Microsoft Begins Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Update Rollout

Say hello to a different kind  of fruit: Mango. While the news of late has focused on Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 launch, Microsoft has some news of their own on the mobile OS front. Windows Phone 7.5 is the first major overhaul of the system since the (more basic) NoDo updates began to roll out a few months ago, and starting this week, WP7 users should begin to see the v7.5 update roll their way. Microsoft claims that this release has a "people-first" attitude, and there's focus on multitasking, more integrated apps, primo mobile Web browsing, and powerful and personalized tools, like integrated social networking and conversation threads, for connecting with the people in our lives.

The update will be gradually rolled out to existing Windows Phone owners and will be pre-loaded onto a number of new phones that will be released by operators including AT&T, T-Mobile and others worldwide in the coming months. Outside of revised Xbox LIVE support, there's also a new Groups feature that lets consumers create groups from their contacts – think trivia buddies, soccer teammates, coworkers or family – and turn them into a personalized Live Tile on the Start screen. In the People Hub, the What’s New? feature now shows updates from Twitter and LinkedIn in addition to Facebook and Windows Live, in one easily filtered social network feed. An updated Me Tile on the Start screen shows social notifications – one tap lets consumers see when people mention them in a Tweet or interact with them on Facebook. From there, another tap will take people directly to that post where they can “like” or comment on it.

New Bing integration includes Local Scout, a tool for finding both the expected and the unexpected nearby; Bing Vision, which lets people search with their camera and even translate text into different languages; and continued developments in voice recognition, allowing consumers to do hands-free searches and even texting. The first of the Mango phones are also starting to roll out, leaving us with one question: you buying in, or waiting for that iPhone 5?