Corp. (MSFT) is viewed by
many as the slumbering giant of the smartphone market. With arguably the most
innovative interface available on a smartphone today, the platform is
mainly lacking in polish and selection.
The company's answer to those shortcomings is one word -- Mango. Mango -- the
Windows Phone 7.1 update -- promises more of everything good about
Windows 7; more polish (notably third party multi-tasking, third party tiles,
streamlined Office software, and a dramatically improved HTML5-ready browser)
and more phones.
As far as the more phones part of the equation, we're starting to get a feel
for what's in store when Mango launches in September. Among the high-profile
players to commit to Mango devices are Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), Samsung Electronics
Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930), HTC
Corp. (SEO:066570), LG
Electronics (SEO:066570), Acer
Inc. (TPE:2353), ZTE Corp. (SHE:000063), and Huawei
technologies. Fujitsu Ltd. (TYO:6702) and Dell,
Inc. (DELL) are also rumored to be
HTC, perhaps a bit concerned about its legal
troubles with its Android OS line, is diving deep into Mango with
multiple handsets. Two low-end models -- the keyboard equipped Prime and
the touchscreen-only Ignite have been spotted after being accidentally posted
by Dutch retailer Phone
House. Both phones pack a lowly 800 MHz processor, 512MB of RAM,
5MP camera, and 3.7-inch LCD display.
Moving to the cream of the crop, HTC will be pushing the definition of a
"smart phone" with its giant "Eternity" handset. With
a whopping 4.7-inch SLCD screen, the Eternity is almost the Windows Phone 7 tablet
which some users have demanded. It will pack a 1.5GHz single-core
Snapdragon processor, 16GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera, and a 1.3MP front
camera. This handset will surely prompt debate over whether slower
Android phones with more cores are "better" or whether a faster
single core is better suited for a smart phone. Images of the Eternity
have already leaked.
Samsung, meanwhile is preparing a model with a slide-out bottom keyboard, the
SGH-i677. Little is known about the specs or official name, at this
point. Likewise, the hardware for Nokia's much-anticipated
"Sea Ray" -- rumored to launch in October at Nokia World --
If Microsoft can flood the market with high quality offerings, it could overwhelm
Apple, Inc. (AAPL) to seize second place --
something DailyTech and a number of top analysts predicted 
would happen within the next couple of years. From there the company can
move on to challenging Google Inc.'s (GOOG) prolific Android
platform for world domination.
Windows Phone 7, officially hit its
release to manufacturing (RTM) build just days ago. It appears on pace to
meet its planned release schedule.