Microsoft has completed its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, but startup Tango says it will be the first video-calling application on phones that run Microsoft’s updated Windows Phone operating system, codenamed Mango, when the devices are released in coming weeks.

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The Microsoft-Tango partnership shows the importance of video-calling apps khổng lồ high-protệp tin smartphone launches. Skype has saidit plans khổng lồ deeply embed its Internet calling giải pháp công nghệ inlớn Windows Phone software. That kind of integration, however, takes time. Since the Microsoft acquisition was not completed until mid-October, Skype appears to lớn not have a Windows Phone phầm mềm or service ready for the launch of the first U.S. Mango handsets, which will go on sale in early November.

A Skype spokeswoman told that the company “does not have anything khổng lồ announce at this time regarding Skype on Windows Phone.”

It’s a lucky break for Palo Alkhổng lồ, Calif.-based Tango, which was founded two years ago & debuted its first calling phầm mềm (for iOS) in September 2010. Tango’s alặng is khổng lồ dominate video-calling on a number of consumer devices, starting with smartphones. The company believes its early adoption of Mango, which market researcher Strategy Analytics recently forecast would be the fastest-growing major Mobile platsize in 2012, will help it achieve sầu its goal.

Tango’s optimism stems in part from its belief that it can keep its first-mover advantage on Windows Phone through the kết thúc of the year. “I think Microsoft sees video-calling as a killer tiện ích for holiday season sales ,” said Tango founder & Chief Technology Officer Eric Setton in an interview. “And no other video-calling company besides us will be out on Windows Phone .”

Tango’sextensionto lớn Windows Phone, which is scheduled for November 7, expands its reach beyond Apple’s iOS & Google’s Android. Last month, Tango also released software for PC-based calls.

All of Tango’s products are designed to lớn work cross-platform, meaning iPhone users can điện thoại tư vấn Android users, who can Điện thoại tư vấn PC users, and vice versa. The company says its technology is compatible with about 450 Smartphone devices, including nearly 30 tablets. It currently has 25 million registered users in 190 countries & is adding a little more than a million users every two weeks.

Those figures point to growth roughly twice as fast as Skype’s in its early years. That comparison, which Tango is fond of making, does not take inlớn trương mục the very different circumstances under which Tango launched, however. “We’ve been extremely lucky with timing,” admitted Setton. “We came out as handphối manufacturers were adopting front-facing cameras & people were comfortable with video-calling because of the iPhone 4 và Facetime.”

Skype is still far ahead. The company had more than 170 million “monthly connected users” in its most recently-recorded quarterly period. That figure excludes users that connect khổng lồ Skype via its various joint ventures.

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Since video-calling is a complicated service that requires access to lớn a phone’s camera, microphone & speakerphone as well as its address book and dialer software, Tango had to lớn team up with Microsoft to lớn produce its Mango tiện ích.

The two companies collaborated closely over the past few months.Tango helped Microsoft “work out some kinks” in Mango, said Setton. In turn, Microsoft gave sầu Tango advice on user interface thiết kế and technical issues. Tango’s Mango app will leverage Qualcomilimet chips (Snapdragon 8x55 or Snapdragon 8x60) instead of software to lớn deliver higher-resolution, more fluid đoạn phim than other video-calling apps. Tango’s Mango phầm mềm also utilizes Windows Phone’s characteristic “Metro” thiết kế so it looks more like a native part of the operating system. Microsoft has begun promoting the phầm mềm as a Windows Phone feature through YouTube videos (see below) and at conferences.

Microsoft’s willingness lớn assist Tango shows the software giant is committed to lớn open platforms, noted Setton. “We were thinking, after this big acquisition, there was no chance they would help us,” he said. “Kudos lớn them.”

Setton declined to lớn specify which Mango handsets will include Tango, but did say he expects multiple handset makers lớn offer the service on their Mango phones at launch. Điện thoại HTC is a likely partner since it has already installed Tango on its “Radar” and “Titan” Mango phones in markets outside the U.S.

More Windows Phone alliances are possible. Samsung will have sầu Mango phones available in November on AT&T and Notê is expected to lớn unveil its first Mango phones Wednesday at its Notê World event. Tango’s Windows Phone software is also compatible with older Windows Phone (WP7) handsets that are being upgraded khổng lồ Mango. Tango expects lớn piông xã up new users through downloads to lớn those devices.

Like Skype, Tango doesn’t charge for use of its basic calling/video-calling ứng dụng. (If Tango users don’t enable their phone’s camera or have a front-facing camera, they can just use the ứng dụng lớn make free calls.) Instead, Tango plans to offer a premium phầm mềm with added functionality that will cost money. That app is coming later this year, said Setton.

Tango won’t have the Windows Phone ecosystem to lớn itself forever. Setton is hopeful the company will get several months of breathing room, though. As comparison, he cites what happened with Android. “We had nine months by ourselves before Skype came out,” he said. “It could be the same on Windows Phone. I can"t imagine the Microsoft acquisition is not distracting Skype in some ways.”

SettonbelievesTango can compete even if many rivals pop up. “Handmix makers want khổng lồ differentiate …& carriers will have sầu their say, too,” he said. “I think there will be a diversity of .”


Technology is going điện thoại và I"m here to cover the shift. En route khổng lồ the gadget beat, I worked at Business Week, Time Asia and Random House. I also lived in South Korea and Hong Kong, where I quickly acquired a taste for fast broadb& & sleek phones. Now I"m a staff writer focusing on telecom và thiết bị di động devices but with an interest in policy, e-commerce, location-based services and manufacturing/supply chain issues, amuốn other topics. I lượt thích khổng lồ think of my beat as technology that touches (nearly) everyone. Let me know your thoughts at ewoyke,
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