One of the major changes expected to be introduced with the release of Windows Phone 8, at least according to the Microsoft preview video that leaked, will be support for the platform’s first dual-core processors. While Windows Phone fans take pride in how well the OS performs even on single-core chips, the rest of the industry is solidly committed to multi-core designs, and Microsoft will have to catch-up sooner or later. Just because it will be late to the dual-core party doesn’t mean Microsoft won’t be making a grand entrance, with a new rumor suggesting we could see phones built around the very-impressive-looking Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon MSM8960.
By these accounts, this is Microsoft itself doing hardware testing with the MSM8960, and not a manufacturer. Still, with Microsoft’s level of control over Windows Phone hardware options, this means we could be seeing a lot of new WP8 devices built around the chip. Benchmarks we’ve seen for the MSM8960 make it clear that dual-core is far from dead, even with the current arrival of quad-core chips, pulling down some of the top results we’ve seen.
Beyond just Microsoft doing its testing with the chip, there may be a connection between the MSM8960, Nokia and Sprint. We’d heard that Sprint isn’t too keen on Windows Phone, so maybe it thinks the powerhouse processor could be the shot-in-the-arm the platforms needs. Supposedly, the carrier is interested in a MSM8960-based WP8 handset, and Nokia may be the one to develop it. Like the HTC Jewel we just talked about, this Nokia model would supposedly run on Sprint’s upcoming LTE network.