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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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By TakinYourPoints on 12/30/2011 1:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
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

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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