Revamped Windows Phone 7 Gets Windows 8 Core

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has recently released the first major overhaul of its Windows Phone operating system and it's getting some generally good reviews. The revised system is powering a range of devices, including the first significant results of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership.

Windows Phone 7, released late last year, was a much-delayed revamp of what had previously been Windows Mobile. Although the system was generally praised, it appeared to come far too late to overcome a significant loss of market share to systems such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

Sales of the Windows Phone 7 handsets thus far have reportedly been extremely disappointing.

Windows 8 Core used in Windows Phone 7

Although there have been minor tweaks and bug fixes, the recently released system update -- known either as Windows Phone 7.5 or Mango -- is the biggest update yet.

The Windows Phone 7 operating system uses a tile-based "Metro" design -- a core component and design that is said to be used in Windows 8. The new update (Windows Phone 7.5), known as "Mango", builds on this foundation. (Source:

That said, most of the changes have involved adding features similar to those across the other major operating system rivals. For example, there's a voice recognition and operation feature similar to that in the latest iPhones.

There's a Google Goggles-like feature that can search for information from a picture taken by the phone's camera; for example of a bar code or book cover. Smoother integration with social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn has also been added. (Source:

The update also allows users to switch between applications without losing data that is open in an app. There's also an option to receive events from multiple accounts in a single inbox, and a computer-style cut and paste feature.

Early Nokia Windows Phone 7 Releases: Low-Spec

Some critics don't seem wowed by the most recent hardware releases, however.

Chief among those is the Lumia range, the first Nokia phones to run Windows Phone 7. This follows a major change of business tactics by Nokia, which is the world's biggest seller of cell phones but has struggled to establish its own Symbian system in the blossoming smartphone market. It's now teaming up with Microsoft in a deal that could be make-or-break for both companies.

Unfortunately, the Lumia phones are relatively low-spec compared to most of the leading models on the market, with a single processor (increasing the chances of the phone slowing down or freezing), no front-facing camera for video chats, and no support for the high-speed 4G data networks. (Source:

At the Nokia World event, CEO Stephen Elop says the company plans to address the US market specifically with devices catered to US-based networks. Elop, however, did not mention if these phones would be modified versions of the Lumia 800 and 710, or if they will be brand new phones. (Source:

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