Windows Phone 8 will support multicore processors and native BitLocker encryption, and integrate in many ways with the upcoming Windows 8.
Those are just a few of the features mentioned in a Pocketnow.com report Feb. 2, many of which were subsequently confirmed by Paul Thurrott in a posting on his Supersite for Windows. Pocketnow claimed its information came from a Microsoft-produced video meant for Nokia executives and hosted by Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore.
Pocketnow paraphrases Belfiore as saying that Windows Phone 8 will "use many of the same components of Windows 8" and that areas of heavy overlap include "kernel, networking stacks, security and multimedia support." Developers will apparently have the ability to reuse massive chunks of code when "porting an app from desktop to phone."
In his own Feb. 2 posting, Thurrott suggested that Windows Phone 8 "will be based on the Windows 8 kernel and not on Windows CE as are current versions." Nonetheless, applications developed for Windows Phone Mango (the current version) will apparently continue to play well on the upgraded platform.
According to both sources, Windows Phone 8 will include the same 128-bit, full-disk BitLocker encryption that currently runs on Windows-the better to appeal to businesses possibly looking for an alternative platform to Research In Motion's BlackBerry, Apple's iOS or Google Android. A "Data Smart" feature will give WiFi hotspots priority over using the smartphone's cellular connection, in turn reducing data usage.
Thurott noted a Skype application, SkyDrive integration, secure payments via near-field communication (NFC), camera improvements and Internet Explorer 10 Mobile as other additions.
Microsoft has launched a renewed push for Windows Phone, centered on the Mango software update and new devices from Nokia and other manufacturers. As a platform, it has so far struggled for adoption in the broader smartphone marketplace, trailing Google, Apple and RIM. Data from research firm Nielsen suggests that Microsoft owned 7.3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011, down from 9 percent earlier in the year; much of that decline was due to users abandoning the antiquated Windows Mobile platform, something that Microsoft executives say they anticipated.
While Microsoft regularly declines to provide Windows Phone sales figures, CEO Steve Ballmer described the platform's market share as "very small" during a July 11 keynote speech at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference. Could Windows Phone 8's features help change that?