As much as we’re excited about the upcoming iPhone 5 release, we’re equally as geeked out over the amazing new Microsoft Windows 7.5 Phone OS, aka Mango, that was just released this week.

Here’s why we think with Mango, Microsoft is finally going to give Android and iPhones a run for their money, especially among moms.

From what we’ve seen so far, Mango is a lot easier and more intuitive than the first Windows 7 Phone platform, and way more focused around communication and connection–something we know moms care about. More specifically, here are just a few of the 500 (!) new features on Mango that make us go oooohh…

The People Hub
The People Hub is a very 2011 improvement over a standard address book–it integrates all your contacts into one view from sources including from Facebook, Windows Live, Gmail or your work email. So you get an entire snapshot of your friends and family’s updates and activities, not just their emails. This may be our favorite feature of all and it really acknowledges the way we communicate with one another these days.

live tiles

Live Tiles
This graphic interface features improved Live Tiles, the widget-esque squares right on the home screen you can add, delete, or arrange however it suits you. They get you right to your apps, quickly and update “live,” meaning you can always see the weather, time, or updates to things like unread messages, without going into an app. (We actually have a disproportionate love for seeing the weather up on our home screen so we know how to dress the kids).

Fun with Apps
Provided developers start creating more Mango apps, you’re going to have a fun time running them. In fact, you can run several at a time; like listening to music while checking email without toggling between them. Speaking of which the Zune music app has taken a cue from Apple (it’s true) and it’s going to be a lot more fun to use.

Social Networking FTW!
Because moms are master social networkers, you Twitter and LinkedIn addicts will enjoy the broader social media integration; plus lots of Facebook features like built-in check-ins, photo tagging, and Facebook chat integrated in with other chat.

Local Scout
This is like Google Places, a seamless way to easily find local shops, restaurants, and activities when you’re out with the kids.

A Decent Browser
Rumor has it that Internet Explorer 9 is shaping up to be fast and easy. Good, because we find we’re on ours a lot.

Lots of Phones and Plans to Choose From
Current users of the HTC Surround, Samsung Focus, and LG Quantum can start to upgrade your phones to the new OS as soon as the update notification pops up on your phones. But new converts will find a few fun new phone options to from Samsung, Dell, LG, and of course HTC, which will offer the HTC Radar (shown at top) and HTC Titan. Nokia has also jumped on board and we’re excited to see what they come out with.

Rest assured Mango really is a new OS; not just a poor imitation of an Apple phone. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if our friends in Cupertino pick up a few tips themselves. –Liz + Kristen

For more comprehensive reviews on the new Mango OS for Windows Phones, check out Ars Technica, CNET,PC Magazine

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