Microsoft goes Mango
Just seven months after introducing the distinctive new Windows Phone 7 (WP7) operating system (OS), Microsoft has announced that its first major new update, codenamed Mango, will be available free of charge to all WP7 users in the autumn, free of charge.
The Mango update contains some 500 new features and enhancements that are aimed at giving Microsoft the lead in this fiercely competitive market.
“Our, mission is very simple, to bring you everything you care about, smarter and easier than any other smart phone,” said Achim Berg, corporate vice president Windows Phone Marketing, Microsoft.
Berg said that research had showed that there were three key areas for users, communication, applications and the Web, and that these became the basis for Mango.
“Today’s smart phones only include basic communications and an application centric approach. That means you need to open different apps, to wait and to use different ways to communicate. This needs to change. With Mango, Windows Phone is the first phone that brings together all the ways you connect and share, in one great experience,” said Berg.
Under communication, Berg said that the changes were more about reflecting the way that people actually communicate, rather than trying to adapt to the way that a smart phone or platform is designed. The Groups feature, said Berg, lets users reflect “your real life relationships on the phone.” This allows users to group together various people, friends or colleagues, around specific areas of interest or commonality that can then become a live tile on the home screen, showing the latest updates from that group in social media or direct communication.
The Threads feature allows a single view of interaction with a person across multiple services, from instant messaging (IM) to text or social media, switching seamlessly between them.
Under applications, Berg said “we have reinvented the way apps work on the phone today. We noticed that on other platforms, apps live in silos and they are not connected.”
By way of illustration, Berg said that the way apps currently work on smart phones is akin to living in a house and when you want to move from one room to another, being only able to do so by going out the front door and coming back in again.