Microsoft execs previewed the next version of Windows Phone 7, a release known as "Mango," and the big theme is setting up the first Nokia production phones powered by the software giant.
Sure, Microsoft talked about 500 new features, but as Mary Jo Foley noted we only got a peek at a select few. But if you read between the lines it's clear that Mango is a set-up for Microsoft's Nokia partnership. To wit:
- Mango phones will be available in the fall. Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices are expected late this year.
- Microsoft noted that Mango would support multiple languages. How many? Try Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. It just so happens that Nokia is strong in most of those regions with those languages.
- New Windows Phone Marketplaces will open up around the world and China, Israel and Luxembourg will take app submission in those locales today.
Despite all the talk about better message threading, groups, social network and app integration, browsing tools and hands-free messaging, Microsoft is positioning Windows Phone 7 for a global game. It's quite possible that Windows Phone 7 and Nokia won't gain traction in the U.S.
And that may be ok. It's a big smartphone powered world. Windows Phone 7 and Nokia could do fine without breaking much ground in the U.S.
- What Microsoft is and isn't saying (yet) about Windows Phone 'Mango'
- Windows Phone Preview: 500+ features today
- How Microsoft, Skype, Nokia can rule: Cut out obscene data roaming rates abroad
- Nokia to offer location based recommendations
- Microsoft sells 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 devices in Q1
- Nokia falls to No. 2 mobile device maker in its own backyard
- Microsoft: Friend to all struggling smartphone players; Mobile plan set