Microsoft has confirmed its plans for forward facing camera support in Windows Phone.
Microsoft staff revealed the support at Tech-Ed New Zealand on Thursday. “When we have the new handsets we’ll have front facing cameras,” said a Microsoft employee during a demonstration of Lync Mobile for Windows Phone. Unofficial Twitter account WindowsPhoneNZ also revealed that Skype on Windows Phone will support forward facing cameras. Rumors of front facing camera support have existed for months. Microsoft released an updated version of its Windows Phone Mango developer tools in June which included references to a new icon in the camera application. The icon appears to refer to swapping the device camera around, a.k.a forward facing cameras.
Microsoft is believed to be building in camera support directly into the messaging hub as part of the company’s Windows Live Messenger integration. Microsoft will also likely integrate Skype into Windows Phone heavily once the deal is made official by regulators. The software maker purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in May and promised Skype support across Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices.
It’s not immediately clear whether this support will be available in the final shipping code for Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft may issue the support as part of its Tango update due early next year. The first batch of Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” devices may not ship with forward facing cameras due to this. Microsoft is also working on a global “chatter” application for use across Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices. Details of “chatter” leaked to the internet recently after references to “Chatter” were discovered in early leaked builds of Windows 8. It’s believed that Chatter is a video calling service that will be integrated directly into Windows 8 and subsequently Windows Phone.