Microsoft is set to release a new version, code-named Mungo, of its Windows Phone operating system this autumn, a senior executive told the German Press Agency dpa at the Mobile World Congress on Monday in Barcelona.

The Barcelona expo, the world’s main venue for launches of cellphone hardware and software, is dominated this year by premieres of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.

Windows Phone 7, the successor to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform, was first released in the autumn and is still far behind.

Achim Berg, who coordinates the marketing and business development side of Windows Phone, said: “The next big release of Windows Phone will happen in autumn.” Berg, who is German, said that Microsoft would be relaxing some of its detailed specifications for manufacturers, which prescribe precisely how certain components must be made and used.

He said this would allow manufacturers some of the greater freedoms they had sought, allowing them to chose on technical matters such as chipsets, memory capacity and screen sizes.

That flexibility would particularly benefit Finnish company Nokia, which opted last week to install Windows Phone on all its high-end smartphones in future, in place of its own Symbian system.

Berg noted that Nokia was well known for employing high technology such as top-grade cameras in its phones, and would thus be playing to its strength in the market. He said the partnership had given Microsoft a big boost in the mobile-phones business.

The executive forecast that an “ecosystem” of developers would quickly form around Nokia and Microsoft, developing the apps, or mini-programs, which are essential to the success of today’s phones.

“We’re encountering incredible interest at the moment in our platform,” he said on the first day of the Barcelona event.