(This story ran in the print edition of The Seattle Times today. – Janet I. Tu)
From the announcement of a Web marketplace to new ways to group contacts, Tuesday’s rollout of Mango, the wide-ranging update to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system (OS), is intended to generate buzz.
And, indeed, some Windows Phone users are already posting excited tweets, and early reviews are positive.
But Mango is also shouldering great expectations.
With this update, Microsoft needs to show that it can compete in the global smartphone market. It currently has less than 2 percent of that market, steamrollered by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.
Microsoft bigwigs have been talking up the 500 additional features that Mango, officially called Windows Phone 7.5, adds to Windows Phone 7.
But there are other factors at play — from marketing to getting developers to write applications for Mango to relationships with carriers — that Microsoft needs to heed in order to prevent Mango from becoming, well, so much crushed fruit in the global marketplace.
“Technologically, the Mango Phone 7.5 is very strong. There are very few people that have been arguing that,” said Rob Sanfilippo, a research vice president with Directions on Microsoft, an independent analysis firm not affiliated with Microsoft. “But there’s really a lot more of these other factors that are going to go into Mango’s success.”
(Continue reading the story here.)