Microsoft’s Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) is here!

messaging-screen-text-messagingMicrosoft made (tech) news last week when Joe Marini, program manager for Windows Phone at Microsoft was fired for tweeting “I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking #Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too! #wp7.” While this was against company policy, I believe that it excited many a Nokia fan about the great possibilities of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership.

I’ve played with a Windows Phone 7 device and I must say that the interface is pretty slick. Also having everything online “in the cloud” is something I quite like. I know some people are less trusting of that, but I really like the convenience of having everything on the go.

And now, the much talked about Windows Phone 7.5 (codenamed “Mango”) is rolling out all over the world starting today.

“Windows Phone 7 broke new ground when it was first announced last year. We brought innovation to mobile platforms and delivered a refreshing smartphone experience that puts people first. Windows Phone is unlike anything the market has to offer. With Windows Phone 7.5, we’re taking this innovation a step further to offer an immersive and rich social experience that is sophisticated, intuitive and a joy to use.” said Danny Ong, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia.people-screen-contact-history

The Windows Phone 7.5 update offers innovative features like built-in group chat and deep integration with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, along with smarter access to applications, and a sophisticated web browsing experience that delivers a fast and beautiful web pages with Internet Explorer 9.

I couldn’t find an official video online but this page has some interesting videos about the new features in Windows Phone 7.5 (all images in this post is also obtained from that page). Some additional features :

Modern Communication Built In
Putting people first is the overarching theme behind Windows Phone 7.5. The latest Windows Phone update has essential social networking features built into the platform, making sharing important and special moments with loved ones and friends intuitive and easy. Through the unique People feature, users can now be more connected to friends, family and loved ones with a one touch access to Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Another innovative feature in Windows Phone 7.5 is Groups, where users may group their favourite contacts and pin them to the Start screen in order to get live updates, from text, email and IM at a glance without the need to open any application. Facebook chat, Messenger, check-ins and photo tagging are also built into Windows Phone 7.5 to provide users with a more connected experience.

In addition, Windows Phone 7.5 also features Internet Sharing for users to keep their various devices connected anywhere, anytime, offering users a seamless and continuous rich browsing experience across platforms and devices.

A Smarter Way to App
Apps are key to a smartphone experience, Windows Phone 7.5 takes this part of the user experience a step further. Apps pinned to the Start screen will be able to showcase live updates and allow users to be updated on the latest with just a single glance. The built-in search function in Window Phone 7.5 is also connected to apps to make searches easier and richer, allowing users to discover more, faster.

Internet Beyond the Browser
Users will be able to easily find shops, restaurants, entertaining public events, localized amenities, and desirables through the Local Scout app. Windows Phone 7.5 takes the internet beyond the browser with the inclusion of Internet Explorer 9 with takes advantage of hardware acceleration to deliver rich and beautiful web pages. Windows Phone 7.5 will also feature SkyDrive, a cloud-based storage for Windows Live users to upload, share and edit Microsoft Office documents and files, photos and videos, allowing for true mobility in collaboration.

maps-screen-local-scoutLocal Scout app – What to do around your area?

I guess the big question is, When can I get it?

Well, there’s a table of update status for customers outside the United States HERE but Malaysia is not in the list. Our friends down south on SingTel  & Starhub has the status “Delivering update” so we shouldn’t be too far behind.

IMO, Windows Phone 7 is really shaping up to be a pretty solid mobile OS. Granted its first attempt seemed ‘half baked’ to some people but I think this update introduces more useful features. Can’t wait to see how the Nokia device would look like powered by it.


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