A few hours ago Microsoft announced the next version of Windows Phone, at the Windows Phone Summit event in San Francisco.
Many (but not all) interesting features have been announced:
- fall 2012 release: new devices by major OEM manifacturers
- for developers, new SDK later this summer
- multi-core support (2 or 4 cores)
- multiple screen resolutions (WVGA 800x480, WXGA 1280x768, 720p 1280x720)
- Shared Windows Core: Windows 8 Kernel and common desktop sub-systems (drivers, security, multimedia)
- Full Windows Phone 7.5 app compatibility
- Removable microSD storage
- Visual Studio 2012 for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 app development
- Native code development (C/C++ and DirectX 11 - for great gaming and multimedia applications)
- XAML C#/VB.NET with full .NET Framework support on mobile devices
- Integrated NFC support (sharing, device to device communication, credit/debit cards, membership cards, etc.)
- Nokia Navteq Maps + 3rd party app Map Control
- New and updated Nokia applications (PlayTo, Counters, Music, Camera Extras, Drive, Map)
- Business enhancements: encryption and secure boot, LOB App deployment, Device Management, Office apps, Company Hub
- Lots of UI refinements: new Start screen, more customizable settings and appearance
- Multitasking VoIP, Video Chat and Location; native Skype integration
- Speech control (also for 3rd party apps)
- In-app purchase: developers will be able to make more money
- Over-the-air OS updates; each device will be supported by Microsoft at least for 18 months (starting from official launch)
Unfortunately, current existing devices WILL NOT BE UPDATABLE to Windows Phone 8. Microsoft will release an updated Windows Phone 7 OS version (called Windows Phone 7.8) which will bring a similar User Experience, but which will not leverage all the new hardware stuff.
Stay tuned for other news and updates in the next months!