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Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Update Starts Rolling Out

Andrew Williams

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Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Update Starts Rolling Out

Microsoft's Windows Phone OS is entering stage two - the Mango 7.5 update has started rolling-out to phones, and will arrive on most WP7 handsets by the end of October. But will it encourage more people to buy Windows phones?

Microsoft has started transmitting Mango updates for Windows Phones, although only around 10 per cent of users can get the new software right now. However, virtually everyone aboard the Windows Phone train will get the Mango treatment by the end of October. Part of this delay is caused by operators' need to test and fiddle with carrier-branded editions of the software - much like Android. The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update will be transmitted as an OTA (over-the-air) download.Trophy

Steve Ballmer claimed that Mango adds a whopping 500 features to the young Microsoft OS - compared to "over" 200 added in Apple's upcoming iOS 5. Top additions include Wi-Fi tethering, to let you share your 3G connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot, multi-tasking for third-party apps and improved social network integration. It's a pity it has taken so long for Windows Phone to gain these features - Android and iOS offer them, have done for a while, and Windows Phone 7 has been around for almost a year.Mango

Is Mango a lemon? Give us your thoughts in the comments

Whether these additional features will help Windows Phone gain traction in the market is yet to be proved. According to Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, Windows Phone 7 has just a 1.7 per cent share of the smartphone market, while CEO Steve Ballmer recently admitted that sales haven't been quite as hot as hoped.

Ballmer

Ballmer says WP7 just needs to kick it up to the next level

A big coup for Microsoft is Nokia's decision to support the OS. It will release its first Windows Phone before the end of 2011 - according to recent reports. Whether this is enough to turn things around is also uncertain. Nokia's N8 failed to challenge the sales of top handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 4, in spite of a stand-out, class-leading camera. We'll admit, though - we can't wait to get hold of it.

Evilpaul

September 28, 2011, 8:19 pm

"Is Mango a lemon?"
Short answer : No
Long answer : Nooooooooooooooo

The latest update has added more spit and polish to the WP7 platform, which has been in a decent state since the NoDo update. Performance and usability of the OS is outstanding, and app support is rapidly growing. (A lot of major apps have appeared to coincide with the release of Mango)

When WP7 was initially released the OS was not in a good enough state, and I believe this dissuaded people from trying the platform.
The NoDo update fixed most of the problems and added most of the missing features, but with no new hardware it had little impact upon sales.
Due to the Mango update most existing WP7 manufacturers are using it as a trigger to release new hardware, and some new WP7 manufacturers are appearing (Nokia, ZTE). With the new OS version and new hardware the platform should hopefully grab more of the market share, that is if Microsoft can get the marketing right.

As it stands I think WP7 is definitely on a par with iOS and Android, and fixing some outstanding issues would only improve on this:
- Bar code scanning in Bing Vision only works in the US
- Turn-by-turn navigation is inherently crippled due to licensing issues (The user needs to tap the screen after each notification)
- WiFi tethering requires updated manufacturer drivers that may or may not be released

justinh

September 30, 2011, 1:06 am

"The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update will be transmitted as an OTA (over-the-air) download" - Wrong please check your info.
"It's a pity it has taken so long for Windows Phone to gain these features - Android and iOS offer them, have done for a while, and Windows Phone 7 has been around for almost a year." WP7 lauched 1 year ago, Android about 3 years ago and iPhone a lot longer, so its not really surprising that they are more mature - although I would argue that Android is not as polished as WP7 with Mango.

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