When TNW Microsoft was lent a Windows Phone 7 handset running Mango a while back, we had to download a special version of the Zune client that could actually interface with the new operating system. Today, Microsoft has released that build, Zune 4.8, to the general public.
In case you just want the software, and wish to skip our rambling, you can head here to download it. What follows is the changelog via Microsoft:
Progressive updates: In Zune 4.8, you only have to click the update button once for multiple updates. Once an update is finished, the software automatically checks for more and repeats the installation process until your phone is completely up to date.
Streamlined backup.By synching media separately from other phone content, we’ve lowered the overall time it takes to back up your phone. The backup file is also more compact, so it should take up less space on your computer.
Skip phone backup: If you don’t have enough room on your computer to store a phone backup file, you’ll now have the option to skip this step so you’re not blocked from updating your phone.
48-hour movie rentals
Parental Controls now support M-rated (Mature) content
Option to hide purchase confirmation dialog for faster app checkout
See what apps are compatible with the Windows Phone you own
Microsoft also released a chart that explains, at last, exactly what access to Zune, and the Windows Phone Marketplace is available in every country that has any access at all. We have included it below:
It is somewhat heartening that Microsoft has managed to launch the app marketplace in all but four countries, as this allows for the maximum developer sales potential. What is somewhat disappointing is the level of restriction that the Zune Marketplace (music, etc) still suffers from. That leaves many new WP7 handset owners somewhat ‘out in the cold’ when it comes to a full, vertial ecosystem for their handset.