Microsoft Corp. plans to make its next-generation mobile platform available to general audience in November, according to the latest unofficial information. While the Windows Phone 8 devices will not become available at exactly the same time Windows 8-based PCs, something that Microsoft has implied on, the new smartphones will hit the market ahead of the holiday season.
Mary Jo Foley, the author behind the All About Microsoft blog at ZDnet, claims that Microsoft will release Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" to manufacturing (RTM) in September and will make it available for all relevant devices in November. The software giant will likely try to launch Windows Phone 8 as quick as possibly after the Windows 8 and potentially unleash a large marketing campaign surrounding the two platforms.
Earlier, chief exec of Nokia, Stephen Elop, implied that the WP 8 would become available in October, but did not elaborate. Since Nokia has a number of privileges in the Windows Phone ecosystem, it may have an opportunity to show off its WP8-based phone earlier than the others. Moreover, Nokia recently hinted at "something amazing" that is going to happen on September 7, 2012. The "amazing" campaign was "enriched" with a QR code that led to Nokia Graffiti Me web-site.
Windows Phone 8 and the operating system for PCs will share common networking, security, media and Internet Explorer 10 web browser technology, and a common file system, which will translate in a PC user experience on a mobile phone. In addition, Windows Phone 8 will support multi-core microprocessors to boost performance and improve multitasking; higher resolution screens - 1280x768 and 1280x720; removable MicroSD cards; UEFI boot protocol to enhance security; support for encryption of the whole device; remote management; NFC wireless sharing for photos, Office docs, and contacts; Wallet application to keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes and other important info; improved maps and other useful features.
Windows Phone 8 has full C and C++ support, making it easier to write apps for multiple platforms more quickly. It also means Windows Phone 8 supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine, Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wwise, and Firelight FMOD, as well as native DirectX-based game development. Naturally, since WP7-generation phones do not support C/C++, they will not run apps designed specifically for WP8 and better devices, which will naturally upset the current users.
Windows Phone 8 will support a total of 50 languages; Windows Phone Marketplace, the store for apps and games, will support app downloads in over 180 countries.
The first wave of devices for Windows Phone 8 will arrive later this year and will come from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC, all built on next-generation Snapdragon S4 chips from Qualcomm.