Microsoft Corp. recently revealed its plans of a major upgrade to its Windows Phone software this fall, ahead of the launch of the first Nokia phones to use it.
The revamped software includes a new, faster web browser and lets users switch quickly between applications by using a “card” display.
Microsoft said the software, codenamed “Mango,” will be available as a downloadable update for all Windows Phones sold until then.
Finland’s Nokia Corp., the world’s biggest maker of phones, announced in February that it would adopt Windows Phone and toss out its current smartphone software. Microsoft is paying it billions of dollars to do so, as it’s trying to buy into a market now dominated by Apple Inc. and Google Inc.’s Android software.
Microsoft launched Windows Phone in November, but it ran only 1.6 percent of the smartphones sold worldwide in the first quarter, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
“Mango” contains more than 500 changes, Microsoft said, including integration of Facebook Chat into conversations that can also include text messages from the same person. Overall, the update is aimed at reducing the reliance on separate third-party apps and baking in as much as possible of their functionality in the operating system.
Ovum analyst Tony Cripps said, “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.”