It has been a tough road for Windows' smartphone model, Windows Phone 7. The device was originally released in February 2010, but it never seemed to gain the steam of its respective counterparts – particularly when industry analysts looked at the continuing momentum of Android phones and iPhones.
Everything that the Windows Phone 7 offered appeared to be dwarfed by the competition, especially when it came to apps, but Microsoft is slowly trying to turn the tide. These days, the phone's Marketplace has 18,000 apps available, according to Information Week. Sound like a lot? Not when compared to the 500,000 in the Iphone store or the 200,000 offered to Androids.
Microsoft seems to have chosen another route to overcome the competition – out-innovate. The company announced the development of the Mango model a full six months before its slated release, and has been baiting fans with a steady stream of prospective features. Despite these efforts, some worry that Microsoft still faces "a long, steep climb," the news source reports.
However, some of the recent features may just be enough to attract loyalists to other phones. For starters, there are 500 different improvements, which means that users should find something they like.
Computer World reports that Internet Explorer 9 is integrated into the phone, a feature that may appeal to anyone looking for a new browsing experience that matches style with speed. In April, Microsoft showed that this browser could beat out Android's own formidable capabilities – Mango got 25 frames per second, while a standard Android phone got 10.
Additionally, Mango includes an updated version of Microsoft office, so that the phone ships with Excel, One Note and Powerpoint. Users will also be able to modify data within Excel spreadsheets. It will also include Skype.
While this could be the start of a new era for Windows Phone 7, many others are looking toward Google, Apple and Blackberry's Research in Motion to see what features the competition will offer users in the coming months.