Windows Phone 7.5 Mango out now, not over the air

Windows Phone 7.5, also known as Mango, is rolling out from today, bringing a host of new features. Read on for timings.

Good news for Windows Phone fans -- yep, both of you. Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango , is out now, and will be available to spruce up your Windows Phone device at some point in the next few weeks.

Microsoft told us the global launch commences tonight, with network operators starting to roll Mango out to customers. The plan is to have offered the update to everyone by the end of October, so with any luck you won't have too long to wait.

The bad news is the new version won't appear over the air -- you'll have to plug your phone into a computer to flood it with Mango juiciness. If you want to keep an eye on when you can expect to get the update, Microsoft has a clumsy site that tells you what stage of the rollout individual operators are at.

(You'll need to scroll down to the Global section, where the five UK networks are represented -- Three is 'Hutchison Group' and T-Mobile is 'Deutsche Telekom', but it's hardly clear. Ugh.)

Mango brings a slew of new features, most notably the ability to run apps in the background. Known as multi-tasking, this feature has been available to Android and iOS users for yonks, and means you can hop in and out of different apps without them resetting, by holding down the back button. Handy if someone sends you a text while you're in the middle of a fraught game of Angry Birds.

There's also voice chat, and missives from Facebook chat, SMS and Windows Live Messenger will be fed into a single message stream. You can sort your contacts into distinct groups and pin those groups to your home screen too.

We've used Mango, and it feels slick, with some impressive new features that bring Windows Phone up to speed with Android and Apple devices. But with iOS 5 and Android Ice Cream Sandwich looming large, we wonder if the smattering of new treats will be enough.

Are you addicted to Windows Phone? Or does another operating system have a hold on your heart? Let us know down in the comments section, or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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