Details of the next-generation Windows Phone software have been revealed in a leaked Microsoft partner video.
Codenamed “Apollo”, Windows Phone 8 is set to arrive after the upcoming Tango update – which will replace the current Mango flavour.
In the video, spotted by PocketNow, senior Vice President and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore introduces WP8 to the company’s partners at Nokia. So we now know several features of this version of Windows Phone.
It seems the main point of the updates is to make the Microsoft OS more competitive and able to go head-to-head with rivals the iPhone and Android smartphones. Manufacturers will have more control over phone-build, making it easier to distinguish WP8 handsets based on specs.
Core features of Windows Phone 8 include:
- Hardware support for multi-core chips (to join and compete with the quad-core handsets expected by several manufacturers at this month’s MWC)
- Four new screen resolutions
- Removable microSD card memory storage
- NFC support for contactless payments or “wallet experience” as Belfiore calls it
- Tap-to-share functions so can link with and share content on phones, tablets and PCs
- Integration with the Windows 8 platform for tablets and computers (unlike the current versions which are based on Windows CE). This won’t impact on the apps, either, and Microsoft plans to have 100,000 WP7.5 apps available when WP8 launches, which will all work on this latest update
- Native code support, enabling more powerful apps
- DataSmart, which helps you reduce data consumption. As well as showing you how much you’ve used, it auto-connects you to Wi-Fi when available, shows you where the local hotspots are using the Local Scout feature of Bing Maps, and reduces (by 30% is the claim) the amount of data needed to view web pages by using a proxy server to feed pages to Internet Explorer 10
- Business support – BitLocker encryption, and the option for businesses to build proprietary software into the phone
- New “lens apps” for the camera
The leak has largely been backed-up by Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott who discusses WP8 on his blog. Confirming many of the leaked features, he says he’s unable to confirm whether there will be more form factors and four different screen resolutions.
Windows Phone 8 is expected to launch in Q4 so watch this space for further details on what you can expect on this new version.