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3 reasons Mango could interest you in buying a Windows Phone

Matt Hamblen | May 25, 2011
Upgraded OS includes IE9 integration, quick cards and Microsoft's top products.

Bing search is also being enhanced with visual searches. In another demo, Snyder took a photo of a book, which launched a quick card that gave reviews and places where the book could be purchased online, including Amazon's Kindle app. Then Snyder tapped the Kindle app and downloaded the book to his phone for future reading.

3. Office, Xbox and Skype

Mango includes an updated version of the Office suite that will ship with new versions of Excel, One Note and PowerPoint. Among the improvements, users will be able to highlight cells in Excel to change data.

The upgrade will also include the Internet voice and video service Skype to allow users to make Skype calls from Windows Phones. Microsoft said earlier this month it would buy Skype for $8.5 billion.

Mango will also have an Xbox Live gaming capability, the only smartphone OS to do so. Users will be able to see a friend list, and every game on the device can be accessed through the Xbox Live tile on the home screen in Mango, Microsoft said.

The inclusion of Office, Skype and Xbox Live is important because all three products are already market leaders separate from Mango, noted Ross Rubin, an analyst at NPD.

"Office and Xbox Live have the most momentum in the market in terms of an engaged user base of all the products and services on Windows Phones," Rubin said. "Skype represents another opportunity to build atop of a community that is strongly engaged in that product. Adding to those products and services is where Microsoft can get better dividends with Mango."

Rubin said the Office enhancements with Mango will be an especially important way for Windows Phones to stand out in the market. "While there are other products competing with Office, such as Documents to Go, Office is clearly a very strong offering for Microsoft. It means that consumers are assured of fidelity within documents."

Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC, said that while Mango might not be the OS version that makes current iPhone and Android users want to switch and try Windows Phone, it could attract millions of first-time smartphone buyers in coming years.



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