Nokia is reportedly waiting on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 operating system before it releases devices.
“Mango”, the codename for what will likely be named Windows Phone 7.5, is currently in the early beta stages at Microsoft. The software giant revealed a number of new features earlier this week that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year. Nokia is reportedly waiting for multitasking, IE9 mobile and others before it releases its first Windows Phone device.
Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, mentioned in recent press briefings that the company wants to bring a “Windows Phone” device to market by the end of 2011. According to The Guardian, Elop specifically mentioned Windows Phone instead of Windows Phone 7 as not to reveal Microsoft’s future plans. Andy Lees, President of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business, confirmed that Nokia is waiting until “Mango” in a recent interview with All Things Digital’s Ina Fried.
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.
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”.
Nokia’s stalling on Windows Phone devices makes sense given its close partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft and Nokia both announced a strategic partnership on Friday allowing Nokia to create a range of Windows Phone devices. The announcement came days after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop issued a 1,300 word internal memo to the company’s employees recently spelling. Elop admitted throughout the memo that competitors are doing better and that Nokia’s current ecosystem is a “burning platform”.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also confirmed on Friday that both companies have been working on a Nokia Windows Phone. Microsoft and Nokia have both reached out to chip providers and Ballmer claims the company’s will share more information “over the next weeks and months.” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop later confirmed that the company will be able to create a Windows Phone quickly thanks to joint-engineering efforts. These efforts could see a number of Nokia services merged into the Windows Phone platform in time for the 7.5 point release later this year.