With the focus on Windows Phone 7 handsets being the budget market, many users have wondered if we’ll see the same cost-conscious effort from Microsoft with Windows Phone 8 devices, which ship with much beefier hardware than the 256MB of RAM some Tango devices received. Senior product manager Greg Sullivan seems to think budget devices are still in the cards for Windows Phone 8:
“I would argue those are not mutually exclusive strategies and that is in fact is our approach. We will continue to support the current platform with the 256MB footprint in devices like the Lumia 610. And one of the points about the new architecture is that it will scale both up and down,” and then added, ‘In fact, having support for removable SD storage will enable OEMs to build devices with less storage initially that is user expandable, so the bill of materials is potentially even lower for the handsets.”
Sullivan goes even further to try and address the issue of the limited Windows Phone 7.8 update for current consumers, most likely to assuage concerns that Microsoft has left us in the dust:
“We’ve really tried to do the right thing for all audiences and that means making Windows Phone 8 the best possible release we can. Therefore we targeted the latest generation of hardware by building what are effectively primarily hardware-dependent capabilities that we achieve with this new [shared] core. ‘It made more sense to focus on making Windows Phone 8 as good as we possibly could, fully exploiting this new generation of hardware.”
Of course no one wants to see Apollo phones being limited by hardware from previous versions of Windows Phone, so this initiative does make sense, despite how angry current consumers are about buying into an already dead platform. Despite this, it may be that Windows Phone 8 devices are priced even more competitively than Android devices once they’re available this fall.