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Device operating systems

OS Watch: Windows Phone 8 Specs Revealed

Specs for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s next operating system, Windows Phone 8, leak out as we dive into this week's OS news.

  • Windows Phone 8 specs revealed: Those anxious to see the latest and greatest for Microsoft's Windows Phone OS may not have to wait any longer. The Pocketnow blog uncovered an internal Microsoft video detailing the spec list, and it was quite impressed with what it found. New specs for the platform, designed for "scale and choice," include support for multicore processors, new screen resolutions, a removable microSD storage card, Near-Field Communications (NFC), close Windows 8 integration, native code support for apps, advanced data tracking and the much-awaited revamped Skype client that ties into the OS. (See Windows Phone's Missing Piece: Skype.)

    The leak forced Windows Phone insider Paul Thurrott to corroborate a lot of the specs. Windows Phone 8 will be based on the Windows 8 kernel and be tightly integrated with the desktop version, he claims. Microsoft expects to have more than 100,000 Windows Phone 7.5 apps available that will all also work on the newest 8 OS when it launches.

  • Android bounces the malware: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is getting serious about fighting malware -- a big problem on its open OS. The company revealed Thursday that it put a "Bouncer" at the door last year, which it says has reduced the number of potentially malicious downloads by 40 percent from the first half of 2011 to the second half. Without requiring an approval process for developers like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) does, the Bouncer software analyzes all apps in the Android Market for malware and other attackers, then tests the app in Google's cloud to simulate running on a device. Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of engineering for Android, acknowledged that no security method is foolproof, but that Android is getting better at detecting and eliminating malware every day. (See Top 4 Malware Threats to Android.)

  • Moto and Apple do the German patent dance: The courtroom drama between Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Motorola Mobility LLC came to a head in Germany on Friday when Moto was granted a permanent injunction against the push email function on Apple's iCloud. Also, on Friday, Apple was initially ordered to remove several older model iPhones and iPads from its German online store for infringing on another, unrelated patent, but was soon thereafter granted a suspension, getting its products back online. (See Moto Beats Apple in German Court.)

  • Android, iOS dominate: Apple and Google clearly can't play nice, but together their OSs captured 76.9 percent of the overall market, according to comScore Inc. 's latest numbers. Out of the 97.9 million smartphones -- 40 percent of all mobile subs -- in the U.S., Android was on 47.3 percent of them in the past quarter, up 2.5 percentage points, and Apple took the other 29.6 percent, up 2.2 percentage points. All other OSs shrunk in the past quarter, comScore says.

  • Facebook's mobile ambitions: Facebook 's not-so-quiet IPO this week revealed that the social network has 425 million monthly active users … on mobile. That's 50.3 percent of its 845-million-deep user base that accesses the site from a mobile device. The filing revealed that mobile is definitely a big part of the Book's future plans, including a way to actually make money from it. Get ready for mobile ads.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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