Microsoft announced the 'release to manufacturing' of the software giant's latest Windows Phone update code named Mango.
The firm first unveiled Mango and the 'hundreds of new features' in May, including features such as a conversation view in the email client and 'threads' which aggregate SMS text, instant messages and Facebook into the same chat.
The first phone to arrive will be a Japanese-only device made by Fujitsu Toshiba given the snappy name of the IS12T. The Japanese phone has the distinction of not just being the first Mango-based smartphone but waterproof to boot. It's set to arrive in the land of the rising sun in September.
It's not yet know what device will first appear in the Western market running the operating system officially called Windows Phone 7.5. Microsoft will be pinning hopes on the major Windows Phone update reviving the fortunes of a platform which has so far failed to make significant inroads against rivals Apple and Android.
IDC estimated that Windows Phone and Windows Mobile powered devices sold just 2.2 million in 2010 with Microsoft's home turf US market share falling to five per cent. Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer admitted: "we’ve gone from very small to very small."
Mango also marks the point at which Nokia climbs on board Windows Mobile. Nokia earlier committed to shipping the firm's first Windows Phone device before the end of the year.