Live From Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Event In San Francisco

Next Story

Why The Technology Industry Must Get Involved In Government

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!

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:14 am

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!

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:09 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:09 am

Windows Phone.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:09 am

Thank you and goodnight. Ballmer says go check out a phone. ANDDDDDD…..

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:09 am

“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”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:08 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:08 am

“People all over the world are going to fall in love with Windows Phone”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:07 am

Oh, and Microsoft is all in. In case you were curious.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:07 am

Ballmer: Carriers, retailers, and developers are “all in” on Windows Phone 8.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:06 am

DEVELOPERS.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:06 am

Ballmer hints at a biiiiiiiig advertising push for Windows 8, the Surface, and Windows Phone 8.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:05 am

Microsoft’s pop-up retail store will sell every one of those Windows Phone 8 devices during the holidays.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:05 am

AT&T: Lumia 820, 920 (an exclusive), and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X to launch in November (duh.)

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:04 am

Verizon’s line up: HTC 8X, Nokia lumia 822 — will be in stores by Thanksgiving. Samsung ATIV Odyssey will hit by December.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:03 am

All these new Windows Phones will roll out in Europe this weekend!

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:03 am

HTC has also “broken new ground” with an ultra-wide angle lens, which makes it “perfect for Skype.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:02 am

HTC’s 8X: “A remarkable phone,” designed from the ground up after the company’s designers saw WP*’s live tiles.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:02 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:02 am

And now it’s ATIV S time, with a 4.8-inch screen and an “incredibly long lasting battery.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:01 am

“Nokia is also doing pioneering work in wireless charging.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201211:01 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:01 am

Talking about the Lumia 920, its PureMotion display, and the “world-class” PureView camera.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:00 am

Ballmer smarts talking up Nokia, who sells the most Windows Phones on the market.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201211:00 am

“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!”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:59 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:59 am

Ballmer: “If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people who will use Windows 8, there is no better phone for you.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:58 am

“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!

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:58 am

Developers, Developers, People, Developers, People. Pin.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:57 am

Talking about how to make this project attractive to developers.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:57 am

“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.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:56 am

“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.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:56 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:55 am

“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″

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:55 am

Steve Ballmer is on stage now.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:54 am

The video is about Ballmer and his family/friends and personalization.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:54 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:54 am

Ballmer Video.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:54 am

Wrapped up. One more thing. No RZA?

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:53 am

“No other phone works this nicely across all devices”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:53 am

Sync companions for Windows 8, Windows 7 and the mac to move your iTunes collection from your PC to your phone.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:53 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:53 am

“All the music you love, every way you want it” reminds me of a song.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:52 am

Discussing music. Unlimited music across all devices. Built into Windows Phone 8.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:51 am

I saw RZA’s nametag, is he here?

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:50 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:50 am

“Skydrive gives 7 GB free, the most of any service. Gives you complete control of your data”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:49 am

Showing off Photosynth for editing and sharing pics.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:48 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:48 am

No mention of Surface today, really weird.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:48 am

“With Skydrive you can edit your documents where you left off regardless of which device you’re on”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:47 am

Skydrive is front and center in Windows Phone 8. Also on Xbox and Windows PC

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:47 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:46 am

This is why Skype/Microsoft bought GroupMe.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:46 am

Complete with calendar sharing! Never thought I’d get so worked up over a calendar.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:46 am

“We made it so you could invite other people [non WP8 users] to a room,” including iPhone and WP7 users.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:45 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:44 am

It’s not just group messaging, as users can create shared lists too.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:44 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:44 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:43 am

A Family Room is part of Windows Phone 8 right out of the box.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:43 am

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.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:42 am

“This is the best tech crowd i’ve ever been in front of” Um, hey Jessica. Disrupt much? I thought we were homies.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:41 am

If you went to/followed TechCrunch Disrupt, you would’ve already known about it. Just saying.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:41 am

Now she’s talking about her company, Honest Co., it’s a “safe brand” for kids and families.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:40 am

Mac connector app was used to move stuff to Windows 8 Phone

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:39 am

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”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:39 am

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.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:38 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:37 am

Alba is telling a story about how her daughter tweeted to 4 million followers with a series of “sssssssssssdddd” and such. Kind of funny.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:36 am

Alba is talking about her experience with Kids corner. Her daughter uses it and she calls it “Clutch.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:36 am

Jessica Alba is on stage.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:35 am

Just worth noting that you can’t stick the Phone or Browser apps in Kids Corner.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:34 am

“I’m not sure there’s ever been a feature that we’ve done that has been as loved as Kids Corner”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:34 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:34 am

Kids can make custom tile sizes, add their name and customize it just like you can on your phone.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:33 am

Swipe to the left to get to kids corner from the lock screen and the apps are what you’ve chosen they can use.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:32 am

You can choose which content is available, it’s a pretty sweet design, very simple.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:32 am

“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”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:32 am

It’s also worth mentioning that Joe just got called “mommy.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:31 am

3 kids, two phones. This is very rehearsed but oh so adorable.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:30 am

Adorable!!!

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:30 am

Oh boy, here comes the kids on stage, yay!

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:30 am

“It’s a phone within a phone, but it’s a phone for your kids”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:30 am

Here it is…Kids Corner “A worry-free way for your kids to play”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:29 am

Video time, its kids talking about using Daddy’s phone. “PLEEEEASSSSE”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:29 am

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.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:29 am

New social features, one for kids who want to play with your phone.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:29 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:28 am

First mobile operator rolling out Data Sense is Verizon, with other carriers to jump onboard in the coming months.,

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:27 am

“We did a bunch of testing… 45% more web browsing on the same data plan.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:26 am

Oh, and the live tile updates on your homescreen to give you an idea of how much data you’ve used.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:26 am

As you get close to your monthly limit, it can change the device’s behavior with regard to how it consumes data.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:26 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:25 am

Data Sense compresses every web page (sorta like Opera mini, it seems), and helps users find nearby WiFi hotspots.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:24 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:24 am

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.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:22 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:22 am

Free Windows 8 SDK will be available for developers tomorrow.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:22 am

Pandora will come free for a year with NO ads.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:21 am

Pandora will come in early 2013 for Windows Phone 8

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:21 am

App announcement. Has its own slide!@#!@# ;) “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Get ready for Pandora for Windows Phone 8″

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:20 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:20 am

“You can now ask Urbanspoon to search for a restaurant without hunting for the app and opening it”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:20 am

Temple Run, Urbanspoon, Living social, angry birds star wars, cut the rope coming to Windows phone 8.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:19 am

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.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:19 am

“We’ve announced a bunch of new apps coming to Windows Phone for the first time.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:18 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:18 am

“On Windows Phone 8 We’ve built Skype so it feels like a natural part of using the phone” “It’s always on”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:18 am

“New version of Skype coming for Windows Phone 8″

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:18 am

Facebook is just one example — lots of other app publishers are trying similar things. Think Twitter, Words With Friends, Angry Birds, CNN, and Skype.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:17 am

“Windows Phone 8 is the only operating system that lets you do this in a systemized way.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:16 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:16 am

“You get these moments of delight that help you connect with your phone”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:16 am

“We’ve partnered with Facebook and doing an optimized version of the app for Windows 8 and update the new lock screen”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:15 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:15 am

“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”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:14 am

“In Windows Phone 8 we have built a new lock screen powered by Live Apps”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:14 am

“We want apps to light up the phone and make them more personal. Only WIndows Phone has LIVE apps”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:13 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:13 am

“Your phone becomes something like your fingerprint”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:13 am

“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”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:12 am

Here we go: new features in WP8. “Back in June, we talked about some of our end-user features,” like Live Tiles.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:12 am

“It’s the perfect companion for your xbox and windows pc”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:12 am

“we think Windows phone is the most personal smartphone operating system you can get”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:12 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:11 am

“We’re for the gamer. The fashion hunter. The page turner. The single dad.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:11 am

Annnnd video time again, this time to talk about how WP8 is centered around its user.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:10 am

Microsoft says that it’s reinventing the smartphone around “You”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:10 am

“You get a stronger sense of what people are up to at the moment”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:10 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:09 am

“People are at the center of the experience, not Apps”, “People are the focus of our design”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:09 am

Taking a slap at smartphones, making fun of “rows of icons”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:08 am

“If you look at smartphones are and where they’ve been… it hasn’t really evolved much in the last five years.”

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:08 am

Apps in 191 Countries.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:07 am

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:07 am

120,00 apps and growing.

Drew Olanoff October 29, 201210:07 am

“We’ve worked with Qualcomm to optimize the Windows Phone Experience”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:07 am

“We’ve introduced our most beautiful and innovative lineup of hardware yet.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:06 am

On Windows Phone 8: “For our team, this has been a very special and significant project.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:05 am

And Belfiore invokes the World Series. Instant reaction.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:04 am

Joe: “I think we have a few Windows Phone fans here” The room erupts in cheers.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:04 am

Here we go! MSFT is playing a video extolling the virtues of Joe Belfiore’s Widnows Phone.

Chris Velazco October 29, 201210:00 am

Looks like the show is going to officially kick off in “just a few moments.”

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:59 am

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:56 am

And we’re in! It’s awfully blue in here, and Microsoft has decided to play that one inexplicably popular song by Fun.

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:52 am

On the move!

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:36 am

Lots of these things plastered on the walls.

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:33 am

And by “we,” I mean myself, Drew Olanoff, and a sizable gaggle of press folk, partners, and Microsoft staff.

Chris Velazco October 29, 20129:32 am

Hello! We’ve just been admitted into the building, and now we’re waiting to rush the auditorium and claim our seats.