As of this morning, Microsoft and its partner carriers have begun pushing the 7.5 Mango OS update (review) to the first wave of Windows Phones.
The question on everyone's lips isn't so much if the more than 500 changes to Windows Phone OS will satisfy current Mango users; they will. It's a good release, on one that proves Windows Phone is maturing, however gradually. With it, Microsoft will continue to keep its current customers. After all, that set is already committed to the platform, at least for another year or so until their contracts expire.
The more crucial point is whether Microsoft's new and improved OS has charm enough to draw new takers, especially those from the legions of Android who may be curiously casting sidelong looks at Windows Phone. In that we're much less certain.
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Operating System We said it in our hands-on review: Mango is a good update. It adds many new, useful features and expands upon others that are already there. Besides that, Windows Phone itself has a certain elan. The Metro UI, as the brightly colored, pleasantly blocky interface is known, is clean and straightforward. The way information is organized liberates us from the clone-y sameness of tiny icons in grid formation.
Microsoft thought out of the box when creating a few new features and did a good job integrating others directly into the OS, like barcode scanning, song ID, and automated playlist creation in the music library. Not all of these are of Microsoft's own invention, but not all of them need to be. Most importantly, they need to make the Windows Phone experience satisfying and full.… Read more