Microsoft Announces Update, Enlists New Handset Makers

by Jordan Richardson on May 25, 2011

Tuesday saw Microsoft announce an update of its Windows Phone software dubbed Mango. It’ll appear on new Windows phones starting in the fall and will be available to existing users prior to that. No word on the exact release date yet, though.

The update packs in a whopping 500 features, including Internet Explorer 9, integrated Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, access to over 17,000 applications, and, of course, automated check-ins to Facebook. There’s also an improvement to the “live tiles” feature, which allows users to see real-time information on the screen without opening an app. This allows more than one app to run at a time.

Along with the update announcement, Microsoft was beaming over news that new handset makers would be joining the fold. Acer Inc., Fujitsu Ltd and ZTE Corp are all slated to bring new handsets to market for Microsoft, joining the existing stable of LG Electronics, HTC Corp and Samsung Electronics. Qualcomm Inc’s second-gen Snapdragon mobile processor will be powering all of the new handsets.

The plan here is obviously to help boost Microsoft’s fortunes in the phone department. Things haven’t exactly been off to a roaring start with Windows devices, so the company is hoping that this monstrous update will be the key they need to start competing with the big dogs.

A recent alliance with Nokia is also in serious need of a morale boost, with the first phones made out of that partnership set to be released sometime late this year or early 2012.

With Android holding a massive chunk of the market, though, it’ll be tough for Microsoft to make up some ground. The features in the update should help, but they have a long way to go. Android holds some 36 percent of global market share currently, with Apple at 17 percent. Microsoft only has four percent and is banking largely on the Nokia partnership to help turn those tides. Nokia’s Symbian held 27 percent prior to the deal.

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Rahul Aggarwal May 26, 2011 at 3:24 am

The web-based Marketplace will let its users select and buy any of those 17,000 apps available on its platform on a web browser and can be transferred to their Window phone over the air. The option of using SMS in case of non availability of the web marketplace service is a smart move from Microsoft thus enabling its users to turn on the broadcasted service before even the software is downloaded and installed. Also the company expecting the users to install the apps in the background is fair enough. Another milestone set by the PC giant and also a challenge for the androids is the Multitasking feature on the Mango OS. The prime focus of Mango being the is also something to look out for enhanced cloud integration and better platform tools for developers is a noteworthy highlight.

Jordan Richardson May 26, 2011 at 5:35 am


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