Microsoft to Follow Windows Phone Mango With Tango, Apollo in 2012
December 28, 2011 5:06 PM
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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 (
) 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.
[Image Source: WMPoweruser.com]
Tango is likely heavily crafted with Microsoft's premium partner Nokia Oyj. (
) 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).
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. (
) Android and Apple, Inc. (
) 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.
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RE: "Superphones" is an odd statement
12/29/2011 8:39:31 AM
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.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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