Today, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 2012 Summit kicks off in San Francisco, with a focus on the latest changes that the Redmond-based software giant brought to its mobile platform
To be more precise, Microsoft is expected to make its Windows Phone 8
operating system version official today, with all of the new features and improvements it has been long rumored to sport.
For those out of the loop, we should note that Windows Phone 8 is expected to hit shelves with support for multi-core application processors, which would bring it in line with other modern mobile operating systems out there today, such as Android or iOS.
Additionally, the next-gen operating system
is expected to offer support for more screen resolutions, better quality cameras, and higher-end hardware overall.
Although a very appealing platform, Windows Phone has been hit by the lack of top-level hardware on which to run. The upcoming OS flavor, codenamed Apollo, should change that.
But there’s more to it. With Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is also expected to provide users with the possibility to add additional storage space to their devices through the use of MicroSD memory cards.
It would also offer extended support for NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities, which already made it inside some of the latest devices, such as Nokia’s Lumia 610.
Windows Phone 8 should also bring along new data management tools and Nokia-powered Maps application, while also offering Skype integration
, another feature that users have been long waiting for.
Given Microsoft’s new commitment to the mobile space through a variety of optimizations brought to its Windows 8 platform, the mobile OS is also expected to feature integration with the desktop / tablet platform, though it’s yet uncertain to which level that would extend.
The launch of Windows Phone 8 will also be accompanied by a series of changes to other products and services that Microsoft made available for its users.
Thus, the Zune software is said to be on the brink of tasting a major makeover, which could result in it being included in Microsoft’s Xbox-line of entertainment products.
Other services currently accessible from Windows Phone devices would also taste similar changes, including Windows Live, which should receive both a name change, and a Metro-UI refresh. Windows Phone 8
is expected to become available sometime in the fourth quarter of the current year, offering access to over 100,000 applications through the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The platform will be launched on new devices, most of which are expected to come from Nokia, but it was also rumored
to be on its way to existing smartphones. Microsoft has yet to confirm any such plans; hopefully they will as soon as today.