There’s been much noise about the Windows Phone ecosystem expanding. As well as gunning for the high end with the HTC Titan, Nokia Lumia 900 et al, Windows Phone Tango, as we’ve heard, will be focusing on bringing Windows Phone to the masses.
This is looking to be achieved by lowering the stringent minimum specifications for devices to run the OS.
Currently, phones that want to run Windows Phone need to pack a 1GHz processor, screens with a resolution of 800 x 480/WGVA (no lower, no higher), 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM.
The Verge is reporting that the RAM requirements will be scythed down to 256MB as part of the Tango plan. Whether this will see the slick Metro UI running as smoothly as it does on the current crop of phones remains to be seen.
We’ve already seen the 8GB of storage cut down to 4GB on the ZTE Tania. The phone, supposedly out next month, is said to be going for £10-£20 on contracts and features (on paper) just 4GB of storage. That’s half of the minimum requirements that Windows Phone-running devices up until now have had to adhere to.
So, half the internal memory we know about. Halving the RAM now seems to be in the offing. We’re wondering how many other concessions Microsoft will be making in order to win the low-end of the market that has been so easily dominated up until now by Android.
Front screen folders
Aside from specs falling down, Michael Gillet of My Microsoft Life is saying that he’s been tipped off that there’ll be a two new additions to Tango. First up is the inclusion of folders on the start screen, something we've seen on iOS and Android which is really useful.
The other addition that media controls will be more accessible and easier to use, coming in the form of a notification. Gillet has “no images of how this looks,” sadly, but we imagine that it’d be accessible in the same manner that you can check for signal and Wi-Fi connectivity currently, by pulling down from the top of screen.
In the pic above, we've snapped our Lumia 800 with the lock screen and the media controls active. So we'd imagine these new media controls to be smaller than these.
We’re expecting to hear more about the future of Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress next month; we’ll be there reporting from the front line so stay tuned.