The good folks at Pocketnow who apparently managed to get their eyes on an internal Microsoft/Nokia video hosted by Joe Belfiore (I say apparently because they haven’t posted the video and it isn’t clear if they actually saw it or if they are reporting what somebody saw in it) detailing most of the new features coming with Windows Phone 8.
First of all the OS will be, as we all have been expecting, based on the Windows 8 Kernel and share the same networking stack, multimedia and security support as its bigger brother. This means that most Metro applications developed for Windows 8 will be easily portable to Windows Phone 8. Once again nothing really surprising here. Native code development will also be part of the show this time around and finally enable developers to creating richer applications and games. Microsoft is also apparently going to ditch the Zune desktop software in favor of an ActiveSync like integration with Windows 8 while Xbox and Skydrive integration will finally be fully backed into both the desktop and mobile OS (Ie: Music on Skydrive will instantly be available on the phone etc..). Skype which has yet to be released on Windows Phone 7 will also be seamlessly integrated into Windows Phone 8 and the Dialer/Phone application. Third party app-to-app communication will also be supported now. On the business front Windows Phone 8 will support Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption (128bit) and finally enable businesses to easily deploy proprietary software on the fleet of Windows Phones.
Internet Explorer 10 will also include server side compression support (via a proxy server) to reduce page loading times by 30%. This shouldn’t come as a surprise knowing that Microsoft was actually the first company to introduce such feature in the short R&D browser project on Windows Mobile 5 code named DeepFish a few years ago. Hopefully this feature will be optional though. The OS will also include a DataSmart Live Tile Functionality which ill serve as a hub where users can easily track their data usage (a similar feature is present in Windows 8 ) and LocalScout will detect nearby WiFi hotspots too.
On the hardware front Windows Phone 8 will now support four different screen resolutions (not specified) compared to only one right now (WVGA) and also multi-core CPU configurations. Nothing really uprising here given that we all expected it. Micrdo-SD expansion cards support will also be official now and allow users to finally have Windows Phone devices with more than 16Gb of internal storage. WP8 will also have native NFC support and a new Camera API that will allow hardware partners to more deeply integrate their camera.
Here’s a recap:
- Windows Phone 8 shares the same Kernel, security stack, multimedia and networking stack as Windows 8
- Dual-core / Multi Core PU support
- 4 Screen resolutions supported
- NFC support
- Micro-SD memory expansion officially supported
- Native code support for third party developers
- No more Zune desktop app: Full integration with Windows 8 SkyDrive and Xbox Live
- BitLoker 128bit encryption
- New Camera API
- Skype will be fully integrated in Windows Phone 8 (edit: ..or not. it may only be an optional application according to the leaks..)
- Third party App-to-App communication support
- DataSmart data usage monitoring and WiFi hotspot detection in LocaScout
- New Business oriented features
- Server side page compression in Internet Explorer 10 Mobile to speed up page loading times
- USB Hub feature
Everything we are hearing now falls in line with what most of us have been expecting for a while now but The most importation question remains unanswered: Will 2nd generation (or even 1st) Windows Phone 7 devices be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 Apollo once it launches later this year ?