One long-standing rumor, and one that seems largely based in fact, concerns the contents of upcoming Windows Phone Tango and Apollo updates. For Tango, we’ve been expecting both support for lower-tier hardware and LTE compatibility, with dual-core devices showing up for Apollo. With yesterday’s announcements of the first Windows Phone LTE handsets, you might have been wondering where Tango fits in. Paul Thurrott recently mused over what 2012 will hold for Windows Phone, and he raises a few questions about Tango that could cause concern for some users.
The idea is that if LTE doesn’t require Tango, relying on functionality introduced with Mango instead, then Tango’s only purpose would be for supporting things like the lower resolutions needed for cheaper hardware. Following that train of thought a little farther, Thurrott reasons that could mean that Tango is skipped entirely as an update for existing phones.
Considering Microsoft’s comments about its update procedures from earlier this month, the idea doesn’t sound as hard-to-believe as it once may have. The more difficult part to wrap our heads around would be that Tango would solely include changes relevant to this new hardware. While we’ve expected that to be a major component, we’d expect to see the release bundled-in with the other latest small improvements and bugfixes. Sure, those could always be released separately, but that sounds like a lot of unnecessary effort.
If Tango really is just for new hardware, then owners of existing phones wouldn’t even miss its absence; in spite of this, it’s still difficult to accept what looks like it could be growing fragmentation for the platform.