Later this year Microsoft is going to issue the long awaited update to Windows Phone that they’ve been calling Mango for the past few months. With it will come the addition of over “500 new features”, but the ones that stand out for us are the built in multitasking for third party applications, a new browser built on the same code that Internet Explorer 9 uses on the desktop, and an updated search engine that can best be described as a clone of Google Goggles, sprinkled in with some bits of Shazam for identifying music. The first Windows Phones running Mango are due to hit in the fall and more importantly the first Nokia Windows Phones are slated to come with Mango onboard. Now comes the important bit, what’s going to come after Mango? While we don’t have any detailed feature lists or roadmaps, we do have some product names: Tango and Apollo.
From what Digitimes has reported, Tango will be the direct successor to Mango. Apollo is the more interesting update since some are saying that it’ll be called Windows Phone 8 and that its launch will coincide with the launch of Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. We hope that by the end of 2012 Apollo devices will be out on the market, and that they’ll get rid of the silly hardware requirement to have place 3 buttons on the bottom of a device. If Google can design the next version of Android to run without buttons, then we’re pretty sure Microsoft can do the same thing, and so can Apple, but we’ll have to wait until iOS 6 for that … and that’s a long ways away since iOS 5 hasn’t even hit the scene.
Anyway, what does this mean for you? Previously we never really cared all that much about Windows Phone, but now that Nokia has bet their future on the OS we kind of, sort of, have to care. Watch this space to see how well Microsoft does against the competition.