Redmond is reportedly shipping the RTM version of Windows Phone 8 to manufacturers ahead of the October 29 launch and if all goes well we should see the first devices in October.
Although Windows Phone 7.x has been with us for a while now, it never really grew into a proper alternative to iOS and Android. There are quite a few reasons for this, limited number app, poor choice of devices, lack of carrier support and Microsoft’s draconian hardware limitations to name but a few.
However, Windows Phone 8 Apollo addresses most if not all of these shortcomings. Apollo phones will feature the latest Qualcomm S4 dual-core parts, they will support 720p screens, more storage and optional microSD support. The number of WP apps is growing fast and to top it all off Windows RT is also on the way, which opens a range of possibilities.
Although Windows Phone 7.x devices will never get an Apollo update, they will be updated to Windows Phone 7.8, with a new UI styled like Apollo.
However, although WP8 looks great on paper, Microsoft has a really limited window of opportunity to take on Apple and Google, as the smartphone market is already saturated and Microsoft needs more than a good OS to make a dent in it. For lack of a better word, it needs a lucky break and the patent wars, if they escalate, could be just that.