To arrive in countries including India by early 2011
Microsoft has indicated the possibility of it developing a low-cost, Windows Phone 7 based device designed for emerging markets. The low cost smartphone would be targeted at users from developing countries and would come with the advantage of a lower price, when compared to a "full-fledged" Windows Phone based phone. In fact, if all goes well, you might as well see the handset in flesh by early 2011.
If you have been living in cave for the past few months, let us just give you a brief low down as to what Windows Phone 7 is all about. The OS, which was known as Windows Mobile 7 during its developmental phase, is the latest version of Microsoft's Mobile OS platform. When it was first announced back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, it was unlike anything you had ever seen on a phone. Windows Phone 7 was then praised as the next big thing since the iPhone happened in 2007. The OS was a marked departure from the good ol' Windows Mobile UI which had in time become obsolete to the point of becoming unusable.
The first devices based on this platform are expected to arrive by 2010 end - and this is where this latest report regarding a low cost version of a phone based on Windows Phone 7 has started making rounds of the Interweb. The source of the news is a senior Microsoft official Sudeep Bharati who is the director of developer tools for Microsoft India's Visual Studio Team at Tech.Ed 2010 held at Bangalore. According to The Economic Times, Bharati has revealed that the phone will have a different chassis design from handsets that would use version 1 of the OS .
While most "fully featured" Windows Phone 7 devices would be an expensive proposition with each handsets expected to cost between $500- $600, these low cost phones are expected to be much cheaper. Microsoft has, however, not divulged any price details as of now. As for the specs the stripped down devices should come with a 5 megapixel camera, a large multi-touch screen, Wi-fi , Bluetooth and a minimum of 128 MB RAM.
"The new version may also have a smaller screen and will thus be priced lower to suit developing markets like India. We are in talks with OEMs to gain their feedback on a new chassis," Mittal said.