8 could be Microsoft's lucky number. The first look at Windows Phone 8 has emerged, revealing close ties with the warmly anticipated Windows 8 desktop software -- including more on how apps will work on both your phone and your computer.
Windows Phone 8 is detailed in an internal video seen by Pocketnow, in which a Microsoft boss explains the future of Windows Phone to new buddy Nokia. Nokia is leading the Windows Phone charge with the new Nokia Lumia 800 and forthcoming Nokia Lumia 710.
Windows Phone 8 is set to add NFC, so you'll be able to pay for stuff in shops with an airy wave of your phone in the general direction of any NFC-equipped till. Until a network of tills is in place, you can share data between two NFC phones by tapping them together.
Another new feature is a DataSmart live tile, an app to manage how much data you're using. DataSmart will always try to connect via Wi-Fi first to save your phone bill.
The next updates for Windows Phone are reported to be known as Tango and Apollo. This update, codenamed Apollo, is expected toward the end of this year.
Windows Phone replaced Windows Mobile just over a year ago, finally reacting to the iPhone and Android smart phone revolution. Windows Mobile's leaden, dated interface was replaced by large, colourful tiles that update automatically with the latest information.
We're big fans -- we really like the playful coloured interface. There are still pleny of features to be added, but we think it strikes a neat middle ground between Android's versatility and Apple's user-friendliness.
In fact, may of the priciples of Windows Phone design have been scaled up to computer size for Windows 8, the next generation of Microsoft's operating system for laptops, PCs and tablets.
Windows Phone 8 will arrive at around the same time as Windows 8, and will integrate with its desktop namesake. Most significantly, apps developed for the desktop will share a lot of their coding with phone apps, potentially giving the sparse catalogue of Windows Phone apps a massive boost.
What do you think of Windows Phone 8's new features? Will it help Windows Phone topple Android and Apple? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.