If Microsoft has achieved nothing else in the last two days, it has people talking and writing about them, and that hasn’t happened in a long time.  So kudos to that.  We’ve previously covered the tablet release, so it’s time to talk about the Windows phone.

The biggest news regarding Windows Phone 8 is that they have tossed their old mobile OS in the trash heap and have incorporated the new Windows 8 OS into this phone.  This means that desktop computers and phone can share apps, talk to each other, share hardware etc.

It’s also a big deal because developers can now just create one app for both devices.

Unfortunately, if you already own a Windows phone, you will unable to run the new system.  There will no upgrade to OS8, but there will be an upgrade to OS 7.8.

The screen resolution is improved with three choices including 720p and 1,280 x 768 (WXGA.)The phones also include support for external storage in the form of micro SD cards and NFC.

Microsoft says it is closer than the competition to bringing the electronic wallet into existence, although full integration will not be available until 2013.  It is working to incorporate the wallet with ISIS, which is a mobile-only payment system between Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Windows will use Nokia Maps.  We feel compelled to pass that on since map design seems to be the new hotly contested program choice.

And finally the new phone will keep the “tile” home screen (please allow a pet peeve here – I think they’re boxes.  Boring boxes.  But somehow by calling them tiles, they become beautiful design.   I feel better now.  Thank you for allowing me that.) But the boxes, I’m sorry, I mean tiles, are more customizable, allowing the home screen to become more of what the user needs it to be.

The bottom line for the new tablet and the phone are this – The new operating system has to work.  It’s been a while since Microsoft has developed a quality operating system (remember Vista?), and of course, developers have to warm up to it and actually design product for it.  We shall see.