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Windows Phone 8 details revealed in Nokia-partner video


According to Pocketnow, they've seen a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore (see our interview) meant for Nokia and their partners. In the video, new details of Windows Phone 8 (aka 'Apollo') are revealed, of which there are many.

  • Four new screen resolutions (though exact dimensions not revealed)
  • Multicore processors
  • NFC support for a new "Wallet experience" e.g. wireless payments and tap-to-share
  • Removable microSD storage
  • Based on Windows 8 kernel, not WinCE: Reuse of Windows 8 Desktop code for Windows Phone apps i.e. kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support
  • Zune Desktop is going away in exchange for a more native, sync relationship application i.e. the return of ActiveSync
  • Richer Skydrive support for things like sharing music between devices (Xbox, desktop, phone)
  • "The New Familiar" may be a tagline for Windows 8/Windows Phone 8
  • More than 100,000 apps to be expected at Windows Phone 8 launch
  • Local Scout WiFi "hotspot" integration to aggressively find free data connections; personal recommendations included
  • Data usage glance-and-go support via Live Tile
  • Server side data compression for Internet Explore 10 to reduce data traffic and speed up browsing
  • 128-bit native BitLocker data encryption for Enterprise

That certainly is a lot and we're sure just the tip of the iceberg in regards to Windows Phone 8. Clearly Microsoft is gearing up to talk about WP8 in the next few months, so we should start to expect a steady flow of information coming forward soon. What do you folks think? Pleased with the direction Microsoft is heading?

Update: Paul Thurrott is now confirming all the information from the video.

Source: PocketNow

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • WP8 is the real deal. No more the average spec from the last year like now.
  • Yes! Finally WP8 is going in the right direction.
    All the above seem like the wish list of most current WP7 users. I feel so frustrated with WP7.
  • My biggest concern is regarding the return of ActiveSync and the dropping of Zune, especially if it's not "native" enough.  So will Zune desktop software be completely discontinued now?  Will we be syncing music to the phone through Activesync now?  I actually like the Zune software - perhaps I'm the only one?
    My other concern is while increased skydrive support is good, I'm waiting for the return of an old-school MyPhone-esque text message backup support system.  I guess most people don't care about their text messages, but I do and like being able to back them up.  Plus, currently my Phone just deletes older text messages without warning after a while - the only way I knew this was looking at the text message thread as far back as it could go, which now is far from when I got my Quantum in the first place.
  • ^^what he said^^
  • You guys are looking into this to far. Nobody said anything about getting rid of anything, just adding a better way of syncing data. Active sync is to be used as an example in theory only! The Zune client will still be downloadable, don't worry, its just that currently the windows phones ecosystem is to fragmented with the WP website's "my phone" page, the Zune client, and Skydrive all acting as file management. There just has to be a ''one stop shop'' that is less complicated. Remember WP needs to appeal to a larger audience. I'm sure this new system will have great aesthetics and function,,, haven't they done a good job so far?
  • Agreed
  • I agree we need a one stop shop, oh hey remember that windows 7 device stage that never took hold. That would have been a perfect way to implement this sort of thing. Plug in your phone and the device stage for your phone opens up, and u could have a link to open Zune to start syncing media, a link to say SkyDrive for docs, and then a link for say windows live mesh for backing up data. As well as say Xbox live account backups (gamesaves) it sounds like a no brained and should've been there day one. Especially since "it all starts with a windows 7 PC"
  • Can you please send that to Microsoft and Joe through twitter? Make sure they do t drop the ball!
  • +1
  • There is a thing called History on that person u texting
  • Yeah I know - if you've had your phone for a while, go to a text thread for someone you text a lot and see if you have your texts from when you first have your phone.  I can only go so far back and it looks like the phone just deletes older ones.
  • how far is that?
  • I just checked the threads for my sister and best friend, both of whom I text a lot.  One goes to June 2011 and the other April 2011, and I got the phone (and almost certainly texted them) back in October/November 2010 when Amazon had that deal for the LG Quantum for 50 bucks without having to renew your phone contract.
  • More than likely, Zune will get rolled into the Windows store and the updated Activesync will just be used for synchronization and device management. It makes the most sense since we do know that Windows 8 will have a store and that the XBox will need access to both the mediafiles and the cloud. It may even be that you will stream most of the media from the cloud since the Zune Pass recently gave up the 10 free songs a month. I think we will get more details at MWC or Build.
  • I LOVE Zune! I dropped Winamp for it and Winamp was the king of media players for me. Just add more functionality to Zune or tie to the OS.
  • I must agree that I also love using my Zune and also have an actual Zune player. Though I completely dislike purchasing music through it. I actually use apples software to purchase music because there is a far better selection. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for zunes players.
  • Why get rid of the Zune desktop!? I like that UI! Everything else seems awesome though
  • Presumably because Windows 8 will be Zune. Think about it.
  • lol, nice
  • I dont get it :(
  • It's from the movie Inception - how about a different movie?
  • Very good point, I guess the fact that the article says Zune will be "going away" gave me the wrong idea. I think that would actually be great. Kind of how the Zune hardware was replaced by Windows Phone, which is essentially a better Zune.
  • When is Apollo due to release?
  • Late 2012 is a safe bet. Expect more details over the summer.
  • That's to long!
  • Even with average specs, windows phone is completely capable. Honestly I would rather have a higher resolution screen and NFC than multi-core.
  • How would games work on native high res on single core?
  • I'm skeptical. Everything on this list is pretty much on the wish list of anyone and everyone with a Windows Phone. One of those, too good to be true kind of moments.
  • I highly, highly doubt Pocketnow would have posted this if if were not true. They have a solid reputation and would not risk it if this was not accurate. The only reason we're posting it as "rumor" and used "allegedly" is because we have not seen the video ourselves.
  • Paul Thurrott just confirmed this. It's on his own site.
  • All of this makes sense given given there will be Windows 8 for ARM tablets.  Windows Phone would be little more than different resolution of the tablet with a different start screen.
  • Game on! I cant wait to upgrade to wp8 from my HTC arrive :) Who ever think that Microsoft cant get over 1% of the market share is crazy. Lol. Apollo name sounds so fitting for wp8 too, lol
  • I think Zune will be rebranded Xbox Media or something similar. I am excited about the direction of Windows Phone 8. :-D
  • dear god, zune sounds so much better ;)
  • Yes it does!
  • Yes, but Zune has a very small fan base.  Xbox's fan base is huge.  Some people will pay $40 bucks for an HDMI cable instead of using a perfectly good Monoprice or Amazon cable for less than $5 just because it says Xbox on it.  For that reason, I think a rebrand to Xbox Media would be good.  Especially if they had you download it to easily share files between your computer and your Xbox.
  • Might be that the Win8 app store takes over Zune and offers music, movies, and apps. So a syncing app will be seperate but capable of integrating with the Win8 app store.
  • I am so happy that Zune is discontinued. I hate systems like this and like iTune. There are such a mess. Let me manage my files from any PC and don't force me to use a proprietary software.
    I am also so happy about the SD card slot.
    Finally WP7 ceases to be this terrible locked down OS. Leave the stupid "closed OS" philosophy to iPhone and please go back to the openess that made the force and advantage of WinMo yesterday and the force of Android nowadays.
    I just hope the above are not rumours.
    If true, I have no reason to buy any new WP7 phone (they are all underpowered with limited storage and features). I am waiting for WP8 !
  • Exactly! *If* this is all true, and I believe it is, my next phone won't come until the end of 2012. I'm freaking excited now!!!
  • I'm not a fan of Zune Desktop or iTunes either, so I'm cool with them dropping it. I'm concerned about how they'll be able to support microSD in a way that doesn't negatively impact OS performance or multimedia management.
  • @thierryphotos75
    The reason WP7 is so successful is because of how much it is locked down. Opening it up like Android is a terrible idea. I hope MS keeps the system the way it is. I like having a solid OS.
  • I agree. Opening it too much will bring chaos and if I wanted chaos I'd go with Android :P
  • Not digging the dropping of Zune software. Especially since I have a Zune HD as well as my HTC Arrive. How will that sync now? Plus I like the software better than Media Player. Get rid of that, if anything. Or combine them.
  • My guess is that the Win8 app store will replace Zune. It will allow you to buy and sync music from the app store to your Zune HD device.
  • I agree, I love the Zune software! I hope they don't discontinue it. Zune is way better than iTunes. The thing I really want MS to fix is the update process for the phones. Clearly most of the US carriers don't care about us WP7 users to get us our updates. My keyboard is always disappearing on me and because of a certain AT&T I have no hope for the update anytime soon. I hope that MS comes up with an easy way for us to update our phones without the carriers or start giving the carriers deadlines to approve updates. Long live Windows Phone!
    The problem with Zune is that you are bound to a specific PC. Everytime you want to manage your library, add some songs, you have to connect to your PC. This is everything but logical and convenient.
    Zune is lovely, has a very beautiful interface, but (only my personal experience) I find it just makes things more complicated.
    Drag & Drop remains the easiest way to transfer video and music files. You can do it from any PC, without be forced to download a specific software, log in, convert, sync, etcetera, etcetera. It's freedom.
  • I remember the days of drag n drop none too fondly.  Back in those days, it was a pain, as you had to make sure you had your file structures 'just so' to make sure the phone software could see it, or the phone software would have to scan the storage to build a new list.   Couldn't stand it.  
    That being said, what I'd like to see is a unified media interface (in the Metro style sort of like Zune) that comes with the operating system, and allows for syncing of more file types.  There'd be no need for installing the sync software at home/work, as it's built in, and it would use your Live ID to match things up with cloud storage.
    This same interface would also be your default music/video player, and have the robust codec support that Windows Media Player currently has.  Zune is a better music interface than WMP, but WMP has better codec support.  Media Center is by far the superior "10 foot interface", though Metro works well in that context.
    There's no real technical reason that I can see from MS to build an all-in-one media experience a la iTunes (without the crappy iTunes UI of course).
  • Absolutely! I agree. I love Zune, but I love drag and drop more. It would be cool if the phone offered the option to connect to Zune (useful when at home) or use as a mass storage drive (for when you're using someone else's computer). It makes for a great compromise.
    The problem with Zune is that you are bound to a specific PC. Everytime you want to manage your library, add some songs, you have to connect to your PC. This is everything but logical and convenient.
    Zune is lovely, has a very beautiful interface, but (only my personal experience) I find it just makes things more complicated.
    Drag & Drop remains the easiest way to transfer video and music files. You can do it from any PC, without be forced to download a specific software, log in, et cetera. It's freedom.
  • I'd be happy with the return of ActiveSync , but is Zune staying at all? I just finished re-organizing my music from iTunes!
  • I really like the Zune software.
    The only things I really care about from that last are the better Skydrive inegration, expanded storage suport!
    The new resolutions might be nice; but really, even though technically the PPI of the iPhone 4s is higher then my Focus, I still think for most things my Focus looks better to me! So I am not too concerned with that.
    And I only want dual core if I can also somehow get better battery life!
  • WP8s' Most wanted feature? Marketing and Awareness! Ya Know, It will not matter how good WP8 is if MARKETING and AWARENESS do not improve dramatically!
  • Microsoft should buy a few hours of prime time tv slots and due a documentary about the Future in Microsoft's world. Tie in the fate of the country, its economy, the internet and the home computer with Microsoft and its various products and innovations to come. Like the "Future According to Ford" series. A perfect moment to connect with the current generation, show off Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and whatever else they have up their sleeve. Something like that could be a big boon for Microsoft.
  • I didn't notice an LTE requirement on that list.  
  • Requirement? It'll never be required, that makes no sense. LTE support is already built into Windows Phone 7.5 v.8107 and later builds. That's why the TITAN II and Lumia 900 have it already.
  • No,No.. You don't want to make LTE a requirement! WP needs to be marketable at different price ranges, and inside different markets. A high specification requirement, such as LTE, would make this not possible... Ya dig? All LTE needs is to be supported..
  • I'm just glad they're bringing back the use of sd cards, that's the one thing I miss about using android.
  • I like the local scout wi-fi search, but I would rather better/more local scout results. It is anemic right now.
  • We just added "Personal recommendations" to the list. So that may help.
  • Why do Zune software got to go? I will miss that program
  • Zune might not be "scrapped" per se. They might just be separating out general device management from media syncing which isn't a bad idea especially if they want to attract enterprise users.
  • "Based on Windows 8 kernel, not WinCE: Reuse of Windows 8 Desktop code for Windows Phone apps i.e. kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support"
    Eat it, Eldar!
  • Eldar's a freaking clown.
  • Please make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 compatible with XBLA games
  • Ok... I get that you are moving away from the Zune. Not because it is a bad product (hardware and software was amazing), but because clueless isheep idiots dragged the name through the mud without ever having even touched either aspect. But for God's sake... Zune software DOES CIRCLES AROUND iTUNES. Do not get rid of it totally. You want to dump the name? Fine. But the way it looks and works is spot on.
    Secondly.... Enough with 13 programs that all do one similar feature here and another there. To many Microsoft programs that do similar crap. Dump Media Player, Media Center, Live Photo Gallery, etc. and wind them all into what ever you turn the Zune software into.
    Let me manage and edit photos and videos WITHIN the 'Zune' software. Let me view live TV and set TV recordings within the 'Zune' software. Let me view ALL my different video formats THROUGH the 'Zune' software. Let me continue to manage my music, videos, photos, etc though the 'Zune' software. Let me continue to sync my media and files with my Windows Phone THROUGH the 'Zune' software.
    In a nutshell....
    1. Keep the Zune software and name it whatever floats your boat.
    2. Expand the Zune software to take over the small tasks over similar but repetetive Microsoft software.
    3. Eleminate similar software to end the confusion, incompatability, and clutterness.
  • Thank you!!
    Even though I think Zune software can use some updates (cosmetic changes mostly), it was and is a great application! Plus, ActiveSync brings back the old memories of Windows Mobile X versions.
  • Sounds nice!
    Two questions remain:
     - what about native (C/C++) support for developers ? (this is *needed* to allow fast ports and better apps!)
     - to what phone will Apollo be available ? Hope 1st generation winPhones won't be left out
  • Read the article - native code is coming.
  • I am concerned that when WP8 releases, these new features will already be 'too late to the party' items. In fact, competitors already have these features: Four new screen resolutions (though exact dimensions not revealed) Multicore processors NFC support for a new "Wallet experience" e.g. wireless payments and tap-to-share Removable microSD storage More than 100,000 apps WiFi "hotspot" integration to aggressively find free data connections Server side data compression for Internet Explore 10 (native browser) to reduce data traffic and speed up browsing  
    However, few but new features would be: 128-bit native BitLocker data encryption for Enterprise Data usage glance-and-go support via Live Tile Reuse of Windows 8 Desktop code for Windows Phone apps i.e. kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support Richer Skydrive support for things like sharing music between devices  
    I seriously have a bad feeling about Zune Desktop going away in exchange for a more native, sync relationship application i.e. the return of ActiveSync. MS needs to adapt one brand and just grow with it. Wether its Windows Media Player, Zune, Windows Media Center or XBox Media. The company has enough potential to create a great application, but not enough commitment to it (atleast in case of media management).
  • The features might be available but not necessarily on a single smartphone OS.  i.e. Apple supports 2 resolutions, Apple doesn't suport removable media and I don't think there is a pre installed browser that supports compression.   And mutlicore processors could be very interesting on WP8 if they are using the Window 8 kernel.  It could be  the first true multi processor mobile OS, where the performance actually increase.   That might explain also why they are also bringing over the networking and multimedia stuff since they would make use of multi processors on a mobile OS.
  • Why wouldnt you consider Android OS as the first true multi processor mobile OS? I thought they see a huge performance boost with the extra core.
  • This is full of awesome.
  • Active sync will be a part of Zune... MSFT must stop the practice of discontinuing,renaming stuff... Please.. We all know whatever improvement windowsphone will have is always gonna be good for the users.. We dont want buggy,laggy,spammy, inconsistent name #ANDROID..
  • Oh man, I love all this, especially the app-to-app integration. But also the rest! So happy :D
    Only concern is Zune software. Still wish that I could use it if I wanted to. But a minor complaint in a sea of awesome!
  • Paul Thurrott was also just talking about this on Windows Weekly. I was tipped to it but joined right after they were done talking about it.
  • Eh. 
    I saw removable microSD and cheered! :D
    Can't wait for the next Lumia series phone to have that feature.
  • If you have a look at Thurrott's posting, he is talking about advanced Exchange ActiveSync policies not the old Windows Mobile sync method.  Here's what he is saying about the Zune replacement:
    Companion experiences with Windows 8. Microsoft is offering a very similar user experience across phone (Windows Phone 8), PC (Windows 8), and TV (Xbox vNext). There will be a new sync client, and not Zune PC software, and a set of common cloud services that will work across all three. This includes the ability to sync content (photos, music, movies) between the three screens, phone management from PC or web, shared content between each device, and Xbox LIVE games, entertainment, and more.
    ActiveSync is not mentioned.
  • Hopefully our saved game data will be saved also, custom tones and alerts, background pictures behind home screen tiles, then yes
  • Rad! Can't wait! I'm sure there will be much, much more...
  • The video link?
  • All sounds good , but kinda kills the buzz for current phones if the future ones are going to have multicore and NFC I don't want an Nokia 900 just to see the next iteration have a lot more. 
  • Hey Dan question on zune this will not affect those who use zune music pass will it?
  • I can't decide if this is a good thing or not, will depend on how efficient the new Windows 8 kernel is going to be.. I've not been blown away by the developer preview
  • In fact I'm decidedly sad that the foundations of Windows Phone 7 are being thrown out so quickly (unless I'm misunderstanding the implications here)
  • This is making me doubt my decision of getting the Nokia 900. Damn. I might have to hold out and see what the shipping dates will be for the Apollo phones
  • Omg. I had picked up an iPhone off contract to get me through till Apollo (iPhones have great resale value). I was really liking it and considering making the switch permenant, but iOS 6 would really have to be amazing to keep me from windows now!
  • So I am guessing first gen phones won't get apollo? :(
  • Why is removable SD so important. Last phone I had it was never removed once it went in. Just build the phone with enough RAM.
  • Removable or not - we need an option to expand the included storage; and so far only 1 WP7 devices (Focus) supports it...
  • microSD cards are inexpensive and come in many sizes. Therefore, you can get the phone you like and also the right amount of storage. They're kind of like thumb drives. Inexpensive, convenient, and ubiquitous.
  • I like the Zune desktop client. Im good with everything else but let me keep Zune
  • I love the Zune interface and integration. Fuck you Microsoft for ruining the good and unique stuff of this platform
  • Hopefully wp8 will be more enterprise-ready.
  • Did you read the article at all??
  • What abt Notification center??
  • i hope they add a notification center by swiping to the right. and i hope this does not take away from zune music pass because i loooove the zune music pass and i dont wanna got to some other stupid thing like rhapsody or w.e the hells out right now. 
  • Oh god. Early morning I get up to see this and now I need to go wash my pants. All this is driving me crazy. I have an Omnia 7, was waiting for lumia 800,until lumia 900 was announced, and now this. When do I UPGRADE!;;!!:-(
  • Now!
    If you will keep waiting for the next best thing, you will never upgrade. After WP8 there will be WP8.5, then WP9, etc.
  • Go figure! I'm in the same boat as you are.
  • "I like the Zune client", "don't bring back ActiveSync"!! Ppl are really saying this?! Really? And you all wonder why wp7 still get confused with windows mobile and it being clunky and bad . Just because it's like ActiveSync don't mean it's ActiveSync of old! As far as I'm concerned if I get SD card and backup I'm good.
  • I remember. Never had any problems. I think I'm the only guy on the planet that loved Windows Mobile. I like Vista, too.
    No, man, you are not the only one! :)
    WinMo had some great advantages (that Microsoft wasted): flexibility, openness, USB mass storage, file explorer. It was a kind of pocket PC. you could do whatever you wanted. (unfortunately it was messy, not stable and not reliable).
    I hate Microsoft because they tried so much to copy the iPhone and its terrible locked down philisophy. Zune is a copy of iTunes. The absence of file explorer and slot for SD card is the same.
    They dropped some precious advantages. Finally most WinMo users switched to Android and never joined WP7, because of this.
    And don't say WP7 focuses on mass consumer markets and non techies. Android is the most popular OS. Customers actually like to be able to do whatever they want, just like on their home PC. They like freedom and flexibility (that WP7 does not have).
  • So I ask you why post here and go get an android and be happy?
  • As an HTC Titan user, I sure hope my device would be upgradable. 
    Maybe it will, but you will never have the slot for SD Cards or the dual core processor.
    Buying any WP7.5 phone now is useless.
  • Higher resolution, NFC, multi core... Why would anyone buy a Lumia 900 in june (rumoured EU release date) with all of this around the corner? Nokia really needs to release that phone worldwide next month.
  • I agree with most people, zune is great. it helps me organize my music easily, and sync quickly. Now, MS is not stupid, if they are removing zune its for and even better sync option. MS has been great, after vista, with listening to the demands of the consumer. But i really want to be able to open word docs through skydrive, and actually open in the correct format, instead of everything being lined up on the left. Dual Core ?!?!?! that most likely means 1080p recording! cant wait and also heavier games will run flawlessly. I just really hope tmobile doesnt get the lower end phones... like the lumia 710 instead of the 800,900. i know tmobile is a value plan oriented service but we want high end phones too!
    all in all really excited for w8! and lots of ideas in that suggestion app are prolly making its way to the os.
  • I Hope ms let the Lumias go Apollo, otherwise I'll be upset.
  • I bought my (oh my god! so sexy!) Lumia 800 last week.
  • I hope the Win8 kernel isnt too big carry too much x86 code that bogs things down.
  • Does this mean that they'll add 100,000 apps st launch or that we'll already have 100,000 apps by the launch date?
  • If they can get this out this year it would be amazing.  Other than quad core's, which will be prevelent on Android it looks like have added everything that needed to be added.  I can finally jump on board now that they are will offer micro sd expansion.
    too bad the Lumia 900 is already outdated hardware.
  • They are referring to "multicore processors" which might as well mean quad core.
  • YES...I need a towel!
  • Yes, but I hate it when microsoft seems to leave the current WP7 Mango OS adopters to fend for themselves in an ecosystem that is far from ripe. I understand the idea of making money out of patents and putting them to market, but lets start thinking of business models and non-business support to increase the lasting value of windows phone 7. I mean I only just bought an HTC Tian with WP7 Mango. A great phone and OS. But the system still has essential quircks that need to ironered out. These solutions can also add lasting value for apollo. So progression is good, but sometimes holding back can also be a good thing. If my purchase of a WP7 Mango OS on a smartphone counts as a bought bond, I vote for an investment in adopting solutions proposed in the MS solution box for WP7!!! For me right now Apollo may move on to 2013. I first want to see work on support with windows phone 7 with windows 8. I remember simmilar promises of free upgrades for windows phone 7 on the HD2 by Microsoft. Never happened. I am still scetpitcal of the interaction between W8 with WP7. I think in the business mind of MS WP7 Mango is a done deal. We waisted our money on WP7 Mango, and have to start working double shifts to move on to buy a new system. The cruel reality of every day life???
  • Do you really think Microsoft will not update Mango phones.  They were just announced, some not even released yet.   I imagine original WP7 will get it as well.  If Microsoft has any brains when they came out with the WP8 specs that already knew what direction they were going to go in.