Windows Phone Mango Goes Mainstream - InformationWeek

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Government // Mobile & Wireless
11:36 AM

Windows Phone Mango Goes Mainstream

Microsoft says it's just about done rolling out Windows Phone 7.5 update.

7 Hottest Features In Windows Phone 7 Mango
Slideshow: 7 Hottest Features In Windows Phone 7 Mango
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Microsoft said Thursday that the Mango update for its Windows Phone mobile operating system is now available to most users in the United States.

"We planned to balance quality with speed. And for three weeks we've been watching quality while sending update notices to a growing fraction of phones. Today we're fully opening the spigot--slightly ahead of schedule--and making Mango available to nearly everyone in the current delivery pool," said Microsoft general manager Eric Hautala.

Hautala said that, beginning next week, Microsoft will also rollout some firmware patches that are specific to Windows Phone devices from various manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, HTC, and Dell. The updates are designed to activate certain firmware features and help the upgrade go smoothly.

Users of the current version of Windows Phone 7 need to update their devices through their personal computers. Windows PC users need to install the latest version of the Zune software for PCs, while Mac users will need Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac.

[Find out Windows Phone Mango's Top 5 Enterprise Features.]

Windows Phone devices are available from HTC, Dell, Samsung, and LG. Nokia will join the group later this year as Microsoft's go-to partner for Windows Phone under a strategic alliance. Mango adds numerous improvements to Windows Phone, from new end-user features to transparent backend services, according to Microsoft.

A feature called Threads lets users glide between text, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat within the same "conversation." Groups lets users receive and send messages from predefined social or business circles directly to and from the Smart Tiles home screen.

Contact Cards have been enhanced to include feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as previously supported networks. Local Scout, which is integrated with Bing, yields hyper-local search results for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Mango also adds long-awaited multitasking capability, which lets users move freely between applications and pick up and resume where they left off. 4G wireless support is embedded.

For security-conscious enterprise customers, Mango adds support for various rights management technologies. For example, it lets authorized users open emails tagged with restrictions such as "do not forward" or "do not copy." Additionally, it beefs up integration with authoring and collaboration tools like Lync and Office 365.

In the United States, Windows Phone is available on the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

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