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
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.