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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: WMPoweruser.com]

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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"Superphones" is an odd statement
By Labotomizer on 12/28/2011 7:45:49 PM , Rating: 5
First, Mango supports LTE. The problem is the OEMs can't deliver an LTE phone that meets Microsoft's battery life requirements. I was in the VZW store last week getting my wife a phone for Christmas and the salesman was explaining to a couple who were buying two Bionics that if they left LTE turned on they could expect about 6 hours of battery life. That's just not going to cut it, I need my phone to make it at least 10 hours without being charged. And I don't want to have to fiddle with radio settings to get it there. That's why WP handsets don't currently have LTE.

And then there's the whole dual core ordeal. Why do you need a dual core smartphone? The only reason you need it with Android is because the OS is so poorly optimized that the dual core helps smooth it out but not all that well. A Droid Razr still feels clunkier than my 1Ghz Trophy that matches the specs of a Droid 2. So I'm not seeing the benefit. Not to mention do you think the average user goes into the store and says "I need a phone with dual core and more GigaHertzes"? No, they don't and they don't care. They go with the Android because that's what salespeople push and the commercials are cool. They go with Apple because it's Apple and they think it's automatically awesome.

Microsoft needs to get a bit more variety, but not too much, on the handset side and they need to get the OEMs to offer better incentives to the salespeople at the stores. That's the most important part. If you walk into a VZW store today and ask for a Windows Phone they will do everything they can to get you to buy an Android. The worst part is they won't even do a fair comparison nor say here is the downside to Windows Phone, here is the downside to Android, here is the upside, etc. If they made the same amount of money on each WP sale I promise that would change.

Also MS should sponsor giving away WP handsets to the sales people. The one I bought my wife's iPhone from admitted he had never even used a Windows Phone. He said "They look kind of cool but I've never bothered to try it." Get it in their hands, give it to them free and throw in awesome incentives to get them to sell the product. Then you'll gain traction, then you'll gain word of mouth and they'll be in good shape.

I'll part with one thought though. 10 years ago MS entered the home console race and everyone thought they were nuts, thought they would fail. A year or so into the XBox's life it looked like the people who said it would fail were right. 10 years later and those people are eating crow. Just remember MS has the resources to stay in this for the long haul and 10 years from now non one will remember the WP slow start.




RE: "Superphones" is an odd statement
By sprockkets on 12/28/11, Rating: 0
By Labotomizer on 12/29/2011 8:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
I think you underestimate the power that salespeople have. That is the absolute number one problem WP7 has currently. If you go in and try to buy a Windows Phone the salespeople will try to steer you into something else. If you go in looking for a smart phone without naming a specific brand they won't even bother showing you a Windows Phone. They'll show you Android and iPhone. That's it. Until salespeople actually try to sell the platform then the rest of their marketing campaign won't do any good.

If I'm your average consumer and I walk into a phone store where I believe the salespeople are experts and I say "Hey, that Windows Phone looked cool, can I check it out?" and I get "Oh, you should check out the iPhone or this Android over here instead" I'm just going to go along with what they guide me to. After all, they're the "experts". MS needs to target the people in the stores first and foremost.


RE: "Superphones" is an odd statement
By Arsynic on 12/29/2011 2:59:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm also sure the iphone4S didn't need dual core processors either, but it has it, and it makes a difference in the ability to take video, photos, share wifi and browser performance.


*Scratches head*

Damn, DT has some of the thickest users I've ever seen who contradict themselves within the same sentence. If the 4S didn't need a dual core processor then Apple wouldn't have included one. If adding a dual core processor "makes a difference" in the things you stated, then by fuck, it was needed all along.

Explain to me why a WP7 single-core phone would need a dual core processor if it's just as fast as a 4S or Android phone? It's like saying a Ferrari needs to get a 600 HP engine to match the Mack truck's 600 HP engine even though a Ferrari smokes the Mack truck. The Mack truck needs the 600 HP engine to pull a trailer full of shit. The Android OS is basically a trailer full of shit.


By sprockkets on 12/30/2011 9:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
*Scratches head* Damn, DT has some of the thickest users I've ever seen who contradict themselves within the same sentence. If the 4S didn't need a dual core processor then Apple wouldn't have included one. If adding a dual core processor "makes a difference" in the things you stated, then by fck, it was needed all along.


It was sarcasm for the OP, duh.

quote:
Explain to me why a WP7 single-core phone would need a dual core processor if it's just as fast as a 4S or Android phone?


One reason why wp7 is so fluid is because they made the ui animations so slow. Ars states that as such on their review of the latest wp7 phone - android runs the gui at a higher rate.

quote:
It's like saying a Ferrari needs to get a 600 HP engine to match the Mack truck's 600 HP engine even though a Ferrari smokes the Mack truck. The Mack truck needs the 600 HP engine to pull a trailer full of sht. The Android OS is basically a trailer full of


Here's the problem with your analysis. I've already stated how a dual core processor helps with multi-tasking, the ability to and background operations, or stuff like taking fast photos, real time voice to text, something that WP7 didn't do from the outset(does it even do it now, can't remember). Having 2 cores do work at a lower freq is more efficient than a fast single core. It's like saying I'd rather have a good inline 6 cyl engine than a high reving honda s2000 that puts out 240 hp but at such a ridiculous rpm.

Btw, both iOS and wp7 get their smoothness from the gpu, something that was not fully implemented until android version 3.0, and then 4.0 for phones. You or I can spin this anyway you want - it either means both iOS and Wp7 are crap because they need to use both a GPU and CPU just to be useable and Android sucks for not doing that via the GPU but the CPU.


RE: "Superphones" is an odd statement
By Mitch101 on 12/28/2011 11:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yea I don't get that so many people love their X-Box 360, Windows 7 is probably the best OS ever from Microsoft sorry XP, but they don't trust Microsoft on a Phone?

First there were complaints about cut/paste and multitasking and now that 7.5 has them thats a moot point.

Then it was cry about the apps as if you need more than 60 apps all the primary must have apps exist for Windows Phone 7. They just passed 50,000 apps so people are starting to shut up about the lack of apps. Apparently developer support is growing for the device not declining.

The only thing anyone is complaining about are that it doesnt have dual or quad cores but it doesn't need it. The OS is so well written it flies with a single core. Technically its not entirely true the Windows Phone OS leverages the GPU for certain tasks so while its single core cpu its using the GPU for the things the GPU does better than a CPU. In a way Windows Phones are Dual core CPU/GPU which is why they are so smooth.

Space heck Cloud, Home Server, etc who needs more space? I dont need my entire MP3 collection but I have access to it even my movie collection. I have a home server my data is unlimited and I have 20gig in the cloud as well.

Anyone complaining about Windows Phone just hasn't tried using or knowing one to know any better.


By Labotomizer on 12/29/2011 8:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone has different tastes so I understand if someone doesn't like the interface. I love it but I don't expect everyone to think the way I do. To me that's the only valid complaint for the platform. If you don't like the interface and prefer and Win 3.x grid of icons or one of the various OEMs Android UIs then more power to you. But lack of dual core is a stupid complaint. Use the phone and you'll know what I mean.


By Arsynic on 12/29/2011 3:16:54 PM , Rating: 1
What Microsoft did with the original Xbox is opposite what they're doing with WP7. With the Xbox they targeted the core gamers who are techies and who will spend $300 on a machine with ten $60 games. At the time Xbox was cutting edge for a console: It had an Nvidia GPU, a 10/100 NIC for broadband Internet and a hard drive in the box. Today, those things are the basics needed for a game machine. This core audience provided a foundation on which the platform flourished early on. Then once it was established, MS went for the general, casual gaming audience helped by the word-of-mouth spread by the core gamers.

With WP7 Microsoft is trying to go after the budget market first. These people don't know shit about phones and will get whatever the sales rep recommends. They are continuing to do this. That's why Tango is coming out before Apollo. Microsoft needs to court the gadgeteers and the tech fanatics who love buzzwords like LTE, Dual Core, and megapixel. These are the types of people Verizon goes after: The techie with an appetite for the next cool thing and who has the disposable income to purchase a $300 phone every two years. Microsoft needs phones that fit Verizon's business model and Verizon will happily do commercials for Windows Phone and push its reps to push WP7.

This really confuses me since the Xbox and WP7 groups are under the same Microsoft E&D banner. Is the company THAT fucking big?


By TakinYourPoints on 12/30/2011 1:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First, Mango supports LTE. The problem is the OEMs can't deliver an LTE phone that meets Microsoft's battery life requirements. I was in the VZW store last week getting my wife a phone for Christmas and the salesman was explaining to a couple who were buying two Bionics that if they left LTE turned on they could expect about 6 hours of battery life. That's just not going to cut it, I need my phone to make it at least 10 hours without being charged. And I don't want to have to fiddle with radio settings to get it there. That's why WP handsets don't currently have LTE.

And then there's the whole dual core ordeal. Why do you need a dual core smartphone? The only reason you need it with Android is because the OS is so poorly optimized that the dual core helps smooth it out but not all that well. A Droid Razr still feels clunkier than my 1Ghz Trophy that matches the specs of a Droid 2. So I'm not seeing the benefit. Not to mention do you think the average user goes into the store and says "I need a phone with dual core and more GigaHertzes"? No, they don't and they don't care. They go with the Android because that's what salespeople push and the commercials are cool. They go with Apple because it's Apple and they think it's automatically awesome.


Nailed it. WP7 and iPhone have skipped LTE for battery life concerns. More efficient LTE chipsets are coming from Qualcomm in 2012, we'll see them in those phones then.

Then there's the issue of specs. As you said, faster specs are needed with Android since the OS is such a pig compared to WP7 or iOS. Neckbeards still buy into spec sheets and give little thought to practical performance and user experience. Who cares about 1.5ghz dual cores when an old single core WP7 device gives much practically smoother performance, or when a 800mhz iPhone is both smoother and has faster benchmarks.

Some people miss the forest for the trees, it's the same as people who insisted that the Pentium 4 was worth buying over an Athlon 64 because OMG MEGAHERTZ


By TakinYourPoints on 12/30/2011 1:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First, Mango supports LTE. The problem is the OEMs can't deliver an LTE phone that meets Microsoft's battery life requirements. I was in the VZW store last week getting my wife a phone for Christmas and the salesman was explaining to a couple who were buying two Bionics that if they left LTE turned on they could expect about 6 hours of battery life. That's just not going to cut it, I need my phone to make it at least 10 hours without being charged. And I don't want to have to fiddle with radio settings to get it there. That's why WP handsets don't currently have LTE.

And then there's the whole dual core ordeal. Why do you need a dual core smartphone? The only reason you need it with Android is because the OS is so poorly optimized that the dual core helps smooth it out but not all that well. A Droid Razr still feels clunkier than my 1Ghz Trophy that matches the specs of a Droid 2. So I'm not seeing the benefit. Not to mention do you think the average user goes into the store and says "I need a phone with dual core and more GigaHertzes"? No, they don't and they don't care. They go with the Android because that's what salespeople push and the commercials are cool. They go with Apple because it's Apple and they think it's automatically awesome.


Nailed it. WP7 and iPhone have skipped LTE for battery life concerns. More efficient LTE chipsets are coming from Qualcomm in 2012, we'll see them in those phones then.

Then there's the issue of specs. As you said, faster specs are needed with Android since the OS is such a pig compared to WP7 or iOS. Neckbeards still buy into spec sheets and give little thought to practical performance and user experience. Who cares about 1.5ghz dual cores when an old single core WP7 device gives much practically smoother performance, or when a 800mhz iPhone is both smoother and has faster benchmarks.

Some people miss the forest for the trees, it's the same as people who insisted that the Pentium 4 was worth buying over an Athlon 64 because OMG MEGAHERTZ


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