Windows 7 users – there’s still a Windows Phone 8 app for desktop

By LiveSide | Posted October 30, 2012 18 comments

Windows Phone 8 appWe reported yesterday that Microsoft has released the Windows Phone 8 companion app to the Windows Store for Windows 8 and Windows RT users. However, you may be wondering what about users still running Windows 7 or earlier versions and bought one of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices? It turns out there is more than the Windows Store app – a Windows Phone 8 app for desktop is available too, which seems to be a very stripped down version of the existing Zune software without the music player and marketplace capabilities:

Windows Phone 8 app for desktop preview

According to Microsoft’s official “How-to” support page, depending on your desktop operating system, below are the methods you could use to manage and sync music, videos and photos between your computer and your Windows Phone 8 device:

  • Windows 8 – Windows Store app, Desktop app, and via File Explorer
  • Windows RT – Windows Store app, and via File Explorer
  • Windows 7 – Desktop app, and via Windows Explorer
  • Windows Vista/XP – Via Windows Explorer only
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or later – Windows Phone app for Mac

Each of the methods above also allow you to do different things, and Microsoft has put together a nice table explaining what you can or cannot do with each of the apps:

Windows Phone 8 apps feature comparison

Software updates for Windows Phone 8 no longer requires the use of the PC, and updates will be applied over-the-air. Note that this is for Windows Phone 8 devices only, and Windows Phone 7.x device will still need to use the Zune software client to sync, manage, and update their devices.

To download the Windows Phone app for desktop (preview), click here.

(Thanks to Picturepan2 from LiveSino.net for the heads up!)

Posted October 30th, 2012 at 4:03 am
  • Robert Hall

    Am I missing something, or have podcast subscriptions disappeared?

  • Robert Hall

    Am I missing something, or have podcast subscriptions disappeared?

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  • w1ngnut

    What about apps for WP7 devices? We remain using zune or the WP8 app will target both ‘OSs’?

    • damaster

      “Note that this is for Windows Phone 8 devices only, and Windows Phone 7.x device will still need to use the Zune software client to sync, manage, and update their devices.”

      • w1ngnut

        OK, skipped that. Thx!

  • w1ngnut

    What about apps for WP7 devices? We remain using zune or the WP8 app will target both ‘OSs’?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      “Note that this is for Windows Phone 8 devices only, and Windows Phone 7.x device will still need to use the Zune software client to sync, manage, and update their devices.”

      • w1ngnut

        OK, skipped that. Thx!

  • Mario Albertico

    Wait…so everything that made Zune better than iTunes is now gone, and we’re left with something even worse than iTunes?

    • damaster

      Most things in Zune is now in Xbox Music. The new desktop tool is simply for syncing media on to WP8 devices. You don’t have to use it – File Explorer will do just fine in moving media in and out of your WP8 – you just don’t get the automatic “sync” capability between your iTunes or Windows Libraries.

      • Mario Albertico

        Thanks for the info, Damaster! So does Xbox Music have at least some of the music management tools that Zune desktop has (e.g. meta data editing, autoplaylist creation, ripping/burning, etc.)?

  • Mario Albertico

    Wait…so everything that made Zune better than iTunes is now gone, and we’re left with something even worse than iTunes?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Most things in Zune is now in Xbox Music. The new desktop tool is simply for syncing media on to WP8 devices. You don’t have to use it – File Explorer will do just fine in moving media in and out of your WP8 – you just don’t get the automatic “sync” capability between your iTunes or Windows Libraries.

      • Mario Albertico

        Thanks for the info, Damaster! So does Xbox Music have at least some of the music management tools that Zune desktop has (e.g. meta data editing, autoplaylist creation, ripping/burning, etc.)?

  • just_guess

    How can I access the WP8 filesystem from Linux?

  • just_guess

    How can I access the WP8 filesystem from Linux?