Screenshots of Windows Phone 8’s “Rooms” feature revealed

By LiveSide | In Featured, Mobile | Posted September 23, 2012 32 comments

Earlier in July, we reported that Windows Phone 8 may include a new “Rooms” feature based on some digging around in an early leaked build of the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK. With an updated SDK now available in the hands of select developers, details about the feature has surfaced once again. Thanks to a post in the WinUnleaked Forums, we can now see the “Rooms” feature in action in the new Windows Phone 8.0 emulator. Check out the screenshots below:

Rooms 1Rooms 2Rooms - ChatRooms - CalendarRooms - PhotosRooms - Notes

As you can see in the screenshots above, the new “Rooms” feature can be found in the People hub, under the a section labeled “Together”. By default, a “Family Room” was created in the SDK, and you can invite people on your contact list to privately share a calendar, photos and videos, group chat, and notes (we’re guessing OneNote notebooks here).

What we’re not sure is whether the new “Rooms” feature will replace or complement the existing “Groups” feature in Windows Phone. According to previous reports, the latter is likely to be the case where the existing “Groups” feature will remain but without the interactive features of a “Room”. To put it simply, think of it where “Groups” is visible to yourself only, whereas “Rooms” is an interactive group where people have to be invited to join and other users can contribute contents to the Room.

For those who had been following LiveSide, Microsoft already has a Windows Live Groups service, now part of SkyDrive, that allow members of a group to share calendars, photos, and collaborate on documents on SkyDrive, as well as participating in group chat on Messenger. Whether this new “Rooms” feature on Windows Phone 8 has any relationship with Windows Live Groups remains unknown. But nevertheless this is certainly a nice addition. How do you like this new feature? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted September 23rd, 2012 at 5:01 am
  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Looks cool, very innovative!

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Looks cool, very innovative!

  • WP7Mango

    This feature would make collaborating with business collegues very easy. You could create different rooms for different project teams. If Rooms could integrate with Exchange then it would be awesome!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NIIOF7PU26D5X426WJT2YL6SGU Rob

      A room should optionally integrate with a SharePoint site as well.

  • WP7Mango

    This feature would make collaborating with business collegues very easy. You could create different rooms for different project teams. If Rooms could integrate with Exchange then it would be awesome!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NIIOF7PU26D5X426WJT2YL6SGU Rob

      A room should optionally integrate with a SharePoint site as well.

  • bob

    So is this essentially GroupMe?

    • BilboBaggins

      Get a life Bob

      • Bob

        That’s a bit of a harsh reaction considering GroupMe is a Microsoft product and there seems to be no reason no to just use the product that they already have…

  • bob

    So is this essentially GroupMe?

    • BilboBaggins

      Get a life Bob

      • Bob

        That’s a bit of a harsh reaction considering GroupMe is a Microsoft product and there seems to be no reason no to just use the product that they already have…

  • mtpfischer

    This feature confuses me a bit. I assume all the other people you would want to invite to the “Room” would also have to have a Windows Phone 8?

    • jkth

      I had the same thought, its not at all clear right now. I’m hoping there’s a web-based part to it too and if there is, I hope its that-which-is-currently-known-as-Windows-Live-Groups although if it is, are they going to rename Windows Live Groups as “Rooms”?

      Questions questions…

    • ArrowSmith

      How is that any different then FaceTime lock-in?

      • jkth

        I don’t think mtpfischer is complaining about lock-in, I read his comment as simply pondering aloud about one currently unclear part of this service.

        • Liberal Republic

          this is integrated into windows phones and it should be an app on other phones/tablets

  • mtpfischer

    This feature confuses me a bit. I assume all the other people you would want to invite to the “Room” would also have to have a Windows Phone 8?

    • jkth

      I had the same thought, its not at all clear right now. I’m hoping there’s a web-based part to it too and if there is, I hope its that-which-is-currently-known-as-Windows-Live-Groups although if it is, are they going to rename Windows Live Groups as “Room”?

      Questions questions…

    • ArrowSmith

      How is that any different then FaceTime lock-in?

      • jkth

        I don’t think mtpfischer is complaining about lock-in, I read his comment as simply pondering aloud about one currently unclear part of this service.

        • liberalrepublic

          this is integrated into windows phones and it should be an app on other phones/tablets

  • Steve Brown

    Hm, I wonder if this Rooms feature will integrate with the SharePoint team sites or group workspaces at all.. interesting!

  • Steve Brown

    Hm, I wonder if this Rooms feature will integrate with the SharePoint team sites or group workspaces at all.. interesting!

  • Guest

    Interesting. But I guess these leaks kind of prove MS’s point that they can’t trust developers to stick to their NDA agreements.

    • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

      It was pretty obvious information would leak onto the internet anyway.

      • Guest

        Not sure what that has to do with my point? There was a big debate that MS should have released the SDK earlier and trusted their developers. This leak, immediately following release of the recent SDK, seems to prove out MS’s concern that some developers would break their NDA and leak information. Breaking an NDA is a serious issue. And obviously if MS can’t depend on developers to honor their NDA, then they’ll continue to provide even less lead time for future SDKs in order to preserve as much secrecy as possible prior to launch. 

        • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe

          That is my point; developers cannot be trusted because you’ll never know who isn’t going to play by the rules. Period.

  • Guest

    Interesting. But I guess these leaks kind of prove MS’s point that they can’t trust developers to stick to their NDA agreements.

    • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe Morales

      It was pretty obvious information would leak onto the internet anyway.

      • Guest

        Not sure what that has to do with my point? There was a big debate that MS should have released the SDK earlier and trusted their developers. This leak, immediately following release of the recent SDK, seems to prove out MS’s concern that some developers would break their NDA and leak information. Breaking an NDA is a serious issue. And obviously if MS can’t depend on developers to honor their NDA, then they’ll continue to provide even less lead time for future SDKs in order to preserve as much secrecy as possible prior to launch. 

        • http://josedmorales.net/ Joe Morales

          That is my point; developers cannot be trusted because you’ll never know who isn’t going to play by the rules. Period.