Microsoft's big news today is that Windows Phone 8 will have what it calls a "shared core" with software compatible with its Windows 8 tablets and PCs. This is the first time Microsoft has ever mentioned the anticipated phone and even today we're not getting all the details, with Microsoft only talking up the "platform." To be clear: At least right now, this is not an all Windows hardware phone like the tablet. But, it will have intertwined insides to the Windows-made tablet. Here's what we do know from Microsoft's Joe Belfiore's presentation in San Francisco:
- It will have "great new hardware" (per Belfiore) with support for multi-core processors (up to 64-core).
- It comes with Internet Explorer 10.
- It will have native code for developers, which should have some "killer games," as Belfiore put it.
- Perhaps its most future-wow feature is its tap-to-pay wallet, using NFC technology, which has yet to catch on via apps, but may as a built-in feature.
- Maps via Nokia, including offline maps and turn-by-turn directions.
- And a brand-new customizable Start screen.
Unlike the tablet announcement, it doesn't look like Microsoft will ditch all of its hardware partners to build its own devices, since Belfiore talked all about the benefits this has for "hardware partners." We also heard Belfiore mention a fall ship date, which is vague, but more info than we got for the tablet. Since a shared core doesn't mean anything without the other half, we assume that means the tablet will come out sometime before or around then, right?