Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

Summary: Information about Microsoft's successor to Windows Phone OS Mango (codenamed Tango) is slowly starting to leak.

SHARE:

Until today, I've said nothing on my blog about Tango -- the Windows Phone operating system release supposedly slated to arrive after Mango but before "Apollo" (Windows Phone 8). The reason? I couldn't find any of my trusted contacts who had heard of Tango.

But after an alleged Tango screen shot leaked late last week (which I first saw via WPCentral.com), word of the next Windows Phone OS update is slowly percolating through my network.

Digitimes first mentioned Tango in June 2011, citing an official with OEM Compal who mentioned Mango and its follow-on, Tango. Some were speculating that Mango would be Windows Phone OS 7.1 and Tango, 7.5. However, more recently, we've learned that while the Mango OS is version 7.1, the Mango phone handsets are what will be labeled as 7.5. So it's somewhat murky as to whether Tango actually will be labeled as Windows Phone OS 7.5 or not.

Microsoft isn't talking about anything post-Mango and, as usual, is none too keen on commenting on codenames. Mango only recently was released to manufacturing. But a couple of my sources are now saying that Tango is real and it is, indeed, the next version of Windows Phone OS.

One of my contacts who asked to remain anonymous said he believed there would be at least one and maybe two Tango releases hitting before the Windows Phone 8 Apollo release. He said Tango was "all about Nokia" and focused on hitting the lower-price point for Windows Phones that Microsoft and Nokia execs have been promising. My contact also said the Tango release may be focused largely or even exclusively on the Asian market.

Another of my contacts said that Tango and SeaRay (the codename for Nokia's expected first Windows Phone) are often mentioned in the same breath. But Tango is an operating system update and not a handset, said the contact who asked for anonymity, said. (SeaRay is expected to be running Mango when it debuts, most likely later this year.)

The Windows Phone team's plan seemingly is to deliver one major operating system update per year. That's making me think Tango is likely considered a more minor release, given that Apollo/Windows Phone 8, is (last I heard) a late 2012 deliverable. By the way, Microsoft execs also have said that, at least for now, all Windows Phone OS codenames end in the letter "O" (hence NoDo, Mango, Apollo).

In other Windows Phone news, 21-year Microsoft veteran Charlie Kindel --  who most recently was Windows Phone General Manager in charge of the Developer Experience -- is leaving Microsoft to found a Seattle area startup. Kindel's replacement is Matt Bencke, who has been in that role for a number of months. Kindel said he had been working on special projects related to Windows Phone and the cloud (none of which he can talk about) over the past few months, while figuring out what he wanted to do next.

Back to Tango: Anyone out there have more details (like operating system version number, release date, target market) for Microsoft's next Windows Phone OS update?

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

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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

18 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    Eldar Murtazin said Microsoft will upgrade KIN I and KIN II to WP7 Tango
    Angel of Despair
    • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

      @Angel of Despair
      Eldar Murtazin said that Angel of Despair is a mother fucking troll.
      illegaloperation
      • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

        @day2die
        I love you too, bro.
        Peace.
        Angel of Despair
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    Whatever Tango is, Microsoft cannot stand still in this raging market considering their already precarious position.

    Tango is likely the 2012 "NoDo"; an interim release to include somewhat minor features (which would make sense if it is to include some Nokia oriented material). I wish the Windows Phone Studio (reborn/rebranded Kin Studio) is released in this timeframe. Windows Phone still needs differenciating and iconic software (the current Live stuff just doesn't cut it and is hindering the brand!).

    Considering the amount of work to be done for the next major phone release, Apollo probably already started and will be developed in parallel. It will likely be using the "converged" OS (Windows 8 / Apollo core) and the newer, not announced yet, application model. Hoping my crystal ball is clear.

    Standing still is not an option for Microsoft. Not now. Not anymore.
    TheCyberKnight
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    The OS version number I've seen on the "Dude where is my Update?" app on WP7 as 7.10.8200 - a clear jump from the 7720 of Mango RTM
    bc3tech
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    The entire Nokia-Tango angle makes sense given the Aug. 17th event as well as the timeline. I seriously doubt we will see another major feature release of WP7 prior to Apollo. Microsoft appears to have some serious work to do to get there development roadmap in order regarding how WP7/Apollo will play in the Windows 8 era. Don't you think? Everyone should read Charlie Kindel farewell email full of tibits and trival. But what does it say that he is leaving at this time.
    windowseat
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    The 'Tango' name makes sense, if you think about it as Microsoft's and Nokia's little dance - a little sidestep so to speak. Let's hope it won't turn into a limbo ;). My guess is that it would be a version of WP specifically made for Nokia handsets, no other OEM's would gain access to it. It could support some of the special Nokia stuff, Nokia Store and Maps, and perhaps (but probably not) some more exotic stuff such as USB-OTG and FM-transmitter. Also likely would be a specially tailored version of the camera app to take advantage of capabilities in Nokias camera firmware.
    allanwith
    • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

      @allanwith

      Sorry, but I don't buy this scenario. Platform fragmentation would be a terrible mistake for which Microsoft expensively paid in the past with Windows Mobile.

      Let's hope they learned from it and continue with the tight platform control they have with Windows Phone.
      TheCyberKnight
  • Back to Kindel

    Windows Phone + Cloud = Studio?
    angarita calvo
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    Spelling error anyone? Bueller?
    pjs_boston
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    Microsoft is planning for a version for China due to regulation and replace facebook with China local social network.It will be released before Apollo. Tango could be that one.
    Thunder_
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    I'm sorry Mary Jo, but Microsoft might as well slit it's own throat in the mobile market if they were stupid to fracture and fragment their OS by creating a two-tiered OS. There's no way they can be that stupid. It would literally kill any chance WP7 has to succeed, royally piss off existing WP7 user, and damper developer support, which has been very strong.<br><br>There's no way they're going to make Tango exclusive to one market.

    Your source is either wrong or incompetent. If Microsoft did that, I would immediately ditch my WP7 device, which I love, for an iPhone.
    JoeHTH
    • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

      @JoeHTH - your reply makes me think of the stock market, which is all panic and emotion today.
      scH4MMER
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    I'm secretly hoping that Tango is a NON-TOUCH SCREEN version of Mango. Before you laugh, remember that the candybar form factor is the most prevlent in the developing markets, and that's where the Nokia-MS alliance is aiming.

    If this is true, I would be the first to grab a couple of these devices... and while we're on the subject, maybe Nokia should rename itself NOKIO.
    jaykayess
    • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

      @jaykayess NON-TOUCH SCREEN version of Mango makes sense. It may aim the low-cost market.
      iluvmsft
    • re: NON-TOUCH SCREEN version of Mango.

      @jaykayess <br>I'm not laughing, but the screen shot on WPCentral shows an on-screen keyboard.<br><a href="http://www.wpcentral.com/first-look-windows-phone-tango-content-search" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.wpcentral.com/first-look-windows-phone-tango-content-search" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.wpcentral.com/first-look-windows-phone-tango-content-search</a></a><br><br>If it's <i>not</i> a touchscreen that would be a <b>big</b> innovation! (OK, now I'm laughing.)
      Still Lynn
  • Takes Two to Tango

    Maybe they chose the name Tango for the Nokia integration update because it takes two to tango. And if Tango indeed turns out to be all about Nokia, we could say... "Two Turkeys don't make an Eagle but it does take Two to Tango". (remember Vic Gundotra's dig in Feb?)
    Hotmail Alias
  • RE: Windows Phone 'Tango' to be Microsoft's lower price-point operating system?

    Beneficial web-site, book-marked this specific world-wide-web site possessing expects to judge farther! [url=http://www.pro-nfl-jerseys.com/]cheap saints jerseys[/url],[url=http://www.pro-nfl-jerseys.com/matt-ryan-jersey-matt-ryan-jersey-atlanta-falcons]matt ryan jersey[/url],[url=http://www.pro-nfl-jerseys.com/bj-raji-jersey-bj-raji-jersey-large]b.j. raji jersey[/url],[url=http://www.pro-nfl-jerseys.com/women-julius-peppers-jersey-julius-peppers-jersey-authentic]julius peppers jersey[/url], Sincerely great blog page. I'm michael duivis in order to this important hoping coming up which means you reading furthermore listings.
    dfwekrdfe49-24353615267611728846555800668083