Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 8 With ... Jessica Alba?
Microsoft touts phone's customization features
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 30, 2012 10:47 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Microsoft officially unveiled Windows Phone 8 yesterday, and it did so with a special celebrity guest: Jessica Alba. Microsoft invited the actress to tout the phone's "Kid's Corner" feature, which allows parents to control what apps kids have access to, touting her as a "great example of the kind of people who we think Windows Phone will appeal to," as a mom and entrepreneur. "This is the best tech crowd I've ever been in front of," Alba said, according to CNET.

Alba's presence went along with the overall feel Microsoft was going for, Janet Tu at the Seattle Times observes, namely "fun and cool." "Clearly Microsoft—long associated with work, productivity, and your company's IT department—was trying to reach younger, hip consumers." To that end, here are some of the features the company touted:

  • Steve Ballmer touted it as "the most personal smartphone out there," saying that it "reinvents the smartphone around you." The most notable way it does this: The live tiles that cover the display.
  • Live tiles that don't just open apps, they display realtime data. You can "pin" a live tile of a friend, for instance and see their Facebook or Twitter activity, CNET reports. "The iOS6 home screen is really just a sea of static icons," Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore said. "It's not people; it's not live data."
  • Microsoft also boasted about its growing apps catalog, which it says now contains 120,000 programs, the Wall Street Journal reports—while noting that it's a far cry from the 700,000 or so Android and iOS apps.
  • They also touted the tight integration between Windows Phone and Microsoft's other products. "If you're one of the hundreds of millions of people who will use Windows 8, there is no better phone for you," Steve Ballmer said.
  • Initial phones will include the HTC Windows Phone 8X, and the Nokia Lumia. Versions of both will be available from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, for prices ranging from $99.99 to $199.99.

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Oct 30, 2012 11:47 AM CDT
Windows 8 is Microsoft's desperate move to remain relevant in today's world. And I don't think it's going to work. I know people who do not use computers at all in their personal lives. Smart phones and tablets have made owning a computer unnecessary for these people and a lot of them gladly dumped their PCs. I own a computer but I have absolutely no intention of upgrading to Windows 8. I'm still using XP because it's stable and it does what I want it to do. I have a 7 inch tablet and I plan to get a bigger tablet when the prices come down. If and when my computer croaks, I probably will replace it with a Linux machine. A way cheaper operating system and thousands of free apps. Why bother with Windows?
Oct 30, 2012 11:34 AM CDT
Why the question mark Newser? Was it a fake Jessica Alba or something that makes you suspect she may not have been there?
Oct 30, 2012 11:00 AM CDT
Because Jessica Alba is a huge selling point for me with technology? There are 2 celebrities that I am so enthralled with in a ridiculous manner, due to choldhood movie obsession that I would consider buying something, small purchases just because they said they owned it. I know 1 person personally as well who fits that bill I know most people have SOMEONE like that. A favorite celebrity or 2. And when I say "consider" buying something I literally mean consider. Asside from those 3 people I don't really consider endorsements. I can't imagine Jessica Alba makes that list for anyone on this planet.