Leaks Provide Hints Of Advances In Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8, the next major release of Microsoft's smartphone operating system, will share many characteristics and technology with Windows 8 and may even be capable of running many of the same applications.

That’s according to published reports about Windows Phone 8, originating with a story on the PocketNow Web site, that also details the hardware specifications the new phone operating system release will support.

PocketNow said the details were taken from a video it obtained of Joe Belfiore, Microsoft corporate vice president of Windows Phone Program management, apparently prepared for Nokia executives.

Microsoft hasn't disclosed when Windows Phone 8, code-named "Apollo," will be launched. The company released version 7.5 last year and an interim release, known as "Tango," is expected sometime in the second quarter.

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Microsoft is designing Windows 8 to run on both desktop and tablet computers, while Windows Phone runs on smartphones such as Nokia's Lumia 800 and 900 handsets. While the two OSes aren't expected to be totally compatible, the reports say they will share many components, including security, network stacks, the OS kernel and multimedia, according to the PocketNow report. Even the user interfaces are expected to be similar.

All that will allow developers to reuse code when building applications for the two and even run apps designed for one OS on the other without a lot of redevelopment.

Windows Phone 8 is expected to use proxy server technology that will work with the mobile version of Internet Explorer 10 to speed up Web browsing. The mobile OS also will reportedly support multi-core processors, removable microSD card storage, multiple screen resolutions, and near-field communications "radios" for services such as contactless payments.

While Windows Phone has generally won plaudits from analysts and product reviewers, Microsoft has a long way to go to catch up in the mobile phone market with the Apple iPhone and smartphones based on Google's Android mobile operating system. Improved Windows-Windows Phone synergy could provide the mobile OS with a competitive boost.