Recap: Windows Phone 7.5 “a breath of fresh air”

What a Tuesday. In case you’re just tuning in—good morning, Hong Kong!—let me catch you up.

The day kicked off with an eagerly-anticipated post from Windows Phone general manager Eric Hautala: The Mango update was officially out and gradually making its way to phones around the world.

Tweets and blog comments poured in.

“HALLELUJAH!!!!!” wrote DreilingStL, the first to comment on Eric’s post. “You guys are spectacular!”

Hey, thanks! Of course, the Windows Phone 7.5 update is just getting underway. And, as Eric noted in his post, it will take several weeks before the majority of our customers can download it. But some blog readers already noted a sea change in how we’re delivering and talking about software updates.

“Wow, wow, wow,” reader Entegy wrote. ”Talk about learning from the NoDo experience. Good job!”

Added jschroedl: “I’m impressed with the engineering feat of a simultaneous start for all these phones/carriers/countries.  Also, I appreciate the transparency and honesty [of the post].”

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Eric’s post was quickly followed by two from Ben Rudolph, who spotlighted some of the cool new phones on the way and posted a nice video tour of the new web Marketplace and more details about the Internet Sharing feature we’d been keeping under wraps as a surprise.

Tech bloggers and journalists, meanwhile, started publishing in-depth reviews of the release version of Windows Phone 7.5. Like any proud parent, we could prattle on all day about the new features we love best (here’s my favorite highlights reel). But it’s always more interesting—albeit nerve wracking—to hear what others have to say. And let’s face it: It’s not what we think, but what everyone else does, that matters.

So it was gratifying that many reviewers largely agreed with our own assessment. I’ll close with a smattering of my favorite quotes. Meanwhile, stay tuned—because we’ll have lots more to say about Windows Phone 7.5 here on the blog in the days ahead. What’s your take on the day?

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This is my next: Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’ release details and updated review by Chris Ziegler

“Windows Phone remains a breath of fresh air in an otherwise-entrenched mobile landscape. It’s fun to use in a way that iOS and Android are — to put it bluntly — not.”

“Put simply, regardless of your preconceptions, Windows Phone finally deserves an honest look the next time you’re ready to buy a phone — particularly as we start to see new devices come to market over the next few weeks.”

Mashable: Microsoft Unleashes Windows Phone Mango by Ben Parr

“Apps are getting the bulk of Microsoft’s love, though. The upgraded OS is designed to make Windows Phone’s 30,000+ apps more discoverable, useful and accessible.”

Engadget: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review by Brad Molen

“With Mango, WP7 has caught up with Android and iOS in nearly every way, and in some areas it’s even surpassed the other two in functionality. Despite a grim first year, the bright future of Windows Phone is forcing [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer to wear shades.”

CNET: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Review: Up to speed by Jessica Dolcourt

“With version 7.5, Microsoft attempts to build on its metaphor for simple, straightforward features that get you in and out. This time, though, the goal was to make everything smarter and more social, now that Windows Phone must graduate from simply being something new, to something different. In this, Microsoft largely succeeds.”

“…keep an open mind and you just might be pleasantly surprised by Microsoft’s elegant, daring, and simple take on smartphones.”

Wired: Mango Is a Fresh New Flavor for Windows Phones by Christina Bonnington

“….the Mango upgrade presents Windows Phone owners with a more complete package than the launch version. Interface details have been well-thought-out and executed. I see no reason not to upgrade. And if you don’t have one, consider checking one out.”

Pocketnow: Windows Phone 7.5 Review by Adam Lein

“All the analysts are predicting Windows Phone’s imminent success for a reason, and this is probably just the beginning.”