Windows Phone 8 Launch Live Blog: New Features, Killer Phones

We've known the basics of Windows Phone 8 for a few weeks, and today sees the full official launch of the platform that aims to merge the desktop with the phone in a way Redmond hasn't attempted before. Here's the news as it happened from the global launch event in the US...

Lead image credit: Getty Images

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We'll also be at the official Australian launch event, asking all the big questions.

We know Windows Phone 8 devices are due real soon now and that existing Windows Phone users have to make do with an upgrade to 7.8, but there are still many unanswered questions. Will Microsoft produce its own hardware? Will Wallet work in Australia? Here's hoping we get some of the answers.

What do you want to know?

Windows Phone 8 Handsets Announced So FarWindows Phone 8 Review: You’re Not Perfect, But I Like You AnywayWindows Phone 8 Launch Live Blog: New Features, Killer Phones Nokia Lumia 920, 820 Australian Release Details


And We're Live

[04:00] Morning everyone. We're listening to bad guitar music while we wait for the event to begin.

[04:04] Joe Belfiore takes the stage and asks everyone to show off their Windows Phones. That wouldn't work so well in Starbucks.

[04:05] "This has been a very special and significant project."

[04:05] Talking about how Windows Phone 8 is optimised for Snapdragon.

[04:07] WP8 has 120,000 apps in the store. Not too shabby.

[04:08] 191 countries can now access WP apps.

[04:09] "Before I jump into talking about the new features... " No, let's do that fast, please.

[04:10] "The state of the art in the core smartphone experience hasn't really evolved in the five years since it launched." BlackBerry won't like that.

[04:1] "The static grid of icons hasn't really changed." Yes, he's said iPhone.

[04:10] "With Windows Phone, we decided not to use that tired old metaphor . . . our way is to put people at the centre of the experience."

[04:11] Joe claims WP improves your relationships with people. So if you get divorced, blame your phone.

[04:12] And now a video with a sense of "what our team thinks about".

[04:13] The video mentions a single dad. Clearly the divorce theme is going to predominate. Which makes sense, since Microsoft does want everyone to split with their current phone platform.

Updated Live Tiles And Lockscreen

[04:13] "It's the most personal smartphone OS you can get." Just like last week's Windows 8 launch, seems we'll get the same theme endlessly.

[04:13] Now recounting the features we heard about in June, starting with new live tiles. Which, as we know, can be resized and arranged as you wish.

[04:14] And now talking about apps being more than "a grid of static icons". Hence "Live Apps", integrating into Wallet and other apps.

[04:14] "In Windows Phone 8, we have built a new lockscreen which is powered by Live Apps." Which is no surprise, given that Windows 8 on your PC does the same thing.

[04:15] "It will automatically surface photos, notifications and content from all of your favourite apps." Customisable, though.

New Apps

[04:16] "With WP8, we've partnered with Facebook." New optimised WP8 Facebook app coming, includes direct feed to the lockscreen. Some forced applause from the audience.

[04:17] You can also choose whether notifications come from Calendar or elsewhere.

[04:18] Now talking about what app publishers are doing. New version of Twitter for WP8 and Skype. Plus lots of US-centric media providers.

[04:18] Now let's talk Skype. "On WP8, we've built Skype so it can integrate naturally into the phone experience." The app is always on, which means you can get called whenever. "It does this without running the code in the background and draining your battery." I'd love that to be true, but I'm cynical.

[04:19] Claiming 46 of the top 50 most-used apps will be on Windows Phone. Though it doesn't seem they will all be available today.

[04:20] Now a random list of apps coming, many of the games due to Unity support. Temple Run. Angry Birds Star Wars. Jetpack Joyride. Fairway Solitaire. urbanspoon.

[04:21] Fairway Solitaire moves between phone, PC and Xbox. How very SmartGlass of it.

[04:22] "There is one app we wanted to announce and we couldn't fit it on the slide . . . we're going to give it its own slide."

[04:23] Pandora for Windows Phone 8 is due. Which is good. But not until early 2013. Which is not so good.

[04:23] WP8 Pandora will include a year of no-ads free music. Noice.

[04:23] WP8 SDK will be released for general use tomorrow. Good, but why not today?

Data Sense

[04:23] Now talking about the problem of data costs. Yeah, we can relate.

[04:25] New feature: Data Sense. Claims you can surf the web more by tracking data usage more efficiently.

[04:25] "We've built a system in the cloud and on the phone client which actually compresses every single web page you browse." A great idea, but hardly new — BlackBerry and Opera both do this, folks.

[04:26] Data Sense will track nearby Wi-Fi hotspots on a map if you think you're running out of data on your plan.

[04:26] "As you get close to your monthly limit, Data Sense can automatically change the way your phone behaves."

[04:26] Data Sense will show how much data you've used (and how much you have left). That will be awesome if it works. And would also show up phone companies who claim they can't provide real-time usage info as lying scumbags.

[04:27] Testing on top 100 sites suggests consumers can get 45 per cent more web browsing on the same data plan. No mention of apps though.

[04:27] Ah, needs support from mobile operators to work. Verizon is being announced, but not details on other locations. We'll be following this up, obviously.

[04:29] Now we're moving onto sharing your phone with a slide that says "Daddy, can I play on your phone?"

[04:30] Another video. I suspect excessive cuteness will follow.

Kids Corner

[04:30] New feature: Kid's Corner. "Kid's Corner essentially creates a separate place on your phone that's for your kids."

[04:31] Oh noes. He's getting his kids to demo.

[04:32] Walking through Kid's Corner setup. Enable in settings, then set options for Games, Music, Apps and Videos.

[04:33] Left-swipe on lock screen and enter Kid's Corner. Seems a good idea but maybe needs to be directly accessed from the screen. After all, big obvious icons are a WP8 feature.

[04:34] Kid's Corner can be customised separately to the main phone.

[04:34] Now a parent to demo Kid's Corner. But not just any parent. Jessica Alba. Obligatory celebrity moment.

[04:36] Jessica doesn't want her kids all up in her Twitter. That seems wise.

Credit: Getty Images

[04:36] Now Jessica talks what she likes in WP8. In no way scripted. "My phone is really an extension of me as a person." Bucket, please.

[04:39] Asking Jessica is switching from iPhone was hard. "It was really easy . . . I was a little bit concerned about my music . . . are my iTunes lists going to come over?" 1 minute transfer, allegedly, via Mac Connector.

[04:40] People looking at Jessica's phone are "obsessed with the screen size", apparently.

[04:41] Now Jessica gets her free plug for her eco-business The Honest Company.

[04:42] And there goes Jess.

People Hub Improvements

[04:43]First up: Rooms.

[04:43] Which are essentially just groups of people (friends, family, colleagues). Family room built-in at start.

[04:44] You can share current location on a per-Room basis.

[04:44] Also can store notes in each Room.

[04:45] You can also invite non-WP8 phone users into a Room for a "partial" experience. iPhone supported. Come on, tell us if Android is too!

[04:46] Calendar appointments from Rooms can be shared cross-platform, we learn.

Windows 8 Integration

[04:47] Now talking up how WP8 integrates with Windows 8 and Xbox.

[04:48] First, SkyDrive. No shock there. "Unlike other similar services, SkyDrive isn't just for photos and videos." Which ones, exactly?

[04:48] OneNote on WP8 is voice-enabled with auto-transcription. Very sexy. As usual, we wonder if it will work with an Aussie accent.

[04:49] Now we're talking Photos. Has built-in "lens" options for automatic editing as you go. How very Instagram.

[04:50] Comparing SkyDrive and iCloud storage options. Photos can stay on SkyDrive for longer.

[04:50] Now talking Xbox Music, which we know a reasonable amount about.

[04:51] "This [US] fall, we'll have sync companions for Windows 8, Windows 7 and the Mac". All of which will move iTunes lists onto your WP8 phone, plus Office docs and the like.

[04:51] There's a sense of wrap-up here. We're talking people and "the smartphone around you", again.

[04:52] Just "one more person" to talk about when the phones will come out . . .

[04:54] And here comes Steve Ballmer. But he's not jumping up and down enough for my taste.

[04:55] Steve has to boast about Windows 8 first. "The demand for touch has been really quite astounding."

[04:56] Yay, Steve is talking about developers. That feels better.

[04:59] But then a lot more blather about personalisation before we get to talking up Windows 8 integration.

Killer Phones

[05:00] Steve is in front of a slide saying "killer hardware", showing off the partner phones. Lots of yellow and red.

[05:00] First up, Nokia, which Steve says is selling more WP than anyone else. Now he's showing off the Lumia 920. [We'll have more on this later today.]

More: Nokia Lumia 920, 820 Australian Release Details

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

[05:01] Talking up the optical image stabilisation feature on the 920, plus the ability to charge wirelessly. I'd have that.

[05:02] Next: Samsung Ativ S. "Flat out gorgeous." 3.8in screen, long battery life.

[05:03] Next: HTC 8X. The lines allegedly echo the Live Tile design. Also Beats Audio tie-in. Not showing off the 8S today. Includes an ultra-wide-angle front camera. "Perfect for Skype."

[05:04] "All these phones and many more will start to go on sale in Europe this coming weekend, and they will continue to roll out throughout the world in November." Again, we'll be following up on this at the Australian launch later this morning. Hopefully we'll hear about the Wallet feature there.

[05:04] Now walking through the Verizon lineup. I can't pretend I care, but they'll be on sale by Thanksgiving.

[05:05] Ditto for T-Mobile and AT&T. All US Microsoft stores will carry a full range of WP8 devices, with all colour options available online. None of which helps us down under.

[05:06] "I also guarantee that between Windows 8, Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone 8, you won't be able to turn on a TV or open a magazine without seeing a Microsoft Windows ad." Prepare for saturation.

[05:07] And Steve is wrapping up. Unless there's going to be a random band.

[05:09] Apparently everyone is "all in". Restating the 46/50 titles stat. (Of course, I want to know what the four missing ones are . . .)

[05:09] "People all over the world are about to fall in love with Windows Phone." Love, exciting and new . . .

[05:10] "We've reinvented Windows Phone around you." This is what we'll hear endlessly in the ads.

[05:11] Joe and Jessica back on stage with Steve to show off their handsets. I bet Joe is the one who gets cropped out when those photos run.


And That's A Wrap

[05:13] So there we go. As we've noted, there's an official Australian launch later this morning, and I'll be reporting from that to see if local carriers get on the Data Sense bandwagon and when we'll see phones.

[05:13] Data Sense is definitely the most interesting new tweak. Kid's Corner is a nice idea, but I'd need to see it in action to really decide if it works. Rooms seems a nice idea, but I really want to know if there's Android integration too. Doubtless we'll know soon.

[05:14] Thanks for joining us — stay tuned on Gizmodo for all the extra detail and hands-on testing of the new devices. I'm off to get more coffee, it's going to be a long day!


Comments

    availability on phones like the 920 but that will probably have to come from Nokia. But I can hope.

      I'll be first in line to Pre Order one.... cant get rid of this Iphone4 fast enough.

        Would love to do the same, but just sent my second Lumia 800 (today) in to get fixed (I have a work and personal phone). My personal Lumia just came back from repair about 7 weeks ago, after it had stopped charging.

        Just last Friday, the work phone began doing the same

        Both phones are less than a year old, but for the same thing to happen to both phones, indicates a common fault. Don't know if it is though.

        Anyway, this has made me wary of a new Lumia. It will be another year or so before I can get one, so hopefully any issues are ironed out by then.

          Mine is about 9 months old and I've not had that or any other issue. Could the problem be the charger you're using? I find that if I charge mine through my laptop's USB that the charge last twice as long as if I charge it through the charger. The only downside is that it takes about 5 hours from dead flat, although it gets to about 80% in the first 90 minutes or so.

            Nope. I have tried both cables of both phones, and none of them charge my work Lumia 800, but both cables DO charge my personal Lumia 800.

            FYI I bought the personal Lumia in March, the work Lumia in June

          Yeah well HTC's win8 phone looks pretty similar, grab that instead?
          I've had a Trophy 7 for nearly 2 years now, never had any issues and it's like the very bottom of the win7 phone range.

          That same thing happened to my HTC 7 Mozart! Still staying with WP OS though.

            That sucks, I basically have the lowest end wp7 phone and mines still working great, nearly out of my 2 year contract too.

          Could be your environment, such as corrosion on a charging cable, poor 250v regulation or a faulty charger which is blowing a fuse in the phones charge lines. Power supplies weren't supposed to be as small as the lumia 800 charger.

        Agreed, So over this iphone 4S! :P

      Isnt the 920 a telstra only phone?

        Yep, and that's a fail. I want an Optus plan with the 920.. this will test my loyalty greatly.

    Don't worry Kidman, some of us are interested...

    i hope 7.8 lands at the same time as wp8

      I hope it lands 4am ADST on 30th Oct! But I am with Telstra so that will be true however the year wil be 2015.

    What's WP8's killer app/main advantage? With iOS it's the app store. With Android it's the widgets and customisability. WP8?

      Probably the layout of the os,its cool espeacially the live tiles :)

      Windows Phone has it user interface. Nothing is like it.

        Yeah but what significant advantages does its UI have over iOS or Android?

          i think thats what hes saying. The 'significant advantage' is that it doesnt look like iOS and Android.

            So you're saying it's significant advantage is simply that it looks different?? I sure hope there's a better one than that if it wants to compete with iOS and Android.

              That's a good question Dman. The best answer I can give you personally is that WP8 is part of the new device, operating system, and store ecology that Microsoft is building. Basically the PC, Xbox, WP8 phones, and W8 tablets are all about to unified into a single platform. This is a very powerful concept for users and administrators alike. The key noun here is administrators, as Microsoft also have a powerful server back-end to all this with Server 2012 that is well beyond anything Apple can offer presently.

              Whatever happens from here, Microsoft have stepped into the ring with an iron bar and knuckle dusters and plan to bloody some noses in the fight for platform dominance. It will be an interesting few years for everyone.

                The problem with that key word (Administrators) is that it's not system administrators they need to convince. It's the average joe they need to get on board. If anything, Apples consumer appeal is what has driven iOS products to make some inroads into the enterprise market given the people making the purchases are very much influenced by non business centric functionality. Maybe that would be different even half a decade ago, but mobile phones is largely a consumer based market and even in many larger companies, people aren't issued phones by their employer.

                Thats not to say WP8 can't do that, but I think winning over businesses is only a small part of the game in the current mobile scene. If it wasn't, then it would be Blackberry they would be competing with, not Google and Apple.

                Windows 8 is another matter entirely.

              Looks AND behaves differently. Where iOS and Android feel a lot like every computer OS you've used, WinPhone feels like something made specifically for a phone.

                Can you elaborate on this, because I just can't picture it. iOS and Android don't feel anything like a desktop OS to me - if they were, either the phones or the desktop would be neigh on unusable.

              Not that it looks different - that its UI is more efficient and user-friendly. iOS icons are useless representations of apps. Android icons, likewise. Android tries to make up for this by having widgets - which are handy, but not quite as convenient as one would like given that they exist alongside regular icons. WP8's UI merges widgets and icons - you get the advantages of widgets (live information updates) with the functionality of icons (able to launch into apps).

              The other big advantage is the potential of the Windows ecosystem, which is by far greater than its competitors. Every computer sold by virtually all retails comes installed with Windows. Developers who want to reach large audiences or make money are obviously going to develop for Windows. Now, Windows will reach even more people - phone and tablet users. This creates a major incentive for developers to tap into a large existing guaranteed market which is not already saturated, like the Apple or Android stores. I'd expect to see the Windows Store populated quickly in the coming months.

              Put it this way - my iPhone Weather App Icon has been reporting the weather as 23 degrees and sunny for years. Windows Tiles will show the real weather conditions. Enough said!

              On the budget models I've sold, there doesn't seem to be any interface lag, so that's one thing.

              There is no significant advantage Dman, despite what the fans and converts say. However, there's no significant drawback either, and to flip it another way, what's the signficant advantage of iOS or Android? There's no compelling advantage for either of them. You are free to try them all out and choose the best ft for you, secure in the knowledge they are now all fine products with their own approaches. Yay competition!

          The Windows 8 UI was one that I was able to pick up having never used it or even seen it before, and do almost every action I could think of without needing help or second guessing. It all just makes sense.

        The Austin Allegro had a unique user interface for a while....a square steering wheel. It didn't catch on.
        I'd love to see a third player in this space...more competition. From what I'm reading Windows 8 will take some time and developer effort to make a significant impact.

      Integration. Connectitude. Linkativity.

      Windows Phone 8 + Windows 8 Pro (Desktop + Tablet).

      To boil it down to a single feature I would the say that it is information-centric rather than app centric like Apple and Android. It ties your social networks together into the people hub, your media apps together into the music + video hub, games into.... well you get the drift.

      Then you have live tiles which gives quick and dynamic (as in background updated) information. One of the leaked features of WP8 is live wallpapers, so they showed some images of sport teams and the score of the current match (which can be set by user through third-party apps). On the surface (:p) it appears comparable to Android's widgets, but instead of updating on their own they have OS mandated intervals in which they are allowed to update (this is for all live-tiled applications), to improve battery and data usage.

      For me the trump card is how it manages people/contacts. I have both an iPhone 4 ( work) and my 3rd WP7 (more on that in a sec it's significant) - with the WP7 it's basically seamless, my Facebook, Live and work (i.e. Exchange) contacts all link seamlessly - for 99% of them the links were spot on, only once or twice have I had to actually type in or manually link something it pulled through.
      If I add a contact to either - the phone, my live / Xbox account, or Facebook ( through say friending someone, adding to my gamers list etc. ) viola I've got the details in sync in all places with zero effort on my part.
      Yeah I know you could do some of that with the new iOS and Facebook integration plus the Apple cloud services - but I'd have to configure a bit more, plus I'd have to use the broken maps app which is about all I use my iPhone for so it's not going to happen.

      I've got groups of contacts as live tiles on the main screen - so you know instantly if something is going on with someone you are bothered to care about. And within a contact you see all your interactions integrated ( email, SMS, Facebook, phone.. whatever) - you also know if someone is online / on SMS only etc. so you intelligently have the choice to kick off a conversation via whatever method (or methods) are relevant .. or all of the above if you want.

      So I'm on my 3rd WP7 phone ... I've destroyed 2 through harsh landings mountain biking, not the fault of the phone. each time it's been about 5 minutes to set up, link my account and watch the whole of everything get configured exactly the way the phone was before I landed on it.
      Simple.
      May not matter that much to anyone else , and yes I'm aware with a bit of work on my part I could get similar / the same functionality on other platforms .. but this one did it first, does it with almost no effort on my part and that is what makes it work for me .

      920 .. gimme gimme gimme

        If it has any form of settings sync like Windows 8. All you will have to do is retype your passwords!

      For me the OS is the killer advantage. It has features built in that other phones require an app for. e.g. You don't need Shazam because music recognition is built into search (Bing). I was using it at a night club on Saturday and it was actually able to recognise a song that my mate's Shazam couldn't. So I did some more tests yesterday and Shazam missed one out of six but Bing got 'em all. You also get Office, which could be handy for business users.

      WP8's big advantage is that it will run the same NT kernel that Windows 8 and Windows RT use, so it will be easy for developers to make apps for both platforms. It might even make it easy to port PC software to WP8 (pure speculation here, I have no idea how that stuff works).

      The fact you don't need apps cos it's mostly built into the pre-made ones.

      My recommendation for killer app of the week is Microsoft Research's - TouchDevelop - It's the best phone IDE I've ever seen! There's nothing like that I know of on the iPhone...
      Even using the PC, developing on Windows phone is also a major advantage over any other phone for the following reasons - So far I haven't had to spend a dime on producing software, even Microsofts Visual Studio IDE is free to download and use, developing on the Windows platform is very simple to learn and very fast to develop - I'd expect the WPMarketplace to boom over the next year.

    I am really excited for the event.Windows phone 8 software is really amazing it attracts me.Espeacially the live tiles.The only thing that kept me thinking was third party apps.They lack of many apps that android and apple has.It s now all up to developers.

    Can't wait!

    i hope its good, i really wanna be swayed as i like the look of the 920, just need enough to get me to not miss all my iOS apps too much

      I'm in the same boat, I can't wait to ditch my iPhone. I've got an Android tablet and if the 920 came with Android it'd be a no-brainer, but as it stands the only thing holding me back is the OS.

    I really THIS phone fills that void in my life. I tried with the iPhone but only felt special for a week. I then tried the galaxy which came with only 2 weeks of specialness. All my hopes and dreams now pivot on this new model. Please don't dissapoint MS and Nokia

      Lower your expectations. I think you'll find the WP a very good OS for you, but I don't think any phone is going to give you a lifetime of happiness.

    I am more interested in the Lumia 820. It may not have the same specs overall as the 920 but it has one serious advantage - microSD. I'll be ale to load one of those bad boys up with all my music. In every other way it is as good as, or better than, my Lumia 800 and its dual-core processor should make a for an even slicker experience.

      Lumia 800, poor display, poor audio, less apps, slower processor - Yet it's still the best phone I've ever owned (iPhone4) or used (SIII). it's beautiful, well designed and highly functional - As a windows developer, it makes sense for me to stick with WP. I got the 800 for free with a laptop on the weekend, it was a good deal because I smashed my iPhone and needed a phone anyway (I was waiting for the 920). I was still going to get the 920, but after playing with the 800 for a few days, this will well and truly satisfy me until at least next years line up. This integrates with Winny 8 more then enough as it is!

    Seriously dying for the Lumia 920. The wait has been to long, hopefully after this Telstra will officially announce the Lumia 920 and hopefully I can have it in my hands between the 5th-10th November.

    You guys are only talking about the Nokia 920. It can be just me, but I think that the HTC Windows Phone 8X has been the best device announced amongst all the new WP8 devices.

    And yes, I can't wait to get rid of my iPhone 4 too >

      I think Nokia's advantage is in their exclusive apps. Nokia Drive probably makes up for any hardware deficit all on it's own, even before you add in City Lens. I was sorely tempted by the design on the HTC 8S but its lack of 4G puts it behind the Lumia 820. Both the 920 and 8X are just too damned big for me to even consider.

    As a long time iPhone user (November 2008) I'm looking at upgrading again. Moved from the 3G (had for 2 years) to the iPhone 4 (been 2years now).

    I'm at the crossroads where I want seem less integration. For Uni I need a laptop and I'm looking at a MacBook Pro Retina. But with Windows 8 finally offering a elegant eco system, I'm thinking of a WinPhone (lumina 920) and a Surface Pro or Asus Tachi (that hybrid dual display laptop thing). I want everything to just work.

    It comes down to how well WinPhone goes for me. I have till Febuary to decide (gives windows 8 Eco system a fair chance to get going). Then it will either be an iPhone 5 and MacBook Pro or Lumina 920 and Asus Tachi (With maybe a Surface Pro or ipad depending on use age)

    Interesting times ahead. It's great to see Microsoft kicking up a gear. Can only lead to more innovation from Apple and Android which will then fuel Microsoft more. :)

      Even with windows phone 7 + windows 8, the integration is strong and relatively seamless. WP8 + W8 will be boss.

    Feels like it launched weeks ago. No Liveblog needed, thanks anyway.

    I bought a lumia 800 to try out Windows phone (coming from my iPhone 4 and over 4 years of iOS use) and have been using it solidly so far for the last month ish.

    Heres my thoughts so far and what I hope to see addressed in WP8 and 7.8
    Facebook:
    > being able to like statuses (Facebook) through the people hub but not being able to like comments within statuses sucks
    > not being able to upload photos to peoples walls from within the people hub sucks
    > these things both suck because the official facebook app for Windows Phone is currently pretty terrible. (it works but it's slow as and sometimes wont load information)
    > the people hub also doesn't show data for likes on comments or statuses

    Messaging:
    > The autocorrect isn't as helpful with it's suggestions as it could be. It's much less invasive than iOS but doesn't have good suggestions for wrong spelled words as much as it should
    > The keyboard typing sounds are glorious
    > The method for selecting text and moving the cursor needs fine tuning, it's a bit clumsy at the moment
    >Facebook chat integration is really outstandingly good but lacks the ability to attach/upload an image to the chat or hold group chats which is disappointing.

    Music:
    > Zune pass (soon to be the horribly named Xbox Music for some stupid reason) Is really really really good. Love the model over itunes infinitely.
    > Music player is nice but would be even nicer if I could somehow go straight to an albums tracks when coming across a song in a playlist or shuffle instead of backing out of the current playlist and searching for the album.
    > The options to freely make playlists are currently non existant on the mobile OS, only available on the zune software for PC. (the options you do have are fairly useless (why would I want to turn an album into a playlist? It already is one?) This needs to change ASAP. Editing playlists on the fly is also non existant.
    > There is no crossfading or volume leveling options available.
    > There are no EQ settings available, and the default seems to be not the best. (Seems to be hollow in the lower/mid's)
    > Max volume (at least on the lumia 800 i have) Seems to be not quite loud enough (especially when playing through speakers instead of headphones)
    > There is no manual scrubbing. You can only fast forward or rewind using the buttons. This is not Ideal.
    > The pop down menu that appears when you hit the volume keys is nice and fairly useful but is solid and can get in the way so adding a swipe up gesture to send it away when you are done with it would be fairly amazing

    OS Navigation:
    > For the most part I love the way the OS seems to seemlessly flow together instead of being a series of jarring transitions like iOS, however the back button can be pretty deceptive sometimes. You can know what your doing but for example when you go into an app like the web browser or zune player, and multitask out by holding the back key and then return to the app, if you want to use the back button to go to the previous page or back out of an album to the list of albums you are shit out of luck, the button will just take you out of the app to the last thing you used. this could be fixed by some kind of software back button addition.
    > The physical search key is totally wasted. Instead of searching contextually in whatever you are doing it brings up Bing. A complete waste. And a shame because it could be super handy when going through the people app for contacts or in the music app or any other number of things. It would be nice to see that bing page given the boot and contextual searching brought in instead.

    Internet browsing:
    > To be fair, IE does a good job of rendering most web pages relatively quickly. It's not as fast as iOS but not a deal breaker. Speed up would be nice though.
    > The current system for favorites sucks balls
    > There's no dedicated back/forward browsing software buttons which also sucks
    > Having the search engine locked by default to Bing also Sucks. No offence microsoft but your just not there at beating google yet. I have tried out bing and its really miles and miles behind your competition.

    Random Items:
    > Nokia Transport does not support Australia yet. This sucks. However there are apps like gMaps pro that make this a non issue for now.
    > There is no dedicated youtube app
    > No custom SMS/message tones yet, or assignable SMS/message tones by contact
    > No way of displaying the battery percentage in the top bar along with its icon. Only way to check it is to go into the settings and to the battery saver
    >At least my Lumia 800 needs charging a bit mid way through the day If its to make it the whole way home with me without dying. Little lame, I hope the Lumia 920 can last a full day.
    > My lumia 800 is supposed to support the in line remote that does answering calls and track skipping/pausing/playing etc but it only works (poorly) untill you unplug it the first time and then it refuses to function at all. I have tried a few headsets including the boxed one and the only way to fix it is to restart the phone. I listen to a lot of music and prefer to receive calls this way and its one of the biggest things I miss about my iPhone (no bluetooth adapters wont fix it because of their affect on battery life) So I would really, really love to see this fixed with either the lumia 920 hardware or the wm7.8 or 8 update.

    One tip for potential Adopters
    > Turn off sending data to microsoft, also sending data about keyboard usage, and all the xbox live syncing as they all massively drain your battery.

    FInal Thoughts:
    I love the way this OS works.
    As a "Phone" doing Phone tasks like messaging and making calls it kicks my iPhone in the butt everywhere and I'm struggling to see how i could manage to live without my zune pass however all these little niggling things are adding up. And most are super obvious and easy to fix so heres hoping 7.8 and 8 address them.
    Personally, I'm bored of iOS and I believe this OS has SO much potential and now is the perfect time for microsoft to kick some butt with it. So, here I wait with baited breath for tonights event.
    I hope some of you found this interesting. Any thoughts?
    Disagree with any of the changes I'm hoping for? I'm curious to see so feel free to leave a comment :)
    - Wisp

    Last edited 30/10/12 2:21 am

      That's an extensive list... I agree with most of it, just a couple things:

      You can see the number of likes a status has when you go into the status, you can't see it on comments though.

      You can make a playlist, but admittedly it's far from ideal, basically you tap and hold on a song and select 'add to now playing'. Then you can go to now playing and 'save as playlist'.

      The search key... initially it was contextual, if you were in marketplace it would let you search the marketplace for example. But they changed it to be always bing in 7.5, because people complained that you never knew what it was going to do, now you always know. I'm not sure which way I prefer to be honest, I got used to it either way.

      IE - IE10 is gunna bring a number of improvements in WP8 including speed improvements. You can download a google app for search if you really want google back. I hated using bing at first too, but after using it awhile you get used to it. You just gotta untrain your google habits and it will work well.

      Youtube - there are a number of good youtube apps, the official one is just a link to the mobile website, but there are several good third party ones.

      The rest I agree with, I'm not sure whether they will be addressed or not but they are minor annoyances and the pros far outweigh the cons for me.

    Question for the ignorant: Can NFC/wallet enabled devices use the PayPass systems to complete transactions, or will they need their own compatible devices installed in potential retailers?
    I'm looking forward to the release of the Lumia - It'll either be a Note 2 or a Lumia for me.

    I almost wish these types of articles had comments disabled until the event started... Anyways I have to be awake for work so may as well have a read, really hoping for a decent outright phone to replace the Omnia 7 I use as a 2nd phone

    We get it. You don't like Microsoft.

    Just tell me when the god damn Lumia 920 is coming out!!!!!!!!!

      This! I can't wait to get rid of this iPhone. Harvey Norman have the 920 for pre-order, but still no word on release date. Really hoping we find out more at the Australian release this morning.

        Where did you find the pre order at HN?

        I have one on order at http://www.expansys.com.au/nokia-lumia-920-unlocked-red-236644/.
        But will end up going with who ever gets it first :P.

          The pro-order info is all over the Whirlpool forums - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1990590&p=64, though the pricing looks like it's likely incorrect (they got the 920 and 820 pricing back to front). Apparently the 920 is in their catalogue, but I haven't seen any online advertisements about it.

      Aaaaand it appears we have our answer... Nokia press release says 'end of November'. SIGH. And no cyan colour :(

      http://www.wpdownunder.com/?p=6726

    "Partnered with Facebook" ... blergh... -__-

    Though not surprised given MS' investment in FB.

    bla bla bla bla..... Jessica Alba!!

    You bastards!! You got me all excited over a freakin' typo - "Samsung Ativ S. 'Flat out gorgeous.' 3.8in screen, long battery life." It's a ridiculously huge 4.8" screen, not a delightfully handy 3.8". Back to Lumia 820 for me, then.

      haha yea that made me pause for a minute too.

    Angus,

    I find "Data Sense will show how much data you’ve used (and how much you have left). That will be awesome if it works. And would also show up phone companies who claim they can’t provide real-time usage info as lying scumbags." a really insulting bigoted comment.

    I'm a telco billing architect and the idea that we're lying scumbags trying to screw customers out on excess usage charges by not providing real time monitoring is wrong on so many levels.

    Usage that is billed to a customer has to be collected, mediated and rated and billed before it can be loaded into the Online Account Management system. Telcos would give their arm for the capability to bill in real time. But you know counting and checking petabytes of data every day isn't something you can do in real time. And any ISP that does isn't checking the usage so if there aren't any excess charges then no biggie if they miss a few gigs.

    Also any meter that on the client side will always be inherently wrong. ICMP traffic such as network pings, virus and worm traffic doing port scans can cause up to 100-200mb of traffic a day. Some networks drop this traffic on the server side and others allow it to hit the IP. Eitherway billing systems register that usage as traffic and bill it accordingly. The advice that traffic monitoring on the phone is somehow going to be accurate is technically naive and just plain wrong.

    The only way I've seen it counted properly on the client side is a SME dual router/firewall setup that counts all the traffic before its dropped on the second router, and even then when customers with static IP's go off the air you'll find that traffic will keep hitting that IP in the BGP and therefore result in traffic being counted.

    Nokia 920 has a huge amount of industry interest following it. I don't think i'm the only one insulted from being called a scumbag.

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