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I was deciding whether to start a Windows Phone application, but it seems like it might be better to wait until Mango is released.

Is Mango a new platform, or is it an upgrade to Windows Phone 7 (i.e. Windows Phone 8)? Is it expected to arrive in the near future? That is, should a project starting today worry about it?

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The Mango SDK will probably be released sometime next week. The update for consumers is due towards the fall, although there hasn't been any confirmed dates. There's a VIP Mango unveiling on the 24th, but that will be more consumer orientated than developers. You can see some of things coming to developers in Mango in this picture.

Whether you should wait for Mango is up to you and depends entirely on your app. There are many apps and games that can be, and have been, created using the current toolkit.

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Yeah I think I might wait, and plan in advance. Thanks. –  Brian Mains May 20 '11 at 2:43

Further to kP's always good advice Mango is expected to release as WP7.5.

You can get a sense of how people are feeling about what impact it will have here.

Windows Phone Dev Podcast » Weigh In Wednesday — Poll Results - Latest Mango News

To answer your question of whether you should wait or not I would say it depends what it is you are wanting to do. For example if you're wanting to do AR, well.. definitely.. it's mango only.

However, much can be accomplished with the current tools and there's nothing stopping you getting your environment setup and familiar now with the new tools scheduled to drop this month.

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There is a lot coming with Mango (definately not WP8 yet, have heard rumors of 7.1 and 7.5 version numbers for Mango), but there is no reason to wait. If you want to get started on Windows Phone programming, do it sooner rather than later. The Mango development tools are already out now (in beta) anyway.

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this is correct, while many features will be added not many things will change so you can easily just adapt it for mango later on –  konrad May 20 '11 at 14:05
    
At TechEd this week, I noticed on one of the Microsoft employee's machine during a demonstration that the target in Visual Studio was labled "Windows Phone 7.1". Of course that doesn't mean marketing won't decide the version should be 7.5 but it does look like, at least internally, Microsoft is calling Mango Windows Phone 7.1. –  Jason May 20 '11 at 17:41

If possible I'd vote for starting the app now. You can then release an update with Mango specific features as are relevant to your app once the update is available.

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