Purported Windows Phone 8 details leak: NFC, native Skype support and more

We’re still waiting for Microsoft to launch Windows Phone “Tango,” but supposed details have already emerged surrounding the next major Windows Phone release code-named “Apollo.” According to Pocketnow, which claims to have obtained a video of Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore that was intended to be viewed only by Nokia employees, Apollo will launch as Windows Phone 8. Read on for more.

Reportedly, Microsoft’s theme for the launch is “scale and choice,” and Apollo will add support for four different screen resolutions, multi-core processors, removable microSD cards and near-field communications (NFC) for mobile payments. Belfiore is said to have discussed Windows Phone 8’s “wallet experience,” and how the operating system will use NFC chips built into the phone itself or into SIM cards. Windows Phone 8 owners may also be able to tap their phone to an NFC-equipped computer running Windows 8 to share media, a feature HP tried to bring to the masses with its TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone.

Pocketnow said it is possible that Microsoft will ditch the Zune client and will instead offer a new and improved syncing interface, as well as flushed out Xbox LIVE support. Other features include DataSmart data management, BitLocker encryption, a new integrated Skype client and more. Microsoft also apparently said it hopes its Windows Phone Marketplace will be home to more than 100,000 applications by the time it launches Windows Phone 8.

It remains unclear when Windows Phone 8 might become available on current Windows Phone smartphones or on new devices.

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