PocketNow has gained information regarding the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8 which stems from a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore. The top secret video was reportedly intended for Nokia eyes only, and details Windows 8 integration, multi-core SoC support, support for near field communication (NFC) and more.
Windows Phone 8, currently codenamed "Apollo," will be the next release once Microsoft pushes Windows Phone 7 "Tango" to devices. As previously mentioned, the build will support multi-core SoCs and four new screen resolutions. Apollo will also (finally) support removable microSD card storage and NFC radios, the latter of which Microsoft will use to push contactless payments Belfiore referred to as the "Wallet experience."
This "Wallet experience" links back to our previous report revealing a patent filed by Microsoft in September 2011 which describes a "Mobile Wallet and Digital payment" service. The filing covers a "method that facilitates securing a wireless digital transaction" for "at least one of a good or a service."
The filing also refers to mobile devices that "can include at least one mobile payment card (m-card), wherein the m-card is created by establishing a PKC-secured link to an account associated with a form of currency." Naturally the link between mobile device and terminal is created via near field communication (NFC), but the p[patent also covers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and RFID just in case.
Belfiore said that NFC radios in Windows Phone 8 devices will have the capability to be carrier branded and controlled. This will be done either by a secure element on the SIM card or utilizing hardware in the phone itself. Even more, tap-to-share will work across multiple platforms like notebooks, desktops and tablets.
On the interface front, Windows Phone 8 will share the same visual design as the desktop, laptop and tablet versions, and will even use many of the same components, allowing developers to "reuse -- by far -- most of their code" when porting an app from desktop to phone. Here Belfiore specifically mentions the kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support as "areas of heavy overlap."
Belfiore's video also covered additional features like a richer version of ActiveSync, Skydrive support, an Xbox Companion app for full-blown Windows 8, app-to-app communication, a revamped Skype client that hooks directly into the OS, data management, business support and more. To read the full list of details, check out PocketNow's report here.