Microsoft cues up the Windows Phone 8 ball

week in review As Hurricane Sandy started to pummel the East Coast, Microsoft made its big mobile play with the debut of Windows Phone 8. Also: Apple's iPad Mini goes on sale.

Windows Phone's new start screen
Windows Phone 8's new start screen. Josh Miller/CNET

Just before Hurricane Sandy started to pummel the East Coast this week, Microsoft managed to grab the tech headlines with the official debut of Windows Phone 8.

The launch of the next-generation mobile operating system, which came on the heels of last week's splashy Windows 8 debut, got people talking with its support for multicore processors and mobile payments , and its tighter relationship with the Windows platform. And as with Windows 8, Window Phone 8 uses live tiles instead of icons . (Though Microsoft is already being sued for those tiles, over patent-infringement claims.)

So far, Windows Phone 8 has been well-received. In a hands-on review , CNET's Jessica Dolcourt says "it's sharp, colorful, clean, and simple, but also hip and a bit exuberant." But whether Microsoft's mobile efforts will have some staying power or be doomed to a short run still remains to be seen. No doubt there's a lot at stake. While the traditional Windows software remains the company's breadwinner, everything is going mobile, and Microsoft could slip into irrelevancy if it doesn't catch up to the giants in the industry, Apple and Google.
•  Microsoft dishes more Windows Phone 8 goods
•  Windows Phone 8 trio hitting Verizon for the holidays
•  Microsoft Windows Phone Store up to 120,000 apps
•  What is SurfCast and can it spoil Microsoft's Windows 8 party?
•  Installing Windows 8: the pain, the poetry, the pleasure

More headlines

The iPad Mini launches in Sandy's wake

CNET reporters converge on Apple stores across New York and San Francisco -- with some even riding bikes in lieu of NYC subway service -- to cover the debut of the iPad Mini.
•  iPad Mini sells out quickly at Apple's top NYC store
•  iPad Mini launch expected to match product's name
•  iPad Mini review: The perfect size, but at a price
•  iPad Mini, iPad, iPod Touch: Which iOS device should you buy?

Roundup: Hurricane Sandy takes a toll

Complete coverage of the megastorm and its effects on the U.S., after a deadly sweep through the Caribbean.
•  Wireless service after Sandy -- what you need to know (FAQ)
•  FCC says wireless service is improving after Sandy
•  NYC data centers hit by Hurricane Sandy

Nexus 10, Nexus 7 are here -- now all they need are apps

The lack of apps for Android tablets has long been a reason why the iPad still reigns supreme. But Google hopes that will change with its new Nexus tablets.
•  Nexus 10 review: Android's most promising iPad alternative yet
•  Nexus 4 review: Elegant smartphone with a huge flaw
•  Google's Nexus 10 goes for the iPad's jugular
•  Apple, Google and Amazon wage war of pixels

'Star Wars' heading to the Magic Kingdom: Disney snags Lucasfilm

The Hollywood giant is paying $4.05 billion for George Lucas' wholly owned media empire. And Disney said the seventh 'Star Wars' film will be released in 2015, with Episodes 8 and 9 to follow.
•  Lucas: Disney might have been Star Wars' only hope
•  Luke and Leia battle the Empire in Angry Birds Star Wars trailer

Microsoft Surface $499 model 'out of stock' online

The $499 version of Microsoft's first branded tablet is apparently still a hot item at the company's online store.
•  Surface is 'a quirky cat,' teardown shows

Apple reshuffles top brass: iOS chief to leave in 2013

Apple says its iOS software chief is departing in 2013, among other management changes including the exit of recent retail hire John Browett.
•  Apple's shopping for a new shopkeeper, again
•  Apple's Scott Forstall ousted over Maps apology -- WSJ
•  The post-Jobs Apple is here, like it or not
•  If Tim Cook could apologize, why not Scott Forstall?
•  Apple slips below $600 in first trading day after exec shake-up

Right on Cue: Can iTunes chief fix Apple's maps and Siri?

An executive shuffle has dropped two troubled services into the hands of Eddy Cue. CNET has a behind-the-scenes look at Apple's master negotiator and product resuscitator.
•  iTunes 11 delayed into 'end of November'

Google's Siri competitor for iOS arrives

Google's latest voice search technology can be found in a new update for the company's iOS app that makes Siri look slow.
•  Review: Lightning-fast Voice Search is very impressive
•  Google offers up secret sauce on new voice search
•  Inside Scoop: Google voice search talks circles around Siri

Apple releases iOS 6.0.1 with over-the-air update tool

Here comes a bug fix update to iOS 6 that corrects an installation issue on the iPhone 5 as well as a nasty Exchange meeting bug.
•  Apple testing iOS 6.1 with new map search tools

Also of note
•  Is Sharp on its last legs?
•  With Icahn move, Netflix is now officially in play
•  Court OKs warrantless use of hidden surveillance cameras
•  MegaUpload will be reborn as Me.ga in January

 

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