When it came to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft was able to pull off Apple-like product secrecy. Unfortunately for the Windows Phone team, some details about their next major release–Windows Phone 8, aka Apollo–have made their way on to the interwebs.
PocketNow got hold of a video prepared by the Windows Phone team featuring Joe Belfiore (he’s the dude in-charge of product design and definition) for OEM partners, specifically Nokia, in this case. According to PocketNow, Apollo or Windows Phone 8, will have the following features:
Probably the biggest news in my opinion is Microsoft giving up on Zune for syncing to Windows Phone. Microsoft has had ActiveSync (a horrible mobile sync tool) in Windows for a while. With WP7, Microsoft moved to Zune for syncing, no more with Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft has a very simple, no frills, snappy sync utility for OS X and looks like Windows will be getting something similar. This is another nail in Zune’s coffin.
In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced basic capabilities to track your data consumption. This was done with tablets and expensive US data plans in mind. Microsoft will be adding similar functionality in Windows Phone 8.
An OEM- customizable camera experience with Microsoft providing the basic interface. The implementation/app is currently known as “Lens.”
While Windows Phone 7 has pretty solid SkyDrive integration, there are gaps. According to the leaked information, Microsoft will strengthening their SkyDrive integration by allowing backups on the cloud and having seamless iCloud-like sync between Windows, media marketplace and the phone.
Internet Explorer 10
The PocketNow report says Microsoft will deploy an Opera Mini like implementation where webpages will be served via proxy server to offer quicker load times.
According to PocketNow, Skype in Apollo will be an optional thrid-party app but applications will be able to customize and provide an experience similar to native phone calling.
In addition to the above, Windows Phone 8 will bring the following hardware changes:
- microSD storage support (the current implementation is not plug & play)
- multi-core processors (joining the ranks of under-utilized, battery hogging phones)
- new screen resolutions, 4 expected (currently, Windows Phone has a 800×480, not-as-clear-as-iPhone resolution)
- NFC support (for Google Wallet like use-cases)