Microsoft started rolling out its Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update to the world Tuesday, promising “a simultaneous, coordinated, global update that cuts across carriers, phone models, and countries.” It could still be a few weeks before some users get the update, but it looks like Microsoft is avoiding the long delays experienced with earlier, smaller updates to the mobile operating system.

But with Windows Phone’s U.S. market share in the single digits, the big question now is whether the favorable sentiment about Mango will extend to the in-store clerks who influence many purchasing decisions.

My own experience in the past, when shopping for a new phone, has been that those clerks tended to steer me toward iPhones and Android devices even when I expressed an interest in Windows Phone.

That could start to change if Mango continues to generate positive buzz. The update offers upgraded communication tools, improved integration with apps, and more dynamic and informative Live Tiles on the home screen, amid some 500 additional new features.

Another significant improvement is the web marketplace that the company launched today for Windows Phone apps, creating a portal for browsing and discovering new apps without the need to download, install and open the company’s Zune software. It’s an important component that could actually help show some skeptics that Windows Phone does have a respectable lineup of third-party apps.

Microsoft also threw in a bonus today, confirming that Mango adds Internet sharing (aka tethering) for using a phone as a WiFi hotspot, if the feature is enabled and supported by the user’s carrier.

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  • Anonymous

    I think it will be short of a miracle to get “sales” associates in US retail stores to reverse their WP apathy. They obviously have no incentive to learn the features of the OS or to sell it for whatever reason.

    It will be up to Nokia to grow market share worldwide.

  • Steve Murch

    “My own experience in the past, when shopping for a new phone, has been
    that those clerks tended to steer me toward iPhones and Android devices
    even when I expressed an interest in Windows Phone.”

    I *COMPLETELY* agree.  In France, at least, France Telecom (Orange) does everything they can to steer you toward Android or iPhone.  Windows Phone is the phone that sits in the back of the store that you almost have to explicitly ask for.  It’s a great phone — Microsoft should really be on its carrier partners (with incentives, as necessary) to do a much, much better job marketing…  It’s a great OS but they are losing, badly, at retail.

  • RobertWampler

    Yeah i feel the same way i went to Tmobile asking when they where going to get the windows phone 7 (hd7) and the guy told me that they suck and i should not get the phone.  i asked him if he knew anything about the phone and i was told “they suck and that i would not want the phone”  i then asked for the sales manager and then the manager of the store told me that windowsphone 7 has nothing but problems and that i should not get the phone.  I then said i still want the phone and i was told it was my loss and i should go with the other phones over win 7.  when i asked if they knew anything about the phone or what it was able to do they said they had no idea what it could do and i felt i was then traing them on what the phone could do and what microsoft was doing it was kind of funny i felt i had to sell them on the phone i wanted to buy.

  • Samson11

    Yup.  I got a strange look from the sales person when I asked for my wp7 too

  • Guest

    I guess that’s the price you pay for allowing Apple and Google to take your ten year lead in smartphones and destroy it inside one year, and then taking three years to mount a response.

  • RobnertWampler

    yeah your right but after getting Mango yesterday i think if this is where microsoft is going it’s just getting the right people and making a push on the people who have to phones to really sell them and not just say i dont know anything about it and telling me it sucks but can’t tell me why really.  I love seeing all the news about mango and how great it is.  it’s like having a new toy all over……  it also takes people like us who have them to say yes it’s great you should really look at getting a wp7.

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