Microsoft Readies 'Mango' Update For Current Windows Phone Users

Windows Phone

The software update, officially titled Windows Phone 7.5, was completed back in July and shipped to handset manufacturers that build the software into their devices. Those products are expected to begin hitting store shelves later this year.

Now Microsoft is gearing up to send the update to current Windows Phone users. A key question is whether Microsoft has laid the groundwork for a smoother upgrade than some customers experienced earlier this year. A Windows Phone update in February caused major problems for owners of Samsung Omnia 7 and Focus smartphones, rendering some of those devices inoperable.

News of the schedule for sending out the Mango update came Wednesday in a blog posting by Eric Hautala, general manager of customer experience engineering for Windows Phone.

"During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer," Hautala wrote, cautioning customers against installing unofficial or leaked copies of Windows Phone software.

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"This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone – and you apps – work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed, my advice is simple: Steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools," he wrote.

New capabilities in Windows Phone 7.5 include the e-mail "conversation view" for managing long e-mail discussions, application multitasking, support for Internet Explorer 9, and the "threads" capability that lets users switch between text, Windows Live Messenger and Facebook chat within the same conversation.

Microsoft is already at work on "Apollo," the next major release of Windows Phone, as well as "Tango," an interim update between Mango and Apollo offering specific enhancements primarily for India, China and other countries.