Ahead of Google I/O, Microsoft keeps making buzz about the company future offerings. Last Monday was the Surface Tablets, today the Redmond company outlined its next mobile Operating System codenamed Apollo or Windows Phone 8.

image As the company starts a new paradigm shifting to be tablet  friendly while maintaining downward compatibility, hence the born of  Windows 8 (Intel-based) for both Tablet, PC, in addition to Windows RT (ARM-based) for low cost tablet.

The mobile division has to take another hard decision to start a new programming platform  to line up with the Windows RT apps. Since both smartphone and tablet are using ARM-based CPU, unifying them with native C and C++ code, would help developers to create apps on both Windows Phone and Windows RT with very little effort.

The downside of this decision is the current Windows Phone 7 devices will not run on Windows Phone 8. Apps running on Windows Phone 7 will continue to run on Windows Phone 8 however. Microsoft promises to make available all the Windows Phone 8 features for existing hardware with a new Windows Phone version 7.8.

Highlights of Windows Phone 8.

Multi-core CPU support

Modern Android and iPhones are already running on multi-core CPUs. It is time for WP8 to announce its support as a natural progression. Windows Phone 8 supports dual-core processor from Qualcomm.

More Screen Resolutions

Windows Phone 7 has many restrictions to manufacturer, one of them is the single resolution support, WP8 adds 2 more configurations WVGA 800x400with 15:9 aspect ratio; WXGA at 1280×769 and 15:9; and 720p at 1280×720 at 16:9.

microSD that app can reside 

Expanded TellMe voice recognition software with API to interact with apps

Internet Explorer 10 with better JavaScript; Anti-Phishing

Near Field Communication (NFC) Sharing

NFC can be used to share data between platforms and possible mobile payments.

Wallet Hub

Passbook-like application to store loyaty card, credit cards, membership cards, etc..    Windows Phone Wallet experience will also support NFC tap-to-pay.

New Start Screen

Live Tiles will be offered in different sizes and can be easily pinned. The Windows Phone 8 will have further resemblance to Windows 8 or the other way around.

Nokia Maps

Windows Phone 8 maps will run on Nokia’s owned NAVTEQ mapping technology including turn-by-turn directions. Note: absence of 3D support might put WP8 in the back seat in today competitive landscape. A nice gesture to show its support to the ailing Nokia.

Business Ready

More business oriented features with encryption, Secured Boot , central management and Microsoft Office Suite availability

It is clear that Microsoft is setting up for its all platform synergy, which is the right strategy.. especially if the company launched this initiative few year back..

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