updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue May 24, 2011
Windows Phone Mango hits summer with new phones
(Update: corrected to fall) Microsoft ahead of its live event on Tuesday gave word of the launch of its planned Mango update for Windows Phone 7. The update is still penned in to the fall. The upgrade will also come with some partners completely new to WP7, such as Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE, as well as new models from existing phone makers.
The update will be free for all existing WP7 device owners. A beta developer kit for Mango should be available within the next 24 hours.
Mango adds a few major features, such as real multitasking and an IE9-based web browser engine, but also adds a large number of noticeable extras. Among these are known to include built-in instant messaging, third-party access to cameras and microphones, better Office and Exchange features, and Smart DJ playlists using Zune Pass streaming. A total of 500 new features are in place, though only some of those may be visible to the public.
Update: Originally said early summer on Microsoft's PR, but it's now back to fall.