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Microsoft begins its slow, confusing roll-out of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Microsoft_Mango_WP7.5

Microsoft announced today that its latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango,” is now available for download for select customers. Nearly all existing Windows Phone users will be able to download the OS update soon, though the company says it plans to roll out the software update “gradually” over the next few weeks, so some customers will have to wait a significant period of time for the upgrade.

As you might have noticed, Microsoft is somewhat vague about which customers will receive the update when. According to the Windows Phone blog, the roll-out is a “simultaneous, coordinated, global update that cuts across carriers, phone models and countries.” Then, about two sentences down, they say that they’re “not making Mango available to everyone at once. So it could be a few weeks before an update message for Windows Phone 7.5 appears on your phone.” Uh, okay…. we’re totally confused.

Guessing as much, Microsoft has set up a “Where’s My Phone Update?” website, which is supposed to tell users approximately when their update is coming. But a quick look at the website has a message telling users to wait for an alert on their phone to appear. Great, thanks for that.

Regardless of the nonsensical gibberish about the roll-out timing, a gradual software release makes perfect sense, as it lowers the risk of things going awry. Besides, it worked for Android, so it must be good.

The wait for Mango, whatever that may be, should be worth it. Included in the features updates are visual voicemail, Twitter integration and an impressive IE9-based mobile browser. Microsoft will also launch a web-based Marketplace for app downloads, with a current total of about 30,000 apps to choose from. And we’ll see some third-party apps for Mango, as well.

All-in-all, the Mango update is a highly-anticipated one. As soon as we get an update notice, we’ll have an in-depth hand-on for you to chew on. Until then, we wait.