Windows Phone Mango Release Date: Very Soon, According To Microsoft Exec

The iPhone 5 isn't the only upcoming smartphone news of the day: Windows has announced on its official blog that the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.5 (codename: Mango), an update to its mobile operating system, will be released "in the next week or two."

Windows Mango is the follow-up to the Windows Phone 7 OS, and the interface and many of the newest features will look familiar to those who have seen the "Metro View" on the new Windows 8 desktop and tablet operating system.

Among the new features on the smartphone OS: Total social media integration with the phone, with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates mashed together in a "People" hub; more moving "Live Tiles" to make the phone's front screen more active; a native "Local Search" app through Bing, which will search for businesses and things to do around the owner using the phone's GPS; and an integrated Messaging hub, where users can switch between email, text message, Facebook chat and other messenger services with the same person's linked accounts.

Mango and Windows Phone have an uphill battle to knock off smartphone kings Android and iPhone: At just six percent market penetration, Windows Phone lags behind Google's Android OS (40 percent) and Apple's iOS (26.5 percent) by a wide margin, according to a June 2011 comScore survey. Microsoft hopes to build on the momentum of its flashy Windows 8 announcement and positive early buzz surrounding Windows Phone Mango to make up that ground.

A recent report from Gartner found that Windows Phone could take over the number two spot from iOS by the year 2015; to this end, Microsoft has begun educating its retail partners on how to use and sell Mango, and one such retail partner, AT&T, recently unveiled its first Mango phones, the Samsung Focus S, Samsung Focus Flash and the HTC Titan.

For a table that tracks when your phone carrier will be getting its Windows Mango updates, click here for U.S. carriers and here for international carriers.