Microsoft has big plans for the Windows Phone in 2012, if leaked documents are to be believed. A presentation leaked to wmpoweruser.com suggests that the second quarter of 2012 will see the release of a platform update currently code named Tango, an update to the Mango platform, which would be an attempt to capture more share in the low cost smart phone market. A smart phone for the masses. Then the end of 2012 would see the release of Apollo, which should for the higher end.
This will cover the high-end of the market, with better business (ie Windows and Office) integration, possible NFC support and looking to generate the kind of volume sales to compete with Apple and Android. Redmond is dubbing them “superphones,” but this may well simply mean the mobile OS can handle dual-core processors or intense graphics.
Now, Android already has both the low and high end fairly well covered. What I do see as a real opportunity for Microsoft is getting into businesses which are going to be Windows-based for a long time. If Microsoft can really start selling hard and well so that all those company phones become Windows Phones, that could help Microsoft get a real foothold. From there, if the phone is good and people are used to using it, maybe it catches on with the public.
Otherwise, it’s bound to be the Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense of smartphones: wandering around trying to help people but not realizing its dead.