Earlier this summer, as we awaited (and continue to await) the formal release of Windows Phone 7 Mango, we heard of plans for a rumored follow-up release that would occur between Mango and Apollo, the next major Windows Phone update. Dubbed Tango, we were pretty much in the dark as to just what the release would bring to the table. More recently, we saw some new global search functionality that may be part of the Tango package, but still lacked the big picture. A new rumor says that Tango will largely be focused on very-low-priced WP7 hardware, specifically devices in the works from Nokia.
Microsoft guru Mary-Jo Foley reached out to her sources to see just what was up with Tango, and after a little prodding, found some contacts willing to discuss what they knew. We’re still at a loss for just what other features Tango may bring, but these claims say they’re related to making Windows Phone available on cheaper hardware than we’re seeing now. Nokia had already talked about its desire to make some budget-priced WP7 devices for markets where the platform has yet to see success.
One suggestion is that Tango may include support for resistive touchscreens, helping to lower device cost, but that could be the start of a huge headache for developers, introducing fragmentation based on multi-touch support. There’s also the chance that what we’re calling Tango may actually be a couple distinct updates, probably arriving throughout 2012. For the time being, though, much of Tango remains a mystery.