updated 02:32 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
Windows Phone 8 coming in new devices this fall, Windows Phone 7.8 to update current ones
At today's Windows Phone Developer Summit, Microsoft has unveiled official details on its upcoming mobile OS, Windows Phone 8. Dubbed Apollo in the past, the software will launch on a host of new devices this fall, as predicted late last year. Current Windows Phone devices will not be getting the update to this OS, however.
The software will support processors with up to 64 cores, and display resolutions as large as 1280x768. External SD card storage will also be compatible. The code will be native C/C++ and Windows Phone 8 will share its kernel with Windows 8 and Windows RT. This should result in some impressive games and software that can be somewhat easily ported over between notebooks, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
NFC support will come by way of a special SIM card, giving carriers control over the technology and feature. Nokia Maps will be embedded with the OS and include offline map support. Developers should be glad to hear in-app purchases will also be supported.
Microsoft also promises high levels of security, with encryption and secure booting baked in. Enterprises will have the ability to deploy and restrict apps by admins on corporate phones, with remote management ensured as well.
Those with current Windows Phone handsets will instead get Windows Phone 7.8. It will include some of the new features and look of Windows Phone 8, including the new Start Screen. Users will have a choice of three tile sizes, including a fingertip size which is a four times smaller than the standard, current tile size. Users won't need to wait for carriers to get the update, which will be available over Wi-Fi.
Initial hardware partners include Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC.