With phones powered by quad-core processors in development, the Windows Phone 8 OS will jump from the current single-core support to supporting dual-core and quad-core processors, Microsoft said in unveiling the upcoming upgrade at an event for developers in San Francisco.
Windows phones running the new OS will get support for three new screen resolutions -- WVGA (800x480 pixels), WXVGA (1280x768), and "True 720p" (1280x720).
To compete with the iPhone voice feature Siri, Microsoft demonstrated speech recognition software that developers can harness, to let users launch and control apps with their voice, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Windows Phone 8 will share much of the same native code used in Windows desktop, to more tightly integrate the two and make it easier for Windows developers to create and port Windows Phone apps.
The new operating system is expected to arrive on smartphones that go on sale this fall, although Microsoft would not discuss a more specific launch date, the Journal said Wednesday.
Microsoft did confirm there would be Windows 8 phones from Nokia Corp., HTC Corp., Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies Co., all of which currently offer handsets running the Windows Phone 7 OS.