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Windows Phone 8, or 'Apollo,' Debuts Next Month at San Francisco Conference

Microsoft will finally lay out the details on the next version of its smartphone OS, which could be a precursor to Windows 8.

June is turning into Developer's Month. Along with Microsoft's TechEd, there's Apple's WWDC, Google I/O, and a two-day Windows Phone developer conference in San Francisco that will be the coming out party for Windows Phone 8, otherwise known as "Apollo."

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Little has been disclosed on Apollo, but thanks to leaks, we have a pretty good idea of what Microsoft has in store. Last February, a leak gave some insight into what Microsoft was planning.

Most significant is that Windows Phone 8 will share components with Windows 8, allowing developers to reuse most of their code when porting an app from desktop to phone. It's believed the kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support will all have heavy overlap between desktop, tablet and phone.

Apollo will also support Near Field Communication (NFC) radios for contactless payments, full Skydrive integration and full integration with Skype and support for multicore processors.

Microsoft has said, and reiterated in an April 5 blog post, that current Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. How much recoding you'll have to do to accomplish this will probably be discussed at the San Francisco show.

Another question that hopefully will be answered next month is what will change under the hood. Other Microsoft watchers with better connections than me have said they believe Microsoft will change the kernel from Windows CE to Windows 8 RT.

The potential is tremendous. If Microsoft does pull this off, you will have portability between desktop PCs, tablets and phones with relatively minor modification.

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