Microsoft today has revealed the next version of its mobile operating system – Windows Phone 8. To become available this fall, Windows Phone 8 will first and foremost have a “shared core” with Windows 8. This means that WP8 will have most of the same features as the desktop OS and will bring more advanced features to mobile phones. Windows Phone 8 will initially support mobile phones with dual-core CPUs and later on handsets with quad-core CPUs as well. It will have three screen resolutions which will max out at 1280 x 768. Additionally, Windows Phone 8 will now support microSD cards, probably the most demanded feature by current Windows Phone handset owners. For Windows Phone app developers, Microsoft also said that apps developed for Windows Phone 7.5 will not need to be refactored for the new resolutions to be adopted by Windows Phone 8. In addition, Microsoft will also allow native code development for the platform and it be supported by DirectX.
Another notable feature of Windows Phone 8 is the built-in Internet Explorer which will have a rendering engine that mirrors the desktop version of the browser. The OS will have Nokia Maps as its default map application. Nokia Maps on Windows Phone 8 will have complete offline maps as well as turn-by-turn navigation. And take note, this turn-by-turn navigation will be applicable in many countries and not just be exclusive in the US. And just like some Android phones, Windows Phone 8 will support NFC wireless sharing and will have its own version of a digital wallet.
Lastly, Windows Phone 8 will also be bringing new palette of theme colors and three sizes of the Live Tiles which reside on Windows Phone device’s home screens. Live Tiles in Windows Phone 8 can now be set to be either double-wide, regular or small in size. This means that you’ll have the option to pack in more information onto the homescreen.
As mentioned Windows Phone 8 will be available this fall. Microsoft also announced that among its partners in bringing in Windows Phone 8 are Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei.