[sc:mobile-category ]When Windows Phone 7 was first announced it was clear it was a complete break from Windows Mobile and that it would not be as feature rich as that platform just due to the new platform being, well, so new.
Even before it was released, the first feature update was announced and copy and paste was released to the world a few months later than expected. The teething pains of the new platform were apparent. Now, Microsoft is preparing the next update to the platform, code named Mango, for release some time this year and it’s so big they’ve even stop referring to it as Windows Phone 7, instead just calling it “the next version of Windows Phone”.
On Tuesday, May 24th, Microsoft is having a press release to preview this update however some details have already emerged:
- IE 9
- Pinable email folders
- Conversation view in email
- Exchange server search
- Microsoft Lync app (unified communications)
- Complex password support
- Rights management in email and documents
- Hidden Wi-Fi support
- Improved Xbox Live integration
- Targeted distribution of apps
- Windows Live Messenger, Facebook chat and Yahoo IM support
- Album information displayed on lock screen if music is playing
- Bing Audio (music identification)
- Bing Vision (bar code scanning)
- Turn by turn navigation
- Distribution Groups
- Visual Voice Mail
- Music Hearting (like/dislike a-la Zune)
- Jump points in the application list
- URL bar in IE in both horizontal and vertical orientations
- Twitter integration
In addition there are several big developer changes that will make it possible to bring several new classes of application to Windows Phone, including background music services, local live tile apps as well as VOIP and IM.
These are all good things to be sure, and some are just still rumors (though pretty reliable ones by the sounds of it), but it would seem a few more would be nice to see, like:
- SMS Sync with Exchange
- Flash/Silverlight support
- VOIP integration
- VPN support (can anyone say OpenVPN?)
- Pinable configuration items (like Wi-Fi)
- Real customizable color themes
- Artist information (a-la Zune)
- a release date
Microsoft has been pretty tight lipped about a release date for Mango, after getting stung with the network operators trying to get the copy and paste update out I can’t say as I blame them all that much, but at least a quarter target would be nice.
There have been only two hints so far:
- Coming this year (back at CES as I recall)
- This blog post which states “In the weeks and months ahead we’ll have even more to share on new features coming in Mango” near the end.
So that means anytime between July and December .
Perhaps some of the “missing” features will get announced next Tuesday, stay tuned and we’ll all find out together I guess.
And one last question… what ever happened to the multiple hardware chassis specifications MS promised? I love my “slate” device, but I’m sure a more business oriented “Blackberry” form factor or other variations would help out the ecosystem as well.