Microsoft has taken the wraps of off the eventual successor of Windows Phone 7.5, which has now been called Windows Phone 8. Before we delve into the good news, let us give you the bad news first – none of the existing Windows Phone devices will be able to go down the upgrade path for Windows Phone 8. There’s lots of reasons for this, but this is the simplest explanation we have – the new OS is such a major shift in features and functionality that it demands a whole new architecture, which is the same thing with what happened with Windows Mobile and Windows Phone so long ago.
Microsoft has shifted to the NT kernel (which explains why Windows 8 will be incompatible with previous incarnations of the OS) which basically means developers will now be able to code apps for both the desktop and mobile version of Windows 8 – Windows Phone 8 will share a majority of the structure of Windows 8 (kernel, file system, media foundation, device drivers, etc.).
Other new features for the new mobile OS will be support for multiple cores – up to 64, in fact – so you won’t have to be content with the single core processor limitation on Windows 7.5. Windows Phone 8 will also have support for 3 display resolutions, which means that manufacturers now have the option to pair their devices with higher resolution screens and not worry about their designs and hardware being hobbled by the limitation on the OS.
The overall look and feel of the Metro UI will also change on the new OS – basically there will be tweaks on how the tiles look – there will now be three sizes of tiles – small, medium and large – that’ll help streamline how efficiently the tiles convey the necessary information to its users.