Print 37 comment(s) - last by sprockkets.. on Dec 30 at 9:23 PM

Leaked roadmap shows two major Windows Phone releases coming shortly

It looks like 2012 will be an interesting year for Windows Phone.  A leaked slide deck offers the first tidbits about Microsoft Corp's (MSFT) launch plans for 2012 -- a year some are billing as a make it or break it year for Microsoft.

Windows Phone (WP) 7.5 Mango is still relatively new on the market, but Microsoft is already cooking up its successor (or perhaps counterpart) dubbed Tango.  Set to launch in Q2 2011, Tango will bring the Mango experience to lower-priced budget smartphones.  

Microsoft has been pretty strict thus far about its hardware specifications (e.g. requiring a 1 GHz CPU), so it should be interesting to see if lower end hardware can keep pace.  Windows Phone is perhaps the most fluid operating system on the market today, in terms of animations, when navigating the core menus interface.  If the budget hardware indeed makes the WP experience clunkier, it should be interesting how much that cripples the UI experience.

Windows Phone roadmap
[Image Source:]

Tango is likely heavily crafted with Microsoft's premium partner Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) in mind.  While Nokia has struggled in the U.S., it has flourished with budget handsets in other very large markets like China.  Nokia has promised to transition all of its smartphone lineup to the Windows Phone platform.  In order to get its budget handsets onboard with that plan, WP Tango will be necessary.

For WP fans, the more exciting launch will likely be the Q4 2012 "Apollo".  Perhaps the rumored Windows Phone 8, Apollo will bring support for "super phones" (think LTE, large HD screens, dual-core CPUs, and more).  While some Windows Phones (think the HTC Titan) have offered more of a premium hardware experience, they still trail Android models in CPU speed (less noticeable) and screen resolution (more noticeable).

Samsung Galaxy S II
Next year Windows Phone will finally get the kind of gorgeous HD, super-smartphones that Android users have long enjoyed.

The slide also indicates it will improve the business experience.

Microsoft's slide also indicates that a key objective of Apollo is to "increase overall volume".  Well, duh -- even the typically enthusiastic Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that Windows Phone sales have been "very low".  With Nokia's transition to WP, Microsoft will instantly gain a large international market share, but it will need to push hard to win over the U.S. market, which is currently being dominated by a Google Inc. (GOOG) Android and Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPhone duopoly.

While its success is uncertain, Microsoft continues to pour money into the mobile space and cook up novel product -- from an operating system perspective, if not yet from a hardware perspective.  Thus it seems inevitable that sooner or later its effort will see at least modest success.  2012 will verily be an exciting year for WP fans.

Source: WMPoweruser

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Tango Down
By muhahaaha on 12/28/2011 7:19:03 PM , Rating: 3
MS needs to learn how to market to the average Joe from Apple. Maybe after they put out Bango Wango, we'll have something. :P

RE: Tango Down
By inighthawki on 12/28/2011 8:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
That and all the phones out now kind of suck. While I strongly dislike iOS, and I would never actually buy an iPhone, I can't help but admit that after seeing my friend's 4S, that the phone itself is built with exception quality. There are a few Android phones as well that catch my attention, but in the end, Microsoft does not have a single phone that stands out from the competition and says "choose me." They are all low price budget phones the Samsung and HTC slapped together, and ultimately don't hold the same quality as other phones. If they released an iPhone 4S that ran Mango, I'd probably buy it in a heartbeat, but until then, all the phones are pretty lame.

RE: Tango Down
By spread on 12/28/2011 11:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Titan is very well built and Nokia has the Lumia 800 which is supposed to be very nice. AMOLED screen, unibody... yadda yadda.

But I agree, most Windows phones suck and it's not helping their image. They need a few halo phones.

RE: Tango Down
By sprockkets on 12/29/2011 12:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
The Nokia 800 isn't flying off the shelves either. Still too early to tell, but it doesn't look good.

I like how the SG2 is outselling the iphone, so I'm happy.

RE: Tango Down
By Omega215D on 12/28/2011 8:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
MS is hoping Tango brings Cash along for the WP7 ride...

RE: Tango Down
By Arsynic on 12/29/2011 3:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
Apple customers aren't "the average Joe". The average Joe won't spend all night waiting in line for a new phone with a MHz increase. These people are Apple fanatics and it's a market in and of itself. Going after these people are a waste of time and money.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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