Windows Phone 8 ‘Apollo’ is Shooting for the Stars

by on December 14th, 2010
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Windows Phone has come a long way in a very short amount of time, in fact it has gone from being an also ran to one of the big boys competing with both Android and iOS. The next step for Microsoft will be to overtake both Apple and Google in the smartphone wars and they are planning on doing just that with their next big update, Windows Phone 8 (codename Apollo). Here is a look at what we can expect from the update which is planned for a fall 2012 release.

The PC, Xbox and Windows Phone become one

The last big update to Windows Phone was Mango. Mango turned Windows Phone into one of the most exciting and advanced mobile operating systems available while also maintaining its easy to use and pleasing on the eye Metro UI. There were over 500 updates to the platform in Mango, but that number will be eclipsed greatly by Apollo.

Windows Phone Apollo will turn Windows Phone into Windows Phone 8, and it will more than likely be released at the same time as Microsoft’s new Windows 8 platform for PC’s, but what will make Windows Phone 8 so different from the current OS?

To start off with Windows Phone 8 will not be based on the old Windows CE kernels, it will in fact be based off of the same kernels and programming that Windows 8 will use on the PC. This means that there will be complete compatibility between the new mobile OS and the PC based operating system. This also means that all applications designed to run on Windows 8 PCs will also work on Windows Phone devices and vice versa.

Another huge feature will be total integration between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows. All three platforms will work together seamlessly across your home network. You will be able to share apps, music, videos, and many other multimedia items across all of your devices quickly and easily.

The simple fact that most households and businesses around the globe already have Windows based computers, and the fact that the Xbox 360 is in more homes than any other video game console means that consumers will now have a compelling reason to adopt a Windows Phone as their next mobile device.

The prospect of being able to sync all of your devices together without you having to do anything could be seen as the killer feature that Windows Phone has been missing since its launch in 2010.

Microsoft has been listening

Perhaps one of the biggest complaints from the smartphone world is that Windows Phone devices have been lacking in the specification department. Windows Phone devices up until this point have been using single core processors instead of dual and quad-core chips. While Windows Phone does not necessarily need the more powerful chips, they will be heading to WP devices. Support for multi-core processors has finally been confirmed for the platform.

Windows Phone Apollo will also add support for NFC (near field communication), support for microSD storage, four new screen resolutions, healthier Skydrive support, local scout Wi-Fi (which will aggressively seek out free data connections) glance-and-go support for data usage via live tiles, server side compression for faster browsing in IE 10, and 128 bit encryption for Enterprise users.

The all important marketplace will also be getting a boost. The Windows Phone marketplace has been growing rapidly and it now boasts over 50,000 applications, but by the time Apollo is launched there will be over 100,000 apps available that will work on both the PC and Windows Phone devices. The Windows ecosystem will become very strong.

You will also find that the need for the PC based Zune player will no longer be needed to sync your phone with your computer. ActiveSync is slated to return this fall and will apparently support wireless synchronization between phone and PC. While this is possible with Zune and Windows Phone right now, ActiveSync will make the process far easier.

All of these features have been confirmed and they will be appearing later on this year when Apollo is finally released. Microsoft will be talking about Apollo much more in the coming months, but if these new features are anything to go by, Windows Phone 8 has every chance of becoming the dominant mobile OS. I am sure both Apple and Google will be watching their backs very closely.

Sources:, Windows Phone 8 Details Revealed, By Daniel Rubinho.

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