Scheduled as the next release after the Windows Phone 7.6 'Tango' update, it has now been revealed by pocketnow, that Windows Phone 8 'Apollo' will in fact be based upon the same kernel as the desktop Windows 8 and will arrive equipped with a slew of new features. The details stem from a video hosted by SVP and Windows Phone manager, Joe Belfiore, originally intended to fill-in partners over at Nokia.
Joe explained that the focus of Windows Phone 8 in respect to hardware design was flexibility and choice, with the new OS supporting multi-core processors, four new screen resolutions and removable MicroSD storage options. Additionally, the OS would support the full-range of current NFC options, be they secure SIM or device based. We saw back at CES, Intel demonstrating secure NFC payments on its Ultrabooks running Windows; the technology could also be used to synch information between a phone and the computer, with a long list of other potential applications waiting to be exploited. To further enhance integration, the OS will move away from Zune as a way of syncing between PC and mobile device and will instead focus on a tighter integration, also expanding into cloud storage through the use of 'Skydrive'.
One of the core ideas behind utilising components from Windows 8, is not only for UI standardisation but also as a reusable code-base, with Joe claiming that there was heavy overlap in the APIs supporting the kernel, networking stacks, security and multimedia support. To really seal the deal, Microsoft is bringing back support for native code, which will not only ease porting from other platforms but, with any luck, will help to bring high-performance multi-platform game engines back to the Windows Mobile platform. Topping all this off, app-to-app communication will also be supported, with apps such as Skype now able to hook directly into the OS for a seamless experience. Microsoft is expecting 100,000 apps to be present in the Marketplace at launch, which is rumoured to be the fourth quarter of this year, made possible by the previous platform's use of .NET and XNA, allowing for backwards compatible support.
Along with a new focus on seamless WiFi integration and data monitoring, Windows Phone 8 will also support the use of a proxy server to compress and pre-process data before feeding it to the device's Internet Explorer 10 web-browser, much like Opera Mini or Amazon's Silk, with Microsoft claiming a typical compression rate of 30 per cent.
From a business perspective, the device will also feature full-drive BitLocker encryption support and allows for internal application roll-out.
Windows Phone 8 is looking to take one, if not several, massive steps forward in both functionality and hardware support, let's hope that Microsoft has gotten its formulas for success right for this one, though, if it has, Android 5.0 and iOS 6 will certainly have to pull out all the stops when it becomes their time to shine.