Windows Phone 8 announced, current handsets won’t be able to upgrade

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Microsoft have followed up the announcement of the Surface tablets with the introduction of Windows Phone 8, which was unveiled at the Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco yesterday.

The latest edition of the Windows Phone OS won’t be available until later this year but it will be built along the same lines as the Windows 8 desktop operating system. Windows Phone 8 will be able to run applications coded in C++ for the first time and will also allow the use of Direct3D for gaming and other apps.

Multi-core support will be a feature, as will Bitlocker and support for a wider range of GPUs. Unfortunately existing handsets will not be able to run Windows Phone 8 since most of the changes are related to hardware that current phones don’t have. Software development for Windows Phone 7 will allow the apps to run on the newer OS but it won’t necessarily work in the other direction.

The announcement of the OS may be bad news for both BlackBerry and Nokia, Microsoft’s Windows Phone partner. The upgraded OS will be able to offer the same enterprise features that have characterised the BlackBerry handsets, which may put RIM in an even worse position that it has been in previously. And, although the OS has yet to release, some buyers may wind up holding off on picking up a new Nokia handset until it does following the revelation that phones like the Lumia 900 will be unable to upgrade to Windows Phone 8.

Nokia will “..bring the elements of WP8 to Lumia 900 that aren’t tied to the new hardware”, according to a Tweet from Nokia’s US Twitter account, however.

Source: Ars Technica

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