Microsoft has debuted Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company's smartphone operating system. Microsoft revealed new features including Kid's Corner, Rooms and Live Tiles. Live Tiles allows users to rearrange the Start screen, pinning favourite people, apps, music, games and photos and comes in three sizes and twenty colour choices including cobalt, crimson and lime. In addition to Live Tiles, Windows Phone 8 features Live Apps which bring information to the Start screen, and Rooms, which allows users to share and chat with one group and create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8 to easily connect with them. The Data Sense feature enables users to surf the web without worrying about exceeding their data limit by deferring data tasks to free Wi-Fi and automatically adjusting usage as the user gets closer to their data limit. The new OS also supports a Wallet and near-field communication (NFC) and a new Skype app.
Nokia, Samsung and HTC have announced an array of phones for Windows Phone 8 including the Nokia Lumia 920, 822, 820 and 810, the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Samsung ATIV S and ATIV Odyssey, which will launch in the coming month. The new software is designed to work seamlessly with Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft Surface devices and the Xbox 360 console.Major mobile operators in the US will start selling Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks. Verizon Wireless will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $199.99 with a two-year contract and the Nokia Lumia 822 for $99.99 on a two-year agreement, both available by Thanksgiving. The Samsung ATIV Odyssey will be available exclusively at Verizon in December. AT&T will carry the Nokia Lumia 920, 820 and Windows Phone 8X by HTC, all going on sale in November. T-Mobile USA will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC starting at $149.99 for the 16GB version and the Nokia Lumia 810 for $99.99, with both devices expected to launch on November 14.