If you want to learn about Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's latest OS for smartphones and its OS to challenge Apple's iOS and Google's Android smartphones, you've come to the right place.
10.04am San Francisco time, 4.04am Sydney Australia time: - live webcast starts - video with Joe Belfiore's voice - please hit refresh to continue getting updates.
4.04am - Joe Belfiore shouts out to Windows Phone users, welcome to webcast viewers.
4.05am - big new Windows launches, Windows 8, Surface, lines for Microsoft products. San Francisco sports chat, people stuck by the Hurricane - lots of excitement happening. Wrap up our big week of Windows Phone 8 and introduce it to you.
4.06am - For our time - a special and significant project - includes a new core OS that is shared with Winfdows 8 - thrilled to show you the end user feature built on that shared core. Thank you for coming - I'm going to jump in.
What's been happening lately: we've introduced best hardware yet from HTC, Nokia and Samsung. Worked with Qualcomm to optimise for dual core. Spending a lot of time on apps.
4.07am - Back in June we announced a lot of WinPhone 8 details, expanding the platform to reach more people around the world, doubling our language support to 50 languages and tripling to 191 countries who can access the Windows Phone app store.
4.08am - before I talk new features... I want to put the smartphone industry into perspective. Where smartphones and have been.. the state of the art in the core smartphone experience in the five years since its' inception. It has been standardised by Apple and iPhone, and copied by Android, and the static grid of icons hasn't evolved that much.
Apple added a fifth row of icons with iPhone 5 - but we wanted to come at it from a different point of view - a different metaphor to connect - and all the value the smartphones represents to people. Not focus on apps or speeds and feeds but focusing on PEOPLE. That's the focus of our design.
4.10am - it's not just a little more convenient to text a friend, you can maintain a better relationship with people. Not just a lot of apps - apps instead that light up your smarthphone experience. We're working to re-invent the smartphone around you. Here's a video that captures that idea (video playing).
Video - missed start of video. goes to... "we're not for everyone, we're for the gamer, the fashion hunter, the page turner... we're for the socialiser, the working mom, Thomas, Tommy, the tom-boy, Tom, the play maker, deal seeker, up all nighter. We didn't make a smartphone for all of us, but each of us..."
Joe Belfiore: That is what we're about! That's what our team is about! So you get a phone made for you. A phone unlike any other on the market today. The perfect companion for your Windows PC and your Xbox.
4.12am - Let's take a look at the features in the product. Let's talk about the idea being personal. We've built the phone for each of you. Back in June we talked end-user features - our support for new Live Tiles. In WinPhone 8 we're taking live tiles a lot further. Only WinPhone has live tiles.
You can find the things you care about, particularly the people you care about. You can see their latest posts, photos, tweets - it helps you stay in touch with what they're doing.
With Windows Phone 8 - it's up to you to reconfigure those tiles how you like. It's incredibly easy to do - your phone becomes like your fingerprint. and a more valuable experience.
One thing that fills a phone with power and capability is apps.
4.14am - We had to reinvent the app experience. We say that only WinPhone has live apps. We've tried to make them more convenient and integrated than ever. More than that, in WinPhone 8, live apps can integrate into the wallet, into the other hubs. We have one other cool new ways Live Apps integrated - in WinPhone 8 - we have built a new lock screen that's powered by live apps.
Think about how many times you see that lock screen and seeing that same image from 4 months ago. We thought we could do it better - it's a UI you see so many times.
4.15am - new lock screen will make things so much more personal - surfacing photos, notifications and content from favourite apps. You get the choice what to see on the lock screen. It can even be an ever changing memory book of photos.
Here's an example: Facebook. We're going to deliver a brand new, optimised for WinPhone 8 app. You can update your lock screen with all the photos you've experienced on Facebook (applause from crowd).
4.16am - Here's a collage of photos. I've been running the app for about a month. It's just awesomely delightful to take the phone out of my pocket. I have 700 photos - I get greeted by some great photos - moments of deilght that help you connect with your phone and reminds you how personal a device like this can be.
Other apps can personalise the lock screen as well. you can personalise the text and icons as well. We've made it completely flexible.
WinPhone 8 is the only OS that provides this facility for apps to show on the lock screen in a stadnardised way.
4.17am - Facebook putting photos on lock screen is just one example of new WIn Phone 8. A lot of app publishers working on new WInPhone 8 apps. New live tiles sizes, greatly improved performance, a new version of Twitter built for WinPhone 8, a new live tile. A whole lot of others - one app in particular is the new version of Skype that we have coming for Windows Phone 8.
If you haven't tried it - do so, it's a gorgeous experience, a new archictecture that Skype uses to make calls more efficient. We've built Skype to integrate with the phone experience. It's now always on in Windows Phone 8 - it does this "without running in the background and draining your battery".
4.19am - Besides getting current apps updates - we've announced a bunch of new apps to WinPhone for the first itme. Draw Something, Words with Friends, Paypal, Chase Bank. We have a few more announcements. We think we'll be at a point where we'll have 46 of the top 50 most used, most popular apps on Windows Phone 8. That's huge progress for us.
Here's the list of apps. (missed the start few)
Temple Run - highly popular on iPhone and Android - uses Unity gaming engine on WinPhone 8.
We'll have Urban Spoon - who have taken advantage of the speech platform to talk to the phone and address the apps. You can ask Urban Spoon to find you a restaurant.
Angry Birds Star Wars, Where's my water and plenty more. We feel pretty good about these titles.
There is one app we wanted to announce and we couldn't fit it on the slide. This is particularly exciting for me. Are you ready?
The app is Pandora for WinPhone 8 - which we will have early in 2013.
Not just the same Pandora - it will include a whole year of free music with NO ADS. What do you think of that? Alright.
4.22am - really focusing on getting apps to the platform with a better experience - really important for us.
Tune in tomorrow to our Build Conference for devs where you can learn about the dev platform - SDK avaialble publicly for everyone tomorrow.
4.23am - Here's a problem I face - that many people face - especially people new to smartphones. People used to a data plan, or on a budget. We wanted to think that thru and try and help out. My wife's mother got her first smartphone about a year ago. She's an enthusiastic first smartphone user - emails, Facebook, live tiles. She started downloading games - but the downside is - she keeps sending me emails or asking if it's ok to run solitaire or sudoku - will it get her over her data plan.
4.24am - Data Sense - a feature designed to solve this problem. With WinPhone 8 - you can surf the web more and use less data when you do. Keep looking at Facebook, photos - we've got your back. Second, for people like my other in law - if she wants to know how apps use data, she can use her phone to her fullest extent. Good for her, good for me.
Here's how this works: We've built a system in the cloud and in the phone client that compresses every single web page you browse. It looks like browsing when you browse - nothing that's different, no settings. All the time that's happening you're using less data thanks to compression.
Also - it understands wi-fi and helps you find nearby hotspots on a map. Data sense takes advantage of Wi-Fi when you have it available. You're helped use less data when you get close to the limit, data sense adjusts the phone so you don't go over your cap.
How to help people understand their data plan? Touching the data sense live tile gives you a look at the overall usage of data on your phone - swiping through tiles/screens in the Data Sense app.
Last - the live tiles gives you info about the phone's usage of data, notifications about your plan limit.
You're probably saying "this looks nice" - but what's really different is that Data Sense actually helps you use less data. But how much? We tested a bunch of sites - we expect consumers to get 45% more web browsing with Data Sense feature turned on than a smartphone without it. That's a lot more web pages!
4.28am - First operator to deploy will be Verizon.
Ok I've shown you new features, lock screen, data sense etc.
Here's another way we try to be personal: we help you keep closer to the people in your life. Here's two features. The first is one of my personal favourites (says Joe Belfiore). It's for some people that are very important to me. This feature is for all those little ones in our lives - our kids - "Daddy, Can i play with your phone?"
We worry kids might send a text message to the boss, send an email, make expensive in-app purchases.
It's an acute problem. Here's a video... kids asking to borrow the phone to play on it.
Windows Phone 8 is the only mobile phone that is creating a solution to this problem. An awesome new feature called "Kids Corner". This creates a separate place on your phone for your kids, so they can play games, watch videos, listen to music, run apps - things you pick for them in a way that protects your stuff.
It's a phone in a phone just for your kids.
"A worry-free way for your kids to play". Joe gets his three kids to come up on stage to show the feature -Alexander 9, Sydney who is five - and a twin, Piper, also five.
Three kids and two phones. The oldest is going to start first. He's going to play, "Battleship". Another is going to play Fruit Ninja.
4.32am - Joe is showing us the Kids Corner setup. Joe is choosing games to add to the Kids Corner. Check the boxes. Then when I want to give the phone to my kids. He turns it "off" to the lock screen, Piper slides to the right to get to the Kids Corner. A special live tiles area for kids.
It's a feature for you - the kids are quiet! Playing happily. You get to have dinenr in peace. Or drive long ways in the car without screaming in the back seat. They get to customise Kids Corner, custom tile sizes, custom colours, they can put their name on their just like you can.
4.34am - Joe asking kids to go back stage now. We built this feature beacuse a lot of us are living with this "problem" and we talked to parents. We've had wonderful, loved feedback. We thought it would be more useful to introduce you to a parent, a busy mom who loves this feature.
4.35am - Video playing... Action packed days, looking after two daughters. Kids Corner - kids can play games without deleting my stuff.
The "mom" comes on stage - Jessica Alba movie star.
4.36am - She loves Kids Corner. Her daughter Honor is totally into it, she loves that she can curate the content - a great feature. I don't have to worry about my kids going into my social media networks, emailing my partners or anything like that.
Joe: have you had an experience with kids doing this before? My daughter who is 4, when she was 2 she typed away on my phone - she typed away on my twitter feed. 4 million twitter followers! :-) I worry about a text going to one manager.
Kids Corner will help with kids not tweeting stuff they shouldn't be, etc.
Joe, Jessica, you've been using Windows Phone for a while, you started on Windows Phone 7. What have you loved about Windows Phone 8?
I love a few things - I love that right on my screen - it's really - my phone is an extension of me as a person. So from my work that I do, music that I like to listen to, pictures that I take - all of that - it's really shown on the Windows Phone and you can see everythign that you really care about. I love the camera, I'm obsessed with it.
My kids are always moving, my baby has just started walking. As she's walking, the camera went into focus and bam, a new picture.
Joe: you switched from a different phone- was it hard to switch?
Jessica: I'm obsessed and I was concered about my music, will my iTunes swtich over? We installed the Mac connector app and after a couple of minutes, boom, all her iTunes stuff was on her phone.
Joe: last night we were here rehearsing. What do your friends think of the phone?
Jessica: My mom friends are really into the screen size, all the tiles that are completely customised to me, saying "I want my phone to do that".
Joe: You've recently started your own company.
4.41am - Jessica: Yes, the Honest company. Wanting to have the safest, healthiest environment for my kids. So I created this brand - household cleaning products, kids products, beautifully designed, affordable. We're also launching our app - a tool to help parents with feedings, doctors visits, sleep schedules - things like that so we can spend more time wiht our families.
Joe: Thanks Jessica!
Jessica: This is the best tech crowd I've ever been in front of!
Laughs and smiles.
Joe: So you've seen how we've tried to focus on Win Phone being personal.
The second feature: In the people hub, which is the contact list re-invented, in WInPhone 8, it gets better. Here you can have "rooms" - one place away from the crowd - connect with and share with just that group of people. Perfect for your immediate family and close friends.
The first room is the Family Room - built in out of the box. You can easily create more rooms - work colleagues, family, friends etc.
Here's a live tile for the Family Room - all the members of this room. You can see what they're up too on their social networks. You can send private messages to everyone in this room, send location information, a calendar, a place to post photos privately to room members. My wife and I are using it for to-do lists, grocery lists of what needs to be purchased - including photos - through OneNote.
My wife and I using this feature a lot. My wife got a WinPhone 8 a lot earlier than the general public. Since not everyone has them, we made it so that you could invite people to a room who are on a different phone, so they can get part of room's experience.
One family member has an iPhone, but she can be part of the family room.
The room's experience on an iPhone - gets seen on the iPhone's calendar - in green.
Everyone can participate in the room - we've tried to make Windows Phone really personal.
4.46am - Kids Corner, Rooms and Skype app are great examples.
The last thing I want to talk about is the fact today's consumers aren't using their phones in isolation. Whether you're getting a new PC, new phone, Xbox, tablet.
Not only do all these things from Microsoft look and feel the same way, they work in concert. WinPhone 8 is the perfect companion for your Windows 8 PC and your Xbox, and you can move your content between your Windows devices effortlessly.
The star is SkyDrive - on phone, PC or Xbox.
Regardless of which device you're using, your Data is available on your device - and not just for photo and video like other phones. You can sync all your Office devices - your phone, tablet and PC is your virtual office. With Skydrive you can continue WHERE YOU LEFT OFF - no matter which device you're using.
if you create a new word doc or spreadsheet on my phone, you can save it to SkyDrive and it's available on your PC.
OneNote is now voice activated - press windows button and say "note" - your voice is transcribed to text, sent to SkyDrive and available on your phone, tablet or PC.
4.49am - Our photo experience starts out with a great camera. Windows Phone 8 has lenses - so you can modify it when you're in the camera viewfinder. You can easily share it - Facebook, Twitter, email, NFC - and in the background a full-res photo can be automatically updated to SkyDrive. So your phone photos are automatically avaialble in their full res right there in your PC so you can do great things there as well.
Your photos go into the cloud - great peace of mind even if you lose your phone. When I talk about this feature to some people - immediately people say - I'm going to run out of space as I take a huge number of photos. I'm not worried - SkyDrive gets you started with the most free storage of any service - 7GB free - and you can get more storage. SkyDrive gives you complete control - iCloud and PhotoStream only store for 30 days, SkyDrive lets you keep photos as long as you want.
We think our photo service is better, better cameras, SkyDrive.
4.52am - Our new feature: Music. Your music will be availabe across all your devices. Xbox Music.
It's really simple - if you have Xbox Music pass on your phone, you can stream your choice of 30 million tracks from the catalogue. Great new playlists just show up on your phone - no syncing, no cables - all just from the cloud. That experience is built into Windows 8 - and when they get a WIndows Phone their experience magically completes.
On your PC, phone and home entertainment system- there are a lot of people on WinPhone who will have used a different phone. With Jessica, it was easy to get her iTunes music on her Winphone.
On all platforms, you'll be able to easily move your iTunes collection, including playlist- easily moved to WIndows Phone 8. No other phone system works as nicely.
Our focus on people is really what we think makes Windows Phone unique. With WinPhone 8 - we re-invented the smarthphone around you.
I'm going to wrap up now by bringing out one more person who can explain where you can get the phones.
4.54am - Video playing. Voice says: A lot of people in the world, many have tons of advice. Some is really useful, some is less so - some advice I need, some I always follow - I often get asked for advice but not all the time. There's one piece of advice I give to everyone's - that's me, and this is my Windows Phone (Steve Ballmer).
4.55am - Steve Ballmer now on stage. Absolutely great to be here. It's been a very exciting and energising few days. Over the weekend we saw an incredible response around the globe to WIndows 8 and Microsoft SUrface. We're seeing preliminary demand well above Windows 7.
Great demand, for all-in-ones, tablets - really quite astounding, lines at Microsoft stores quite heartening.
Windows 8 PCs now the best ever. Keyboard and touch, work and play, PC and tablet. And today's we're bringing phones into the Windows family with Windows Phone 8. Four years ago we really started with what became Windows Phone.
We had a very different perspective to what the smartphone should be. We didn't just want to build just a single phone for all of us. We wanted to build a phone that could be personal for each of us, our unique lives and interests, different syles, shapes, textures and colours. Privacy and security for ourselves and families. When we set out to do this, we had to do it in a way that enabled software developers to easily develop their app for all our individual diverse interets.
Window Phone 8 is the culmination of those efforts. The simple act of pinning who and what you care about will maek the phone uniquely yours. Your brother, sister, most closest co-workers. Create a room, pin your favourites there. Your photos, documents, places you visit- get them on your start screen and more. Your phone will come alive. You'll get to know how this personalisation sets Windows Phone apart.
What also sets it apart is how it works with Windows PC. If you're one of the hundreds of millions of people that will use Windows 8 over the next year, this is the best phone.
The same lives tiles will update, you'll always know what's happening at a glance. Your Microsoft ID will keep you updated across the ecosystem. Just log in once and everything that you care about will light up on your PC and your phone. It will all stay in sync and all backed up.
There's one more thing that really sets Windows Phones apart - it's so amazing - that's new KILLER hardware. I would argue some of if not THE best hardware you will find in a smartphone form factor.
I want to start with Nokia - they are selling the most Windows Phones in the market. The Lumia 920 is fantastic - seeing is believing - the PureMotion HD+ display. See text, video, graphics clearly - even in bright sunlight. A truly world-class camera - with OIS - great photos and video even in low light or a shaky hand.
Nokia is also doing pioneering work in wireless charging - set your phone down on a charger to power up.
Next - I want to show you the Samsung Ativ S. We are thrilled that Samsung built such a gorgeous phone. A very long lasting battery and 4.8-inch screen - unbelievably thin and light.
Then the Windows Phone 8X from HTC. HTC was inspired to build Windows Phone from the ground up after seeing tiles. The 8S from HTC and 8X have killer sound thanks to Beats Audio - movies and music sound incredible on these phones.
HTC has broken new ground with an ultra-wide-angle lens on the front of the camera - perfect for Skype - see your whole family, not just one face - it's a new way to bring everyone togehter.
I'm thrilled to announce that all these new phones and many more will go on sale in Europe this coming weekend, and will rollout throughout November. Our US customers will have a wide range of devices and a wide range of operators - AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.
As part of Verizon's committment, they wil lhave the HTC 8X and the Lumia 822 - in store by Thanksgiving. Exclusive to Verizon - the Samsung Ativ Odyssey - it will hit stores in December.
T-Mobile - the Lumia 810 and HTC 8S.
AT&T - a choice of three phones going on sale in November. Nokia Lumia 920, 820 and WIndows HTC 8X. Specific availability info coming soon.
The 65 Microsoft stores open this holiday season will carry every phone in the US, and every colour option in the Microsoft Store online.
In the MS store - you can see the gorgeous desktops, laptops, all-in-ones, tablets and phones. They'll see how all these devices work together.
The global launch of Windows Phone 8 is just starting. I also guarantee that between Windows 8, Microsoft Surface and WIndows Phone 8 - you won't be able to turn on the TV or open a magazine without seeing a Windows ad.
This is a remarkable time, and it is THE time for Windows phone 8 - the re-invention of the smartphone around you. Our hardware partners are all in, plus hundreds of mobile operators and retailers around the world who are ALL IN.
Developers are all in, filling the Windows Store with applications - over 100,000 apps, 46 of the top 50 apps. If somehow anyone wasn't convinced yet - Microsoft is all in.
We've brought the best of Microsoft to all devices. Access the same services and all work together to keep you connected to the people and information that's most important to you.
People all over the world are about to fall in love with Windows Phone 8 and it starts today. Windows Phone is the best phone for Windows, it has the best hardware earlier. Windows Phone is personal and it's for you.
You met Joe's phone, Jessica's phone and now my phone.
I'll bet you're never going to mistake me for Joe or me for Jessica - you'll never mistake our phones either - a genuine reflection on who we are as parents, professionals and people.
I want to thank those on our webcast for joining us.
5.10am - the video cuts to the blue Windows Phone logo - Steve Ballmer says "AND..." and that's it. The event has concluded! Now on to the local Windows Phone 8 launch in approx 3 hours time... :-) See you then.