Although we're still tinkering with Windows Phone 7 Mango CR2 and Tango is floating around, it makes sense that Microsoft already has early builds of Windows Phone 8 in the works. Perhaps it's already on some hardware and someone has installed the fan app "I'm a WP7!" (though it's not too smart).
Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" build 8.0.9662.0 is now recorded in that app and visible under the device statistics sections. The obvious question though is it real or fake? From our discussions with the developer, Scott Peterson, it's a bit difficult to "spoof" the device ID checks that he has in place (though we certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility either). For this reason, we're treating this with a grain of salt.
Windows Phone 8, expected to be announced this summer and released later in 2012, is the first major overhaul of the OS since it's release in 2010. Dual core CPU support in addition to additional display resolutions, NFC and more advanced features are all expected to be introduced with the OS, though exact details are scarce at the time.
We're also reaching out trying to get more information such as the device make and carrier to see if we can discern whether this is fake or real. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, feel free to discuss the possibilities below.
Update: From Scott Peterson, developer of "Im a WP7!":
"It’s running from an Emulator, doesn’t appear to be spoofed, is using the default Emulator location, and the Time Zone Offset lines up with Pacific Coast…"
Update 2: We have it on good word that Windows Phone 8 has begun internal testing aka "dogfooding" at Microsoft on March 30th.
Pick up I'm a WP7! here in the Marketplace; Thanks, Lee T. and clubdirthill, for the info