As expected, Microsoft has just taken the wraps off of Windows Phone 8 — the latest iteration of its mobile operating system — during a nightclub-themed media event in California.

Similar to Apple’s WWDC keynote, Microsoft took this opportunity to go over a handful of new features in the software. And so far, it looks fairly solid. Should Apple be nervous?

Headlining the list of new Windows Phone 8 features is a new Passbook-style Wallet application. It organizes credit cards, gift cards, and event tickets, and interfaces with an NFC chip.

Some of the platform’s other new features include Nokia Maps (this used to be restricted to Nokia customers), resizable Home screen tiles, and easier third-party app development.

Judging by some of the initial reactions, folks seem to be overall impressed with what Microsoft showed off today. The Wallet looks cool, the new Home screen looks fun, and the platform certainly seems to be rounding out.

But will this be enough to change the minds of iOS and Android users? Will it be enough to help Microsoft, and more importantly Nokia, win back some of their lost smartphone marketshare?

It’s hard to tell. While Apple didn’t announce any major new features for iOS last week, its enormous App Store and community of loyal followers still makes it the platform to beat.

Of course, as finicky as the smartphone business is (see RIM, Palm, HTC), that could all change in an instant.

What are your first impressions of Windows Phone 8?

[The Verge]

  • Dan

    I gotta say, always saying ”Should Apple be nervous?” or some other derivative is getting old pretty fast.
    Yes the phone looks interesting, but again, it’s all a matter of features. I’ll be updating my iPhone and iPad next year, if this is a solid product, it’s worth taking into consideration 🙂

    • Ronald Weaver

      Well Apple will probably never pass microsoft. They really dont have anything to be nervous about. Apple has had awesome statistics since the release of the iphone. And the numbers are still growing. If all the die hard fans stay on board with Apple i dont think they will fall for many many years to come. In my opinion the galaxy s3 is the biggest contender right now. But thats just my opinion.
      I would be willing to bet the next ipad and the next iphone will be the best to come.

  • Ronald Weaver

    I like what they are trying to do. I think it looks like they have something real nice for Microsoft users to enjoy. I personally will never go back to a non apple device. Unless they really fall off bad. I had the first gen iPhone and it to me changed everything. I never Owend a computer until after I bought it. I have All apple products and it all started from that first iPhone. It would take something as revolutionary as that phone to sway me away.

    • Eric Armstrong

      Couldn’t agree more. I don’t think it’s an iOS killer at all (at least not yet), but it definitely a good alternative, and competitive enough to keep Apple driving forward.

      • Ronald Weaver

        Its cool to see other devices come along. Every time i pay my bill i like to check out all the nice phones in the show room. My only wish with Apple would be a little more variety. I know some will agree and some wont. i just would like to see a next generation iphone with maybe a 4inch square screen for me and a longer longer screen like all the mock ups we have seen here on this site.

  • Eric Armstrong

    I’ve always been impressed with this UI, I think it’s simple and intuitive, and a unique way. They didn’t just copy iOS like others have. It’s going to take a lot to pull me away from iOS, though.
    Also, I think it would be awesome to have the same UI on all of my gadgets (think phone, tablet, desktop, game console, TV). I think I remember hearing Cook say iOS and OS X won’t merge anytime soon right? It’s a possibility for Microsoft though, right?

    • I agree Eric! (P.S. Like your name, same as mine).

      Anyways, I’m sure to stay compeative Apple / Cook will figure out a way for the MacBook Pro / Air to run iOS Apps natively on the OS X environment –

      Heck, if they can virtually run Windows in OS X – then they sure as heck will be able to run iOS apps.

      Maybe now that Microsoft is challenging them with this functionality, they will react this Fall with this capability! 🙂

      • ReanimationXP

        Don’t forget that they could never run Windows until the Mac platform was re-written to run on Intel architecture and their whole lineup was switched over. This is simply not possible between current devices. It’s not as simple as something like Wine where system libraries are ported over and referenced as needed, the processor architectures are entirely different. The only way would be to build iOS (and the apps) for an i386 platform, or to emulate an entire device, ARM processor and all. Neither of these seem like good enough solutions for Apple to me.. not to mention interface problems for apps that require multitouch, etc. Don’t see it happening.

  • no apple should not be nervous

  • How is windows phone 8 improving things if previous phones in the market wont be upgradable to 8?

    And even further Phone 7 applications will run on Windows Phone 8 but Windows Phone 8 apps will not run on earlier devices.

    So basically Microsoft is screwing their first adopters and they are fragmenting the platform so early in its cycle!

    This is a disaster!

    !

    • Ronald Weaver

      I thought the same thing.

  • Switching over will be very difficult…… Here is why:

    As I have blogged about in the past – the Apps have us really “tied in” to the platform we are currently on.

    Why should I switch to Windows Mobile (or Android for that matter) and have to pay for all my Apps again? That is, if they are even offered in the Win 8 platform.

    Add to that, the issue of what to do with my iPad? Okay, now Microsoft has an answer with their “industrial looking” Surface Tablet – but will that tablet let you share apps with your Win Mobile like iOS does?

    But, then back to the App eco system – I now have over 500 Apps – most are “Free” and most I don’t use – But, I still have several dozen that I do use, and most of those I have already paid for them.

    Why waste that money just to switch over to Windows? Why? WHY!!!

    • Windows Mobile is dead…its Windows Phone 8 now dude

      Unlike WP7, WP8 will have strong apps ecosystem due to sharing the same code base with Windows 8 and possibly the next Xbox 720 console…not to mention the ability to run existing 100,000 WP7 apps

      I’m an iOS fans…but truthfully WP8 is more impressive in term of features and upgrades compared to what Apple has shown in iOS 6

  • Windows 8 phone huh?

    I will say that I like what Microsoft is doing by unifying the UI between all their devices.

    Fact: Windows 8 in all it’s variants hasn’t introduced anything “new”. Metro is more of a “style”, or maybe more bluntly, a theme. They’ve only introduced a new interface ‘arrangement’, by placing features in a way that really integrates, quite nicely,  communication between social media & phone & txt. Which seems to be the biggest reason to get a windows phone; and i’ll definitely be defaulting to the legacy look on Win8 after upgrading my desktop.  (Personally, the longest my Facebook acct has been activated was two weeks, & that’s only because I forgot to deactivate it a week earlier.  I use twitter, maybe 3-4x’s a quarter, only to complain to some dev about a bug or request an app feature or something like that. Not really to communicate regularly.) I know I’m in the minority but let’s not act like Microsoft is reinventing the wheel or introducing another Kinect with this Metro B.S.

    Microsofts UI unification really, really, makes Android look bad! LOL!  I would love to see all capable Droid devices updated to the latest version, as it pushes Apple and now MS, by showcasing its latest fts in mass.  Competition is so freakn great and I’m liking that MS is making a real effort.  Not like, ahem, Google, by blatantly  copying iOS.

    MS phone: not for me. 
    MS tablet: the touchscreen ultra book with a removable keyboard? No thx.  Already got a laptop  😛

    With all that said, keep it up Microsoft!  Ha!  I just wish they’d spend some of those billions less on interface change/arrangement/style/theming, and put it towards human interface improvement.  Like they did with Kinect & gaming systems.  Either MS or Google should buy Nuance and pump big dolla’s into it and give us the future!  Siri is only an appetizer that’s headed in the right direction.  I want more dangit!

  • Carlos Santamarina

    Am I the ONLY person that finds the look/colors of the interface horrible? Really not into the “Fruit Loops” color palette.

    • ReanimationXP

      I don’t get everyone’s obsession with Metro either. Sure it’s a departure from the norm nowdays (read: iPhone clones).. but it’s in no way creative, and I’d argue it’s not intuitive or aesthetically pleasing either. I don’t get it.

    • You are not alone Carios.

  • Peter Kanguchu

    i gotta admit it caught my eye i would say there a tad bit to late but its still will make a profit and probably take a few ios user

  • babiloe

    Just tested lowest Nokia that has same processor and memory like Samsung wonder. Everything more fluid.
    That save me from wp is just CDMA iPhone can be injected also in my country.

  • sasan akbari

    I hate windows 8 and windows phone.
    They both have black backgrounds, because of that I hate them!

    • Jon Seltzer

      you know that’s just a theme choice right? You can choose the light theme if you want.

  • Wael Abdo

    i think that the competition has now started, back to the infamous apple vs microsoft……

  • suddenly a wild boob appears (o)(o)