Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Microsoft announces Windows Phone 'Mango' update

Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: “Mango will provide a worthwhile upgrade for both existing and new users of Windows Phone devices once it arrives in the marketplace. However, Microsoft needs to do better if it is to persuade the market that it has the most user friendly - and desirable - mobile platform in the market today.

“New features such as Groups and Threads look set to deliver a deeper level of integration between different communication apps (and other apps on the device) than users are so far accustomed to. But integration is a tough concept to sell to consumers even if they may benefit enormously once they've adopted it. Cracking this conundrum may well be key to Windows Phone's future success.

“That doesn’t appear to have put off new manufacturers from licensing the platform, however, with Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE now also joining the fray. ZTE in particular can be expected to take advantage of the more achievable hardware specs now being touted by Microsoft - plus carriers' desire for low cost alternatives to Android smartphones.

“That said, Mango still lacks the potential for customisation and brand differentiation that some manufacturers are looking for. With Nokia likely to dominate Windows Phone shipments once that relationship is fully up and running that may need addressing if other high-end OEMs are to stay on board.

“Elsewhere, backwards compatibility of Mango with existing hardware is a sensible decision by Microsoft, while the intelligent multitasking feature promises a noticeable benefit in device batter life. The new business oriented collaboration features work well but remain a largely unproven use case at this time.”

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