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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:]

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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RE: Hardware
By shabby on 12/28/2011 8:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
the upside of having a single core is much better battery life than android.

Not really, my sgs2 has much better battery life than my sgs1, it has a bigger screen and much faster gpu to boot. The asus prime tablet has similar battery life compared to its tegra2 tablets and it has 2(actually 3) extra cores.

RE: Hardware
By arnold123 on 12/28/2011 11:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
I am comparing Samsung focus S to SG2.

RE: Hardware
By B3an on 12/29/2011 2:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
While WP7 is definitely the smoothest and IMO the most polished phone OS around, it does need dual-core CPU's and better hardware. The early adopters of new stuff like this are usually people like me as well that are interested in both hardware and software, and WP7 has the software side covered but not the hardware. I want a premium high-end phone with hardware to match. And dual-core CPU's dont use more battery power. Even the quad-core Tegra 3 lasts longer on battery than current dual-core CPU's. More cores dont mean worse battery performance.

RE: Hardware
By NellyFromMA on 12/29/2011 9:23:05 AM , Rating: 4
Why does it need more cores? You just stated it runs fluidly? If it never feels slow, why would it NEED better hardware, screens and battery aside.

It amazes me that there are a group of people that simply want better on their phones JUST for the sake of saying 'my phone is faster than yours'. It makes no sense.

Basically, your stating that you just want to have something that is cutting edge. Not feels cutting edge, because you basically state the system already feels that way, you just want a badge to wear....


RE: Hardware
By Arsynic on 12/29/2011 2:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
While WP7 is definitely the smoothest and IMO the most polished phone OS around, it does need dual-core CPU's and better hardware.

The fuck? You're a walking contradiction. If it's already smooth, why does it need a dual core processor? You sound like a Android fanboy or a Verizon executive where every new phone has to be a dick measuring contest. Fuck usability and performance, paper specs is where it's at.

What WP7 needs is expandable storage and a FFC. How could MS buy Skype and not offer FFC on it's phones.

RE: Hardware
By jonmcc33 on 12/30/2011 12:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
I have an HTC Arrive. Not sure why you think WP7 needs a dual core. It operates quite smoothly on a single core and is very responsive. There's just no need for all that power on a phone. A tablet is another story.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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