Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said that it had released to manufacturing (RTM) its Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system for smartphones. The company's partners among makers of handsets and operators may now begin to tailor the OS for their devices and services. The world's largest developer of software hopes that the new operating system will help it to finally strengthen its positions on the market of smartphones.
"The Windows Phone development team officially signed off on the release to manufacturing (RTM) build of “Mango” – the latest version of the Windows Phone operating system. This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations," said Terry Myerson, a spokesman for Microsoft.
The “Mango” release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers and will come pre-installed on new Windows Phones.
Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" will deliver more than 500 new features, including app multitasking, Internet Explorer 9 with HTML5 support and hardware acceleration, deeper social network integration, built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice support and so on.
The new update to Microsoft's mobile operating system means a lot for Microsoft as it badly needs to improve its positions on the booming market of smartphones. At present Microsoft Windows Phone platform is believed to command from 2% to 4% of the smartphone market, down the its share a year ago. Nonetheless, the amount of applications designed for the operating system has increased to 20 thousand, according to Microsoft.
Last year the software giant imposed strict guidelines for smartphones powered by Windows Phone 7 operating systems. Manufacturers have to install certain processors, certain amount of memory and flash as well as use screens with no less than 480*800 resolution. As a result of such demands from Microsoft, there are no truly affordable Windows Phone 7-based handsets at the moment.
This year the company plans to finally let manufacturers release Windows Phone-based smartphones in different form-factors, including those with QWERTY keyboards. Among the manufacturers that plan to launch their Windows Phone "Mango"-based smartphones this fall are Acer, Fujitsu, HTC, Samsung, ZTE and, perhaps, Nokia, if the latter and Microsoft are lucky enough. In fact, the success of Windows Phone "Mango" will determine the future of Nokia in general.