Windows Phone 8, the successor to its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango mobile operating system, will ship on handsets starting this fall, according to Microsoft.
Windows Phone 8, code-named Apollo, will feature support for multicore processors, NFC with a mobile payments wallet, and support for three screen resolutions and microSD card slots.
Furthermore, the next Windows Phone OS will share a common kernel with the PC version of Windows 8, which will -- again, according to Microsoft -- allow for easier cross-platform software development between all versions of Windows 8.
Microsoft also promises improved multitasking and seamlessly integrated VoIP for video and voice chats.
Nokia, Samsung, HTC, Hauwei, and ZTE have come forth as manufacturing partners.
Although we're getting a glimpse of the Windows Phone 8 OS today, Microsoft won't release the software developer kit (SDK) until later this summer.
Microsoft says that partner OEMs and operators, like Verizon and Nokia, are excited about Windows Phone prospects, as Microsoft continues a deliberate effort to mature its juvenile OS alongside the much more sophisticated Android and iOS platforms.
This story has been updated since its original publication with more details.