Microsoft confirmed that the upcoming version of Windows Phone 7 operating system will be called as the Windows Phone 7.5. Popularly known as the Mango update, it is set to be released in the later part of 2011.
WinRumors spoke to Achim Berg, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing, at Mobile World Congress and he confirmed that the forthcoming changes in “Mango” are part of a platform release. Berg would not confirm the final branding for the release but did suggest that the changes are big enough to warrant a new release and point increment. Although Microsoft is still working on the release, codenamed “Mango”, the software giant is expected to brand it as Windows Phone 7.5 as an interim before the platform is aligned neatly into Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
However, just because Microsoft is openly talking about Mango doesn’t mean that it’s coming soon. Some analysts have said that we likely won’t see the update until 2012 at the earliest, even though Microsoft said at Mix 11 that it would be available at least to developers before the end of the year. It’s also important to note that now that Microsoft and Nokia have inked their partnership, Nokia has said you can expect to see new Windows Phone 7 devices from them around October. That could imply that Nokia’s line of WP7 phones will run Windows Phone 7.5.
Among some of the major features Windows Phone 7.5 will bring include full multitasking, which will allow apps to run, download files, and stream music in the background. The update will also support raw access to the camera and other hardware, which gives developers more flexibility over how users interact with their apps.
Microsoft has said the changes in Mango were significant enough to warrant a point increase in the mobile OS’s version, but going all the way to 7.5 is an indication that Microsoft may be changing its approach to how it handles its mobile OS. Going from 7 to 7.5 in one update both raises hopes that Microsoft won’t be stingy when it comes to feature releases. It also implies that the company won’t be afraid to push major ones even if it means new versions of the Windows Phone platform.
Mango” currently contains multitasking, Internet Explorer 9 mobile and Twitter integration. Microsoft unveiled a number of key developer enhancements at its MIX11 conference earlier this month. Developers will have access to the Motion Sensor library and the camera, enabling augmented reality experiences. Phone integration has also been greatly improved for developers wanting to do more with their apps. The Live Tiles functionality has been expanded to give developers more flexibility and engage with their customers better. Microsoft is also planning to expand on developer opportunities for Windows Phone. The company will expand its Marketplace to 35 countries soon.