Windows Phone 8 will support NFC (near-field communications), a technology that allows wireless transfer over very short distances, something that Research in Motion and Google support in their recent mobile OSes. It will also support peer-to-peer Wi-Fi (aka Wi-Fi Direct) connections.
Microsoft said it would provide a mobile wallet capability to contain credit card, loyalty card, and third-party services like account information and tickets. It will also include mobile payment functions, supporting NFC and other conduits, such as carrier networks. (Apple's forthcoming iOS 6 has what appears to be the beginnings of a mobile wallet in its Passbook app.) Windows Phone will also support secure SIM cards, to help validate identity for purchases, but that technology won't be available when Windows Phone 8 is first available.
Windows Phone 8 also will include Nokia's maps service, allowing turn-by-turn directions as Android long has provided and that iOS 6 will add this fall to Apple devices.
Microsoft also demonstrated voice control technology from Audible; it's not like Apple's Siri in that it interacts with you as a personal assistant but is more of an order-taker to execute your requests.
The first Windows Phone 8 smartphones are due before the Christmas holiday shopping season, so likely in November -- around the time the first Windows 8 Surface tablet from Microsoft should ship.
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