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By 3 February 2012 | Categories: news

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Handsets gracing the latest version (7.5) of Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system (OS) are only entering the local market now, such as Nokia’s Lumia 800 smartphone expected to be available locally from Vodacom as of 7 February 2012.

Now it would appear that features making their way into the next version of the Redmond-based software giant’s mobile OS, Windows Phone 8 - codenamed Apollo, have come to light prematurely, due to Pocketnow.com getting its hands on a leaked video. This video is hosted by Microsoft’s senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore and was intended for Microsoft’s hardware partners.

According to the report some of the new features of Windows Phone 8 will be:
  • Support for multi-core processors, to better compete with high-end devices from competitors such as Apple’s iPhone 4S, HTC’s Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy SII.
  • Support for four new display resolutions giving vendors more choice as Windows Phone 7.5 currently only supports WVGA (480 x 800) resolution.
  • Much needed support for removable microSD card storage.
  • NFC will be supported, with specific emphasis being given to mobile payments or the “wallet experience” as it is referred to in the video, although tap-to-share capabilities will also be catered for.
  • Notifications surrounding the user’s consumption of data.
  • The camera user interface will be updated according to each manufacturer’s preferences, enabling more differentiation between models from competing vendors.
  • An Opera Mini-like browsing experience with webpages being compressed before being sent to the device, resulting in a data saving of around 30%.
  • Windows 8 and Windows Phone Apollo will reportedly be sharing more than just similar looks (the metro UI), allowing developers to redeploy more bits of their code when making a mobile version of their Windows 8 app or vice versa.
  • App to app communication between Windows 8’s PC and tablet apps and Windows Phone 8’s smartphone apps.
  • A much improved Skype client.
  • Native Bitlocker (128-bit) encryption.
So far Windows Phone OS hasn't really managed to entice smartphone users away from the iPhone and various Android-powered devices, but with features such as these we think it is destined to assert itself as a proper rival.    
 
In other news from the smartphone scene, market research firm International Data Corporation has recently announced its analysis of the mobile market for the period of Q4 2011, stating that the global mobile phone market grew by 6.1% with Nokia, Samsung and Apple making up the top three regarding sales.

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