Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. It was released on October 29, 2012, and, like its predecessor, it features a flat user interface based on the Metro design language. It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8.1, which was unveiled on April 2, 2014.
Windows Phone 8 replaces the Windows CE-based architecture used in Windows Phone 7 with the Windows NT kernel found in Windows 8. Current Windows Phone 7 devices cannot run or update to Windows Phone 8 and new applications compiled specifically for Windows Phone 8 are not made available for Windows Phone 7 devices. Developers can make their apps available on both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices by targeting both platforms via the proper SDKs in Visual Studio 
|Windows Phone 8|
|A version of the Windows Phone operating system|
Windows Phone 8 Start Screen
|October 29, 2012|
|Latest release||Update 3 (Build 8.0.10532.166) / April 14, 2014|
|Update method||Firmware over the air|
|Platforms||32-bit ARM architecture|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (NT kernel)|
|License||Commercial proprietary software|
|Preceded by||Windows Phone 7 (2010)|
|Succeeded by||Windows Phone 8.1 (2014)|
|Official website||Archived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)|
|Unsupported as of January 12, 2016|
On June 20, 2012, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo), a third generation of the Windows Phone operating system for release later in 2012. Windows Phone 8 replaces its previously Windows CE-based architecture with one based on the Windows NT kernel, and shares many components with Windows 8, allowing developers to easily port applications between the two platforms.
Windows Phone 8 also allows devices with larger screens (the four confirmed sizes are "WVGA 800×480 15:9","WXGA 1280×768 15:9","720p 1280×720 16:9","1080p 1920x1080 16:9" resolutions) and multi-core processors, NFC (that can primarily be used to share content and perform payments), backwards compatibility with Windows Phone 7 apps, improved support for removable storage (that now functions more similarly to how such storage is handled on Windows and Android), a redesigned home screen incorporating resizable tiles across the entire screen, a new Wallet hub (to integrate NFC payments, coupon websites such as Groupon, and loyalty cards), and "first-class" integration of VoIP applications into the core functions of the OS. Additionally, Windows Phone 8 will include more features aimed at the enterprise market, such as device management, BitLocker encryption, and the ability to create a private Marketplace to distribute apps to employees—features expected to meet or exceed the enterprise capabilities of the previous Windows Mobile platform. Additionally, Windows Phone 8 will support over-the-air updates, and all Windows Phone 8 devices will receive software support for at least 36 months after their release.
In the interest of ensuring it is released with devices designed to take advantage of its new features, Windows Phone 8 will not be made available as an update for existing Windows Phone 7 devices. Instead, Microsoft released Windows Phone 7.8 as an update for Windows Phone 7 devices, which backported several features such as the redesigned home screen.
In March 2013, Microsoft announced that updates for the Windows Phone 8 operating system would be made available through July 8, 2014. Microsoft pushed support up to 36 months, announcing that updates for the Windows Phone 8 operating system would be made available through January 12, 2016. Windows Phone 8 devices will be upgradeable to the next edition of Windows Phone 8.1.
Windows Phone 8 is the first mobile OS from Microsoft to use the Windows NT kernel, which is the same kernel that runs Windows 8. The operating system adds improved file system, drivers, network stack, security components, media and graphics support. Using the NT kernel, Windows Phone can now support multi-core CPUs of up to 64 cores, as well as 1280×720 and 1280×768 resolutions, in addition to the base 800×480 resolution already available on Windows Phone 7. Furthermore, Windows Phone 8 also adds support for MicroSD cards, which are commonly used to add extra storage to phones. Support for 1080p screens was added in October 2013 with the GDR3 update.
Due to the switch to the NT kernel, Windows Phone 8 also supports native 128-bit Bitlocker encryption and Secure Boot. Windows Phone 8 also supports NTFS due to this switch.
Internet Explorer 10 is the default browser in Windows Phone 8 and carries over key improvements also found in the desktop version. The navigation interface has been simplified down to a single customizable button (defaults to stop / refresh) and the address bar. While users can change the button to a 'Back' button, there is no way to add a 'Forward' button. However, as the browser supports swipe navigation for both forwards and back, this is a minor issue.
Unlike its predecessor, Windows Phone 8 uses true multitasking, allowing developers to create apps that can run in the background and resume instantly.
A user can switch between "active" tasks by pressing and holding the Back button, but any application listed may be suspended or terminated under certain conditions, such as a network connection being established or battery power running low. An app running in the background may also automatically suspend, if the user has not opened it for a long duration of time.
The user can close applications by opening the multitasking view and pressing the "X" button in the right-hand corner of each application window, a feature that was added in Update 3.
Windows Phone 8 adds Kids Corner, which operates as a kind of "guest mode". The user chooses which applications and games appear on the Kids Corner. When Kids Corner is activated, apps and games installed on the device can be played or accessed without touching the data of the main user signed into the Windows Phone.
Rooms is a feature added specifically for group messaging and communication. Using Rooms, users can contact and see Facebook and Twitter updates only from members of the group created. Members of the group can also share instant messages and photos from within the room. These messages will be shared only with the other room members. Microsoft will be removing this feature sometime during March 2015.
With the release of Update 3 in late 2013, pairing a Windows Phone 8 device with a car via Bluetooth now automatically activates "Driving Mode", a specialized UI designed for using a mobile device while driving.
Data Sense allows users to set data usage limits based on their individual plan. Data Sense can restrict background data when the user is near their set limit (a heart icon is used to notify the user when background tasks are being automatically stopped). Although this feature was originally exclusive to Verizon phones in the United States, the GDR2 update released in July 2013 made Data Sense available to all Windows Phone 8 handsets.
Select Windows Phones running Windows Phone 8 add NFC capability, which allows for data transfer between two Windows Phone devices, or between a Windows Phone device, and a Windows 8 computer or tablet, using a feature called "Tap and Send".
In certain markets, NFC support on Windows Phone 8 can also be used to conduct in-person transactions through credit and debit cards stored on the phone through the Wallet application. Carriers may activate the NFC feature through SIM or integrated phone hardware. Orange will be first carrier to support NFC on Windows Phone 8. Besides NFC support for transactions, Wallet can also be used to store credit cards in order to make Windows Phone Store and other in-app purchases (that is also a new feature), and can be used to store coupons and loyalty cards.
The Windows Phone app succeeds the Zune Software as the sync application to transfer music, videos, other multimedia files and office documents between Windows Phone 8 and a Windows 8/Windows RT computer or tablet. Versions for OS X and Windows Desktop are also available. Windows Phone 7 devices are not compatible with the PC version of the app, but will work with the Mac version. (Zune is still used for syncing Windows Phone 7s with PCs, and thus remains downloadable from the Windows Phone website.)
Due to Windows Phone 8 identifying itself as an MTP device, Windows Media Player and Windows Explorer may be used to transfer music, videos and other multimedia files unlike in Windows Phone 7. Videos transferred to a computer are limited to a maximum size of 4 GB.
|Windows Phone 8 minimum device specifications|
|Qualcomm Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series (as of Update 3)|
|Minimum 512 MB RAM for WVGA phones; minimum 1 GB RAM for 720p / WXGA / 1080p|
|Minimum 4 GB flash memory|
|GPS and A-GNSS; GLONASS is supported, if OEMs decide to include it|
|Support for micro-USB 2.0|
|3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with three-button detection support|
|Rear-facing AF camera with optional LED or Xenon flash, optional front-facing camera (both need to be VGA or better) and dedicated camera button|
|Accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensors, as well as vibration motor (magnetometer and gyroscope are optional)|
|802.11b/g and Bluetooth (802.11n is optional)|
|DirectX graphics hardware support with hardware acceleration for Direct3D using programmable GPU|
|Multi-touch capacitive touch screen with minimum of four simultaneous points|
Reviewers generally praised the increased capabilities of Windows Phone 8, but noted the smaller app selection when compared to other phones. Brad Molen of Engadget mentioned that "Windows Phone 8 is precisely what we wanted to see come out of Redmond in the first place," and praised the more customizable Start Screen, compatibility with Windows 8, and improved NFC support. However, Molen also noted the drawback of a lack of apps in the Windows Phone Store. The Verge gave the OS a 7.9/10 rating, stating that "Redmond is presenting one of the most compelling ecosystem stories in the business right now," but criticized the lack of a unified notifications center. Alexandra Chang of Wired gave Windows Phone 8 an 8/10, noting improvement in features previously lacking in Windows Phone 7, such as multi-core processor support, faster Internet browsing, and the switch from Bing Maps to Nokia Maps, but also criticized the smaller selection of apps.
IDC reported that in Q1 2013, the first full quarter where WP8 was available to most countries, Windows Phone market share jumped to 3.2% of the worldwide smartphone market, allowing the OS to overtake BlackBerry OS as the third largest mobile operating system by usage.
Roughly a year after the release of WP8, Kantar reported in October 2013 that Windows Phone grew its market share substantially to 4.8% in the United States and 10.2% in Europe. Similar statistics from Gartner for Q3 2013 indicated that Windows Phone's global market share increased 123% from the same period in 2012 to 3.6%.
In Q1 2014 IDC reported that global market share of Windows Phone has dropped to 2.7%.
Action Center is a notification center included with Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. It was first introduced with Windows Phone 8.1 in July 2014, and was introduced to the desktop with the launch of Windows 10 on July 29, 2015.The Action Center replaces the charms in Windows 10.Bing Vision
Bing Vision is an image recognition application created by Microsoft which is installed on Windows Phones running version 7.5 and above, including Windows Phone 8. It is a part of the Bing Mobile suite of services, and on most devices can be accessed using the search button. On Windows Phone 8.1 devices where Microsoft Cortana is available, it is only available through the lenses of the Camera app (as the search button now activates Cortana). Bing Vision can scan barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs, and DVDs. Books, CDs, and DVDs are offered through Bing Shopping.List of Windows Phone 8.1 devices
This is a list of all devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.
In addition to existing Windows Phone 8 partners HTC, Samsung and Huawei, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, LG, Lenovo, Longcheer, XOLO, and ZTE signed on to create Windows Phone 8.1 devices in early 2014. Miia, Micromax, Prestigio, Yezz, BLU, K-Touch and InFocus were subsequently named as hardware partners later on in the year.Nokia's devices division was acquired by Microsoft in early 2014 and has since been rebranded as Microsoft Mobile. Microsoft Mobile continued to release Nokia-branded handsets running Windows Phone until a clearer strategy for aligning the Microsoft and Nokia brands was decided on in October 2014. This was to replace the Nokia name on future Lumia devices with Microsoft Lumia branding. The first device released without Nokia branding was the Lumia 535.List of Windows Phone 8 devices
This is a list of hardware devices that are shipped with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. HTC Corporation, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei have all launched Windows Phone 8 based devices. The list, sorted by processor and screen resolution, contains devices that have been confirmed and officially announced by their manufacturers.Microsoft Lumia
Microsoft Lumia (previously the Nokia Lumia Series) is a discontinued line of mobile devices that was originally designed and marketed by Nokia and later by Microsoft Mobile. Introduced in November 2011, the line was the result of a long-term partnership between Nokia and Microsoft—as such, Lumia smartphones run on Microsoft software, the Windows Phone operating system; and later the newer Windows 10 Mobile. The Lumia name is derived from the partitive plural form of the Finnish word lumi, meaning "snow".On 3 September 2013, Microsoft announced its purchase of Nokia's mobile device business, with the deal closing on 25 April 2014. As a result, the Lumia line's maintenance was transferred to Microsoft Mobile. As part of the transition, Microsoft continued to use the Nokia brand on Lumia devices until October 2014, when it began to officially phase out the Nokia name in its promotion and production of smartphones in favor of Microsoft branding. In November 2014, Microsoft announced the first Microsoft (non-Nokia) branded Lumia device, the Lumia 535. In October 2015, Microsoft announced the first Lumia devices running on Windows 10 Mobile, the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and Lumia 550. The most recent Lumia smartphone, the Lumia 650, was announced by Microsoft on 15 February 2016.Sales decreased sharply after the introduction of Windows 10 in 2015 and Microsoft briefly stopped selling Lumia devices from the Microsoft Store at the end of 2016—by which time sales were estimated to have dropped below one million units—although availability was restored at the beginning of 2017. In October 2017, Microsoft's corporate vice president, Joe Belfiore, confirmed that Microsoft will no longer sell or manufacture new Windows 10 Mobile devices. The existing devices will receive bug fixes and security updates only, ending for the latest devices in December 2019.Nokia Lumia 730
The Nokia Lumia 730 is a smartphone developed by Microsoft Mobile and branded as "Nokia" that initially runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. It was announced on September 4, 2014 at Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin and released in October 2014. It is a successor to the 2013 Nokia Lumia 720 and marketed as an "affordable flagship". A dual-SIM version (RM-1040) is available.Nokia Lumia 735
The Nokia Lumia 735 is a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone developed by Nokia. Unveiled on 4 September 2014 at IFA Berlin, the device is a smartphone with a particular emphasis on "selfies"—aided by a 5-megapixel, wide-angle front-facing camera. The phone will be released in certain markets in a 3G-only dual SIM version, branded as the Lumia 730.Nokia Lumia 810
The Nokia Lumia 810 is a Windows Phone smartphone made by Nokia exclusively for wireless carrier T-Mobile US. It was announced on October 8, 2012. The device runs the then-new Windows Phone 8 operating system (despite being numbered in the x10 series which is used for Windows Phone 7) and features a 4.3-inch AMOLED WVGA ClearBlack display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor, exchangeable shells (cyan and black) and supports Qi inductive charging when equipped with a specific shell. It supports T-Mobile's 4G network.
The phone includes an enhanced Nokia Drive package with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and Nokia Transit, which allows navigation through local public transportation. Nokia City Lens offers a hybrid mapping/photography feature that overlays various points of interest in an image, such as businesses. Additional photography-related features are Nokia Cinemagraph, which is "a lens that creates animated GIFs"; panorama settings, and Group Shot. The phone includes a dedicated camera button that allows activating the camera from a sleeping or even locked device. The October 8 announcement included Nokia Music, which can also be used offline.The Lumia 810 was discontinued in stores on April 2013. As of April 4, 2014, the day Microsoft introduced its Windows Phone 8.1 OS update, T-Mobile US stated that "no updates" for the 810 will be made available. In February 2015, T-Mobile confirmed that Windows Phone 8.1 would not come to devices other than the Lumia 521 and Lumia 925.Windows Phone 8.1 was not released for the phone, making the Lumia 810 the only Nokia Windows phone to not be updated to Windows Phone 8.1. However, it's possible to install Windows Phone 8.1 on the Lumia 810 through Microsoft's Preview for Developers app.Nokia Lumia 830
The Nokia Lumia 830 is a smartphone developed by Microsoft Mobile and branded as "Nokia" that runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. It was announced on September 4, 2014 at Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin and released in October 2014. It is a successor to the 2012 Nokia Lumia 820 and marketed as an "affordable flagship".Nokia Lumia 930
The Nokia Lumia 930 is a high-end smartphone developed by Nokia that runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. It was announced on April 2, 2014 at Microsoft Build 2014 and was released in April 2014 as Nokia's (and later Microsoft Mobile's) flagship. It is the last high-end Nokia-branded Lumia device and succeeded by the Microsoft-branded Lumia 950 and its XL equivalent.
The Nokia Lumia Icon, which is exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the United States, is essentially a derivative of the Lumia 930. The two versions share a common design and specifications; the only hardware difference is that the 930 is equipped with GSM radios and available as both carrier-locked and unlocked versions, while the Icon has both GSM and CDMA radios and is always sold unlocked. The other difference is that the 930 was originally pre-loaded with the newer Windows Phone 8.1 rather than the previous-generation Windows Phone 8 Update 3 on the Icon.
Neither the 930 nor the Icon have the Glance feature, which displays the time and other selectable information on the display of an otherwise sleeping phone. While other contemporary Nokia smartphones have Glance, the 930 and Icon do not because their displays lack the necessary "display memory" feature.Nokia Lumia Icon
The Nokia Lumia Icon (originally known as the Lumia 929) is a high-end smartphone developed by Nokia that runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. It was announced on February 12, 2014, and released on Verizon Wireless in the United States on February 20, 2014. It is currently exclusive to Verizon and the U.S. market; its international counterpart is the Nokia Lumia 930.
On February 11, 2015, Verizon released the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and Lumia Denim firmware update for the Icon. On June 23, 2016, Verizon released the Windows 10 Mobile operating system update for the Icon.Samsung Ativ S
The Samsung ATIV S is a touchscreen, slate smartphone manufactured by Samsung Electronics running the Windows Phone 8 operating system, upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.1. The ATIV S is Samsung's first Windows Phone 8 device, and one of the first devices under its ATIV series of Microsoft Windows-based products. It was shown at the IFA 2012 in Berlin and was the first Windows Phone 8 device to be officially unveiled, ahead of the Nokia Lumia 920.
There are three variants of the ATIV S. All feature a 4.8-inch 1280x720 HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 306ppi, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, near field communications, and support for HSPA+ networks. Specific variants include:
GT-I8750 - the globalized version of the ATIV S, with a 1.9MP front-facing camera
GT-I8370 - a version specific to the UK, Canada and Singapore but with a 1.2MP front camera instead of 1.9MP
SGH-T899M - sold in Canada, equipped with 700 MHz LTE and Bluetooth 2.1 (downgraded from 3.0)The ATIV S is available with 16 or 32 GB of internal storage with micro SDXC expansion for up to an additional 128 GB or more. It further features a 2300mAh removable battery and a brushed-metal look of the battery door. Overall, the hardware is very similar to the Android-based Galaxy S III.A variant of the Samsung ATIV S, called the Samsung ATIV S Neo, was announced by Sprint on June 26, 2013 for a summer 2013 release, alongside the HTC 8XT. This phone's appearance is similar to the ATIV S, though has notable differences spec-wise, having 1.4 GHz processor speed, a 2000mAh battery, TFT LCD screen, and LTE connectivity.Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 10 Mobile is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, released in 2015. Although it is the successor of Windows Phone 8.1, it is an edition of Windows 10 running on devices that have less than a 9-inch screen, as a result of Microsoft's plans to unify Windows families across multiple device classes.Windows 10 Mobile aims to provide greater consistency with its counterpart for personal computers, including more extensive synchronization of content, a new universal application platform that allows one app to run on multiple Windows 10 devices such as PCs, mobile devices and Xbox, as well as the capability, on supported hardware, to connect devices to an external display and use a "PC-like" interface with mouse and keyboard input support. Microsoft has built tools for developers to easily port some iOS apps with minimal modifications. Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones are eligible for upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support. Some features vary depending on hardware compatibility.Windows 10 Mobile was designed for use on smartphones and phablets running on 32-bit ARM processor architectures. Windows 10 Mobile entered public beta for selected Lumia brand smartphones on February 12, 2015. The first Lumia smartphones powered by Windows 10 Mobile were released on November 20, 2015 while eligible Windows Phone devices began receiving updates to Windows 10 Mobile on March 17, 2016, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.
The platform never achieved any significant degree of popularity or market share in comparison to Android or iOS. By 2017, Microsoft had already begun to downplay Windows 10 Mobile, having discontinued active development (beyond maintenance releases) due to a lack of user and developer interest in the platform, and focusing more on serving incumbent mobile operating systems as part of its software and services strategy. Windows 10 Mobile will be deemed end-of-life on December 10, 2019.Windows Phone
Windows Phone (WP) is a family of discontinued mobile operating systems developed by Microsoft for smartphones as the replacement successor to Windows Mobile and Zune. Windows Phone features a new user interface derived from Metro design language. Unlike Windows Mobile, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market. It was first launched in October 2010 with Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest public release of the operating system, released to manufacturing on April 14, 2014.Windows Phone was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile in 2015; it emphasizes a larger amount of integration and unification with its PC counterpart—including a new, unified application ecosystem, along with an expansion of its scope to include small-screened tablets.On October 8, 2017, Joe Belfiore announced that work on Windows 10 Mobile was drawing to a close due to lack of market penetration and resultant lack of interest from app developers.In January 2019, Microsoft announced that support for Windows 10 Mobile would end on December 10, 2019, and that Windows 10 Mobile users should migrate to iOS or Android phones.Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 is the first release of the Windows Phone mobile client operating system, released worldwide on October 21, 2010, and in the United States on November 8, 2010. It received multiple large updates, the last being Windows Phone 7.8, which was released in January 2013 and added a few features backported from Windows Phone 8, such as a more customizable start screen.
Microsoft ended support for Windows Phone 7 on October 14, 2014. It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8, which was released on October 29, 2012.Windows Phone 8.1
Windows Phone 8.1 is the third generation of Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system, succeeding Windows Phone 8. Rolled out at Microsoft's Build Conference in San Francisco, California, on April 2, 2014, it was released in final form to Windows Phone developers on April 14, 2014 and reached general availability on August 4, 2014. All Windows Phones running Windows Phone 8 can be upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1, with release dependent on carrier rollout dates.Windows Phone 8.1 is also the last version that uses the Windows Phone brand name as it was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile. Some Windows Phone 8.1 devices are capable of being upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft delayed the upgrade and reduced the supported device list from their initial promise.Windows Phone version history
This page provides details for the version history of the Microsoft's Windows Phone branded mobile operating systems, from the release of Windows Phone 7 in October 2010, which was preceded by Windows Mobile version 6.x.Windows Runtime
Windows Phone 8.1 uses a version of the Windows Runtime named the Windows Phone Runtime. It enables developing applications in C# and VB.NET, and Windows Runtime components in C++/CX.Windows Runtime XAML Framework
'Windows Runtime XAML Framework' (code name "Jupiter") is a user interface API that is part of the Windows Runtime (WinRT) programming model that forms the backbone of Windows Store apps (formerly known as Metro-style or Immersive) for the Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems. It enables declaring user interfaces using Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) technology.
The XAML Framework is one of the multiple UI APIs in Windows Runtime; the others being HTML5 (e.g., via WinJS) and DirectX.
Microsoft Windows family