The next version of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, is with device manufacturers and looks like it will hit Japanese shelves in September, with the rest of the world having to wait a little longer.
Version 7.5 of Windows Phone is being touted as a proper version 1, a grown-up version that finally brings multi-tasking to the platform as well as some interface improvements and integrated services. Mango was officially released to manufacturers on Tuesday, according to the Microsoft blog, and KDDI wasted no time announcing that it would be launching the first Mango handset in Japan by September.
That handset will be manufactured by Toshiba-Fujitsu, and seems to be the one being waved around at the Microsoft Developers' Conference a few months back, but other than that there aren't a lot of details.
Japanese 2G networks are incompatible with our own, so that handset won't be making it elsewhere, but other manufacturers will be quick with Mango-based offerings of their own.
As well as multitasking, Mango offers threaded conversations – recognising how Facebook has evolved into a messaging system – and combines this with IM and text messaging. It also promises to open up more development options for third parties wanting to expand the platform. ®