The build-up to Windows Phone’s major updateâ€”Mangoâ€”has been exciting. With developers having early access to beta builds, Microsoft warned enthusiasts that they will have to roll back to stable NoDo installs before updating to the final Mango release. Surprisingly, the brilliant engineers at Microsoft realized how problematic that will be for them as users. They decided to figure out ways to avoid this and anyone with Mango developer builds will be able to roll forward to the final version of Mango.
Mango introduces several new features and fills most of the holes in the platform. Microsoft had a tough time when their previous update (NoDo) was being pushed to users. For Microsoft, the upgrade involves several hardware manufacturers, carriers and Microsoft which obviously leads to complications. Microsoft promised that they learnt from the experience and it looks like they did. What seemed like eternity for AT&T Samsung Focus users (and others), all carriers except Sprint will be pushing Windows Phone 7.5 soon.
Android and iOS have web versions of their marketplaces for some time. And they are handy. With Mango coming, Microsoft has unveiled their web version of the marketplace. Part of the Windows Phone website, the interface is clean and simple. The apps can be bought and are instantly sent to the phone if it is connected to the Internet. Else, a download link is emailed for you to get the app via the Zune desktop software. Here’s a quick demo of how real-time the marketplace is:
Lastly, the holiday season will see new Windows Phone 7.5 handsets from Samsung, Nokia, HTC, ZTE and other partners. The marketplace is seeing a flood of apps updated for Mango. Samsung released handy apps for their users (video calling, diary) and Nokia is making their presence felt in the marketplace too.