Microsoft hints that second Windows Phone update will be a 7.5 release

By Tom Warren, on 14th Feb 11 7:33 pm with 9 Comments

Microsoft booth at Mobile World Congress 2011

Microsoft unveiled a number of new features and functionality on Monday for Windows Phone 7 that it will provide by the end of 2011.

The software giant revealed improved multitasking functionality, Twitter for People Hub support, Internet Explorer 9 mobile and document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to the stage on Monday at Mobile World Congress to detail and demonstrate some of the new functionality that Windows Phone 7 will receive in the second half of 2011.

Microsoft was suspiciously vague with its wording for the second half update and rightly so. The second half update isn’t just an update, but a full-on release. “Steve mentioned earlier and announced that we will have support for Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone in our update release later this year”, said Belfiore.

Microsoft is planning to mark Windows Phone 7′s first birthday with a platform release to upgrade functionality and rebrand the platform. WinRumors spoke to Achim Berg, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Marketing, on Monday and he confirmed that the forthcoming changes 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, if you mention the word “Mango” to a Microsoft Windows Phone employee then you’ll get a jovial reply of “well it’s a nice fruit” or something similar. Details of “Mango” leaked to the web in mid-December shortly after WinRumors revealed Microsoft was planning to detail the update at Mobile World Congress. Microsoft’s unveiling on Monday ties up some of the unknowns with “Mango” but only scrapes the surface of what the release will contain. Berg confirmed that the company is currently working on when and how they will unveil more information about “Mango”. Microsoft will unveil further information about the Internet Explorer 9 mobile component at MIX11 in April but Berg says the company will also offer more tid bits after that. Berg hinted that this could be around the May timeframe and that Microsoft didn’t want to unveil too much too soon in case “competitors copied us”.

Whatever Microsoft’s plans for “Mango” might be, it’s clear the company is preparing to unveil them slowly over the coming months. MIX11 will be a great place to learn more about Internet Explorer 9 mobile and Microsoft’s multitasking plans but some other key components of “Mango” will clearly be unveiled after MIX11. WinRumors understands Microsoft is currently planning some big Windows Live related changes for Windows Phone including branding some of its existing services into the Windows Live area. Expect to hear more about these very soon.

  • Tim

    “Berg hinted that this could be around the May timeframe and that Microsoft didn’t want to unveil too much too soon in case “competitors copied us”.”

    Good, I hope they hold back some info to drum up excitement. The platform deserves it.

  • Manish

    Instead of release slowly, I want fast release of updates into market becuase Google brings out major updates/versions on every six months

    • GP007

      Well, the first update coming in March makes that 4 months since the Nov 8 US release, and then May is 6 months so I’d say it seems like they’re more or less inline with the others schedule wise. Again, we don’t know how big or small the first update will be itself. At the keynote today iirc, I think they said first “major” update? And there was also talk that the 2nd update is close to done but delayed a bit due to the first one being pushed back. Once the first one is out the 2nd update might not take 4 months, to, it could be quicker unless MS likes a 4 month schedule.

    • Aethec

      Mango looks bigger than Eclair, Froyo or Gingerbread. Much bigger.

  • Anonymous

    Zune Live?

  • Adamvmlv

    I read this and can’t help but think releasing slowly is code for they have no idea what they will have or when. I got a laugh out of the part about competitors copying. The two real competitors are activating hundreds of thousands of devices a day. I’m not thinking they need to copy the one that is so far behind that it will take them years if ever to even pose a threat. It really has seemed from the start that WP7 was released in desperation. Otherwise all these things that are being added would have been there at release like they should have been. I like the potential the platform has of reaching. But I’m going to wait till it gets there before buying into it. Not fork out and wait for it to grow up in pieces.

    • Manish

      Instead of releasing in hast with incomplete OS which is detorioting the image of MS, the MS should have took a bit more time and came out with a complete solution which could have posed far greater impression on the mind of the consumer. Now MS has to do damage control exercising instead on putting attention on sharpening the arms.

    • JeepGuy

      Well which do you want? Fast releases in to market like google? Or complete, r&d’d updates that will work as opposed to needing updates for the crappy updates that they just pushed out the door? You’ve said both here haha.

      Im all for fast updates. But if they do nothing or dont work…Ide rather not have em. Ide rather have everything that is wrong fixed. But im afraid thats not going to happen. I have a feeling none of the bugs will be worked out until 7.5…in which case we’ll all have to live with these bugs until the end of the year. Hard to believe a force like MS cant set aside a few brainiacs to work out some kinks and get some fixes out for us… But then again I havent seen the update. Maybe they are gonna surprise us.

    • Manish

      I think MS is not fool enough to delay releasing updates having understood its position and progresses being made in Mobile world. I think the deal with nokia would be the cause. MS & Nokia must have got a mutual understading to have deal a long before declaing publicly than they must have started to work on the phone. Thus MS’s team would be busy in working with Nokia team and thus it did not pay attention to actual updation and would be involved in developing a phone