Microsoft has announced that the next major update to its Windows Phone platform is due out this spring. A major focus of the new software is support for a wider range of hardware including phones with on-screen buttons instead of physical buttons and hardware with less powerful specs.
But Microsoft says all existing Windows Phone 8 devices will also be able to run the new software… assuming phone makers and wireless carriers implement the update.
Here are a few highlights:
- Support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 and 400 processors
- Ability to install apps on a microSD card (which allows Windows Phone to run on devices with as little as 512MB of memory and 4GB of storage)
- Support for dual-SIM phones
The company is also now supporting Qualcomm’s smartphone reference design program, which means that manufacturers could basically use the same design to build an Android or a Windows Phone handset featuring Qualcomm chips.
Microsoft has also announced a number of hardware companies committed to building Windows Phone devices, including Lenovo, a company which is new to the Windows Phone space — but which is working to expand its smartphone business.