Peeling back the skin on Microsoft Mango

The latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, ripened this week. Mango, as it is known, adds more than 500 new features, including threads which switch between text, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation; the ability to group contacts into personalized Live Tiles; as well as deeper social network integration.

Andy Lees, president of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, said the smartphone experience is complicated by, “a sea of disconnected apps and accounts as people attempt to keep pace with all the ways they communicate — from calls, texts, email and instant messages (IM) to status updates, Tweets, check-ins, photo posting and tagging.” To this end, Microsoft aims to “challenge the way people think about apps”. Where today their usefulness is measured by what can be done within the app, Microsoft reckons the future of apps is in how they can be integrated directly into the core experiences of the phone and the start screen.

Commenting on the update, Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps said that, while Mango will provide a worthwhile upgrade for both existing and new users of Windows Phone devices, the firm needs to do better if it is to persuade the market that it has the most user friendly – and desirable – mobile platform in the market today.

“New features such as Groups and Threads look set to deliver a deeper level of integration between different communication apps (and other apps on the device) than users are so far accustomed to. But integration is a tough concept to sell to consumers even if they may benefit enormously once they’ve adopted it. Cracking this conundrum may well be key to Windows Phone’s future success,” Cripps said.

Microsoft also trumpeted growth in the Windows Phone ecosystem, with more than 17,000 apps currently available in the Marketplace and good things expected from the recently announced partnership with Nokia. A beta release of the free Windows Phone Developer tools, which will be used to create the next generation of Mango apps and games, will be posted for public download to Microsoft’s website this week.

Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE have now also joined the fray as Windows Phone licensees, perhaps in a bid to take advantage of the more achievable hardware specs now being touted by Microsoft. “That said, Mango still lacks the potential for customisation and brand differentiation that some manufacturers are looking for. With Nokia likely to dominate Windows Phone shipments once that relationship is fully up and running that may need addressing if other high-end OEMs are to stay on board,” Cripps said.

In related news, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile processor was named as the core to power a new generation of Windows Phone devices.

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  1. Avatar Rahul Aggarwal 26/05/2011 @ 7:34 am

    The web-based Marketplace will let its users select and buy any of those 17,000 apps available on its platform on a web browser and can be transferred to their Window phone over the air. The option of using SMS in case of non availability of the web marketplace service is a smart move from Microsoft thus enabling its users to turn on the broadcasted service before even the software is downloaded and installed. Also the company expecting the users to install the apps in the background is fair enough. Another milestone set by the PC giant and also a challenge for the androids is the Multitasking feature on the Mango OS. The prime focus of Mango being the is also something to look out for enhanced cloud integration and better platform tools for developers is a noteworthy highlight.

  2. Avatar arcanys 26/05/2011 @ 11:43 am

    Ain’t this going to be one fruity war isn’t apple heads? 🙂 Well be looking forward for this. Specially when skype is in windows hands. outsourcing company

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