Windows Phone 8 Brings Major Changes

Windows Phone 8 is going to usher in some major changes, according to details leaked in a video obtained by PocketNow. The video was created by Microsoft and features Senior Vice President Joe Belfiore. It was intended for partners at Nokia. Maybe not a good idea given the leak. So what’s changed and what can we expect with Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo?

One of the major changes revolves around hardware support. They are adding support for multiple core processors, which makes sense, if not purely from a marketing perspective. While Windows Phone 7.5 performs admirably using a single core processor, competitors are advertising dual-core processors, making for a tougher sell at retail. Also added in Windows 8 will be support for multiple resolutions, a total of four new screen resolutions. It will be interesting to see how this affects developers, if at all.

While NFC hasn’t taken off yet in the US, a lot of things can change in a year. Thankfully, Microsoft is adding support for “near field communications” in WP8. They are calling it the “Wallet experience” and they will allow the carrier to have complete control over it, including the branding. Also on board is “tap to share”, which was recently tabbed as a big feature on HP’s webOS. This version will support multiple platforms and devices.

Windows Phone 8 will borrow UI elements from Windows 8. Additionally, it will allow shared components, allowing developers to “reuse” their code. Developers will be able to leverage time spent working on apps in Windows 8 when bringing them to Windows Phone 8.

Zune integration will be a thing of the past. In it’s place, a new dedicated companion app. Similarly, the Xbox companion app will see a partner app on Windows 8. The platform will also bring a new DataSmart feature, which will help users track and manage data more effectively. They also plan to utilize proxy servers, which could speed up delivery while reducing data usage. Finally, they are going to add BitLocker encryption, as a method to lure security conscious business clients to Windows Phone 8.

When Windows Phone 8 is released, Microsoft expects to eclipse 100,000 apps. With support for native code, this will bring more powerful applications. The article mentions possible taglines as “Windows Reimagined” or “The New Familiar”.

This all sounds real good today. Will it still sound that good 9-10 months from now?

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