Microsoft has some major changes in store for Windows Phone 8 codename "Apollo", revealed a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore, intended for partners at Nokia.
Pocketnow who got the hands-on the video report that the video specifically revealed a number of Windows Phone 8 features and themes.
According to Belfiore, the "overarching theme with regards to the Windows Phone 8 hardware ecosystem will be scale and choice. Specifically, Apollo will add support for multicore processors, new screen resolutions (a total of four, although actual pixel counts weren't specified), and removable microSD card storage."
NFC radios will also be supported, with Belfiore placing specific emphasis on 8's push into contactless payments. The "Wallet experience," as he calls it, will have the capability to be carrier-branded and controlled, either by a secure element on the SIM card or utilizing hardware in the phone itself. In addition, tap-to-share capabilities will reportedly work across multiple platforms, allowing desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones to all share content.
Also, WP8 won't just share a UI with the next-generation desktop and tablet OS, apparently: it will use many of the same components as Windows 8, allowing developers to "reuse -- by far -- most of their code" when porting an app from desktop to phone, according to Belfiore. He specifically mentions the kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support as areas of heavy overlap.
Moreover, WP8 will reportedly scrap integration with the desktop Zune client in favor of a syncing relationship with a dedicated companion application.
Here's a quick recap of the features:
- Support for multi-core processors
- new screen resolutions (4 total, no more specifics)
- removable microSD card storage (!!)
- NFC radio support, including…
- carrier branded and controlled "Wallet experience"
- a "dedicated companion application" to replace the current Zune application for PC sync.
- Xbox Companion app, currently found on Windows Phones, will see a partner client on Windows 8.
- Microsoft is expecting 100,000 apps in the Marketplace at time of Windows Phone 8 launch
- native code support for app developers
- Skydrive support promises seamless sharing of data between devices
- support for app-to-app communication
- a revamped Skype client "that hooks directly into the OS"
- App-to-App communication. Because Windows Phone 8 apps, like Windows 8 apps, are sandboxed from each other, this new system will provide a Windows 8 contracts-like app-to-app communications capabilities.
- Internet Explorer 10 Mobile. Windows Phone 8 will continue to used a highly tuned version of IE which utilizes the latest web technologies.
- a "lens app" for camera applications, allowing camera skinning or overlays with viewfinders
- "DataSmart" - a feature to simplify tracking of data usage.
- A proxy server to feed pages to IE10, using server-side compression, reducing data needs by 30%
- native BitLocker encryption
- Belfiore gives the example of instantly having one's music collection available on a newly-purchased Windows Phone, without the need for a PC sync.
- Windows Phone 8 will include full-device, hardware accelerated encryption with BitLocker and always-on Secure Boot capabilities, just like Windows 8.
- it will support additional Exchange ActiveSync policies and System Center configuration settings and inventory capabilities
It sounds like the tagline for this so-called Windows 2012 relaunch, or "Windows reimagined," will be "The New Familiar."
Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott also published a post confirming many of the above details, adding that despite the change to a desktop kernel, current Windows Phone apps will indeed be backwards compatible.
Businesses will be able to distribute phone apps privately as they can with Windows 8 apps.