By Stephen Schenck | February 27, 2012 3:27 PM
With phones like Nokia’s Lumia 610 and ZTE’s Orbit being announced today, the era of Windows Phone Tango and its reduced-spec hardware is upon us. We already got a bit of a look into the changes that Tango will deliver, including how it might handle hardware limitations. Microsoft recently addressed this change, talking about how it will affect developers, as well as touching on additional changes to the scope of the Windows Phone community.
The good news is that Microsoft expects the vast majority of existing apps to play nicely with 256MB RAM handsets. Software tricks like memory paging, swapping portions in-and-out of active memory as needed, will help apps make the most of limited space. Developers can now download a new version of the Windows Phone emulator, simulating a Tango handset with 256MB. Microsoft says that something like 95% of apps should run on these phones without issue, while the remaining 5% will have to try making do with less memory if they want to be able to reach all users.
We already heard that live tiles wouldn’t work, and now it’s apparent just why: background processes in general will be very limited, with most types restricted from running at all.
Beyond the new software platform, Microsoft’s other big Windows Phone news of the day also has to do with introducing the OS to new markets around the world. The Windows Phone Marketplace will be adding support for an additional 23 nations around the world. Microsoft estimates that the effects of opening these new markets, combined with lower-priced Tango hardware, will position the company to address 60% more potential customers than it previously had been with Windows Phone.