Ina Fried

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Microsoft Finalizes Code for Windows Phone “Mango”; First Phones Due in Fall

Microsoft said Tuesday it had wrapped up development work for Mango, the first major update to its Windows Phone 7 operating system.

The software contains hundreds of feature improvements and will form the basis for a host of new phones, including the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. Among the major changes are better multitasking, Twitter integration and improved browsing with a mobile version of Internet Explorer 9 now part of the software.

As of Tuesday, it is on its way to phone partners and carriers for testing, a step known in the software-making world as “release to manufacturing.”

“This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations,” Windows Phone VP Terry Myerson said in a blog post. “Here on the Windows Phone team, we now turn to preparing for the update process. The Mango update for current Windows Phone handsets will be ready this fall, and of course will come pre-installed on new Windows Phones.”

Microsoft first outlined its plans for Mango back in February and shared further details back in May.

In addition to Nokia, most of the current Windows Phone makers are expected to offer new Mango-based models. At its partner conference earlier this month, Microsoft showed off new Windows Phone hardware from Samsung, Acer, and China’s ZTE, as well as a waterproof model coming from Fujitsu. Existing Windows Phone 7 models are also slated to get free upgrades to the new software, Microsoft has said.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle