updated 02:05 pm EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Windows Phone 7 Mango upgrade gets narrowed timing
Microsoft has narrowed down the date when it starts rolling out Windows Phone 7's Mango update, contacts slipped on Thursday. Both an upgrade for existing owners as well as new phones are poised to be available as soon as September 1. The information relayed to Pocket-lint had it timed with the start of the IFA show in Berlin and could see some of the first phones demonstrated, if not shipping, that day.
Officially, Microsoft has only given a fall window. It has had to admit that the window was narrowing after the first known Mango phone, the Toshiba-Fujitsu IS12T, was due to ship in September.
The company has been confident enough to start giving developers an official reference phone. The now confirmed HTC Mazaa (pictured) is largely an upgrade to last year's Trophy with the same 3.8-inch screen and five-megapixel camera, but with a much faster second-generation 1GHz Snapdragon. It shares the Verizon model's dual-mode support to make sure it can support developers on CDMA and GSM networks alike.
The schedule puts new Windows phones out nearly two months before they were in 2010 and hints at Microsoft's race to beat the iPhone 5. Last year, Windows Phone 7 kicked off in late October for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, not arriving in North America until early November. The schedule left many having already committed themselves to Android or iPhone devices and much of the attention having already gone to other high-profile phone launches.
Many attribute the Zune line's ultimate failure to a similar strategy, which waited until well into the fall for most models and gave the iPod the exclusive limelight for several crucial weeks.
Windows Phone sales have been virtually flat in about 10 months of availability, with its combined support resulting in just 1.7 million phones sold this spring. Mango is hoped to rekindle these both by expanding the sheer number of countries and manufacturers but by adding multitasking and other features that could help it catch up and sometimes pass rivals.