Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system will include a new Rooms feature that will allow friends and family to chat in a virtual room and share data. Sources close to Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 plans have detailed the new feature to us and revealed that the software maker will launch it as part of a wave of new devices this fall. Although Windows Phone already has a Groups feature, Rooms is said to be a new option that will create an interactive group full of friends or family.

A text message will invite users to join, and once accepted Rooms participants can share calendar items, photos, and notes privately. Rooms will also include a group chat feature that allows participants to chat with each other. Rooms can be created in a similar way to Groups in Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft will provide a default "Best Friends" group and "Family Room" built into the People Hub. We are expecting Microsoft to detail and announce the feature at a joint Nokia event on Wednesday.