[sc:mobile-category ]On May 24th, Microsoft provided the first public preview of the next major release of Windows Phone, this will be a major step in the evolution of WP.
In addition to all the items we had know before, some of the highlights of new features from the preview are:
- Web based marketplace
- Groups of e-mail accounts
- Conversation view for mail
- MSN and Facebook chat integrated right in to the messaging hub
- LinkedIn integration
- Updated keyboard, predicates the current and next words
- Text to speech and voice recognition
- Updated Xbox/Games Hub, looks like it integrates all the stuff in the Xbox Live Extra’s app directly in to the Hub
- SkyDrive support for Office apps
- Lots of “cards” in Bing searches and better integration with apps on the phone
- Visual search, take a pic and Bing will find it for you
- Coming this fall, wirelessly
There’s some nice features here, but I almost had to laugh when they announced that you “will not have to wait” for Mango and then promptly gave the fall time line. Correct me if I’m wrong, but having to wait at least a quarter or more sounds like waiting to me . At least in the press release they indicate the beginning of fall.
The SDK for Mango is out and is listed as version 7.1, however MS indicates that 7.1 may not be the final version of Mango, they just had to give it a release number for the SDK.
I’m still interested to see if we get some of the following:
- SMS Sync with Exchange (this could include the IM as well?)
- 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)
Microsoft claims over 500 changes in Mango so some of these may just not have been important enough to mention in the preview, however some, like VOIP integration would seem to be unlikely to be in Mango without being in the preview.
So now all we have to do is wait.. or not as Microsoft said .