An video meant for internal viewing at Nokia featuring senior Windows Phone VP Joe Belfiore, revealed that the next Windows Phone update, nicknamed Apollo, will add multi-core processor support and catch up to Android and iOS. Unfortunately we weren’t able to view the video ourselves but rely on PocketNow’s summary which also noted that it should also address a longstanding gripe about the lack of easily removable microSD card storage and bring in four new screen resolutions, greatly improving the diversity of phones.
Windows 8 is seeing its public beta soon and Windows Phone will be receiving some level of unification with Windows 8. Many of the components would be the same, letting a developer write a Metro-based Windows 8 app and reuse the majority of the code in the Windows Phone version. Microsoft would also break Windows Phone from its dependence on the Zune app on Windows PCs and tie it to a companion syncing app. Xbox Companion should get a parallel in Windows 8 to control the game console.
As expected NFC is on the radar with mobile payments being badged by the carrier and would work with any physical deployment in the hardware. NFC could either be built into the phone, similar to Android on the, or else built into the SIM card on GSM and LTE networks.
Apollo should support truly native apps for more performance-intensive releases and should let apps talk to each other rather than just to the OS. More camera control would go to developers, who could use basic access to the camera and layer their own work on top of it. The first fruits of the Skype acquisition would come with an app that would treat Internet calls much like their conventional counterparts.
Windows Phone 8 is said to add native BitLocker encryption — the same 128-bit, full-disk encryption found on Microsoft most recent desktop platforms. So-called “line-of-business” applications are also gaining support, allowing businesses to deploy proprietary, tailored software behind their company firewalls.
Windows Phone 8/Apollo would allow Microsoft to jump to dual- or quad-core processors as well as serve both higher- and lower-end devices that it has previously had to exclude.
Adding credibility to the leaked story Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott has published a postconfirming many of the details that in the PocketNow article and added that despite the change to a desktop kernel, current Windows Phone apps will indeed be backwards compatible.
Apollo is informally expected in late 2012 and may be preceded by a minor update to Tango in the spring.
Do you think this will be enough to get Windows Phone 7 into main stream adoption? I recently left Windows Phone 7 after 7 months, if you want to find out why, click here.