Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event: Follow it live
When Microsoft pulls up the curtain on the newest version of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, today at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, you can see a live blog of the action here.
The formal unveiling of Windows Phone 8 comes on the heels of Microsoft's official announcement of the latest release of its PC operating system, Windows 8. Many of the core technologies in Windows 8 are actually incorporated into Windows Phone 8.
Some of the surprise of a new product announcement will be diminished at today's press shindig because Microsoft has been showing snatches of the new mobile operating system in recent weeks. Most notably, at the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 920 in September, an event marred by the fact that neither Windows Phone 8 nor Nokia's smartphone were finished products at the time.
Today's event marks the third time that Microsoft is taking a bite of the smartphone apple. The first bite came with Windows Phone 7, which was seen as a major improvement over prior Microsoft mobile operating systems, but an incomplete product. Redmond's second bite was the "Mango" release of Windows Phone 7, a more polished product that received more claps than slaps.
With the introduction of Windows Phone 8 today Microsoft will be making a break from the previous version of the operating system. Windows Phone 7 users won't be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. However, Microsoft will be releasing an update of Windows Phone 7, release 7.8, that gives the legacy operating system a start screen that looks like the one on Windows Phone 8 handsets.
"Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware," Joe Belfiore, manager of the Windows Phone program, explained in a blog. "But we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we’re providing the new Start screen in this new update."