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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 20, 2012 at 7:27 AM

Windows Phone 8: common core with Windows 8, new Start screen, NFC support, over-air updates

SAN FRANCISCO — I’m at the Marriott Marquis , where the Windows Phone Summit is about to begin. I’ll be live blogging here. The following will be in reverse chronological order.

11:08: And that’s a wrap for the main presentation.

11:06: Myerson: 100,000 apps in Windows Phone Marketplace now. Zynga will be bringing Words With Friends, Draw Something, to WP later this year.

10:57: Kevin Shields, senior VP Lumia product & program management at Nokia, on stage. Talks about improved Nokia apps – calendar, music, camera (4 new camera extensions including self-timer, panorama), maps, transportation (can pin a location to the start menu to find public transport info), drive.

10:56: Myerson: Current WP users will not be getting WP8 update. Will get Windows Phone 7.8 update.

10:54: Myerson: “Getting new software on devices has been a challenge.” With WP8, all software updates will be delivered over the air. Microsoft will support with updates for at least 18 months after launch date of device. Will have program to let registered enthusiasts to get updates before any broad consumer push.

10:52: Myerson: WP8 will be available from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, HTC. Will be built on next-generation silicon from Qualcomm. Devices will be available in 50 languages, apps available in 180 countries — “25 more countries than Apple announced last week.”

10:52: Gallo: WP8 SDK available for developers later this summer.

10:44: Gallo: For devs building an app for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft recommends using: 1) for apps: XAML with C#/VB code; 2) for games: Direct3D with C++/C code.

10:43: Gallo: Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 applications will run on Windows Phone 8.

10:20: Kevin Gallo, with Microsoft’s Developer Platform, now on stage. He’ll give a technical preview of the Windows Core. You can watch the live stream here.

Gallo: Among the partners working on gaming for WP: Havok, Big Fish. Ported SQLite engine to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Can download one code base to use in both platforms. “Deeply integrated” VoIP and video chat in WP8. Says incoming VoIP call feels like any other call; integrates with built-in phone features; VoIP apps run in background.

Gallo: Windows Phone has had speech capabilities since WP7 — “something Siri is just now learning to do.” Working with Audible to improve speech capabilities. (Gallo’s first demo — asking Audible to play “Game of Thrones” — doesn’t work so well. Audible first searches for something in Missouri. Next try goes well.) Audible for Windows Phone 7.5 is available today in Windows Phone Marketplace. “We’re excited to see what developers come up with.”

10:19: Belfiore: “This is a huge release for us.”

10:05: Belfiore demos Wallet app. Sections in Wallet can include “All” (that can link to third-party apps like credit card apps; bank apps – Chase, for instance, designing a Windows Phone app; airline apps, etc.); “Deals” (can link to third-party deals from stores, etc., can sort by expiration date).

9:59: Belfiore: Info stored in NFC tags easily found, saved by WP8. “Tap and send becomes a universal way to share” with another Windows device. (Note: “Tap and send” is like the Bump app.)

9:54: Belfiore: Talks about protection from malicious emails, websites in WP8. HTML5 allows for a way to show apps in animated canvas.

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9:43: Belfiore: “The sexiest thing in Windows Phone 8”: Changing the Start Screen. Can personalize size of tiles; include more tiles. “The result is Windows Phone is even more personal than in the past.” People who are news junkies can have more news app tiles. Those who love sports can have more sports tiles.

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9:40: Belfiore: “Windows Phone 8 is ready for business.” Fills in gaps. Supports encryption and secure boot. LOB app deployment — companies’ IT departments can deploy their own apps in their own way. Device management — can use familiar tools they’re using to manage PCs today to manage WPs. Familiar Office apps.

9:38: Belfiore: WP8 will include Nokia mapping technology built in. Delivering turn-by-turn directions in many countries.

9:33: Belfiore: Better sharing with NFC (near field communications). WP8 will include “what we think is the most complete wallet experience of any phone.” Goal is to replace physical wallet — e.g. credit and debit cards, membership cards, access deals, supports NFC “Tap to Pay.” Will integrate 3rd party experiences into wallet app. Also supports support NFC payments. Will work with operators to create secure transactions on the SIM. Orange in France first to get it. Expect to work with AT&T on Isis to deliver wallet on that sometime next year.

9:32: Belfiore: Native code: common platform for Windows Phone and Widnows. Native game development platform based on DirectX. Means game developer who authors a compelling experience for the PC has a “super easy port for their game to the phone.” Can write same game for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

9:28: Belfiore: Same rendering on Internet Explorer 10 for phone and desktops.

9:20: Belfiore: We’re not disclosing all the end user features today. We’ll focus on platform today and how it improves experience for consumers and developers. Platform benefits built in. Here’s what we’re working on:

Windows Phone 8 will support “latest and greatest hardware.” Multi-core chipsets. Dual-core and more. Work so far on WP8 has focused on dual core.

Scaling up support for screen resolutions. 3 screen resolution: 720p (1280 x 720), WXGA (1280 x 768) and WVGA (pip x 480).

Introducing removable MicroSD support. For photos, music, videos, installing apps. “We didn’t want to deliver this feature until it was easy to use, predictable.”

9:19: Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft CVP, takes the stage: WP8 “about a shared Windows core.” Will share common core with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. “This core technology scales down and scales up in a big way.” Will see wider range of sizes, prices. “With shared common core, developers working on Windows 8 will have incredibly easy transition to Windows Phone 8.”

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9:18: Myerson announces Windows Phone 8 Platform Preview.

9:15: Terry Myerson, CVP of Windows Phone, takes the stage. Announces Windows Phone 8. Talks about history of Windows Phone. Says top 3 phones yesterday from all Amazon customers were Windows Phones. “It’s humbling to work on a product that customers have reviewed so highly.”

9:07: Announcer just said the event will begin in about 5 minutes.

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