Nokia and Microsoft have run into problems with the new Nokia Lumia 610. While trying to avoid the fragmentation issues faced by Android, Windows Phone has properly shot itself in the foot -- with a catapult and an Angry Bird.
The budget Lumia 610 is the first phone powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone software to arrive with just 256MB of RAM -- and it turns out many Windows Phone apps just won't work on the phone. That includes Angry Birds, the smash-hit game from Nokia's fellow Finns Rovio, and, even worse, Skype -- which is owned by Microsoft. As snafus go, this one is pretty delicious.
Other games that won't install on the Lumia 610 include PES 2012, Plants vs Zombies and Assassin's Creed, offering an error message when you try to download them.
So how did this happen? Originally, Microsoft set exacting standards for the hardware of any phone that wanted to run Windows Phone software, to ensure a high-quality experience. That avoided the fragmentation issues faced by Android -- because Google's software is entirely open, Android phones come in all shapes and sizes, and so apps have to be tested across a bewildering range of screen sizes, processor speeds and even different versions of Android itself.
But as Windows Phone makes up just a fraction of smart phone sales, Microsoft lowered the minimum standards for phones powered by Windows Phone, to allow for cheaper mobiles to entice new customers. Sadly, it appears that in the process Microsoft has walked right into the exact same problem as Android -- and with only a handful of devices on the market rather than thousands.
Still, it's likely to be a temporary problem. Fans of flinging fowl will be glad to hear a version of Angry Birds is on its way for the 610 and other Windows Phones with low memory. Apps continue to work fine on the higher-end likes of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900.
Are you tempted by Windows Phone at a lower price? How much of a cock-up is this for Windows Phone? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.