Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is planning to add a number of major new features to its Windows Phone smartphone operating system, and will release the upgraded platform at around the same time it releases its Windows 8 desktop and tablet computer operating system.
According to a leaked video obtained by PocketNow, as well as a number of other related leaks, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform, codenamed "Apollo," will support multi-core processors and four different screen sizes. It will also run Near Field Communications technology, which is suitable for mobile wallet applications. According to the reports, Microsoft will use NFC to allow users to transmit information from Windows Phone 8 devices to tablets or computers running Windows 8 by tapping the devices against each other.
Other upgrades reportedly contained in Windows Phone 8 include built-in support for Skype (Microsoft last year agreed to purchase Skype for $8.5 billion). Windows Phone 8 will also be able to run some of the same applications as Microsoft's Windows 8 platform, and the two will share Microsoft's "Metro" design. Finally, Windows Phone 8 will make wider use of Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service.
The next upgrade to Windows Phone is expected to be Tango, and Apollo is rumored to drop after that. The upgrades to Windows Phone are notable as they reflect Microsoft's intentions to ensure its smartphone platform maintains parity with the leaders in the space, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS.
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