updated 07:10 am EDT, Mon September 12, 2011
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango to drop this week?
Rumors are persisting that Microsoft will release the long anticipated major update to Windows Phone 7 this week. Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) was released to manufacturers back in July, giving them time to test the OS with the next-generation of Windows Phone 7 handsets. Microsoft also started accepting apps for Mango in late August, suggesting that a launch is imminent.
Windows Phone 7.5 is set to put Microsoft's flagship mobile OS back on an even footing with its major competition in Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Although given generally positive reviews on its release, it has struggled to gain traction as it arrived well after iOS and Android had gained significant market traction. Further, its features set was limited and its app catalog comparatively thin. Mango will bring with it multitasking, a Wi-Fi hotspot function, better e-mail management with multiple inboxes, voice-to-text, as well as speed and stability enhancements among other enhancements.
Nokia has gambled on a Microsoft revival with Mango. Its handset sails have been flagging under its now now abandoned in-house Symbian OS. While the company will retain Symbian for some of its entry-level smartphones, its new flagship handsets will be powered by Mango. The combined marketing strength of the two companies could see Windows Phone emerge as a genuine third platform in its own right, rather than the bit-player status that it currently holds.