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Microsoft expected to announce Windows Phone 8 tomorrow

At a developer summit in San Francisco tomorrow, Microsoft could have something to say about its next operating system.

Invitation to Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Summit
Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Microsoft just pulled the wraps off its first tablet effort last night, and tomorrow, a different arm of the software giant could be preparing to do the same with Windows Phone.

A month ago, the above invitation arrived for a developers summit here in San Francisco.

This time, Redmond has been able to keep a fairly tight lid on its plans, but there are some rumors about what we can expect from tomorrow's all-day program.

Windows Phone 8, code-named Apollo, should headline the agenda. Microsoft has all but announced that future iterations of Windows Phone OS will support multicore processors, a hardware consideration that requires software on their end to function efficiently. However, getting developers to code for multi-threaded processing is also key. We should expect for multicore processor support to become official.

NFC support and more flexibility with the hardware and software should also come into play. As Near Field Communications (NFC) heats up, Microsoft will need to make sure that its phones don't get left behind. We'll be keeping our eye out for a virtual wallet.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley got some inside information that suggests the Zune phone-to-PC update software will get a makeover, code-named Daphne. Even better is if Microsoft altogether abandoned tethered handset-to-desktop communications and went completely cloud-based.

I'd love to see Microsoft tease large portions of the next-generation Windows Phone platform, much as RIM showed off sections of the BlackBerry 10 platform at its developer conference in May.

Since developers are involved, I'm not holding my breath for a new phone announcement. Coders as a rule are more interested in back-end building tools that help them do their jobs with minimum frustration and hair loss.

I'd certainly be disappointed if Microsoft simply trotted out one new Windows Phone 8 developer tool and demoed a few new apps from partners, but since the event is billed as a dev summit, that could always happen. However, the event is long enough for a few fireworks to ignite -- it runs from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. according to my invitation.

Lynn La (@lynnlaaa) and I (@jdolcourt) will be there covering the news, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and here at CNET starting tomorrow morning.