While Microsoft is still trying to get people to care about Windows Phone, details of the next big version are already nailed down, claims Pocketnow. The site says it's acquired a Microsoft video spilling the beans on Windows Phone 8.
So what should we expect from Windows 8 "Apollo"? Will it fix everything that's bothered us about WP7? Will it be enough to make people buy a Windows Phone, or even know they're in existence? We hope so -- and it looks promising:
The next wave of Windows Phones will finally support multi-core processors -- breaking from Microsoft's iron grasp on specs. No word on just how many cores will be allowed, and at what speeds, but this will keep Windows Phone in the running with Android and iOS devices that sport two or four cores.
Every Windows Phone is stuck with the same decent resolution -- but Pocketnow says that'll change with 8: "Apollo will add support..new screen resolutions (a total of four, although actual pixel counts weren't specified). This is excellent news. Phones like the Titan, with giant, gorgeous screens, have been held down by a pixel paucity that pales compared to the iPhone, or LG's 720p Spectrum. Windows Phone is a wonderfully graphical OS, and software so beautiful deserves higher resolutions. We just hope Microsoft mandates things upwards, rather than allowing watered down resolutions lower than the current status quo.
Easier said than done. Microsoft "expects 100,000 apps to be in the Marketplace (tipped for imminent worldwide availability) at the launch of Windows Phone 8," according to Pocketnow. That'd be a nice bump from the currently mediocre crop, but again, it's easy to expect anything.
Great (rumoured) bonus: more camera customisation. That's been a sweet spot for the iPhone app menu, and would make WP a hell of a lot more attractive for mobile photogs.
NFC mobile payment support -- swipe your Windows Phone to pay for groceries. An SD card slot for added storage. Perhaps most interesting of all, an Amazon Silk-style browser proxy, which does part of the work remotely before beaming websites to your phone -- MS claims it'll squeeze data by 30 per cent.
Is this good?
Mostly, yes. With the exception of handset standouts like the Titan or Lumia 800, the OS' phone selection is like a dull high school hardware cafeteria. Every phone has more or less the exact same innards. Offering the chance to actually differentiate -- a Windows Phone for the everyman, a Windows Phone for the power lusty -- will draw attention to a platform that desperately needs and deserves it.
But please, please Microsoft -- don't your newfound interest in Windows Phone diversity as a means of stumbling into the Android fragmentation canyon. Selection is good, but a dizzying and arbitrary spectrum of phones helps nobody. We want phones that are clearly better or worse in obvious ways, not an XL, HD, SE and Turbo version of everything. Keep it clean -- it's what you've been spectacular at so far. [Pocketnow]