Microsoft will start rolling out the Windows Phone 7.5 'Mango' update in the next couple of weeks, the software giant said on Wednesday.
Although the first smartphones to come with Mango preinstalled are starting to make an appearance, older Windows Phones will also be getting updated to the new version of the operating system. In a blog post, Microsoft customer experience engineering manager Eric Hautala said the time for that upgrade was almost here.
"For months, we and dozens of our partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update, and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two," Hautala wrote.
Hautala urged people not to install unofficial or leaked copies of the software, noting that each phone will get a Mango update with "matched and paired" firmware from the device's manufacturer that "has been painstakingly tuned" so the phone and its apps use the new features of Windows Phone 7.5.
"Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed, my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools," Hautala wrote, adding that the recently-released new versions of Windows Phone 7 Connector for Macs and Zune for PCs were necessary for the update.
Microsoft hinted a week ago that the Mango update was imminent, when it urged developers to get their Mango-friendly apps into the Marketplace as soon as possible. Those apps will be able to take advantage of more than 500 new features included in the upgrade.
Mango lets users make groups of contacts, view various types of messages in a unified inbox, and switch easily between multitasked apps. Exchange support has also been expanded to allow people to search for emails on the server.
The updated version of Windows Phone will also support Skype calling, with new handsets likely to have forward-facing cameras. Microsoft bought Skype earlier this year.
Meanwhile, a Windows Phone manager has reportedly left Microsoft after tweeting details about an upcoming Nokia Mango handset. According to Geekwire, Joe Marini resigned after finding out he was to be let go for posting Twitter messages about the handset. The tweets in question were not all complimentary regarding the first results of Microsoft's alliance with Nokia.