While rumors are still in the air about the release date of iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S II is yet to come to the U.S market, Microsoft comes with a “Hey! We’re ahead of schedule!”

Peter Wissinger, Microsoft’s director of Mobile Business in the Nordic countries, released an official statement on Windows Phone 7 Mango,
“Now it’s up to our manufacturing partners to release Mango to our customers, reads the translation. Microsoft has delivered complete Mango earlier than planned to the manufacturers. Feels good now.”

Though Microsoft has finished with the Mango a bit early, its hardware partners, HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu, ZTE Corporation and Nokia are yet to roll out the handsets.

The Windows 7 phone is said to boast of 500 new features and support, including Facebook Chat (which, together with Windows Live Messenger, will be built right into Windows Phone), Music Hearing (similar to iTunes Genius), Pinnable email folders (you can now pin not only an app on the homescreen but also folders of email as well), Live Tiles (user can now group contacts, see the latest status updates and quickly send a text, IM or email to one person in the group or the group itself) and Lync Mobile application, that will only include instant messaging and presence.

Upgraded email services on Mango include threaded email conversations (users can switch between Facebook chat, Windows Live Messenger and SMS within the same conversation) and email server search (the latter allows you to search all your emails on the email server and not just those stored on the device).

The best thing about Mango is probably the People app as it allows the users to create specific groups and track and communicate with people via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Microsoft promises that with Mango you'll always be in touch with your friends and family as will automatically detect if that person is online so the user can select the best method of communication. For instance, if the intended recipient is signed into Windows Live, Mango will provide the option to send an instant message (IM). If not, a text is sent instead.

Mango also offers multitasking, though not in true sense as any app that does not run in the foreground goes into hibernation state. A Microsoft executive said it helps optimize battery life.

Who's going to argue?

In Mango, Microsoft has replaced Office with Office 365 and SkyDrive, a cloud-based service that allows user to store and sync files, documents, photos and videos in 25GB of virtual cloud-based storage.

Some other Mango additions are:

Internet Explorer 9 - The mobile browser will share some of the desktop version's core code), including support for HTML 5 and full hardware acceleration
Music player control - The Zune experience on Windows Phone 7 has been enhanced to users can now have quick access to the music settings and controls

Customized grouping of email accounts - See multiple email accounts in one linked inbox. Conversations are organized to make it easy to stay on top of the latest mail.

Bing Vision - Similar to Google Search, now you'll be able to search information on almost anything by just taking a photo of it.

Hands-free messaging - Built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice support enables hands-free texting or chatting.

Local Scout - Provides hyperlocal search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping and activities in an easy-to-use guide.

Music search - It allows users to search Bing and get detailed information about music (like song title, artist and album title) by simply holding the phone up to a speaker.

It is not known, when the manufacturers will be ready with devices, but speculations are there that it will be sometime around the launch of iPhone 5.