por·ti·co  (pawr-ti-koh, pohr-)

n.  An elaborate or at least covered porch area adjacent to a main entrance, generally in a classical building. The portico functions as a means to protect visitors from the elements as well as emphasizing the taste and wealth of the owner.

Even though Windows Phone 8 has just launched across the world, information on the first OS update was revealed just a week ago. The OS update is rumored to be announced this February during the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it will reportedly consist of various small patches, fixes and additions to Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone Central has now learned from a known and trusted source that this update is being referred to not as Apollo+ but ‘Portico’.

Update 12/10/12: Turns out Portico and Apollo+ may be different updates as the former began rolling out today.

The label is evidently keeping in the Microsoft tradition of Windows Phone OS codenames ending in -o, including NoDo (7.x), Mango (7.5), Tango (7.5 Refresh) and Apollo (8.0). We’re unsure if the name was chosen for its meaning, although the concept of a portico being an extension on a house certainly fits the idea behind the update, which is thought to augment the capabilities of Windows Phone 8.


Our confidence in this information

Unfortunately not too much is currently known about Portico, potentially due to the flux of changing priorities with the development team as well as secrecy. The Verge recently stated that the update would include VPN support as well as enhancing Wi-Fi so that it can remain connected when the phone is in standby. 

The update is not to be considered a milestone upgrade like Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) but rather more along the lines of NoDo, released back in March 2011, which brought minor but much needed fixes like copy/paste and speed enhancements.

The only thing we do know is that there may be “a few surprises” but that is all we can share.