Microsoft filled in a lot of missing functionality with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, but the platform is still lacking in one area: convenient backups. A recent job listing suggests that will be changing this coming year, with Redmond currently in the hunt for a software engineer to join the Windows Phone Backup, Migrate and Restore team. According to the post, the team is building features to ensure that users can "quickly and seamlessly get their phone back to a good state," whether it's been erased, destroyed, or the customer has simply purchased a new device. While no specific implementation details are given, it is noted that the new features will be included in the "next version" of the mobile OS, likely indicating Windows Phone 8 — also known as Apollo.
The current Zune client doesn't allow users to manually backup their devices, instead tying the procedure to the update process only (strangely, Windows Phone 7 Connector for the Mac does). While there's no specific mention of cloud services made in the listing, "quick and seamless" doesn't sound like tethered syncing to our ears — and with Microsoft already incorporating some cloud-based syncing and backup for Windows 8, we wouldn't be surprised to see a similar strategy in play for Windows Phone. Apollo is expected to arrive in mid-2012.