It is possible to like WinPhone 8 and not be a Microsoft shill, surely?

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Fake enthusiasm

          Bob, I rejected your previous comment - why the sideswipe about people with special needs? And I have rejected this comment too

          As for censorship. This is our house, our rules. No-one is stopping you from making your points elsewhere.

          1. Bob Vistakin

            Re: Fake enthusiasm

            @Drewc I just re-read what I wrote and - yes it came across as horrible. There was supposed to be a joke in there but this one went wrong. Sorry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fake enthusiasm

      Oh and Google don't pay lots of people to go around writing crap about rivals do they?

      1. eulampios

        Google vs Microsoft

        Oh and Google don't pay lots of people to go around writing crap about rivals do they?

        You must be confusing it with Apple.

        --Google lavishly pay for discovering vulnerabilities in Chrome, while MS don't pay a penny for any of its own products.

        --Google were also not seen with campaigns like "Get the Facts".

        --Google are not a patent racketeer, unlike some other companies, perhaps, because Google are confident in their products and usually don't make money on software per se.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google vs Microsoft

          Google are confident in their products and usually don't make money on software per se.

          That is correct - they make money on the data their products acquire..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google vs Microsoft

          Google have Motorola Mobility who have started to sue about patents. If Google isn't bothered about patents then why do they attend sales of IP to bid on them?

          Google have awful privacy policies and they lobby governments massively. To the point that in the UK one MP said they were undermining democracy.

          1. eulampios

            @AC, 2012 18:59 GMT

            Huge off-topic follow:

            Google are not that outrageously naive as they might seem to be. In the world where "rounded corners", exFAT long filenames could be patented and sued for, they should better have something to counter that ugly unfair thermonuclear menace.

            B&N did it differently by complaining to the authorities and publishing everything Microsoft tried to keep secret about, so everyone could get an idea how ludicrous and baseless those patent claims were and ended up getting $300m of investments.

            Again, Google decided to make money not on software. The founders were not high school drop-outs like Billy Gates, the BASIC expert, or Stevie Jobs, a designer genius. They were Math and IT majors, nurtured by a different culture, I suppose. Neither do they ( so far) have any psychopathic problems similar to Larry Ellison's, nor did contract any of Apple's megalomaniac lunacy (I hope when Apple lawyers cough or sneeze in court, they do cover their mouths ;-)).

            Should Google change their attitude towards the current patents plague, like MS once had done, they would become equally evil.

            As far as their privacy controversy is concerned, can't comment here much. They make money on advertising. Don't see any issues here anyways, since they won't divulge your name to companies, but your preferences. With all the crappy flash, js in the stupid ads a poor human being has to deal with on the daily basis, it's hard to make it worse. Just get a noscript, flashkiller and adkiller, try using text browser in some cases.

            I am myself using mutt+imap4 gmail client, encrypting mail with gpg when need absolute privacy and can't enjoy their webmail ads ;-)

            When I do login to a webmail though, I find the ad to be much less annoying than the the yahoo webmail (and hotmail has no imap at all).

  12. Petrossa

    It isn't right till version 7

    The main reason i quit the software business was windows 3. I got sick and tired of being blamed by my customers for application crashes caused by that substandard OS. After the umpteenth time of: Sorry that's an OS error nothing i can do and then getting a mouthful from an irrate customer i had enough.

    Sold my business and glad i did.

  13. OrsonX
    Thumb Down

    "the music volume isn't independent of ringer volume"

    MS: hay, let's copy this crazy shit design feature from iOS3, cool!

    Even Apple finally fixed this in iOS4. Question is, why would anybody think this was a good idea in the first place?

    1. Lonesome Twin

      Re: "the music volume isn't independent of ringer volume"

      You make a vaild observation. But as a deal-breaker it's right up there with not being able to persuade the spell-check to have a sense of humoUr.

  14. gribbler

    I'm really tempted..

    Would like to take the plunge and try a Lumia 920 but I live in Spain and buying one unlocked is difficult and expensive... I may just save the hassle and get the Nexus 4, it's cheaper, I know that Android is a good OS and more importantly for me I can order online at a low price and get it delivered unlocked straight to my door. I know I'm not the typical contract customer but I am interested in WP8 I think I'm probably just too lazy to go to the hassle of getting hold of one. Please Nokia or Microsoft just open an online store and sell me one directly!

  15. n4blue

    tethering isn't new...

    ...It's been there since WP 7.5.

    1. SpitefulGOD

      Re: tethering isn't new...

      Depends on whether your carrier has enabled it.

    2. Manu T

      Re: tethering isn't new...

      ... but not on Nokia's.

      And since sideloading has been made extremely hard (the main cause for avoiding it like the plague) this is a major issue for everyone who needed it.

      Nokia and Microsoft, a match made in heaven destined to fail!

      1. Mike Taylor

        Re: tethering isn't new...

        My Nokia with WI phone 7.5 has tethering. Maybe a network thing?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From which part of your body did you pull this statement?:

    "although there must be questions over battery life, since WP is like Android in terms of guzzling power."

    The battery life on any windows phone outlasts any Android device anytime... Do your homework better next time in making statements like this.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I VERY MUCH welcome..

    .. is quite simply the competition.

    It doesn't actually matter what you like or have (and I'm not going to slag off any platform because it quite simply depends on what anyone considers important), with another player in the field all will have to do their best.

    Never a bad thing IMHO.

  18. phr0g
    Thumb Up

    I want one. A 920.

    I am definitely not a shill but I confess to being an ABA (Anything but Apple). I own an HTC One X. Great phone with problems. Trouble is I have 2 yrs contract left!

    How do I get this one past the missus?


    1. N13L5

      Re: I want one

      If you think you have problems with the HTC One X, you haven't seen anything that Microcruft couldn't do in a much more exasperating fashion, with arbitrary restrictions and very simple work flow things that - incredibly - just don't work.

      And when you ask on Microsoft's community support forum, you'll find that all Microsoft representatives have been extensively trained to never admit to a mistake, bug or missing feature. They will just divert you like "you could just not do what you want to do, but instead do this other interesting thing"

  19. Oddbin

    I have gone from a "Win8 is going to be poo and Linux will replace it" to a "here I quite like this Win 8, where's my credit card for this upgrade". I really quite like the look of Surface too. But both surface and WP8 whilst looking good and making me want to try them don't inspire me with confidence just yet. I think I will be waiting till the next generation of both to decide.

    Saying that if RT had been £200-250 I would have bought it just because.

    1. N13L5

      Re: I really quite like the look of Surface too

      All these pixels Just to show the ugly rectangles for color-blind people?

      Oh, wait, I see - Mr Ballmer must have finally learned BASIC's graphics functions!



      ...Wow, look at this!


      SET COLOR "magenta"

      BOX AREA 100,300,100,200

      ...Yippee! Quick! Run it into production! I've made it myself!!! It's gonna be big!!!

  20. Monty Burns

    OneNote and SkyDrive

    Does anyone know if diagrams/photo's taken in OneNote on a PC now sync to Windows Phone?

    I'd also be interested to know if Skydrive acts like Mesh used to, in that it syncs a LOCAL copy so I can access when out of coverage?

    Thanks guys!

    1. Brian
      Thumb Up

      Re: OneNote and SkyDrive

      Yes.. sync works both ways. Ink'ing and other images show on my 920. I can add images to onenote on the 920 and see them on the PC or via skydrive's OneNote web app.

  21. Rombizio

    I am not surprised by the review

    After all, MS gave us a glimpse of what happens when you use a phone OS for the desktop (what a fail). But on a phone Windows 8 should be good. I am happy we have more competition now. It is good for us when more contenders fight for a bigger market share.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does the world want a crashy Windows phone when the world has iPhone and Google?

  23. Dana W

    I use iOS AND Android. I can't see this as a replacement for either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't use Android, I have iOS on my iPad but can't see myself using iOS on a phone again. It's just a lame app launcher.

  24. Raphael

    "The music volume isn't independent of ringer volume - still."

    And this is the reason I, the rare happy Windows Mobile user, jumped ship to Android.

    My Windows Pocket PC 2003 SE iPAQ hw6500 phone can do that.

    My Windows Mobile 5.0 HTC Touch HD can do that.

    sure they've added a lot of nifty new features, but on some core features they generally seen to have gone a step backwards.

  25. John Sanders


    This is an honest question:

    Even if Winmo is any good, is it a good idea to give your phone to a convicted monopolist (which is clearly playing nice only because they have no other option right now), when there is a perfectly valid, and much more open platform?

    I'm talking about Android, obviously, and running Google apps/services is not mandatory.

    When it comes to desktop, as much as I use and like Linux, Microsoft is unavoidable, and they kill everything they touch.

    However with phones/tablets we have valid alternatives Android and Apple's iOS, do we want MS to conquer and destroy that market too, so they can have all the computing space and kill competition/innovation?

    I for one will never buy an MS product unless there is no possible alternative.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows...

      So give your phone over to a soon to be convicted monopolist instead?

      Only Apple are in the position of not being investigated.

    2. Brian

      Re: Windows...

      MS is out of the 10yr period, they don't have to play nice anymore. They also aren't a monopoly in the phone space.

  26. Confuciousmobil

    56 replies?

    I was going to say that I didn't realise that there were that many people interested in Windows Phone 8 - but then I realised that some were by the same person, so I guess there aren't.

  27. Magnus_Pym

    Nokia Maps?

    I'd be sad to lose Nokia maps if I trade in my N8. Built in, free updating sat nav was a primary reason for buying it. So I'm waiting until the new generation of Nokia phones becomes usable. Has that time come, should I wait for the next fix or should I wait until apple catches up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia Maps?

      Current Nokia WP7 devices have Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia City Lens, Microsoft maps.

      The mapping and location based services are well covered, free of charge and of a better quality than anything on iOS.

      The Windows Phone OS is optimised for communication and many services are integrated which is better than launching apps all the time. In WP8 Skype is part of the OS, switch it on and you can take Skype calls just like normal calls.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: Nokia Maps?

        Hmmm. Words like 'optimised', integrated and 'Location based' scare me. I worry that coming up to a complicated junction the map will suddenly change and message will pop up saying. "Aunt Gloria is calling from here (arrow) in Fort Lauderdale, Flo, USA. Do you want to set this as your destination? "

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you need to know at a glance...

    ... a picture of a steaming turd would have done.

    No amount of embarrassing advertising (anything from MS with 'trendy' music is like watching old Uncle Hector dancing amongst the teenagers) will persuade Joe Public that an MS mobe is cooler than Apple or Android.

    Only the seriously uncool middle-aged will give it a chance, everyone else will avoid.

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