Microsoft 'Tango' Windows Phone updates rolling out to Nokia users

Microsoft 'Tango' Windows Phone updates rolling out to Nokia users

Summary: It looks like the latest batch of updates to the "Mango" Windows Phone operating system are starting to roll out, commencing with Nokia handsets.


Nokia Lumia 710 and 800 users are starting to receive the updates to Microsoft's Windows Phone "Mango" operating system that are known as "Tango."

These updates will be rolling out in June and July, according to a June 27 Nokia Conversations blog post. WPCentral reported that some Nokia 710 users on Rogers in Canada were getting these updates as of last week. (WPCentral and WMPoweruser noted the coming Tango updates today, as well.)

A quick codename refresher for those who thought we were already up to "Apollo," or Windows Phone OS 8: Tango is the Microsoft codename for a handful of updates to the last major Windows Phone OS, version 7.1 (or 7.5 -- Microsoft uses both numbers in various ways to refer to Mango). Microsoft announced Tango without ever using the codename back in February of this year.

Earlier this year, when announcing Tango, Microsoft officials said that Tango (Mango plus a few new features) would be the default on new handsets, including lower-powered ones. “After the new (Tango) devices are out, we’ll start the process of working with mobile operators to bring an update to current customers, but it’ll be a few months before we have specifics on that roll out," a spokesperson told me at that time.

I asked again this week when we existing Mango handset users would get the Tango update. I was told by a spokesperson that Microsoft would post an update to its "Windows Phone Update History" page once that update was ready for existing Windows Phone users. As of today, June 27, there's no new update on Microsoft's page since the "disappearing keyboard fix" update, which Microsoft made available in January 2012.

Update: The Microsoft Windows Phone History page was updated as of June 28 to include mention of a new update -- which is seemingly Tango. That update, 7.10.8773.98, is listed as including new multiple message attachments for text messages; SIM-card contact exporting; and "other quality improvements." The update is listed as being "not available in all markets or for all phones."

The Tango updates that all Windows Phone users are expecting may include wifi tethering ("Internet sharing"). Wifi tethering is one of the features some thought to be part of the Tango updates, but it's really more of a hidden Mango feature. The Nokia update page makes it seem "flip to silence" (flip your phone over to silence incoming alerts and calls) may be another of these Tango updates that some/all current Windows Phone users will get.

Last week, Microsoft officials made it official that existing Windows Phone handsets, including all of the currently shipping Nokia Lumia models, will not get the Apollo operating system, expected out later this year. Instead, existing Windows Phone users get the Windows Phone OS 7.8 update, which includes only UI changes including the addition of a third, user-selectable tile size, plus the removal of the right-hand gutter on the Start screen. (I know some believe there will be other Apollo features in the 7.8 update, but I asked again to be sure this week and was still told by a Microsoft spokesperson this would be a UI-only feature update.)

Nokia is intending to keep its Lumia phones "fresh" by adding other new features to its handsets, officials said last week. These additions include new camera enhancements ("Camera Extras"), contact-sharing, and "Counters" (metering usage monitoring). These additions are rolling out now and through July.

Update: What about Lumia 900 users? When will they get Tango? It seems from this Nokia link (thanks @ZuneTracks) that Lumia 900 and Lumia 610 users already have the Tango updates to Mango. However, @ZuneTracks said it's Canadian Lumia 900s that have Tango, but U.S. Lumia 900 users are going to have to wait for the Windows Phone 7.8 update to get these features. For the record, Microsoft officials won't say when the 7.8 update will be out. I am checking with Nokia to see if anyone there will verify this information.

Update No. 2: This just in from a Nokia spokesperson:

"The Nokia Lumia 900 supports wi-fi tethering. AT&T requires a separate data plan to support the feature. The flip-to-silence feature for the Lumia 900 is planned but we do not have a date for that yet."

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, Telcos, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Mary Jo's Phone

    I think this one applies to YOUR phone, Mary Jo. (I hope so!)
    • My phone

      Well, I used a Lumia 900 loaner, but my *real* phone is an HTC Trophy. And I haven't heard a word (not surprisingly) from Verizon about when and if we'll be getting these Tango updates.... :( MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Same boat.

        Verizon has no love for MS. Nor Verizon's customers' themselves.
        William Farrel
        • Verizon got hosed by Microsoft

          With the Kin "junk-phones". o I understand how they might not want to jump right back into the fire again...
          Jumpin Jack Flash

    MARY JO..
    Great got an in with htc....or more important the slackers at att...i saw one article today for unlocked htc titan update..mine is an att first release in us..
  • It seems

    That WP 7 is fragmented as bad as the Microsoft fanboys claimed Android to be. If Microsoft is claiming that both 7.1, and 7.5 are Mango/tango/etc. then how do you keep track of which one you actually have? If your phone has 7.1, and that App was written for 7.5, how do you update your OS? Or are you expected to buy a new phone?
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Re It seems

      You're expected not to be such an idiot to write the stupid crap like you just wrote.
      • it seems you`re not very smart

        `but is not your fault, is your father fault...
  • @Jumpin Jack Flash, do you realy know anything about Windows Phone OS?

    >>If Microsoft is claiming that both 7.1, and 7.5 are Mango/tango/etc.
    7.1 is SDK version (Mango OS SDK)
    7.5 is OS version (Mango OS)

    Also if an app is written for Windows Phone 7.5 using Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, it will run on Windows Phone 7.8 (the next major release for Windows Phone 7) and Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) the next major Windows Phone running with mainstream Windows Kernel. To make it simple for you, something written using Android 1.6 SDK will run on higher versions of Android or iOS3.0 will run on higher versions of iOS. If you call those as fragmentation, then so it is.
    If you don't know something on the otherside of the wall, please try to learn first before "jumping jack flashing" around with ignorance.
    Ram U
    • Don't you need to get back to the phone Haji?

      I'm sure Microsoft isn't paying you 15 rupees an hour for your good looks...
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Your phone must really suck

        Since you are all the time commenting on the WP posts doing your best to say the worse things about it

        How sad, it must suck to be you
  • wifi tethering

    ...was in Mango (7.5) surely. At least, it seems to work just fine for me (HTC Mozart) and has done for a while now...
  • Overly confusing

    I am a Windows Phone fan, but I have to say that the naming of the SW versions is really unclear. As much as I hate to say it, fragmentation is now here. Where does Tango fit between 7.5 and 7.8? and how does 7.10.8773.98 relate to either of them? Will users who receive Tango and then 7.8 be running the same code as users running 7.8 who never received Tango?

    What they are doing might make sense technically, but the marketing behind Tango is awful.
    • Are you on something?

      So, you're saying that you can't see the pattern between updates referred to as 7.1, 7.5, 7.8 and 7.10? And you're also seemingly confused that the late codename "Mango" is now getting an update "Tango". Wow. You would be really confused with Apple's iOS and OSX naming and numbering then.

      And how is that fragmentation exactly? You've got iPhone 3GS users on iOS3 and up, iPhone 4 users on iOS 4 and 5 (with different builds i.e. 5.1.1), and more. Android devices are being released TODAY with Gingerbread on them (v2.3) even though the Nexus runs Jelly Bean 4.1.1. Both iOS and Android devices have issues with "made for x" not working on "y", even if it is running "x" (as in, an App not working on iPhone 3GS but claiming support for iOS4, which a 3GS *could* be running). Fragmentation, in terms of software versions, happens on all devices. Hell, one of my TiVos (same as the other) runs a different version of the firmware for some strange reason. It's not a WP-only issue... and not really what I call "fragmentation" in common conversation either: As hardware variance causes the most fragmentation i.e. screen resolution, controls, etc.

      Microsoft's marketing could be better, I guess. Maybe instead of similar sounding words, they should use different tropical fruit names to apease the confused masses... it works for some companies (cats, deserts, etc.)... but I don't find the WP versions that complex at all as they are.
      • I think you misunderstood postulation

        his point was that 7.1 and 7.5 are both called mango but 7.5 is also called tango which does seem a bit strange on face value. Furthermore he mentioned 7.10.8773.98 as an odd build number because it is actually a version of tango (7.5). Currently there is no windows phone 7.10, Version 7.8 wont even be released until after windows 8 is. In that sense it is strange.
  • "Flip to silence" feature was always available in the HTC Mozart...

    ...ever since it released. AFAIK, this was through an app that was part of the "HTC hub".
  • Code name for 7.8 ... ?

    Will that be Wango Tango ? ;-)
  • Mango, known as Tango

    You can call me Mango, or you can call me Tango or...

    Once there was an elephant who tried to use the telephant--
    No! no! I mean an elephone who tried to use the telephone--
    (Dear me! I am not certain quite that even now I've got it right.)
  • Mango is the "Last Tango" from Redmond

    Mango is a male exotic dancer who performed in a strip club. He would wear tight lame shorts and often a spangled beret. Mango spoke with a Hispanic accent, and though his nationality was never identified, he was said to be born on "Mango Island". He appeared on 16 SNL episodes between 1997 and 2002
    • and he wear a brown zunga

      before they got axed