Microsoft Lists Windows Phone Tango 256MB Limitations

Microsoft has released details of the limitations that will be felt by those buying 256MB versions of its Windows Phone 7 Tango handsets - some of which might turn off potential buyers.

Nokia and ZTE will be the first companies to release phones sporting the OS with just 256MB of RAM - it doesn't seem that long ago I was playing Unreal Tournament 2004 with that much. Anyone looking to pick up one of those handsets will have to contend with restrictions in HD video and podcast subscriptions as well as a few others.

The full list of drawbacks posted over at The Verge are as follows:

  • Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions - Some processor-intensive apps have specific memory requirements, and will not work on devices with 256MB of RAM.
  • Podcast subscriptions and video podcasts - Devices with 256MB of RAM will not be able to manage podcast subscriptions of watch video podcasts.
  • Bing Local Scout - Microsoft is disabling Bing Local Scout on 256MB of RAM devices.
  • SkyDrive automatic photo upload - Automatic upload of SkyDrive pictures will not be possible on 256MB of RAM devices, but users can still upload these manually.
  • HD video playback - 256MB of RAM devices won't be able to play video compressed with certain codecs.
  • Background agents - Microsoft has removed background agents functionality for devices with 256MB of memory.

Early estimations had it that fast task switching would be disabled in 256MB handsets as well, but fortunately that looks not to be the case. There is one caveat though, any application that requires more than 90MB of RAM will be shut down immediately upon exit.

Makes sense really.