Microsoft knows that it is behind in the mobile sector but is not giving up. The company recently announced the latest version of its mobile operating system nicknamed "Mango." Windows Phone 7.1 is said to include "hundreds of new features," an aspect that has been widely pushed by Microsoft itself.
The big question is - are these new features enough to encourage consumers to switch to a Windows phone? What do you think?
Mango includes a HTML5 browser that the company says will "enable a faster mobile Web experience that mirrors the desktop." Microsoft also redid its multitasking features from the ground up.
The Nokia deal with Microsoft is another important part of Mango. Although there are not any devices from the partnership yet, IDC analyst Al Hilwa told us that it "paints this picture that Microsoft's going to be big in this game, and they're going to have a huge portfolio of devices at some point."
Hilwa's favorite new feature is the user interface because he believes it helps users be more productive. The social networking elements also enhance the user experience.
"It's pretty impressive in terms of the user interface [and] what they're doing in that area. It's probably the part that's the most innovative and maybe going to put them ahead of some of the others," he said.
According to him, Microsoft's biggest weakness is its lack of a tablet device. Although there are multiple tablet options available at this time, Apple still controls 80-90 percent of the market. Hilwa thinks that Microsoft is being cautious by not rushing a tablet to market before they're ready.
It's clear that Microsoft has a challenge on its hands, but Hilwa is still optimistic. He recalls that it took Microsoft a long time to get into the PC space. However, once it did, it took a really long time before Apple stepped back into the game.
"Overall, I'm pretty optimistic on their [Microsoft's] R&D effort and the money that they're putting on it and how serious this is. They sort of get that this is really a very important area for them," he said.
Windows Phone 7.1 is expected to be released sometime before Christmas this year. Will you be one of the early adopters?
Check out the search perspective that Mango brings in this WPN report from Chris Crum.