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Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 DNA splice is on - report

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Windows 8 and Microsoft's next major phone operating system will merge, if reports are correct.

Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo, will reuse code from Windows 8, due this year - specifically the kernel, network stacks, security and multi media. That means Windows Phone 8 will ditch the current Windows Phone 7.5 core that uses Windows Embedded Compact.

The report, here, is based on a supposed leaked Microsoft video featuring Windows Phone manager Joe Belifore. The presentation was intended for partners of Microsoft's phone BFF Nokia. The video was not posted.

There have been reports based on sources and rumours elsewhere that the Windows 8 kernel is coming to Windows Phone.

By merging the kernels and bringing operating system features under one roof, applications for Windows 8 produced by Redmond and third-party developers could run or look and behave in the same way - as far as the user is concerned - on Windows Phone 8.

As far as appearances go, Microsoft would become more like Apple in having its desktop, laptop and tablet software and its phone software look and behave very similarly.

We've already seen the merging of the UI, with the Metro look in Windows Phone coming to one of the two versions of Windows 8 planned by Microsoft - the version for tablets.

According to the report on the leaked video, among other changes planned for Apollo will be support multi-core processors, an increase in the number of screen resolutions that is supported - up to four - and support for removable microSD card storage.

There will also be support for native code: this would mean an app could compile to run with the processor and instructions of a particular phone running Windows Phone 8.

As Reg regular Tim Anderson points out here, though, while merging Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 might bring simplification in some areas, complexity remains in other areas. Specifically around the fact Windows 8 will run on x86 and ARM.

Among other features supposedly planned in Apollo: Internet Explorer 10 that'll use an Opera-style set of proxy servers to compress data and smoothly deliver pages to the client, integration with a revamped Skype, automatic Wi-Fi connection to carrier networks and - for customers working in the enterprise - dumping of the Zune desktop sync client for something dedicated to specific applications, and use of Microsoft's 128-bit BitLocker for full disk encryption that's currently used on Windows desktops.

There's no date for Apollo yet, which is expected after an interim update to Windows Phone codenamed Tango. ®

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