Event cancellations aside, today is still shaping up to be a big day for smartphone fans — Google has just officially outed some shiny new (if not entirely unexpected) hardware, and we’re here at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to catch up with Microsoft and see what’s new with Windows Phone 8.
If you’ll recall, Microsoft hasn’t been completely forthcoming with its newest mobile operating system — devices running Windows Phone 8 have been carefully controlled (even in the midst of a tumultuous press event), but that should all change today. Anyway, the show is set to begin shortly, so stay tuned!
Everyone gets a Windows Phone 8X! No better way to end an event than with an Oprah moment. And with that, it’s all over! Thanks for sticking with us!
Thank you and goodnight. Ballmer says go check out a phone. ANDDDDDD…..
“I don’t think you’re ever going to mistake me for Jessica. You’re never going to mistake our phones for each other’s either. They’re all unique, a genuine reflection of who we are as people”
“People all over the world are going to fall in love with Windows Phone”
Oh, and Microsoft is all in. In case you were curious.
Ballmer: Carriers, retailers, and developers are “all in” on Windows Phone 8.
Ballmer hints at a biiiiiiiig advertising push for Windows 8, the Surface, and Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft’s pop-up retail store will sell every one of those Windows Phone 8 devices during the holidays.
AT&T: Lumia 820, 920 (an exclusive), and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X to launch in November (duh.)
Verizon’s line up: HTC 8X, Nokia lumia 822 — will be in stores by Thanksgiving. Samsung ATIV Odyssey will hit by December.
All these new Windows Phones will roll out in Europe this weekend!
HTC has also “broken new ground” with an ultra-wide angle lens, which makes it “perfect for Skype.”
HTC’s 8X: “A remarkable phone,” designed from the ground up after the company’s designers saw WP*’s live tiles.
And now it’s ATIV S time, with a 4.8-inch screen and an “incredibly long lasting battery.”
“Nokia is also doing pioneering work in wireless charging.”
Talking about the Lumia 920, its PureMotion display, and the “world-class” PureView camera.
Ballmer smarts talking up Nokia, who sells the most Windows Phones on the market.
“There’s one more thing that really sets Windows Phones apart, and I think it’s important emphasize because it’s unexpected and amazing — new killer hardware!”
Ballmer: “If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people who will use Windows 8, there is no better phone for you.”
“Pin your best friends, your kids. Your favorite applications, your favorite music.” So much pinning Steve, I don’t know if I can take it!
Developers, Developers, People, Developers, People. Pin.
Talking about how to make this project attractive to developers.
“We had avery different perspective on what the smartphone should be… we wanted to build a phone that could be personal for each of us.”
“The demand for touch and all-in-one’s have been astounding. The lines at Microsoft stores have been heartening. Windows 8 PCS are the best PCs ever.”
“It’s absolutely great to be here, after whats been an exciting and energizing few days. Over the weekend we saw an incredible response to Windows 8 and Surface. We’re seeing preliminary demand that is above that of Windows 7″
Steve Ballmer is on stage now.
The video is about Ballmer and his family/friends and personalization.
Wrapped up. One more thing. No RZA?
“No other phone works this nicely across all devices”
Sync companions for Windows 8, Windows 7 and the mac to move your iTunes collection from your PC to your phone.
“All the music you love, every way you want it” reminds me of a song.
Discussing music. Unlimited music across all devices. Built into Windows Phone 8.
I saw RZA’s nametag, is he here?
“Skydrive gives 7 GB free, the most of any service. Gives you complete control of your data”
Showing off Photosynth for editing and sharing pics.
No mention of Surface today, really weird.
“With Skydrive you can edit your documents where you left off regardless of which device you’re on”
Skydrive is front and center in Windows Phone 8. Also on Xbox and Windows PC
This is why Skype/Microsoft bought GroupMe.
Complete with calendar sharing! Never thought I’d get so worked up over a calendar.
“We made it so you could invite other people [non WP8 users] to a room,” including iPhone and WP7 users.
It’s not just group messaging, as users can create shared lists too.
A Family Room is part of Windows Phone 8 right out of the box.
Jessica has just left the stage, and now Joe is talking up the People Hub Rooms. “Gather people into sets away from the crowd… perfect for close friends, immediate family.”
“This is the best tech crowd i’ve ever been in front of” Um, hey Jessica. Disrupt much? I thought we were homies.
If you went to/followed TechCrunch Disrupt, you would’ve already known about it. Just saying.
Now she’s talking about her company, Honest Co., it’s a “safe brand” for kids and families.
Mac connector app was used to move stuff to Windows 8 Phone
Jessica Alba switched to Windows Phone from iPhone and is talking about moving over. “It was really easy, I was a bit concerned about my music. Everything transferred over in one minute”
Jessica Alba’s favorite Windows Phone 8 features (canned response time): Personalization, things you care about and the camera. “I’m obsessed with the camera” This is kind of awkward.
Alba is telling a story about how her daughter tweeted to 4 million followers with a series of “sssssssssssdddd” and such. Kind of funny.
Alba is talking about her experience with Kids corner. Her daughter uses it and she calls it “Clutch.”
Jessica Alba is on stage.
Just worth noting that you can’t stick the Phone or Browser apps in Kids Corner.
“I’m not sure there’s ever been a feature that we’ve done that has been as loved as Kids Corner”
Kids can make custom tile sizes, add their name and customize it just like you can on your phone.
Swipe to the left to get to kids corner from the lock screen and the apps are what you’ve chosen they can use.
You can choose which content is available, it’s a pretty sweet design, very simple.
“Before Piper shows you Kids Corner in action I’ll show you how to set it up. Its in settings. Turn it on or off. Allow certain games, music, videos, or apps”
It’s also worth mentioning that Joe just got called “mommy.”
3 kids, two phones. This is very rehearsed but oh so adorable.
Oh boy, here comes the kids on stage, yay!
“It’s a phone within a phone, but it’s a phone for your kids”
Here it is…Kids Corner “A worry-free way for your kids to play”
Video time, its kids talking about using Daddy’s phone. “PLEEEEASSSSE”
Now Joe is very carefully dancing around the Kids Corner feature, which has been teased and leaked more than a few times these past few months.
New social features, one for kids who want to play with your phone.
First mobile operator rolling out Data Sense is Verizon, with other carriers to jump onboard in the coming months.,
“We did a bunch of testing… 45% more web browsing on the same data plan.”
Oh, and the live tile updates on your homescreen to give you an idea of how much data you’ve used.
As you get close to your monthly limit, it can change the device’s behavior with regard to how it consumes data.
Data Sense compresses every web page (sorta like Opera mini, it seems), and helps users find nearby WiFi hotspots.
Now Joe’s talking about getting control on data costs. Data Sense designed to solve data problems — you can continue to use more of the web and worry less about data usage. Oh, and it provides insight into how apps use data.
Free Windows 8 SDK will be available for developers tomorrow.
Pandora will come free for a year with NO ads.
Pandora will come in early 2013 for Windows Phone 8
App announcement. Has its own slide!@#!@# “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Get ready for Pandora for Windows Phone 8″
“You can now ask Urbanspoon to search for a restaurant without hunting for the app and opening it”
Temple Run, Urbanspoon, Living social, angry birds star wars, cut the rope coming to Windows phone 8.
Of course, he has a few more announcements to make. 46 of the top 50 top used apps on other platforms on Windows Phone. “That’s huge progress for us.”
“We’ve announced a bunch of new apps coming to Windows Phone for the first time.”
“On Windows Phone 8 We’ve built Skype so it feels like a natural part of using the phone” “It’s always on”
“New version of Skype coming for Windows Phone 8″
Facebook is just one example — lots of other app publishers are trying similar things. Think Twitter, Words With Friends, Angry Birds, CNN, and Skype.
“Windows Phone 8 is the only operating system that lets you do this in a systemized way.”
“You get these moments of delight that help you connect with your phone”
“We’ve partnered with Facebook and doing an optimized version of the app for Windows 8 and update the new lock screen”
“The new lock screen is going to make your phone feel much more personal, it will automatically surface photos, notifications and content from your apps and you get to make the choice on what you get to see”
“In Windows Phone 8 we have built a new lock screen powered by Live Apps”
“We want apps to light up the phone and make them more personal. Only WIndows Phone has LIVE apps”
“Your phone becomes something like your fingerprint”
“Only Windows Phone has live tiles. You can find the things you care about, specifically the people you care about. Their latest photos, tweets, etc”
Here we go: new features in WP8. “Back in June, we talked about some of our end-user features,” like Live Tiles.
“It’s the perfect companion for your xbox and windows pc”
“we think Windows phone is the most personal smartphone operating system you can get”
“We’re for the gamer. The fashion hunter. The page turner. The single dad.”
Annnnd video time again, this time to talk about how WP8 is centered around its user.
Microsoft says that it’s reinventing the smartphone around “You”
“You get a stronger sense of what people are up to at the moment”
“People are at the center of the experience, not Apps”, “People are the focus of our design”
Taking a slap at smartphones, making fun of “rows of icons”
“If you look at smartphones are and where they’ve been… it hasn’t really evolved much in the last five years.”
Apps in 191 Countries.
120,00 apps and growing.
“We’ve worked with Qualcomm to optimize the Windows Phone Experience”
“We’ve introduced our most beautiful and innovative lineup of hardware yet.”
On Windows Phone 8: “For our team, this has been a very special and significant project.”
And Belfiore invokes the World Series. Instant reaction.
Joe: “I think we have a few Windows Phone fans here” The room erupts in cheers.
Here we go! MSFT is playing a video extolling the virtues of Joe Belfiore’s Widnows Phone.
Looks like the show is going to officially kick off in “just a few moments.”
And we’re in! It’s awfully blue in here, and Microsoft has decided to play that one inexplicably popular song by Fun.
On the move!
Lots of these things plastered on the walls.
And by “we,” I mean myself, Drew Olanoff, and a sizable gaggle of press folk, partners, and Microsoft staff.
Hello! We’ve just been admitted into the building, and now we’re waiting to rush the auditorium and claim our seats.