Samsung Shows First Windows Phone ‘Mango’ Handset

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Samsung’s new Omnia W is loaded with Windows Phone ‘Mango’, which includes some 500 new features

Samsung has unveiled its first smartphone preloaded with the Windows Phone “Mango” update: The Omnia W, which features a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display in addition to a 1.4GHz processor.

Samsung has included two productivity applications with the device: Samsung AllShare, which apparently facilitates content transfer between the device and DLNA-certified (Digital Living Network Appliance-certified) equipment such as PC monitors, and Video Call, for enabling 3G video conversation. The smartphone will begin to appear in various global markets starting in late October.

500 new features

The Windows Phone “Mango” update features some 500 tweaks and new features to the platform, which Microsoft hopes will increase the platform’s appeal to both consumers and businesses. Those new features are wide-ranging, and include everything from a revamped Xbox Live to multitasking capability.

Recent data from NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence service suggests that some 44 percent of smartphone owners are considering the purchase of a Windows Phone device. Such data can only cheer Microsoft, which is facing a significant uphill battle in the mobile sector against such determined competitors as Apple’s iPhone and the growing army of Google Android devices. That Connected Intelligence service data also suggested that some 45 percent of consumers are “still not aware of Windows Phone 7”, which hints that Microsoft has some issues to overcome in the brand-awareness department.

“We haven’t sold quite as many [Windows Phones] probably as I would have hoped we would have sold in the first year,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told the audience during the company’s recent financial analyst meeting. “I think with a little bit more effort, a little bit more energy, the level of enthusiasm from the customer base is high enough we’ve just got to kick this thing to the next level.”

No sales data

Microsoft has remained reluctant to share any hard sales data for Windows Phone with media or analysts. The platform received largely positive reviews upon its initial release, but research firms such as comScore have said that Microsoft’s smartphone market share has gradually fallen over the past few months.

Samsung reportedly has two other Windows Phone devices in the works: the 4G-capable Samsung Focus S, with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display and 1.4GHz processor in addition to an ultra-thin 8.55-mm body, and the Samsung Focus Flash, with a smaller 3.7-inch screen and 1.4GHz processor. AT&T posted information about both devices earlier in September.

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