Sure, it’s still not an exact date, but Microsoft has a good reason for this: they can’t really provide one. According to Eric Hautala, General Manager for Customer Experience Engineering, Microsoft will push out the update, and each hardware partner will deliver a matching firmware specifically tuned for the Windows Phone it’s being pushed out to.
Since the process relies on software components from Microsoft and OEMs like HTC and Samsung, I wouldn’t expect the floodgates to open for all devices at the same time. Considering that an entire slice of the smartphone market will be getting a update of the course of a few weeks, a rolling release is probably more likely to ease the process.
Oh, and a quick warning to hackers and enthusiasts alike: Hautala was also quick to point out that anyone looking to make the official Mango jump should do well to stay away from pre-release or unofficial software builds. He doesn’t go into specifics, but it seems as though working with unofficial firmware could cause some unpleasantness when the official update tries to install.
While still vague, Microsoft’s annoucement is a huge improvement over what AT&T had to say a few weeks ago: when they announced their new line of Mango-powered Windows Phones, they also casually mentioned that the Mango update itself would begin rolling out to devices sometime “this fall.” If you just can’t wait to get your hands on Mango, feel free to mash F5 on Microsoft’s Where’s My Phone Update? page. If all goes well, the update will be pushed to your phone before the carpal tunnel sets in.