We were expecting Microsoft to out the first Windows Phone 8 SDK in the coming weeks, but WPXAP has gotten its hands on a preview build of the set of developer tools that allows apps to be built around a set of programming languages and APIs.
From the files below, references are made to a Nokia-based 3D mapping solution, and improvements to the camera such as real-time access for third-party apps. The SDK also talks about hot-swappable microSD cards and hardware-acceleration APIs for developers.
Network Monitoring for Windows Phone Applications V1.pdf
Optimizing Windows Phone Applications for Efficient Battery Consumption V1.pdf
Simulation Dashboard for Windows Phone Applications V1.pdf
Windows Phone 8 Developer Docs.chm
Windows Phone Apollo Release Notes.htm
Thrilling stuff! Hopefully some folks can make heads or tails of what it all means, but in the meantime know that Windows Phone 8 is coming relatively soon, and it will hopefully bring Microsoft to a place where it can compete on the same level as iOS and Android. Time will tell.