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By 24 May 2011 | Categories: news

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At an event to be held later today in New York City (there's also in Johannesburg), Microsoft is expected to unveil the first major upgrade to its Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. According to the Telegraph, the new version will be known as Windows Phone 7.5 (codenamed Mango) and among other improvements will offer faster web browsing and better gaming options.

A number of other upgrades and additions are expected to make it into the updated OS. Among these is possible Wi-Fi tethering, allowing you to share you data connection with others and create mobile hotspots. Wi-Fi tethering is already present on Apple's iPhone and many Android devices.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at a recent developers conference in Japan that the OS update will introduce more than 500 new features to WP7.

There were also talks of a turn-by-turn navigation feature, visual voicemail, improved voice support and automatic Facebook sign-in options.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft’s new mobile platform can escape the clutches of obscurity, as it is still heavily overshadowed by the likes of Google's Android and Apple's iOS, with Google recently stating that it activates some 400 000 Android devices per day.

We should however see Windows Phone feature more prominently later this year, with the first products of Microsoft’s exclusive OS deal with Finnish phone maker Nokia seeing the light of day. Hopefully WP 7.5 can breath a bit of life back into Microsoft's current mobile ambitions. WP 7.5 (Mango) will have its local launch in Johannesburg later today.

Do you own a Windows Phone 7 device, such as the HTC Mozart? If so, what are your thoughts on Microsoft’s mobile OS?

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