Since Windows Phone 7 smartphones first started emerging in late 2010 it would be fair to say that Microsoft’s mobile operating system has came on leaps and bounds. Well, recently during Nokia’s MWC 2012 keynote a couple of bombshells were dropped in regards to the future of the OS.
It has been confirmed that Microsoft has been optimizing Windows Phone 7 to accommodate lower cost hardware specifications, which basically means that rather than taking on the likes of the iPhone 4S with high-end smartphone offerings, WP7 can now also be installed on low-end devices and cheap mid-end offerings.
Apparently the changes will be unnoticeable to many, but under-the-hood apps will be able to use more RAM than what is physically available. This sounds to us a lot like virtual memory (a feature which Microsoft has given its operating systems for years) and we think it’s a great move which could put some pressure on low-end Android devices, we’ll have to wait and see. As for the new hardware requirements we are told that WP7 and nearly all the apps available at the Marketplace will run well on devices with 7×27 processors and 256 MB of RAM.
This is good news for Nokia and even better news for Microsoft, let us explain why: It looks like Nokia could seriously begin forgetting about the dated Series 40 operating system and instead utilize WP7 on a lot more devices, which in-turn means that the Windows Phone 7 platform will be more appealing to developers. As soon as more developers see the WP7 Marketplace as a place to make serious money we’ll start seeing thousands more apps go live and all that competition should ensure that developers thrive to create apps which are better than rival offerings.
One smartphone which runs Windows Phone 7 with just 256MB of RAM is the Nokia Lumia 610, this was recently revealed at MWC 2012 and if you check out the video embedded at the bottom of this you will see that there’s no sign of slow-performance – obviously multimedia capabilities such as HD video playback will probably suffer, but not everyone cares about such features. You can see a couple of images of the Nokia Lumia 610 below and find out everything about this new smartphone here. (We’ve also embedded Nokia’s official Lumia 610 introduction video at the bottom of the page).
Microsoft has also revealed that the Windows Phone Marketplace will be enabled in 23 more markets (check out the WindowsTeamBlog for full details), these new markets are said to equate to a 60% increase in the total addressable market for WP7, combine that with fact that cheaper devices will soon run WP7 and you have to say that 2012 and beyond is looking very bright for WP7.
What is your favorite OS for mid to low-end smartphones? I must say it can be hard work configuring Android to run well on the Samsung Galaxy Europa….