Windows Phone 7.5 'Mango' update looks sweet for business

Since introducing Windows Phone 7 at the Mobile World Congress more than a year ago, it has almost seemed as if Microsoft had turned away from its core customers -- namely, business users -- but this week's announcement by CEO Steve Ballmer proves the software giant is still very much in the business of business operating systems.

The company is looking to regain lost market share, which according to Gartner has fallen to 3.6 per cent of the total smartphone market. Speaking to ZDNet UK, Microsoft product manager Paul Bryan said the goal for Microsoft was to "attract the third of smartphone users who say they haven't decided what their next phone will be after iPhone, Android or BlackBerry."

That could be a tall order, but in fact, Microsoft's "Mango" Windows Phone 7.5 update could be very sweet for business users if Microsoft can deliver on all its promises.

Ballmer said the OS update would bring more than 500 new features, and that up to nine new WP7 devices from HTC, Acer, Dell, and Samsung will roll out by the end of the year. (Check out a closer look at the new features from Ginny Mies.)

The handset OS will include more social networking integration, and allow users to import Twitter and LinkedIn contacts (Facebook contacts could already be imported). With Mango, users can create groups of contacts represented on tiles on the screen, where they can see status updates and quickly connect with the contacts via text message, e-mail, or IM.

The new update will revamp the search functionality, and users will have several new ways to use Bing. The mobile search engine will support visual search using the phone's camera, voice search, or even a local search via Local Scout, which based on a user's location can recommend nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities.

Users will also get a new version of Internet Explorer 9 Mobile, while Mango will also offer support for the subscription-based Office 365 and SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage tool, in the Office Hub, which will provide Office document synchronization. Hopefully Microsoft will resolve its Exchange Online issues by the time Mango arrives.

And Mango will offer information rights management (IRM) for improved protection of e-mail and documents, while adding alphanumeric PIN support to make for more complex password support -- likely good news for IT departments worried about lost or stolen devices. Windows Phone 7.5 will further be able to access hidden corporate SSID Wi-Fi networks, without the need of an app to uncover the access points.

The handset update will also address one of the big criticisms, namely the lack of apps available. Currently there are 17,000 apps in Mircosoft's Windows Phone Marketplace, and that number will likely increase in time for Mango's arrival later this year.

Peter Suciu writes about technology trends for small business, but has an appreciation for the Victorian Age when the telegraph was the information superhighway. After living in New York City for 18 years, he now resides in more rural Michigan.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsMicrosoftsmartphonesPhones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Suciu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?