Microsoft has told The Register that it has no comment on an apparently leaked copy of upgrade plans for its mobile phone operating system.
The presentation, leaked to Wmpoweruser.com, predicts an upgrade to the current Mango platform in the second quarter of 2012 – dubbed Tango. Described as “products with the best prices,” this would suggest a low-level stability upgrade to cover the cheap and dirty end of the market, to try and halt Android’s increasing domination of the sector.
The next step, at the end of 2012, will be the Apollo release. This will cover the high-end of the market, with better business (ie Windows and Office) integration, possible NFC support and looking to generate the kind of volume sales to compete with Apple and Android. Redmond is dubbing them “superphones,” but this may well simply mean the mobile OS can handle dual-core processors or intense graphics.
Logically the leaked roadmap makes sense, although the lengthy timescale will make dispiriting reading for Microsoft’s manufacturing partners. The Tango upgrade will be useful in keeping Nokia’s remaining commercial position at the low end of the market, but at the expense of hanging HTC, Samsung et al out to dry for another year.
Meanwhile rumblings from within Nokia suggest that the hardware design teams are ready with next generation handsets, but lack the software to make them work to their best extent. Not getting support for HD and multi-core processors for an extra year will give Android and Apple a massive lead, and make it hard for Microsoft to attract developers to its cause. ®