Microsoft have successfully developed their newest version of their Windows Phone OS, codenamed “Mango”. It has passed the manufacturing stage and will be available for devices worldwide this fall. The RTM (release to manufacturing stage) means that Microsoft have completed the development of the OS and it is now in the hands of mobile manufactures to use the software on their devices.
Nokia will be amongst the first to take Mango as their operating system as a result of the deal they struck with Microsoft earlier this year. The Finnish mobile maker made a very controversial decision turning down an offer to use Android, especially considering how successful they have been and also how Nokia as a company are really struggling. It was not been confirmed which other manufacturers will take on Mango, but makers like HTC, Samsung and LG are amongst those who may.
Microsoft are in desperate need of a breath of fresh air as their Windows Phone 7 OS has been a bit of a disaster so far. Their CEO Steve Ballmer described their mobile operating system as “very small”, admitting it had struggled against rivals like Android and iOS. If all goes to plan then the Mango update should bring some fruity new features that mobile users will relish. Mashable reports that Mango is looking to bring improved communication, app multitasking, and Internet browsing.
Many expect Mango to be a vast improvement on what we saw from Windows Phone 7. The OS will include a new feature called threads which is a mash up of text, IM and Facebook Chat, an interesting sounding idea considering how social media is a dominant part of mobile nowadays. Mango will bring a mobile version of web browser Internet Explorer 9, along with advanced HTML5 support and an online web based marketplace where users can buy apps.
Electric Pig reports that Mango will launch in Japan first, with a September launch on the cards. The OS will come to Europe and the US a month or so after, with the UK and Spain reportedly amongst the 1st European countries to get it. A big selling point of the new Windows Phones will be their availability, a drop in price has been confirmed by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, cheaper handsets should attract more customers.
The Mango launch may be do or die for both Microsoft’s mobile efforts and also Nokia’s. Both companies are relying heavily on its success, after the disappointment that Windows Phone 7 offered. Mango will no doubt come heavily improved and will give Google, Apple and RIM a better run for their money, but the same question always comes up. Can Windows Phone seriously compete up there with Android, iOS and BlackBerry OS?