Heads up guys, your minds are about to be assaulted by unexpected levels of awesome. The folks of PocketNow claim to have seen a video intended for OEMs and hosted by Joe Belfiore, and guess what he talks about? Windows Phone 8! Yes because of this video a ton of information has leaked about Microsoft’s plans for Apollo. There’s a lot to go through so join us past the break for more.
Alright so what’s been confirmed in the video? Let’s start off with what’s revealed about the hardware. PocketNow says that Belfiore basically listed off everything on a Windows Phone fan’s wishlist and it definitely looks like Microsoft is gearing up for a big hardware push with Apollo. That would include multi-core processors–interesting he didn’t say dual, but rather multi so maybe someone could sneak in a quad-core chipset sooner than we thought. Another mention is new screen resolutions, four in total and though there were no details besides that we wouldn’t be surprised if it was a mix of low and high end setups. There’s also mention of real microSD support (finally!) as well as NFC support paired with a “new Wallet experience”.
Next up is talk of the ecosystem, and there’s a big new addition that developers should drool over: native code. The result will be much more powerful applications and maybe even interoperability, but Belfiore didn’t go into further details beyond just mentioning it. There’s also talk of Skype which will ‘hook’ into the OS but remain downloadable/updatable from the Marketplace (just like Xbox Live Extras). Finally there’s one unexpected but interesting new feature that will allow OEMs to have more power over the camera, with their own customizable “Lens” apps.
Then there’s a surprising amount to talk about when it comes to data because it’s set to be a big part of Windows Phone 8. The biggest part of this section is a new DataSmart feature which will ” reduce, and simplify the tracking of, data usage”. That’s done by a new live tile showing data use, data permissions per app, and new Wi-Fi settings. Local Scout will be a factor in that last part by listing nearby hotspots, and in particular helping you find free hotspots that are compatible with your carrier. Another surprise in terms of data is what Microsoft plans to do with the browser, which will take the Opera Mini-route and compress pages in their own servers before sending it to your phone. This is said to reduce data consumption from browsing by a whopping 30%. The discussion then moves on to the enterprise which is getting more love from Windows Phone than ever before. That includes native Bitlocker support of 128-bit encryption and the support of business-end apps companies can deploy freely without going through the Marketplace.
Finally there’s the exciting promise of Windows 8 integration. Belfiore confirms that Windows Phone will share a lot in common with Windows 8′s interface and even actual parts of the OS. That promises to let developers use apps between the two platforms without changing much of the code. Moving on from the OS, there’s news about Zune or rather the demise of the desktop software in favor of a native client — something we’ve been looking forward to for a while now. SkyDrive will also be the uniting force between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as Belfiore gave the example of a user who buys a phone and instantly has their music collection available thanks to cloud syncing. Finally the story of what’s shaping up to be a big 2012 points towards possible branding with PocketNow hearing slogans like “Windows Reimagined” and “The New Familiar”.
We’re kind of speechless after all of this, except for one more thing to point out: Paul Thurrott has confirmed all of this. Booyah!