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Phone 7, Mango, Windows 8, Windows 8 on ARM, Apollo (Phone 8)... phew!

It is hardly two years since Microsoft had showcased Windows Phone 7. The SDK came out in September 2010. In Asia the availability of Phone 7 has just completed an year and we have already had a version upgrade to Mango (7.5).

On desktop/tablet side, Windows 8 developer preview was first made widely available in Build Conference in September 2011. The beta is expected anytime soon and then later this year the final release of this product.

While we are still digesting these new technologies, the new operating systems, the new programming model along with buzz words like Live Tiles, Metro UI, Win RT, HTML5, WinJS, we start to hear about next version of Phone code named Apollo. While NASA's Apollo missions may have lasted more than over a decade, this Apollo journey may be much short lived as there are speculations of this new version of Phone 8, with its merging of sorts with Windows 8, to be available this year (2012) itself.

Technologies have upgraded in past but the internet boom and then smart phone boom is really progressing at breathtaking speed. Phone 7, as most people acknowledged was a catching up attempt, but happened a bit late as per industry standards. No wonder then that MS is moving ahead so fast.

So will MS catch up with market leaders and create a disruption? Will Phone 8 be the device? It has lot of good things going for it based on what's known in public domain as yet. Here's and interesting comparison with iOS 5 and Andriod 4. Consumer space is so much driven by emotions and personal brand loyalty as much from features. Which of these will eventually win the battle will be an interesting aspect to watch.

The other question however is that Nokia Lumia 900 is only recently been made available for pre-ordering. Many believe that it is what MS needs to be able to capture market which has been eluding it so far. But Will this news on potential Phone 8 release later this year cause sales to drop? People planning to invest in Windows Phone may just decide to hold on for few more months to get clarity on Apollo before then take the final decision. What do you think?

Change is inevitable and in this era of digital consumers and pervasive computing, you probably run the risk of missing some cool innovations if you get up late one day. I for one, am very keen to see how things will shape up in the next few months. Before signing off, here's some very interesting proposals for Phone 8 designs. My favorite as of now is design #13. Hope 13 proves lucky this once.

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