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Windows Phone 'Apollo' coming mid-2012, according to Nokia VP

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Windows Phone Mango (aka 7.5) has spread its sweet multitasking nectar to just about every WP7 device out there, but Microsoft's software strategy doesn't end with with a juicy fruit. Engadget spoke to Nokia VP Michael Halbherr, who confirmed that Windows Phone Apollo will be a "very different game" when it arrives in the "middle of next year."

That's not the first time we've heard the word Apollo, mind you, as rumors about the supposed Windows Phone 8 have run rampant for months, appearing on fansites, ex-Microsoft employee resumes, and via veteran Microsoft newshound Mary Jo Foley's anonymous tipsters. Usually, though, the rumors were accompanied by references to Windows Phone Tango, another version of the OS supposedly in development for low-cost Windows phones, which would allegedly be created by Nokia in particular for poorer countries around the globe. However, at least part of that idea seems to have been disproved; Nokia did announce phones for developing nations, but as you can see here, the new Asha series doesn't run Windows. What will Apollo bring? We can't say yet, but Andy Lees spoke about the future of Windows Phone briefly at Asia D last week.

Update: Nokia executive VP of markets Niklas Savander told TechRadar that Windows Phone Apollo is where we'll "really see the fruits of what [Nokia] can do with Microsoft."