Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has arrived just days before the fabled release window opens for Apple's iOS 5 and Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating systems.
Windows Phone Mango
Microsoft began unloading Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Wednesday. The updated operating system boasts improved multi-tasking and a number of updated social network contact and calender integration features.
Past the general improvements, the new Windows Phone OS also houses enhanced access to Microsoft Office, the ability to manage multiple email inboxes and a new marketplace that allows Mango users to buy items from their PCs.
The new OS marks Microsoft's latest attempt to break Google and Apple's hold on the mobile OS market.
Prior to Mango, Microsoft had little success, next to all market reports and surveys indicated that the Windows Phone OS was struggling to account for even ten per cent of the smartphone market.
Interest in Mango peeked when phone-veteran Nokia announced that it would be moving away from its own Symbian OS to Windows Phone. Since the news broke a number of other smartphone makers including HTC, Samsung and ZTE have also announced future high-end devices running the Mango OS.
The rapid uptake by mobile makers has in turn led to speculation that Mango reverse Windows Phone's fortunes.
Apple iOS 5 and Google Ice Cream Sandwich
As well as the tepid optimism surrounding Mango, a number of alternative theories have suggested the update will do little to reverse the OS' fortunes. The nay-sayers commonly cite the future threat of the currently unreleased iOS 5 and Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating systems as key reasons for their claims.
Despite neither OS having an official release date, most rumours suggest both OSs will arrive in October.
Most recently, according to a report from Jaxenter, Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan confirmed to it that the updated Android OS would be launched late next month.
The news followed a previous rumour suggesting an October or November release date for the new OS version. The rumour suggested that Google chairman Eric Schmidt had let slip that the next major update to the Android OS would be shipping out in October or November.
The slip reportedly occurred while Schmidt was speaking to Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff at the Dreamforce conference. "We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October, November," AndroidandMe.com reported Schmidt as saying.
If true, the release window would mirror that of Apple's iOS 5. Most recently AppleInsider reported that an unnamed source connected with Apple's AppleCare customer service call center had reported that the company had warned its staff to expect a large influx of iOS-related support calls on Oct. 10.
The news led to fresh speculation that Apple planned to release the latest version of its iOS operating system in early to mid-October.
"[O]ne person familiar with the matter said his local AppleCare call center has been told to expect an eightfold increase in customer calls on that day, and that staff are being advised ahead of time for the increased traffic," read AppleInsider's report.
"The person could not say with any certainty what will be released on that Monday, but noted that the increase in call volume is related to iOS. This led them to speculate that Apple could release iOS 5 and iCloud on Oct. 10."
At the time this article was written neither Google nor Apple had confirmed the authenticity of any of the reports.