With the Mobile World Congress in full-swing today, there is sure to be plenty of interesting mobile-related news heading to the net. Of course the biggest piece of news that we hope to see is that Windows 8’s Beta has been launched, something that we expect may come on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Windows Phone’s most recent update is certainly something of interest. The new update optimizes how well the phone can run on more modest hardware this time around, and follows the company’s announcement that Windows Phone 7.5 requirements are being lowered to just a 800MHz Qualcomm 7x27a chips and 256MB of RAM.
Keep in mind that phones running on a lower standard than past devices might run into some application incompatibility, but Microsoft had insured that it has done enough testing to make sure that only apps that will run fine on your device will show up on the market.
From the sounds of it only about 3000 apps will be inaccessible to these lower-spec phones, which out of 65,000 apps isn’t that bad. Microsoft is also contacting the developers of these 3000 some apps to see if they can be reworked to remove the issue altogether.
Between their recent strategy of pushing forward new Nokia WP offerings and now lowering requirements, Microsoft is really doing its best to push acceptance of Windows Phone and offer a competitive edge against Android and other offerings.
I really think this is a wise move on their part, but at the same time they should trend carefully to avoid fragmentation. Of course by thoroughly testing the market and blacking out apps that don’t work, a good amount of the problem can be avoided. After all, on the Windows desktop side of things you can have a 1GHz single-core PC work on the same operating system as a Quad-Core 3.5GHz without any real problems, why not on the mobile side?
Windows Phone may not have found the wide level of success that Android and iOS have, but I think it is way too early to count them out either. Microsoft has built a solid operating system that is world’s better than the older Windows Mobile line (at least in my humble opinion), and when Windows 8 arrives things are likely to only get better.
I think that a big part of Microsoft’s success will have to do with cross-features between WP, Windows 8, and perhaps even the Xbox.
What do you think of Microsoft lowering the minimum specifications to Windows Phone? Is this a good idea or do you really think they should have stuck to the higher requirements that Windows Phone was founded on? I can see both potential sides to the argument, but I’m fairly confident Microsoft will minimize problems related to fragmentation, something that Google hasn’t prevented with Android.