Microsoft have sent Samsung Focus device running Windows Phone Mango to US bloggersÂ for preview purposes. Today all of them have posted their review of Windows Phone Mango once the NDA is lifted. You can read the full review of Windows Phone from each source, but I’ve just summarizedÂ all their conclusions in one page for your reading pleasure.
But the bottom line is that Windows Phone is now better and finally feeling complete, even with current quirks and bugs in this beta, like Facebook chat bombarding you with notifications that have to be cleared individually or Contacts’ strange requirement that numbers fit precisely into Windows Phones’ pre-designated categories for numbers. (It straight up ignores any number with a custom label.) In other words, I can’t wait to see Mango when it’s finally finished. It reminds me of the way the iPhone finally felt close to done with iOS 3.0.
In the meantime, I’ll say this: Pending some killer Nokia hardware or totally radical Android redesign, I think the choice this fall for all but the nerdiest of nerds is going to be very simple. iPhone or Windows Phone. Nothing else is that pleasant.
Without question, Mango thoroughly addresses a few pain points that Windows Phone 7 users are experiencing today â€” none bigger than multitasking â€” but weâ€™re going to need to wait until developers kick into high gear before weâ€™re going to be able to see just how well Microsoftâ€™s architecture works in practice. And really, Microsoft seems just as keen as ever on moving the conversation away from functionality line items and toward end-to-end user experiences â€” features like Bing Vision, for instance, that are completely effortless and seamless to use. Thatâ€™s a familiar message that itâ€™s been delivering since last year with Windows Phone 7?s initial launch. Granted, Mango delivers it with more credibility, but convincing manufacturers, carriers, and users that Windows Phone is a legitimate contender will be as difficult as ever, particularly with Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 5 hitting the market around the same time. Regardless of Mangoâ€™s ultimate success at the register, though, I like more about Windows Phone in Mango than ever â€” and Iâ€™m definitely looking forward to playing with some final software and hardware.
Alex Wilhelm from thenextweb,
I could go on about Office, Xbox LIVE integration, and so forth, but as we are racing past 1,000 words I am going to cut this short. Mango is a fine upgrade to the WP7 platform, and one that will bring it neck and neck with the current offerings from Apple and Google. If that will still be the case when Mango actually lands late this year remains to be seen, and if Mango can sustain WP7 for a full year is not a settled question. I think, after having most of it for a week, that Mango will hold up well. Especially if Microsoft manages a smooth roll out for the upgrade to current WP7 owners.
WP7 is a different approach to the smartphone than the one taken by iOS and Android, and Mango is the first full iteration of the WP7 aesthetic. If it does well, Microsoft will have struck a nerve. If not, itâ€™s mobile future is over. Based on what you have read, sound off in the comments if you think that Microsoft is moving in the right direction.
Paul Thurrott from winsupersite,
I’ll need to spend a lot more time with Mango, and with more feature-complete versions of the product, before I can make any kind of definitive assessment of this software. But I can say this right now. Mango will be provided as a free update to all existing Windows Phone handsets, so there’s some value in that. It very nicely improves the capabilities of the platform while utilizing the same basic user experience, so it will be a seamless and painless upgrade from a usage perspective. And while Mango doesn’t address some of the shortcomings from v1, it adds so many useful new features, and fixes so many of the early complaints, that I’m finding it hard to criticize this release with any enthusiasm. I’ll keep using it and report back when we get closer to the final release. But Mango looks great so far, and I’ve really only scratched the surface here.
Holy cow there are a ton of new features in Windows Phone Mango!Â We didn’t even get to try the Twitter integration since that’s not working yet.Â We’ve been told that it’s working on internal servers, but the public Windows Live servers will have to be upgraded before a wider rollout.Â We also haven’t been able to try the app deep linking, background tasks for 3rd party apps, and in-app live tile pinning just yet, but from what we’ve seen in this preview build running on existing Samsung Focus hardware, there is a lot to look forward to.Â Many of these new features are mainly bringing Windows Phone up to speed with the competition, yet there are a number that are quite innovative and sure to make Windows Phone stand out above the crowd.
In our opinion, Microsoft has so far done a fantastic job with “Mango”, delivering many new features, fixing complaints from users and expanding the usage of our smartphones way beyond what “NoDo” has given us. What makes “Mango” so interesting is nothing feels tacked on. It’s not like Microsoft saw what the competition was doing and decided “we can do that too!”, resulting in an OS that has features haphazardly slapped together, but nothing to unify them. The changes in Windows Phone 7.5, on the other hand, feel like an extension of a vision, of a philosophy of how our mobile phones should work. While Apple has simplicity down (just one button!) as their guiding force, Android seems to have a “throw the kitchen sink in there too” mindset, resulting in a more chaotic, inharmonious experience.
Mango has certainly shifted Microsoftâ€™s game forward considerably. The social networking integration and elements like Smart DJ, Conversation View and the Quick Cards have been slotted in without detracting from the overall design ethos, while essential additions like multitasking and the usable task-switcher help Windows Phone from feeling passÃ© in comparison to its more established rivals. There are even elements where Android and iOS could do well to learn from Microsoftâ€™s example, such as the conversational Threads.
Now, What’s your take on Windows Phone Mango ??