Rumor Mill: Windows Phone "Mango" to Be Released Sept. 1


Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) is expected to start releasing the Mango software update for its Windows Phone platform starting Sept. 1, according to a rumor on the blog Pocket-Lint, at least a month before Nokia (NYS: NOK) is expected to be ready with a compatible handset.

While this decision seems set to please handset vendors anxious to use the update to combat Apple's iOS and Google's Android, Nokia would appear to have been sidelined after many observers thought the Finnish company would be the first to use the new software.

However, it seems that Microsoft wants to make the launch an international event by aligning the release date with the giant IFA exhibition, the largest consumer-electronics event in Europe. This would allow Acer, LG, Samsung, and ZTE to showcase their Mango handsets to a wide audience before the Nokia device makes its debut toward the end of October.

Pocket-Lint, citing unnamed sources, said that Microsoft plans to release the updated software to users starting Sept. 1. In a Twitter post, Windows Phone Vice President Joe Belfiore said only: "Sept. 1? Just a rumor." However, a report carried by Cellular News says that Taiwanese OEM handset manufacturer Compal is rumoured to be ready to start shipments on Nokia's first Windows Phone device next month. According to the rumor, Compal will deliver 2 million Windows Phone smartphones to Nokia in the fourth quarter of this year.

Separately, Gartner has reported that Microsoft's market share of the smartphone OS market has plummeted compared with a year ago. The market-research firm said the company's share of the smartphone sector fell to 1.6% of the market in the second quarter of 2011, compared with 4.9% in the year-ago quarter.

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