Windows Phone (abbreviated as WP) is a series of proprietary smartphone operating systems developed by Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows Mobile, although it is incompatible with the earlier platform. Unlike its predecessor, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market. It was first launched in October 2010, with a release in Asia following in early 2011. On October 29, 2012, Microsoft released Windows Phone 8, a new generation of the operating system. Windows Phone 8 replaces its previously Windows CE-based architecture with one based on the Windows NT kernel with many components shared with Windows 8, allowing applications to be easily ported between the two platforms.
Windows Phone features a user interface based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone design system, codenamed Metro, and was inspired by the user interface in the Zune HD. The home screen, called the “Start screen”, is made up of “Live Tiles”, which have been the inspiration for the Windows 8 live tiles. Tiles are links to applications, features, functions and individual items (such as contacts, web pages, applications or media items). Users can add, rearrange, or remove tiles. Tiles are dynamic and update in real time – for example, the tile for an email account would display the number of unread messages or a tile could display a live update of the weather. Since Windows Phone 8, live tiles can also be resized to either a small, medium, or large appearance.
According to Brandon Miniman’s test review for pocketnow.com, he stated “if Zune can play it, your Windows Phone 7 device can play it” – this refers to the supported playback of files. The audio file formats supported include WAV, MP3, WMA, AMR, AAC/MP4/M4A/M4B and 3GP/3G2 as standards. The video file formats supported include WMV, AVI, MP4/M4V, 3GP/3G2 and MOV (QuickTime) standards. These supported audio and video formats would be dependent on the codecs contained inside them. It has also been previously reported that the DivX and Xvid codecs within AVI are also playable on the system. Unlike the previous Windows Mobile operating system, there are currently no third-party applications for handling other video formats. The image file formats that are supported include JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIF and Bitmap (BMP).