Nokia waiting on Windows Phone 7.5 until it reveals devices

By Tom Warren, on 16th Feb 11 5:40 pm with 11 Comments

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

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.

  • Chris Lindhartsen

    Rebrand the platform? Is the Windows Phone name going away?

    • Aethec

      No, only the version number will change.

  • Sebastian Gorgon

    I’m sick of hearing nothing but stuff about Nokia now…

    • Alvaro

      As i said before, Samsung, LG, HTC already have wp7 devices. I know they also have Android phones, but talking nothing but Nokia could be risky for Microsoft.

      For example, now maybe I wait till wp 7.5 in a Nokia device.

    • GP007

      Well, I think LG, Samsung, HTC etc are also waiting for 7.5 as well. It’s best for OEMs to sell new hardware with a newer “major” OS version, 7.5 sounds just like that exactly. After that we can probably expect yet another batch of new phones for WP8.

  • astroX

    Thank God! I’m glad the Microkia Windows Phone 7 devices won’t see the light till later this year, that way I won’t feel I own an outdated HTC HD7 so quickly!

  • Steve Bennett

    See, I don’t understand why they’re already jumping to 7.5, why don’t they just make it 7.1 or something.

    • Manish

      Because Nokia will not like the OS which is still lacking basic features that even Symbian has. And since it is do or die scenario, Nokia would like to come out with rather complete OS. And that is good for both. But I expect the MS and Nokia should come out quickly rather then waiting for year end.

  • Manish

    This is natural. Nokia will not come out with the OS still incomplete. The basic features that even symbian has that WP7 doesnot have. Let WP7.5 to come out and then NOkia will produce phones. But waiting till end, is realy longer.

  • Manish

    This is natural. Nokia will not come out with the OS still incomplete. The basic features that even symbian has that WP7 doesnot have. Let WP7.5 to come out and then NOkia will produce phones. But waiting till end, is realy longer.

  • Nick Rodriguez

    Hopefully the hardware refresh will come with a front facing camera, dual core processor, 8 or better megapixel cam with a high speed shutter for great still shots and touch to focus in the camera application/…