Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 promising to avoid the fragmentation issues that have plagued Android practically since day one – even if that meant locking down both the OS itself and the allowed hardware spec to the extent that it's hard to tell one WinPho device apart from another.
That didn't stop the rollout of the first WinPho update nearly a year ago now proving a total shambles, but we were willing to blame that on teething problems. But now there can no longer be any doubt: Windows Phone fragmentation is real, and it's about to get a whole lot worse.
That's not us talking here, it's renowed Microsoft blogger and expert Paul Thurrot, whose WinSupersite has revealed fresh details of the Windows Phone update road map for the rest of the year.
We've already heard a bit about the next update – Tango – and specifically that it's aimed at opening Windows Phone up to lower-end devices that have some of the platform's functionality disabled.
It stands to reason, then, that Mango and Tango will co-exist, but according to Thurrot devices running the more basic Tango won't be able to run all the apps in the Windows Marketplace, and in fact new apps will be certified for the platforms separately, with developers able to rule out their submissions from being tested on low-end Tango devices.
For example, Thurrot says that while Angry Birds will be available on both platforms, the equally addictive Plants vs Zombies won't. The issue of future updates – such as whether both Mango and Tango devices will be able to run the future Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) – isn't covered, but we're not exactly hopeful based on this evidence.
Microsoft hasn't exactly helped itself here with its silly naming policy, either. Just try saying “Tango” and “Mango”out loud more than a few times without getting irritated...