Microsoft releases Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update
Microsoft has begun to roll-out the latest version of its Windows Phone operating system. Originally codenamed ‘Mango’, version 7.5 includes enhanced social network contact and calendar integration, as well as improved multitasking.
The new software is available free to customers who have already bought Windows Phone 7 handsets, such as the HTC Trophy. New hardware is eagerly awaited, however, and Nokia is set to launch its first Windows devices at the end of October.
The new software was also accompanied by the launch of a new web marketplace for apps, allowing users to buy from their PCs as well as their phones.
Mango also offers enhanced access to Microsoft Office, as well as better gaming options and the ability to handle multiple email inboxes. It also includes enhanced local search options, called Local Scout and faster web browsing.
Microsoft launched Windows Phone over a year ago, to a mixed critical reception. An HTC source said that new devices would be the first that will allow manufacturers to claim the platform now offers real competition to rivals from Google and Apple. Microsoft claims Mango will deliver more than 500 new features.
Combined with announcements about availability in new languages and the company’s partnership with Nokia, the update will see Microsoft aim to get Windows Phone into a range of new markets that are currently not yet dominated by Google Android and Apple’s iOS.
At the time of the update’s original announcement, analysts were sceptical. Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps said that “Mango will provide a worthwhile upgrade for both existing and new users of Windows Phone devices once it arrives in the autumn. However, Microsoft needs to do better if it is to persuade the market that it has the most user friendly - and desirable - mobile platform in the market today.”
Cripps said that manufacturers new to the UK, such as ZTE, “can be expected to take advantage of the more achievable hardware specs now being touted by Microsoft - plus carriers' desire for low cost alternatives to Android smartphones. That said, Mango still lacks the potential for customisation and brand differentiation that some manufacturers are looking for.”