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Microsoft: Windows Phone 7.5 Update Due

9/26/2011 10:54:27 AM Eastern

Redmond, Wash. - Microsoft will launch its Windows Phone 7.5
(Mango) update for current Windows Phone smartphones "in the next week or two,"
said Eric Hautala, Microsoft's customer experience engineering GM, in a recent
blog post.

 For the launch, he
said, current Windows Phone users will get the software update from the maker
of their handset. "This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly
tuned so your phone -- and apps -- work with all the new features of Windows
Phone 7.5," Hautala explained while warning users to "steer clear of bootleg
updates and homebrew tools."

 On new Windows smartphones, Mango will be
preinstalled, he added.

In his blog post, Hautala didn't specify a launch date for
new Mango-enabled smartphones, but Samsung and HTC have previously said they
will offer a combined total of three Mango smartphones later this year for the
AT&T network. Companies
committed to offering Mango include Acer, Fujitsu, Nokia and ZTE.
They'll join current Windows Phone suppliers Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung.

Microsoft
unveiled Mango in May and promoted the update as offering hundreds of new
features while improving the web browsing experience.

 The improvements include Internet Explorer 9;
support for HTML 5 web sites; and app multitasking, enabling users to work on
email while listening to music and popping into Words By Post games when it's
their turn to play.

Windows Phone also introduces on-phone podcast downloads and
Smart DJ, which takes an artist, album or song "seed" to create a music mix
that's similar to the seed and uses whatever songs it finds on the phone. Smart
DJ also selects from the millions of tracks available in the Zune catalog if
the users has a monthly Zune Pass
music subscription.

 In another change,
Mango displays search terms as the user starts typing in the Marketplace search
box. Search results will be organized by content type (apps or games, music or
podcasts).

Mango also
integrates more deeply within such onscreen Hubs as music, video and pictures,
the company has said. Mango's threads feature brings together text, IM and
Facebook chats into one conversation.