We’ve also just announced that we’re bringing Windows Phone to new markets and affordable new phones by expanding hardware support and regional availability. Our engineering team did the work to optimize how Windows Phone runs on lower-cost hardware, bringing the high-end smartphone experience to more affordable devices, while still running nearly all of the applications available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Windows Phone 7.5 now enables our partners to deliver phones using a lower cost processor (the Qualcomm 7x27a “system on a chip”) and reduced memory (256MB on-board memory)—while still delivering the buttery-smooth Windows Phone experience.
Not all platforms can make this claim about lower-cost models. People who have opted for other low-cost or “free” smartphones have found out the hard way that some of those smartphones won’t run all their apps or do everything they want. On Android, it’s not a given that your lower-cost phone can do what the phone in the commercial can. With Windows Phone, we’ve done the engineering so that nearly all of the current apps will just work on these new phones. Those apps that do need more power are flagged in the Marketplace so if you have one of these new phones with less memory you won’t unknowingly download an app that won’t run well.
Taking advantage of the expanded hardware support, the new Nokia Lumia 610 (above) is Nokia’s fourth and most affordable Lumia smartphone. ZTE has also unveiled their second Windows Phone, the ZTE Orbit (below), which will be available in the second quarter of 2012.
In terms of reaching new countries, we now have new language support for Malay and Indonesian, and technology to support network requirements in China. We recently brought Windows Phone Marketplace to five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and Philippines. In the coming month we’ll be adding 23 more markets—more on that and things we’re doing to make it easier for developers to build and test apps for these new lower-cost phones from Joe on the developer blog.
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