Apollo Plus could be Microsoft’s first Windows Phone 8 update

Windows Phone 8 Apollo PlusThe first update to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system is already in the works, according to sources speaking to The Verge, who say it’s currently known as Apollo Plus. Those of you who have been following Windows Phone 8 will know it was codenamed Apollo prior to launch, suggesting the update will enhance rather than drastically change the OS when it arrives.

It will include several features which Microsoft never had time to complete before Windows Phone 8 went on sale, primarily VPN support for eager business users, plus various bug fixes and other improvements. The article notes that with Apollo Plus, Wi-Fi connections will be allowed to remain active, and device audio settings will be tweaked too.

This fits in with Microsoft’s approach to Windows Phone 7, which after being released in October 2010, received its first major update in March 2011. Codenamed NoDo, it also contained features which should have been included in the first version, most notably copy and paste. Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, a more complete upgrade package, wasn’t fully revealed until later in the year.

The NoDo update was discussed during Mobile World Congress 2011, where Microsoft and Nokia formally announced their partnership, and Apollo Plus is expected to be on the agenda at Mobile World Congress 2013. A key difference between NoDo and Apollo Plus will be its delivery method, as to apply NoDo, owners had to use Zune or Windows Phone Connector software; however with Windows Phone 8, over-the-air updates are possible too.

Apollo Plus isn’t the only Windows Phone update on the horizon, as we’re still waiting for news on Windows Phone 7.8, which will bring the new Start screen and several other, as yet unconfirmed features to older devices unable to run Windows Phone 8. Although it has been officially announced, Microsoft has remained quiet concerning its release date. A rumor has placed it as being November 28 though.

We should expect to hear more about Apollo Plus during MWC 2013, which begins on February 25.