Home “Mango” is Windows Phone 7.5, Platform Renamed “Windows Phone”

“Mango” is Windows Phone 7.5, Platform Renamed “Windows Phone”

The highly-anticipated update to Microsoft’s fledgling mobile operating system, code-named “Mango,” is now known as “Windows Phone 7.5.” Despite the company’s determination to keep the number under wraps, leaks have emerged both during sessions at Microsoft’s recent MIX 11 developer conference and now, via a website on Microsoft’s Partner Network.

The version number indicates that Mango, as we already know, is a large enough update to warrant a change in version numbers. However, going forward, the Windows Phone platform will no longer include the number. Confused?

First spotted by WPCentral, this Microsoft-run partner website touts the next major release of the Windows Phone mobile operating system (OS) due out later this year. The site points to various developer-focused resources, press releases and blog posts about the update and Microsoft’s future plans in this area. But it refers the new OS as “Windows Phone 7.5,” not “Windows Phone 7.”

We already know much about the update, thanks to the keynote speech Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP and Director of Windows Phone Program Management, gave at MIX 11 earlier this month. The update will transform the smartphone OS into something more in line with its competition as it introduces multi-tasking and support background apps, developer access to the phone’s hardware and other features, improved Live Tiles, deeper integration of apps with the phone, a new version of IE9 and better Marketplace search.

Platform Renamed “Windows Phone”

Microsoft has struggled with its Windows Phone branding from day one. Originally, the OS was going to be “Windows Phone 7 Series,” then it later became “Windows Phone 7.”

Now, even though officials and company spokespersons are sticking to the messaging that “no version number has been announced,” Microsoft’s own website says otherwise…as does this PowerPoint presentation from MIX 11.

Also interesting is Nokia’s clarification that its agreement to partner with Microsoft is around “Windows Phone…not Windows Phone 7.” This likely means that Nokia’s new Windows Phone-based devices will launch running a higher version number (maybe Windows Phone 8!) or that Microsoft will drop the version numbers altogether, as has been suggested previously. The wording here is important for Nokia because the handset maker probably wants it be clear ahead of time that its Windows Phone devices will run the current version of the OS, and not what will be the outdated Windows Phone 7 version at launch. Nokia plans to launch its phones either late 2011, or Q1 2012, according to statements from company execs.

If all the branding and versioning changes have you confused, Rafael Rivera, who runs a Microsoft-tracking blog called Within Windows attempts to clarify the situation. He explains that, going forward, the version numbers will only be referenced when talking about specific versions of the mobile operating system software itself. The mobile platform, however, will simply be referred to as “Windows Phone” in the future. This change will take place later this fall, when Mango is released, he says.

Got it?

Image credit: Long Zheng, Flickr; Microsoft

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