Windows Phone 8: Dual Core, NFC, Skype & More

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The revamped Windows Phone has been lacking potent hardware in many crucial areas. To date WP7 lacks support for dual-core processors, memory card slots and high res screens, but Windows Phone 8 will change that.

Nokia’s Lumia 900

The new OS has been nicknamed Apollo after the Greek god of the sun. The title sets the bar high for the new version of Windows Phone, an OS which has been characterised by compromises. With the following reports from PocketNow though, Apollo is shaping up to be the first rendition of Windows that delivers a complete mobile experience.
 
Although the software is heading in the right direction, WP7 only supports single core processors which fall short compared to the cutting-edge dual cores on offer from Android and Apple. Perhaps the most significant change in WP8 is that it will be offered with smartphones that can handle multiple cores. 

The OS will also offer support for 4 new screen resolutions. Although the resolutions are yet-to-be-known, it’s an area that Microsoft needs to address if they are to steal some market share.

A quick comparison between the latest Nokia and Android smartphones reveals how far behind WP7 is. Nokia’s yet-to-be-released Lumia 900 has 480×800 screen resolution. Compared to Android’s latest Nexus smartphone, which has a resolution of 720×1,280 (HD), Windows is relying on yesterday’s technology. And it is yesterday’s technology, considering Samsung’s Galaxy SII had such a resolution ten months ago.

 

Smartphones running WP8 will benefit from Near Field Communications (NFC) technology which uses a credit-card like chip inside the smartphone to process transactions. When introduced in Australia, people will be able to pay for transactions under $100 by tapping the phone against a MasterCard PayPass system, just as they do with credit cards.

NFC will also facilitate the transfer of information, such as contacts, by tapping a compatible phone against other smartphones, tablets and notebooks.

Expandable memory has made the cut this time round with a microSD slot being added to the new mix.

One of the bigger additions will be the deep integration of Skype, which will be rolled out as an app at the same time Apollo is released.

Looking over the few cited additions, it’s clear WP8 really should have been named Ares as Microsoft has finally mustered up the ingredients needed to deliver a full-blown assault against Apple and Google. With a smooth OS; strong hardware; computers, notebooks, tablet and gaming relations; and a growing application market, Microsoft’s efforts should pay off for the company within the next few years.

A full list of innovations to be found in Windows Phone 8 can be found over the page.

 

Windows Phone 8 will include:
· Support for dual cores
· Support for four different resolutions, though no specifics were given
· NFC support added, including payment and content sharing with WP8 and Windows 8 machines
· Carrier control and branding of “wallet” element is possible via SIM or phone hardware
· MicroSD support added for expandable storage
· Transitions to core components from desktop, including kernel, network stack, security components and media support
· Simplified porting of desktop apps to mobile
· Zune desktop integration scrapped in favor of new, unnamed syncing app
· Deeper Skydrive integration, including ability to sync data such as music collections
· Xbox Companion app will get Windows 8 partner client
· Native code support, simplified porting from Android and iOS
· App-to-app communication and integration
· Skype client with deep OS hooks that will make it almost identical to placing standard voice calls
· Camera app now supports “lenses” which allow third parties to skin and add features to camera interface
· DataSmart tracks and reports usage via app and live tile
· Gives preferential treatment to WiFi, can automatically connect to carrier-owned hotspots
· Proxy server will compress websites in Internet Explorer 10 up to 30 percent
· Native Bitlocker encryption
· Support for proprietary, custom built apps to be deployed behind company firewalls

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