On Tuesday (was it Tuesday? I think so…) Microsoft wowed us all at their “VIP” event in London – or New York, for those lucky enough to be out that way – in which they unveiled Mango, Windows Phone 7.1.
Regardless of how you feel about Windows Phone 7, it’s hard not to be impressed by the new features (of which there are supposedly over 500). If you haven’t seen the new stuff in action yet, check out Joe Belfiore playing around with Mango in this YouTube video.
Yeah, so the multitasking is all well and good; it looks pretty slick (in keeping with Windows Phone 7’s rep), but iOS has had multitasking since iOS4, which was unveiled in April 2010 and launched two months later.
Now, if you’re working on a new operating system – as Microsoft was this time last year – surely it stands to reason that you’d have a keen eye on your peers? At the very least I’d hope to emulate what the competition was doing. At the very least.
Well, Microsoft chose to launch Windows Phone 7 without multitasking (I’m sure the decision wasn’t taken lightly) and – notoriously – copy&paste. Incroyable, as the French say.
Anyway, I digress. That’s all water under the OS bridge. My point is that while Mango looks really good and stuff, it’s almost 18 months behind iOS. And Microsoft isn’t just slow on the OS front; the hardware scene seems to be crawling along in slow motion.
The rumour mill was fairly confident that we’d see some new phones on Tuesday, possibly from HTC. The Taiwanese are rumoured to have several Windows Phone 7 handsets up their sleeves.
But nope. Microsoft simply told us that Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE would be clambering on board. Dell was mysteriously absent. And Nokia merely issued a statement with words to the effect of: “Mango looks pretty good, huh? The first Nokia WP7 handset will use Mango.”
All in all, a little underwhelming. I mean, Mango looks great, I’m sure Nokia’s arrival will stir things up a bit, and good old HTC will inevitably throw a handful of new goodies at us soonish.
But, y’know, our generation isn’t exactly renowned for its patience. Hurry up, guys.