Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update begins

It’s underway! This morning, at roughly 10 a.m. Pacific time, we began rolling out the Mango update to phones around the world. I’m sure you’re as excited as we are: Windows Phone 7.5 (aka Mango) is our largest and most feature-packed software refresh to date.

I do want to emphasize that today is just the start. Our plan, as I’ll explain in a moment, is to ramp up delivery gradually—but make the update available to most existing customers within 4 weeks.

I’m sure you have lots of questions about the update process and especially when you’ll be able to install Windows Phone 7.5. Here’s our plan.

Who’s first?

Today we’re starting the roll out of Windows Phone 7.5 to more than 98 percent of existing Windows Phone customers. This is a simultaneous, coordinated, global update that cuts across carriers, phone models, and countries. This time, almost everybody is going first.

Check Where’s My Phone Update? for the latest global status info.

When will I get it?

While today’s rollout includes most of our carriers and handsets, we’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.

Why don’t we just blast it out?

It’s a fair question. Delivering Windows Phone 7.5 simultaneously to so many phone models and carriers requires the right engineering balance. Speed is a priority—but so is quality. We’re not just delivering our new operating system but also new software supplied by individual handset makers. This “firmware” is necessary so your phone—and apps—work with all the features of Windows Phone 7.5. But it essentially means that we’re supplying not just one update, but many different ones, given the variety of Windows Phones and carriers out there to choose from.

If a problem comes to light, it’s critical that we can isolate and fix it quickly. So we’re deliberately starting out slow. This week, we’ll be making the update available to 10 percent of customers. If everything looks good, we’ll open up the spigot a bit more—to around 25 percent. We’ll hold there for one or two weeks, then quickly ramp up to 100 percent—monitoring quality the entire way. That’s how we ensure Mango arrives both quickly and in tip-top shape.

If we hit unexpected snags, we might have to temporarily slow or halt the update rollout. Starting this week, I’ll resume posting here regularly to let you know where things stand.

How do I install it?

One day a message pops up on your phone saying an update is available. Great! But now what?

Depending on what kind of computer you have, you’ll need to install either the latest version of the Zune Software for PC or Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Then visit Update Central, our one-stop how-to resource for Windows Phone updates.

Once you’re done, you might want to poke around the Windows Phone website, which was refreshed today with new how-to articles, videos, and tips for getting the most from Windows Phone 7.5 (including a big list of new feature highlights). Finally, don’t forget to check out our new online Marketplace for apps and games!

More soon.

Eric Hautala, General Manager, Customer Experience Engineering