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Windows Phone 8 details reportedly leak

On tap for the next version of Microsoft's smartphone platform: support for different processors, screen sizes, microSD storage, NFC, business support, Windows 8 integration, and more.

Details of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 were prematurely outed thanks to a leaked video obtained by

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shows up at Nokia's launch event to predict Windows Phone will become a full-fledged rival to Android and iOS.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at Nokia's press conference during CES. Nokia figures to play a major role in Windows Phone's resurgence. CNET/Lori Grunin

The next big iteration of its Windows Phone platform appears to address many of the early concerns and brings it to par with competing platforms. Microsoft is still fighting an uphill battle in getting its phones--which have been critically praised--into the hands of consumers. So far, consumers have by far favored Android smartphones and the iPhone.

The version, codenamed Apollo, will allow vendors more choice with how they build their phone, going back on Microsoft's previous insistence upon using a standard set of specifications. That allows the handset manufacturers to better compete and stand apart from each other with varying levels of specs.

The platform will add support for multicore processors--at a time when Android devices are already moving to quad-core chips--four different screen resolutions, a removable microSD card, and near-field communication, crucial for mobile payments.

Windows Phone 8 will also integrate with the Windows 8 desktop and tablet operating system. The hope is developers can take chunks of their code for one platform and move it to the other. Pocketnews said the company expects 100,000 apps to be available at launch, which it pegged to the fourth quarter. Windows Phone 8 will add native code support, allowing for apps that are more integrated into the devices. Skype may also play a bigger role in the operating system.

Possibly taking a swipe at Research In Motion's shrinking share for its BlackBerrys, Microsoft is adding more business-friendly features such as encryption and allowing companies to build their own proprietary apps into the phone.

The new platform will also be designed to better handle data traffic, opting to go to Wi-Fi and using proxy servers to feed pages to Internet Explorer 10, similar to how Opera Mini can achieve faster browsing times.