Rumors by Dan Seifert on Thursday February 02, 2012.
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Microsoft might be pushing its Windows Phone 7.5 operating system hard now, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard at work on the next version of the platform. Pocketnow has obtained a laundry list of details covering what will be included with Windows Phone 8, code-named Apollo, and looking at it, it seems like Microsoft is taking the platform in a rather predictable direction.
Pocketnow claims that the information it obtained on Windows Phone 8 was from an internal video starring Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore that was shown to Microsoft's partners at Nokia. Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott has independently corroborated what Pocketnow revealed, so there seems to be some credibility to the information.
Windows Phone 8 will apparently support multi-core (both dual and quad) processors, four new (unnamed) screen resolutions, Near Field Communications with mobile wallet functionality, and microSD card storage expansion. Most of these features are fairly predictable, and it appears that Microsoft is beefing up the spec list for Windows Phone so that it looks nicer on paper when compared with Android and iOS.
On the software front, Windows Phone 8 is said to have a very similar codebase to the desktop version of Windows 8, so developers will be able to share much of their code between the platforms while Windows phone remains backwards compatible with existing apps. The Zune desktop client is being sent off to pasture, to be replaced by a lighter, quicker solution. Windows Phone 8 devices will include data usage monitors so that users can track their usage with limited data plans, and the Local Scout feature of Bing Maps will show nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. Windows Phone 8 is also due to get the 128-bit encryption from Microsoft's BitLocker service, which should make it more attractive to business users.
The Skype app that was reported as entering internal testing soon is carried over to Windows Phone 8, but it will still remain a separate app instead of being integrated into the platforms core functions - a surprising note to say the least. The native camera app is said to be greatly improved with Windows Phone 8 as well, including new "lens apps."
Depending on how far along Microsoft is with development on Windows Phone 8, we might get some glimpses of it at Mobile World Congress later this month. If not then, we would expect the company to reveal it shortly afterward, as rumors have pointed to a Q4 launch to coincide with the launch Windows 8 for desktops.