Laundry list of new features looks a lot like the features that rivals already have.

Microsoft Windows Phone 8 details emerge

Leaked details have emerged of the next-generation of Microsoft’s struggling Windows Phone OS, Windows Phone 8 code named Apollo.

Apollo will follow the already revealed ‘Tango’ update for Windows Phone and details came to light due to a video apparently featuring Windows Phone boss Joe Belfiore, landing in the hands of

The video, apparently intended to communicate features for Microsoft partners Nokia, talks up a number of new features including wider support for hardware which apparently means catching up to rivals by adding multicore processor support and additional screen resolutions. Oh be still our beating hearts!

Other cutting-edge features will included removable microSD storage and NFC radio. Eg, stuff Android has had for ages. What’s more interesting is that Windows Phone 8 will apparently share components with the upcoming Windows 8 desktop OS, allowing developers to reuse code.

There are also hints that Microsoft is giving up on the annoying Zune client and going back to syncing which the firm actually did in a competent manner back with Windows Mobile, but since Windows Phone has pursued an annoying Apple-like media manager approach.

Syncing seems to be getting a boost with Skydrive sharing between devices, which seems a nice touch – albeit more following of locker services from Microsoft’s more established smartphone rivals.

Apollo will also offer a feature Microsoft is calling DataSmart which will track data usage by applications. You guessed it, exactly like Android does already.

If there’s a new feature here at all, Microsoft will apparently be offering a sort of web proxy system aimed at speeding up web pages in the phone’s IE 10 browser. The technology has been used to good effect in third party browsers Opera Mini and Skyfire but this would be the first time it’s built into the cloud offering of the OS vendor themselves.

Following the leak, Windows guru Paul Thurrott kicked out a blog post confirming some of the features and added that Windows Phone 8 will apparently now enable app-to-app communication – something the current OS doesn’t do which scotches all kinds of handy interaction.

All in all, Windows Phone 8 looks a lot like Windows Phone 7 but with Microsoft’s usual keen eye for developers with the Windows 8 commonality and of course, lots and lots of features everyone else already has.

Better late than never.

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