Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has live tiles and live apps

At the Windows Phone 8 launch, Microsoft officials are talking up not just live tiles, but also live apps.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

One of the key differentiators of Microsoft Windows Phone has been its updating "Live Tiles" on the home screen. But Microsoft is attempting to go Live Tiles one better with "Live Apps."


On October 29 at the Windows Phone 8 launch in San Francisco, Microsoft execs talked up Live Apps. Live Apps are the official name for Windows Phone apps that can be pinned as Live Tiles.

There's been speculation for the past few weeks over what Live Apps were and how they'd fit into the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem.

Live Apps also can be pinned to users' lock screens. Out of the box, Windows Phone 8 will include several Live Apps -- email, messaging, calendar and the Windows Phone Store. The new and improved Microsoft Skype app for Windows 8 also can be put on the lock screen.

Microsoft will be allowing third-party developers to build Live Apps. These Live Apps can integrate with the lock screen, and also integrate into the new Windows Phone 8 Wallet and other hubs on the phone. The ability to choose among three different sizes of tiles as part of Windows Phone 8 OS.

An updated version of the Microsoft-developed Facebook app is one of the new Live Apps. 

At the launch, Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore said there are now 120,000 Windows Phone apps in the store. Not all of these apps are Live Apps, however. 

Microsoft released to manufacturing the Windows Phone 8 operating system in mid-September. The first Windows Phone 8 devices are not expected to start coming to market until November 2012.

The long-awaited public version of the Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) will be available for download by developers on October 30, officials said today.

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