Microsoft may be readying a major update to Windows Phone 7 that would help it catch up to its rivals, most of all in web browsing, Microsoft sources claimed on Wednesday. So far codenamed "Mango," the update would add HTML5 to the web browser and would add support for Silverlight outside of WP7's own foundations, possibly as a plugin. It would be much larger than the one or two minor updates expected in early 2011 and could be tantamount to a "Windows Phone 7.5," ZDNet understood.
Other parts of the firmware would bring southeast Asian language support as well as other, unspecified features. Speculation has surfaced that Microsoft may plan on deepening its Exchange support, which it had promised in the past and would be needed to improve WP7's standing next to Android, BlackBerry and iOS, all of which have substantial Exchange support.
Copy-and-paste text and CDMA support are already confirmed for the earlier updates, although there may also be deeper changes that may let more tasks run in the background.
Mango and the other updates may be crucial for Microsoft, which has been fighting to close the gaps between WP7 and its rivals in the wake of a complete reboot of its mobile OS strategy. It has had to address developer gripes and has been unusually quiet about its early phone sales in a sign that, combined with rapid discounting, has suggested that early demand was low.