Microsoft has launched the latest version of its smartphone operating system – Windows Phone 8 at an event in San Francisco on Monday. Previously announced Windows Phone 8 smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X, Samsung Ativ S will go on sale globally from November.

New features added in Windows Phone 8 include skype integration into OS, Live Apps that are updated with new content even on the lock screen. The new Kid’s Corner feature allows parents to stop worrying when their kids play with their phone. Using Kid’s Corner children can access only the apps, games, music and videos picked by their parents. Microsoft has also added a group feature to its People Hub.

Skype, which Microsoft acquired in 2011, is now an integrated part of Windows Phone 8 and is always on for instant access. Microsoft stresses that even while Skype will continue to run on the phone’s on, it will not drain the battery unlike other background applications. That Windows Phone 8 has SkyDrive cloud service built-in it will be able to sync with Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft Surface devices and the Xbox 360 console.

 People who already have Windows phones won’t be able to upgrade to the new version.

Nokia’s Lumia 920,
Samsung's ACTIV S
Samsung’s ACTIV S
HTC’s 8S