As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

Summary: New leaks about the next version of the Windows Phone operating system make me wonder if the Tango1/Tango2 rumors from last year are going to prove true, after all.

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I haven't blogged much recently about Windows Phone "Tango," the Windows Phone operating system release slated to follow "Mango" but precede "Apollo." The main reason is that since last summer, I haven't heard a whole lot about Tango.

But in the past week or so, new Tango information has begun leaking from a variety of sources.

Paul Thurrott posted an article on February 10 to the Windows SuperSite detailing more alleged Tango information from unnamed sources. Thurrott said Tango will likely be called Windows Phone 7.5.1 (indicating it is a minor update to the Mango handsets which are known as Windows Phone 7.5 -- running an operating system known as 7.1). He said Tango will be optimized for lower RAM requirements, and will support low-end Windows Phone handsets with just 256 MB of RAM, half of the 512 MB that is more common today. In addition, certain "resource-intensive background tasks" on Tango handsets will be disabled, Thurrott said.

More from his post:

"Developers will be able to target Tango or Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) going forward, or both, and users of the new low-end systems will basically be able to access a subset of the existing Windows Phone Marketplace apps selection. (That said, I'm also told that Tango users will be able to browse, but not download, incompatible apps....)"

On February 15, alleged Tango screen shots and information appeared on WMPoweruser.com (via WP7Forum.ru). The screen shots and details corroborated reports that Tango is an OS update targeted primarily at bringing Windows Phones to a new class of users in primarily developing countries.

But there's a new twist in WMPoweruser's info. Tango also may include some new features, like the ability to manage contacts directly on the SIM card and to export contacts to the SIM. This is to allow users to more easily transition from a feature phone to a smartphone. There will be more granular roaming settings, WMPoweruser said, and "users will be able to make multiple attachments to one MMS message, including pictures, sound and video."

The MMS multiple-attachment feature is one that would likely appeal to all Windows Phone users, not just those with low-end handsets. So if Microsoft is planning, as Thurrott has heard, to make Tango an update on low-end handsets only, and not universally across all WP handsets, existing Windows Phone users wouldn't get these new features.

Unless -- and this is just an attempt to piece together previous clues on my part -- Microsoft really is planning two different Tango updates, as originally rumored. Remember Tango1 was supposed to be "TangoMango" (according to a confusion translation of a tip from months back)? What if that means the new features coming to Tango go to all Mango handset users?  And Tango2 ends up being the update that is expressly for new low-end Windows Phones?

In any case, hopefully Microsoft officials will finally share more about the long-rumored Tango at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) at the end of this month. And maybe even some tidbits on "Apollo," too, though I wouldn't be surprised if the Softies attempt to put the Apollo genie back in the bottle, at this point, so as not to dampen the market for the new generation of Mango phones due to hit in the next few months....

One more tidbit re: Tango from Thurrott's write-up that may be of interest to Windows Phone developers. Thurrott said in his write-up that a new version of the Windows Phone software development kit may be out by April 2012.

This new SDK "will let developers test apps on both 256 MB Tango devices and mainstream 512MB handsets in emulation. Developers can choose to opt out of Tango going forward if they'd like, though that might not be desirable if these devices sell as well as expected," he said.

OK... one more thing: Rumors have it that among the Nokia announcements at MWC will be a new low-end Lumia 610 Windows Phone handset running Tango.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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37 comments
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  • 5% of the market rejoices...LOL

    Although only 3% are on WP7.

    Sad...just sad...
    SamWilkinson
    • Where'd you get that number?

      @SamWilkinson ... MJF recently reported that Windows Phone has 1.5 percent of the market.
      HollywoodDog
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @SamWilkinson

      Wp7 going backwards fail like KIN
      Sultansulan
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @SamWilkinson

      Better give up on Linux desktop then and OS/X isn't that far above 3% so they're doomed too. WP7 is simply better on every level as the phone becomes a tool rather than a toy, status symbol, data collection for an ad company or consumer device. That said, I don't really care how many they sell as long as they keep supporting and upgrading it - I still have the best phone ;-)
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

        I think what happened here is called being hoisted with one's own petard.
        Game set and match to Tony.
        Turd Furgeson
      • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

        @tonymcs@...
        [i]"WP7 is simply better on every level..."[/i]

        You just keep telling yourself that, Tony.
        Your assertion/opinion is NOT the same as fact.

        A good thing you still have one hand free to play with your phone.
        rahbm
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @SamWilkinson Flagged me again Loveschlock?
      SamWilkinson
      • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

        @SamWilkinson
        Nope, that was me :)
        kstap
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @SamWilkinson
      I enjoy my WP. Sure beats the snot out of the competition.
      kstap
  • MS doing the opposite .. again.

    This will fail.
    Even now, developers are strugling to get every hertz of performance and every byte of memory out of current devices.
    Windows Phone needs either: drastic optimalization of Silverlight runtime, or better hardware support, so hardware manufacturers can use more powerfull hardware.

    Noone is going to write apps for even weaker hardware. Especialy not in highly-abstracted enviorment like .NET and Silverlight.
    Falhar
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @Falhar source? windows phone 7.0 had a min memory of 256MB. so tango is no different. as an app dev, MSFT told everybody to keep their apps at 90MB for the base case. no devices shipped with that little memory, but it was never an issue. most apps struggle to go that high. maybe some heavy games might.
      neonspark
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @Falhar

      Except even a casual inspection of someone using an iPhone or some fancy dual core Android is that they aren't as smooth as WP7 even with lower hardware, and their UI seems designed to make you take as long as possible doing any function.

      When you also realise the MS development tools are a couple of generations beyond Android or Apple's weird proprietary language, it's really no contest.

      But hey, continue that slow, endless swiping through grids of dead icons looking for the siloed app you need to use since you lack the built-in functions of WP7 and enjoy - remember you have state of the art hardware ;-)
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @Falhar Information? I'm a developer for WP7 and have not had any struggles getting every hertz...byte...memory out of the device. So why would you say this? Do you develop in WP7? If not, go play with your antiquated iPhone. I had an iPhone for less than a month, because I could not stand how it works. It made me frustrated that was not giving me live information. The WP7 phone is a great step to making smart phones, smart and user friendly. My wife has an android and I don't even like picking it up because it is another bad interface.
      livnlif
  • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

    Let's call one of the releases Wango Tango and see if Ted Nugent wants to promote it. ;-)
    johnsharp123@...
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @johnsharp123@... Perfect... a washed up rocker from the fringes of society is the perfect analog to promote mobile Windows. I love "Stranglehold" as much as the next guitarist-geek. Microsoft was great once too, I suppose.. though given a choice, I'll take something more modern on my phone, musically or OS wise. I'll still happy to give the chicken a good death.
      Hazydave
      • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

        @dave@... Question. Is there good modern music?
        bvonr@...
      • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

        @dave@...

        Tell that to Volkswagon then too because they use Stranglehold in their ads. Of course I make all my purchasing decisions based on the theme songs and music references of companies.
        Turd Furgeson
  • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

    Would Windows Phone Tango be called Windows Phone Basic? Would there be editions of Windows Phone such as Windows Phone Premium, Windows Phone Professional, Windows Phone Enterprise and Windows Phone Ultimate? :-D
    e_mendz
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @e_mendz
      LOL! But seriously, not such a bad idea... after all, over a billion people know what those editions mean!
      jaykayess
    • RE: As more Windows Phone 'Tango' info leaks, questions resurface

      @e_mendz
      LOL! But seriously, not such a bad idea... after all, over a billion people know what those editions mean!
      jaykayess