Microsoft are gearing up for what they are calling Project Apollo aka Windows Phone 8 launch some time later in the year. The phone, which has been the stuff of rumour mills up to now has finally got some real leaks thanks to a video obtained by Pocketnow that was intended for Nokia executives in which Windows Phone Manager briefs the execs on the upcoming phone.
The phone, which is scheduled to be released after the earlier edition code-named Project Tango is seen as Microsoft’s main push into the smartphone market as Tango has already been overtaken by events more or less with the release of the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S2.
Project Apollo is however pipped to be a much more suitable competitor for these other phones owing to the raft of changes Microsoft have added to the phone. Top of these changes is the software integration and the availability of a revamped app store, the latter being available with the release of the Windows Phone.
Windows Phone 8 will come with greater cross integration with other devices and developers will be able to recycle a lot of code they use building apps for other devices. This means code used to create applications for Android and iOS will be much easier to port to Windows Phone than was possible before.
In addition, the phone will probably come with a native Skype application embedded in the system with rumours that Microsoft employees are already testing a Beta version of the same. This will make Skype calls almost indistinguishable from normal calls.
In a departure from traditional Windows Phone practice, the phone will come with removable SD card storage, multi-core processors and switch-able resolutions. The phone will also sport NFC support for both file sharing and touch-to-pay mobile wallet functionality. Microsoft say this latter feature will offer carriers the option to brand their own proprietary NFC mobile wallet services.
Other features that will make it into Windows Phone 8 include a data use management tool which will automatically locate and switch to carrier WiFi hot spots when available, server-side data compression for those browsing with Opera and Skyfire and business support with BitLocker encryption allowing businesses to deploy apps behind their firewall.