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Ten hottest news in Windows Phone 8

Last week saw the launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, and now it’s time for the company’s mobile phone system Windows Phone 8.

That everything happens at the same time is not really a coincidence.

– We want to build a third ecosystem, says product manager Anna Ström. Today, iPhone and Android dominate, but things can change quickly in this world.

In the past, most of the Windows Phone world has been about business services, but now it’s clear that the focus is elsewhere.

– It is about attracting consumers if we are to succeed. It is the consumers’ hearts that we must reach, says Anna Ström.

Both hardware and software have received a facelift, and a clear strategy is to show that computers, tablets and phones belong to the same family. Although they use different operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 respectively, they all work in the same way. The idea is that those who have become accustomed to using one product should be happy to switch to another.

In the background, there is always Microsoft’s Skydrive network hard disk, which should make it easy to move information between the devices.

– Your Microsoft account is the key to the Microsoft ecosystem, said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer when Windows Phone was launched yesterday.

Microsoft also emphasizes that a Windows Phone can be personalized in a completely different way than iPhone and Android. Thanks to the so-called panels, it is possible to choose which images and which information should be displayed on the screen, and thanks to the close integration with Microsoft-owned Facebook and Skype, it should be easy to keep in touch with your friends.

– Windows Phone is not a phone for everyone. It’s a phone for everyone, said Steve Ballmer.

Duo. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use different operating systems but look similar.

The coolest news in Windows Phone 8

1. Data control saves money
Many people who surf via mobile broadband are only allowed to consume a limited amount of data. Windows Phone 8 now has a function called Data Control (Data Sense) which gives the user better control. Data control measures the consumption and warns when you are approaching the maximum ceiling – and then the phone can also automatically disconnect various data-requiring functions.

The built-in browser also compresses the web pages via a special server, which according to Microsoft reduces data consumption by an average of 45 percent. The same idea has been used for a long time in the Norwegian browser Opera.
Data control can also automatically find a Wi-Fi hotspot to switch to surfing via a wireless network.

2. Safer for the children
Anyone who usually lends their mobile phone to their children knows that it can feel risky. In Windows Phone, the solution is called Kids Corner. The idea is that the owner of the phone can decide in advance which games and other apps the child will be allowed to access. When it’s time to lend the phone, all you have to do is switch on the function – and in other words, the child can play games without any possibility of sending SMS or buying apps.

3. Groups
In all mobile phones it is possible to share material, but in Windows Phone 8 the possibility is expanded thanks to a function called Groups.
The idea is to create a group with, for example, family, colleagues or the board of the bridge club. It is then possible to share material with the members of the group. For example, you can have a common calendar for the entire company or a common shopping list for the family. It is also possible to send messages to everyone in the group.
Some functions do not even require that the others have Windows Phone 8. It is also possible to invite iPhone users, for example.

4. Images on the lock screen…
The lock screen is what you see before you’ve entered your password, and in Windows Phone you can use it to display text and images. A novelty is the possibility to connect Facebook, so that you show pictures from here. In other words, you don’t have to settle for a static background image, but you can constantly see new images.

5. … and updates
The lock screen can be used not only for images but also for text. In other words, you can see updates from, for example, Twitter or Facebook.

6. 120,000 apps
Apps are the Achilles heel of Windows Phone and Microsoft is investing heavily in encouraging manufacturers to develop apps. On the occasion of the Phone 8 launch, Microsoft announced that there are 120,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store (which is the new name of the Market Place). Among other things, 46 of the 50 apps that top the competitors’ lists are also available for Windows Phone 8.

7. New version of Skype
Last year, Microsoft bought Skype, and the collaboration is starting to pay off. It is possible to integrate the Skype app so that it feels like a part of the Windows Phone 8 phone itself. The service is always running – without consuming any batteries.

8. Take notes with your voice
Onenote is the name of Microsoft’s note-taking program. It has been around for a long time for the computer, but the version that has been developed for Windows Phone 8 is extra smart. Here you can create voice notes, and these can then be converted to text.

9. Full backup
Anyone who gets a new Windows Phone should not have to spend a lot of time transferring the information. The phone is intimately connected to Microsoft’s Skydrive network hard disk, which means that both documents and settings are stored in the cloud. Yes, even the SMS is saved.

10. More colorful phones
Windows Phone 8 has a cohesive color scheme, and these are also repeated in the phones. It is of course possible to buy black phones, but several of the models released in connection with the launch (see below) can be obtained in, for example, yellow, red, purple. In other words, the idea is that the phone’s shell should match the interface.

Here are the first Windows 8 phones

Nokia Lumia 920 is the flagship of the Finnish mobile giant, and it offers, among other things, optical image stabilizer, 4g support, and wireless charging.
Approximate price: SEK 5,800
Launch: During November
Read more: www.nokia.com/se-sv/produkter/telefon/lumia920/

Nokia Lumia 820 is a slightly cheaper little sister to the 920. The wireless charging function, for example, is not built in, but requires you to get a shell that supports it.
Approximate price: SEK 4,500
Launch: During November
Read more: www.nokia.com/se-sv/produkter/telefon/lumia820/

Samsung Ativ S has a 4.8 inch screen with HD Super amoled technology, a powerful processor and support for sd cards. Despite this, it is only 8.7 millimeters thick.
About SEK 5,000
Launch: During November
Read more: www.samsung.com/global/ativ/ativ_s.html

HTC 8X is first in the stores and it starts to be sold already next week. A different feature is a wide-angle camera on the front, which, for example, allows the whole family to video chat via Skype.
Approximate price: SEK 5,500.
Launch: Week 45.
Read more: www.htc.com/se/smartphones/htc-wp-8x

HTC 8S is the cheapest mobile with Windows 8, and with a weight of 113 grams it is also the lightest. One explanation is that the screen is a little smaller than the competition: 4 inches.
Approximate price: SEK 3,000
Launch: End of November
Read more: www.htc.com/se/smartphones/htc-wp-8s

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