back to article Microsoft reveals WinPhone 7 'Mango' details

The next version of Windows Phone is getting faster, opening up and - Microsoft has promised - won't suck your battery dry. Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled changes in the version of Windows Phone codenamed Mango that will crack open the operating system so devs can finally work with smart-phones' camera data, compass and gyro …

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  1. ceebee

    yes but....

    Nice to hear..but given the mess that is winphone7 upgrades I think we can almost guarantee that current winphones will have to wait for months after Mango's release to get the update if at all.

    1. Monty Burns

      or your could wait.....

      months on Android (unless you get it from XDA) or up to a year for IOS so I see your po..... oh wait, no, don't get where your going?

      1. copsewood
        Linux

        @Monty No need to wait

        If the version of Android or IOS you are using or thinking of purchasing already does all of these things which are currently vapourware for WinPhone7 such as multitasking and giving device/contacts etc. access to 3rd party applications, I don't see that upgrading your phone is that important, so long as the stable version you have can be bug and security fixed to the extent it will continue to do what it was advertised to do when you bought it.

        Microsoft still haven't announced when I will be able to start developing applications for their phones using GNU Public License source code which works fine on Android. For the small size of the market WinPhone represents, it's not realistic for me to rewrite the components of the source code which I didn't write myself in order to comply with Microsoft's userspace code licensing restrictions.

        Those who are really determined to run the latest Android on their phones for as long as possible without having to upgrade the hardware can either get a Nexus or are likely to be willing to root their devices to achieve this.

        1. Monty Burns

          @copsewood.... where are you going?

          The point is not about what it can/cannot do, the point is how long the upgrades take once announced.

          1. Manu T

            re: @copsewood.... where are you going?

            And even more importantly.

            Won't this upgrade brick my (samsung) phone?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: can either get a Nexus

          ...as if these are so affordable outside the US!

          As for Rooting a device. This is not a consumers-kinda thing, insn't it?

          The weird thing is that I've already seen, most of the things mentioned here, in Windows Mobile. So what's all the fuzz about? Microsoft re-inventing the wheel and suddenly everybody sits up and listen. Lemmings!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do you actually own one?

      My Omina that I have on Three got the update 2 weeks after the official release. Hardly months...

      We will see.

    3. Flybert

      if at all

      more like certainly not .. the hardware specs to pull these features off aren't in the current phones

      which is why hardware specs not mentioned

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mess?

      I'd have to say "What mess?" there was a problem on 10% of one model of one manufacturer's WP7 phones for one update. MS then - rightly - decided to slow down the roll out of the next update, just in case. This is good customer service, it's not really causing anyone any problems. I've got a HTC Trophy and while it isn't the best phone in the world, both updates were smooth and it is functional and feature rich.

      1. Ammaross Danan
        FAIL

        @Flybert

        "he hardware specs to pull these features off aren't in the current phones"

        So, if the hardware specs are not on current phones....then why was the alpha build of Mango being demoed on a "current" HTC phone?

        1. Little Poppet
          Heart

          They were using Old Hardware

          *

          The were also using an Asus prototype aswell - which was seen last summer - so yeah, Mango works fine on existing WP7 handsets.

          Not bad really, as Android, with higher specs, can't even compete with the performance we've seen on the Mango-work-in-progress phones.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      upgrades

      Actually, it's less than a month since MS officially released the NoDo update and most phones have it now... Ok, not as fast as Apple, but my god, kilometres ahead of the train-wreck that is Android.

      I'm guessing you're an Apple Fan boy.

      :)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      A 'mess'?????????

      Very melodramatic. :)

      I really don't think it was that bad.

      1. stim

        t-mobile

        i have an omnia 7 on t-mobile but i'm still waiting for any update to arrive - anyone else on t-mobile and had updates?

        1. DocWilson

          Flashing is the answer

          I was fed up of waiting as of last Friday and flashed the ROM to a stock SAMSUNG one - there's a thread on XDA Developers about it.

  2. Ilgaz

    So it didn't have sockets?

    Wow, just wow. You ship a smartphone OS without number 1 function IM apps, 3rd party "push" mail apps or even games require.

    I was wondering why popular iM app guys were saying "plain impossible", I thought it was Silverlight they had to convert their perfectly working C code. It turns out, it wasn't just silverlight.

    Not trolling, really shocked. Also the battery issues existed while there wasn't something like "whatsapp" running 24/7. I wonder what will happen when it has sockets and if they convince popular app developers to code for their silverlight shell.

  3. Quidam
    FAIL

    Quidam

    Hopefully, the next release of W7 phones will be MUCH, MUCH better....

    I have a HTC HD7 (and it's now sitting in a draw), and it's the worst phone I've had in a long time...HTC has taken a great bit of kit and killed it with W7 (I wish I could buy anothe HTC HD2 with Win 6.5)...so it's back to the HTC Desire HD for me

  4. Neil 7
    Flame

    35 countries? Wow, that's just incredible!

    So much better than the 100+ countries you can build apps for now with Symbian!

    Seriously, what a load of bollox. The more you hear the more you have to wonder what Nokia were thinking when they binned the platform they had (an ever increasing 5m downloads a day from Ovi Store) to go with these tools from Redmond, starting from scratch and now with zero platform ownership.

    Honestly, who gives a rats arse what Nokia say or do anymore, and particularly anything to do with WP7? They've lost all credibility with their developers, and many of their current customers. They're even managing to louse up their WP7 strategy by backtracking on Symbian now that they know they've farked it all up.

    It's a horrible mess, but it couldn't happen to a nicer pair of companies.

    1. stim

      really?

      Quidam - seriously?! i find that VERY hard to believe - what do you find that the phone 'doesn't do' that you need so badly - or where do you think it fails? i know everyone goes on about copy and paste a lot, but in reality, how often do you need/use this?

      would be interesting to know your thoughts in detail...

      1. Monty Burns

        lol - sersiously?

        Now there is a man who jumped on the bandwagon without pausing for thought. If you had waited a couple of months you could have kept you HD2, put a 32gig SD card in it and run WP7 FASTER than a HD7 ......

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: lol - sersiously?

          They can still be bought. At ridiculously high prices (today still around 500 euro). (PDAshop.be 499 euro taxes included)

          This is an awful lot for a yesteryear's device that can't hold it's breath for one day :-(

          In fact even iPhone 3GS is becoming cheaper than the HD2.(same PDAshop 3Gs 475 euro taxes included). Compare that to e.g. a Nokia C7 (285 euro taxes included) or the exact same specced HTC Desire HD (459 euro taxes included) or similar HTC Desire (not S) which can be had for 365 euros vat included.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      API?

      You don't need sockets if there's an API that abstracts it. I'm guessing that's what WP7 provides at the moment?

      But obviously many developers will want full control over their network layer.

      1. Ilgaz

        Apps are way more complex today

        They are telling developers to give up working code and use one thing device developers hate. Some flash like development platform.

        Device software, especially the ones sells for money aren't that basic as they may think, the competition is hard core. If one app uses 30% more battery, it eventually gets noticed by end users (they aren't morons) and thrown away, forever, taking company down with it.

        The real absurd thing is, expecting Symbian owners/developers to switch to such environment.

        ask them what happened to flash lite, wrt, python :) not like I got problem with them but somehow, people hates anything non native c code on this platform.

    3. Manu T

      told you soo..

      I told you all. In time we'de be crying back for a Windows Mobile phone.

      Sure you had to reboot it every other day. While you need this once a week on an adroid phone (huge improvement), once every 2 weeks on a symbian phone and once a month on a iPhone 3G (I've no clue how well th iPhone 4 really is or how much iOS have been improved, but I reckon multi-tasking introduces the unavoidable instability even in that platform. I guess, it'll need a reboot every 2 weeks in future revisions) .

      And it's one homescreen, especially in WM6.1, didn't look as flashy but...

      1) That one homescreen showed a lot more useful information then any smartphone today bar Nokia's (but these guys need 3 screens to display the same info that WM6.1 did on one)

      2) Very good copy and paste accompanied with excellent multitasking. In fact you had to keep switching off apps because multi-tasking was evoked standardly with ALL apps.

      3) Well implemented file manager with access to files in ROM and network shared folders on Windows and SMB-compatible systems.

      4) You could execute/stream data right from the (network) file-system which used a similar extension-mappings-list as regular windows did.

      5) centralized email and messaging application.

      6) full outlook sync (including categories, repeating events and contact-pictures). It took microsoft years to condition us to use outlook, do they really think we'll throw that behavior overboard in one cloud... euh... night.

      7) UI fully customizable with lots of third party add-ons and/or enhancements (thus more leeway for developers).

      And I could go on. In my own case I was drawn to the Samsung Omnia (1) because of it's ability to record phone-calls without beeping. 3rd party apps allowed this feature to be used automatically with every incomming and outgoing call.

      The weird thing is that the only smartphone OS capable of recording calls (even when made over bluetooth handset) is that one OS from the same era that nobody seems to like anymore.

      I predict than in 2013 a lot of us are gonna miss the old Nokia. Like some of us already start to miss WM. But at least WP7 has the ability to become WM again because it uses the same core (WinCE).

  5. Charles Manning

    Huh?

    These are basic features one would have expected in the first release. Does WP7 really suck that bad?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The message is ..

    don't buy a WinPhone 7 now, wait at least 6 months, and then wait for version 3.1, because the current version is crap.

    By then Nokia WinPhone7 phones will be 'real soon', so wait for those.

    In the meantime try an Android.

    Back in the day Microsoft used to win with vaporware. As soon as a competitor released a product MS would announce they will have a better one 'in a couple of months', which turned into a couple of years. When product cycles were measured in years, and PCs cost more than your car, this worked. It froze the customer's spending until they could evaluate the MS product against one already available. By that time the competition had gone broke through lack of sales.

    Now it just highlights how far behind the market Microsoft is. They'll buy an Android or an iPhone today and will see what other companies offer as shiny toys when Mango finally ships.

    1. Kerry Hoskin
      FAIL

      why?

      iOS wasn't fully featured on release

    2. Little Poppet
      Heart

      Yes there are missing features... but

      WP7's relative deficiencies is old news.

      BUT, since they did effectively start from scratch and were brave enough to omit some 'essential' features on launch - I guess we must applaud them for their intentions to bring quality over quantity.

      Taking this into account, what WP7 does in most instances, it does it better than Android.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        FAIL

        @Little Poppet

        Start from scratch? It's called Windows Phone *7*, which means this is their 7th iteration at trying to make a smart phone interface. They're getting there, I suppose..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          No...

          They binned Windows Mobile and started from scratch. They realised that Windows Mobile was not a great experience and threw it away.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mobile#Windows_Phone_7

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge
            Stop

            @Neil Weller

            <sarcasm>Really? I hadn't thought of that.</sarcasm>

            So, although their previous 6 versions were absolute pap*, WinPho 7 will eventually be awesome, and it's not yet because they only just wrote it. Ok, makes perfect sense, we've just got to give them more time.

            * 6.5 wasn't all that bad, although I'd count that as distinct from 6.

        2. Little Poppet
          Happy

          You silly

          *

          Do people not notice what MS appear to be doing.

          It's clear by what they're doing with WP7 , XBox, .live and Windows.

          i.e. attempting to integrate all of their key products.

          So initially, when they decided to start from scratch rather than continue with Windows mobile, people questioned why was it called a Windows phone - as it bears no relation to Win Mobile nor Windows.

          BUT recently, we've been seeing early iterations of Windows 8 - and it's clear, Windows in the future will actually borrow from WP7.

          Secondly, Calling it WP7 tidily ties in with the same version number for Windows (desktop) next year. After the Mango update, the next one will obviously be WP8 - by that time, I would assume Windows 8 would be out.

          You see? Silly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Great logic

        You would be great in engineering/marketing, designing a new product by looking at what the competition was shipping a few years ago.

        The world moved on - Microsoft had to ship and was hopping their name (and the "7" in the product name) would fool the consumers into thinking it was a current product.

        Sounds like you bought into the fantasy.

    3. Ilgaz

      Nokia is going down and Windows Phone 7 in risk

      I am using Nokia E71 to post this message so not a Nokia hater here.

      They think Symbian or even Meego is their problem and try to fix it with Ms operating system losing the last bit of their prestige in process.

      It is not the OS, it is how company runs, how disconnected they are from users, how they don't see what part of symbian made users/developers nuts. So, as usual all bug reports get ignored, people swear at them using their real names and jump to Android.

      Nothing from Redmond can fix this and Nokia has also potential(!) to make windows phone os worse with their influence.

      Even if Apple licensed iOS to Nokia, people would still hate them. Not joking.

    4. Manu T

      RE: The message is ..

      "In the meantime try an Android."

      Sure... show me one model that can record phone-calls (both on the phone and over bluetooth attire? Especially one that's available in my country (which means NOT the ZTE Blade/Orange San francisco).

  7. Flat Phillip
    Thumb Down

    Wireless

    Hopefully they'll have amazing and new features such as being able to specify a SSID when you're at a place that has a wireless AP that doesn't announce it. Even my son's ancient Nintendo DS-lite can do that piece of wonder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      SSID

      I believe this is in the NoDo update....

    2. Fuzz

      hidden SSID

      Whilst I agree that this should be a feature, what kind of an idiot hides their SSID?

      1. Hardcastle
        Coffee/keyboard

        what kind of an "idiot" hides their SSID?

        Oh, I don't know... perhaps those Non-Idiots who want to have an extra notch of security and want to keep their networks invisible to wardrivers and freeloaders, perhaps?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. amehaye
    Stop

    Single core multi-tasking is nice

    But can it do multi-core multi-tasking?

  9. Christian Berger Silver badge

    OK, what about the most pressing bugs...

    Will it execute non-signed code?

    Will it finally support some sane way to transfer files? (like SSH, or FTP)

    Will it at least support replacable SD-cards?

    I don't care about "butter smooth scrolling". I want to actually do stuff with a mobile device.

    1. Little Poppet
      Heart

      User Experience is Key

      You don't care about 'butter smooth scrolling'?

      Strange, it's the complete opposite to my view.

      To me, the whole user experience: how fast, slick and user friendly and intelligent the GUI is paramount. I want to actually enjoy using technology.

      Here, I think MS has studied Apple - and have in fact improved upon iOS in a lot of aspects.

      But, I suppose if you're happy with s-l-o-w, jerky and poor-man's version of iOS, then each to her own...

  10. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    So.......

    The headline really is: "Microsoft has admitted that the current release of Phone 7 is just a beta."

    Who would have thought ?

  11. <user />
    FAIL

    tit-le

    "To illustrate the importance of file download and alarms, he demoed a Quantas airlines "concept app" working with location details and clock to alert him on when it's time to check in for a flight and provide updates on flight status."

    It is Qantas!

  12. Christian Briddon
    Thumb Up

    @ceebee

    The Windows Phone 7 upgrades were not a mess at all. OK, so there were some issues with the Samsung phones when the very first update was released but the NODO update went without a hitch. Microsoft were staggering the upgrades so that if there was an issue they could catch it before it caused more users problems.

    I can't wait for the Mango release but I'm quite happy using my HD7 as it is while I wait.

  13. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    re: yes but

    Spot on.

    There is always the previous, 'apply an update and brick your WP7 phone' situation as well.

  14. Mark Jan

    Almost As Good As...

    So, the next release of Winphone will be great on battery life, offer true multi-tasking and will enable developers to work with basic items like users' contacts.

    So, apart from bricking phones when updating, almost as good as what Nokia have now then?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    GASP!!!!

    '...Belfiore played a piece of music on an HTC phone running an early Mango build and had it continue playing when he navigated away to a different application...'

    Multitasking! This will change the face of computing as we know it!!!!

    OH, WAIT......

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Yo! Way to go!!!!

    "...faster ...better battery life ...won't suck...."

    Cool. Where do I sign?

    ...eh? What's that?... WHAT?... It's bollocks you say?... but it can't be! MS says it'll be good, so surely it will be, no?

    What's that?... been trying for the last 30 years to write a decent OS and still not managed it yet?

    Mmm... And yes, I take your point about how crap your code needs to be to be able to "improve it by 30%" just like that...

    Well, I can see your point but still... THIS time it's be brilliant!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    What?

    He was showing off that music could play in the background whilst you did something else... Tell me that it ain't so... tell me that the base W7 phone can play music in the background whilst you're doing something else like surfing the web.....

  18. frank ly Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    WinPho just keeps getting better

    "... Belfiore played a piece of music on an HTC phone running an early Mango build and had it continue playing when he navigated away to a different application. "

    That is an amazing achievement. Hats off to them; thumbs up, etc.

    (Typed (or pecked) on my HTC Wildfire, running Android 2.2 while playing music.)

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Joke

    "Faster, more open, less battery suckage"

    This sound's like my girlfriends' younger sister ...as a model for development, I'm quite impressed.

    1. Fuzz

      of course it can

      As long as you're using the zune player app. Windows phone 7 can multitask in the same way old versions of iOS could always multitask. It's just restricted to the Microsoft apps. However you can't listen to tune in radio whilst browsing the web.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        FAIL

        How amazingly

        20th Century...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny...

      My WP7 has been able to do that from day 1.

  20. Little Poppet
    Thumb Up

    Looks quite good

    I'm particularly interested in the upgrade to the Hubs: being able to search and pivot direct to an app is very useful.

    :)

    .

  21. Simbu
    WTF?

    Where's the enterprise deployment tools?

    Conspicuous in their absence i see. I still fail to see how Microsoft can expect .NET developers (who are by and large corporate devs) to ditch WM6 in favour of WP7, and have no means of deploying to their users, without making their app available to the Marketplace to all and sundry.

    Oh, and NOW you announce SQL Server CE?? AFTER devs have invested a fair whack of time building alternatives because it was locked out to developers at release?

    WTF Microsoft, WTF?

  22. Raithmir

    Ringtones

    So you might be able to set your own ringtone sometime next year when people start getting these updates to their phones then?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    "We are working with Nokia, who is strong in countries around the world."

    As opposed to thoise countries elsewhere...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Large market share

      Well, yes... But of course he was talking from a US point of view, where they don't have as much a market share as they do in Europe and Asia.

      Nokia absolutely dominate in China and India - and to be honest, those are the markets which matter really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Large market share

        They matter... for now.

        in 10 years time (or less) those markets will be saturated too. Then what?

        Make a "strategic partnership with Microsoft"?

        As if MSFT is the saviour of the world economy. They singlehandedly destroyed numerous (non-american) companies, backstabbing their allies is their main dish. Who's stupid enough to trust these guys? Except for yet that other euorpean company :-(

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    Remember: VP Belfiore is the guy who sunk first Windows Media Center then Zune...

    ...and last year completely botched the launch of Windows Phone 7...

    ...and then went on to screw up even such a simply thing as OS updates, only to lash out on users, for which he few days later apologized...

    ...and now he's telling you it's going to be great with Windows Phone 7 - so, obviously, you ARE confident, aren't you?.

  26. Bilgepipe

    Doh!

    >>>The next version of Windows Phone is getting faster, opening up and - Microsoft has promised - won't suck...

    Woo-hoo!!!!

    >>> ...your battery dry.

    Oh, never mind.

  27. kataklysmica
    FAIL

    Too little, too late.

    I was among the WinPho7 early adopters and I'm almost proud to say that I managed to put up with this atrocious piece of cack for 6 whole months. Although it did nearly suffer extreme amounts of physical punishment on many many occasions, so it should consider itself lucky to have lasted that long. I'm not sure I've experienced anything this cripplingly dysfunctional since the PalmPilot. Switching to the HTC Desire HD was like someone turning on the lights.. and finding you've been living in Josef Fritzl's basement all this time. Who cares if Android can't get updates to market - it's already a million miles ahead of the competition. MS - Get it together or give it up already.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes well

    just one thing to say really, the update sounds great, but to be honest, WP7 on my device works wonderfully, im in no hurry for it to change, but when it does ill be having me one of these updates thanks!

    So heres me wee OS roundup and ive used all of these for lenghty periods of time, when i say usability im talking about multiple different uses, ie, work, play, social etc etc, note ive not included any OS i havent used and these are all my own opinions

    WM 6.5 is probably the single most usable OS out there, there is little it cant do and there is little you cant change on it, by far the most customizable OS ever....on smartphones

    Android, not quite as custimizable as wm6.5 and slightly less useable in terms of different abilities, but significantly improved looks and speed.

    iOS, very good looking, very slick, consistant user experience but very limited customisation and limited usability, good for someone just wanting a phone

    WP7 ---------- finally realised i couldnt give a crap about any of that and wanted a phone that just worked and worked well and allowed me to do more or less what i wanted with my stuff and intigrated with my live, , exchange, skydrive and facebook without any faffing about!

    an intresting interface that took about 2 weeks to get used too, not because its not any good because it is very good, but because ive been so used to the other OS platforms that WP7 was just too different to pickup straight away, a new user would probably get on very well but anyone moving from one of the others should really give it a few weeks before saying its crap

    1. Goat Jam
      Headmaster

      Usability

      It doesn't mean what you think it means.

    2. Ocular Sinister
      WTF?

      What the F***?

      > WM 6.5 is probably the single most usable OS out there

      What? Is this sarcasm, or you the only person I've ever heard talking WM up?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        nope....

        ....apparently im one of a few people that knows how to use it,

        Its still used a lot more than you think, every day i end up signing for something on one of these devices from several different companies or persons.

        as for my definition of usability, it is in deed my definition, as i said its my opinion from very lengthy periods of time using all of teh said OS's I have two PDAs, one running WP7 one running WM6.5, the WP7 used to be an iphone then an Android, between the 2 MS OS's there is pretty much nothing i cant do infact i can even run android on the WM6.5 device if i choose, at the touch of a button, but i no longer choose to do so now i have WP7

        Duel booting WP7 and WM6.5 would be of a great use for me because 6.5 is very useful still

        1. Manu T

          Duel booting WP7 and WM6.5 would be of a great use for me because 6.5 is very useful still

          Indeed. It's the only smartphone OS that can access shared network folders on a windows PC without 3rd party software. Just fire up the file-manager, type the name o/t share and off you go.

          And other apps can use that trick too. You can stream movies and music with coreplayer. Just type the name o/t share instead of a local file and there you go. There's no other phone (smart or dumb) that can do this so easy. Hell, even WP7 can't do that.

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