Microsoft have announced that Windows Phone is coming to more markets and they have reduced the hardware requirement for the OS. Windows Phone 7.5  now works with only 256mb and the low cost processor Qualcomm 7x27a “system on a chip”. Microsoft say that “nearly all” current Windows Phone apps will run on the new phones and they have a flag in the marketplace to show apps that need higher spec than the low cost devices will support.

The Lumia 610 seems to be first Windows Phone based on the new platform and it seems like Microsoft are making an effort to avoid fragmenting the market with these phones. They have also released a technical preview of the Windows Phone SDK that lets you test your app on a 256MB emulator so you can see if your app will run on the new low cost phones.


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.

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