updated 01:25 pm EDT, Fri July 22, 2011
Microsoft wraps up WP7 Mango ahead of apps
Microsoft has quietly finished Windows Phone 7's major Mango update, according to details in an episode of the Windows Phone Dev Podcast. Build 7710 has been released to manufacturing, which will make it the version the first shipping phones use. The company has already said it will take app submissions on August 22, likely a sign the OS will be on shipping devices soon afterwards.
The company is suspected of stepping up the release schedule to avoid a repeat of last year, where original Windows Phone 7 devices only arrived in November. Fujitsu is rumored shipping the first Japanese WP7 phone as soon as August. Nokia's Sea Ray prototype was caught using a final build and is also expected before the end of 2011.
Mango signals a major and self-admitted catch-up for Microsoft in mobile OS features that it hopes will even the playing field versus Android and iPhones. It will add a webOS-style multitasking system, give third-party apps more direct access to the hardware, and bring in a much faster IE9-based web browser with HTML5. Much of the hardware will also be updated to support newer processors and possibly front-facing cameras.
In spite of some unique concepts, WP7 hasn't latched on and has seen Microsoft continue to bleed market share. Microsoft regularly danced around how many devices are actually shipping, and its CEO recently said the company's share had gone 'from very small to very small' in several months. Mango will also be a help through much wider international reach that includes southeast Asia and phone makers like Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE.