SAN FRANCISCO—Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone devices will likely not run dual-core processors or boast 720p Retina display-like screens until late 2012, according to a leaked roadmap.
The roadmap, published by the oft accurate MS_Nerd, author of a Microsoft whistleblowing blog, says the firm won’t be releasing “Apollo” – the codename for Windows Phone 8 (WP8)– or its associated advanced hardware until late 2012.
WP8 will be launched on devices sporting a chassis 3, which makes room for dual-core processors and improved HD screens, though by the end of 2012, those hardware features will be a full year behind devices emerging into the market over the next few months.
The current version of Windows Phone 7.5, or Mango, uses a chassis 1.5 (with a recently added front-facing camera), while the Tango update due out in early 2012 –possibly in time for CES—will sport a chassis 2 spec with added 4G LTE support.
Chassis 2 is also rumored to support 480x320 resolution, which would allow for the WP platform’s first non-portrait ratio device in a style similar to BlackBerry phones.
Apollo will purportedly sport 1280x720 resolution, which Samsung already has on its Galaxy S II HD.
MS_Nerd also claims support for Nvidia Tegra and TI OMAP chips won’t be available on the platform until the release of Windows Phone 9 in 2013.
Windows Phone SKUs are restricted heavily by Microsoft’s chassis guidelines, implemented by the firm in order to avoid the type of fragmentation seen between Android devices. While a more uniform chassis ensures Microsoft can push out operating system updates quicker to devices, it also has the unfortunate downside of lagging behind its competition in terms of hardware specs.
Well, they don't really have a choice. The world is going more and more towards a mobile computing model, with most of the third world skipping computers altogether to go straight to mobile.
I think Microsoft has a good chance, but it may take the company a few more fumbles before it finds its mobile groove.
I actually think that the first device maker that can come up with a smartphone with DAYS of battery life will be the ultimate winner. Shiny screens, powerful chips... it's all well and good until your battery dies!
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.