Will 'Mango' Go Out to Windows Phone Owners in September?

Maybe it's just that the dog days of August are here and there are only rumors to take the edge off of the heat and boredom -- or maybe it's part of Microsoft's marketing plan for Windows Phone "Mango."

Or perhaps, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may just be being coy.

Whichever the case, the company is doing little to quash rumors that the first major update to its Windows Phone operating system will become available to previous purchasers of its phones on September 1.

Rumors to that affect began flying late this week, when several sites -- notably Windows Phone rumor site Pocket-Lint -- said it had well-placed sources who attest to that start date.

For Microsoft's part, it only poured gas on the fire when Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows Phone program management issued a murky tweet that might be read as either a weak denial of the rumor, or a supercilious, raised eyebrow meant to taunt both sides.

"Sept 1? Just a rumor," the tweet said.

Microsoft just announced late last month that Mango had been "released to manufacturing" (RTM) -- in this case sent to handset makers to be pre-installed on new mobile phones.

At that time, Microsoft officials said that the Mango update, which the company claims adds 500 new and updated features, would begin going out to current owners of Windows Phones "this fall."

So an early September start to the user update process would be significantly ahead of schedule, something Microsoft would love to do if at all possible, given the state of hyper pressure in the marketplace to get ahead of competitors' plans.

The problem is that nobody's talking.

"I can’t comment on rumor or speculation," a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an email.

As the impending release of Mango looms, of course, rumors about it proliferate. Some will like turn out to be true while others not so much.

For instance, last week, rumors surfaced that Nokia would show off its first handsets running Windows Phone next week at a games developers conference in Germany.

There's still time, but the clock is ticking.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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