Microsoft today previewed the next release of the Windows 7 Phone operating system, code named “Mango,” through a series of media events around the world.

The company says “Mango,” which should arrive on users phones sometime this fall, will deliver more than 500 new features including: multitasking, an improved web browser, better search capabilities and an improved email inbox.

“With Mango, Windows Phone takes a major step forward in redefining how people communicate and use apps and the Internet, giving you better results with less effort.” said Andy Lees, President of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft in a written statement.

Mango will be installed on new phones from HTC, Samsung, LG, Acer, Fujitsu, ZTE, and Nokia and will be a free update for existing Windows 7 users.

The success of the Mango is critical for Microsoft as Windows 7 is struggling to gain a serious foothold in the Smartphone marketplace. According to a Gartner report released last week, Microsoft sold 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 devices in the first quarter of 2011. Microsoft's share of the global smartphone market was just 3.6% in Q1 2011, down from a 6.8% market share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Discuss Mango and Windows 7 phones in Digital Home's Smartphone and Tablet Computing discussion forum.