Microsoft has started delivering Windows Phone 7.5 Mango updates to select handsets and users across the globe. The rollout started around 10am Pacific time this morning but it could take up to a month before all Windows Phone 7 users have access to the updated operating system.
Eric Hautala at Windows Phone Blog says Microsoft is making the update available to only 10 percent of customers this week. If all goes well, another 25 percent or so will have access the following week. After another week or two of testing, the update will be made available to nearly 98 percent of existing Windows Phone customers. Users are encouraged to check the "where's my phone update?" page for updates on when their phone will receive the new OS.
The staggered approach makes sense for anyone that's tried to update their phone as part of a full launch day release. Of course, if you don't make the initial cut and have to wait a month while your friends have the update, that's no fun either.
Considering that Microsoft's smartphone ownership sat at just 5.8 percent in a recent US mobile subscriber report, taking a full month to roll out an update seems a bit excessive. Of course we are talking about a global update, but I digress.
In addition to what has previously been advertised with Mango, Microsoft kept a few aspects under wraps.
The first is Internet Sharing, otherwise known as tethering. Hardware partners and mobile service providers will have the option to offer this feature, although I suspect this won't come free of charge. Microsoft also unveiled the Web Marketplace, otherwise known as their app store. Neither new feature is groundbreaking but of course necessary to compete in today's smartphone market.