IE 9, Twitter integration, SkyDrive confirmed for WP7 [Update]

Mobile World Congress is well on its way in Barcelona where Microsoft announced the features of Windows Phone 7's update and their vision for it in 2011. A press release from Microsoft has confirmed exactly what the update will bring.

In a statement, the company reassured that their mobile platform will get "a new wave of multitasking applications," this year as well as copy and paste which they cited was coming in the "first major release" of the OS. But that's not all, Microsoft also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will be getting Internet Explorer 9 in the second half of 2011, something the company is calling a "dramatically enhanced browser experience." Neowin reported that Internet Explorer 9 for mobile on Windows Phone is expected to become available this holiday season with the "Mango" update.

Alongside IE 9 and multitasking, Windows Phone 7 will finally get Twitter integration into the People Hub which currently only utilizes Facebook and Live as its social network databases. In addition, support for Office documents in the cloud is coming this year which would presumably use SkyDrive from a user's Live ID.

The company went on to praise itself, saying WP7 is seeing a 93% satisfaction rate and nine out of ten people would recommend it to a friend. On the Nokia partnership, Microsoft said it will "fuel [their] growth as [they] build the global Windows Phone ecosystem" and stated that a "significant" volume of Nokia Windows Phone handsets will be targeted in 2012.

There's no telling which features will come in which update, either the earlier "NoDo" or the late 2011 "Mango," nor is there a way to tell how many updates the company will release this year. The first update is expected in early March, specifically the 8th.

Update: Something we forgot to mention is that Microsoft also showed off Kinect for the Windows Phone 7 platform. Below is a technology preview that Microsoft displayed during their keynote.

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Though I don't personally use Twitter, I'm glad to see that they are continuing to expand the social integration into the People Hub for those that do use Twitter. I really hope this continues with other social sites like LinkedIn in particular.

Everything else they showed looks really awesome too. I hope this means it's coming to Verizon already. I have tried to be patient, but this is just killing me.

I think the Kinect update is the most awaited update after you watched the video! I wonder how they will implement Twitter to the People's hub. I just hope they don't add ALL my follows to my contacts' list 'cause that would be crazy o.O I guess by implementing Twitter they mean there will be a option to add your Twitter profile link just like adding info like email, phone, ringtone et al as well for each of your contacts.

MS needs to release a version of this that ISN'T a phone, just a PDA like the old windows ce pda's... stuff like kinect integration, I don't want to buy a phone just to use stuff like that... at least Apple has the iPod touch that is the iPhone just minus the cellular stuff

Elliott said,
WP7 is looking pretty damn cool. I love the WebOS style multitasking.

Ya, nice touch, I figured holding the back button down would be the best way to go into the task switcher, glad to see they used that method. It was still early though so don't see how you can close apps from that view at this point.

GP007 said,

Ya, nice touch, I figured holding the back button down would be the best way to go into the task switcher, glad to see they used that method. It was still early though so don't see how you can close apps from that view at this point.

Yeah, and they should really add App Title to the thumbs to make it clearer. Some could be difficult to determine from a screenshot.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, and they should really add App Title to the thumbs to make it clearer. Some could be difficult to determine from a screenshot.

There is a title, check out the demo vid, name of the app is under the tile iirc.

They say that now. It changed to that from them having no say originally. I'm not holding my breath.

First update has been pushed back multiple times already.

Cyborg_X said,
They say that now. It changed to that from them having no say originally. I'm not holding my breath.

First update has been pushed back multiple times already.


When did Microsoft publicly *confirm* the update wouldn't be released this March?

Callum said,

When did Microsoft publicly *confirm* the update wouldn't be released this March?

Most insiders are saying it has been the carriers holding up the update which has been ready for some time. I'm pretty sure MS didn't publicly confirm anything because they felt leaving people in the dark was the lesser of 2 evils. They'd rather say nothing than admit we're back to the status quo of carrier delayed updates. Saying “hey guys, the update is ready - just waiting on these carriers” then not having the update come out for 2 months was probably seen as a worse scenario then simply not saying anything.

MS should never had let the carries have a say. The updates will be few and far between. Back to the old Winmo update schedule ..... no updates unless the phone is hacked.

Cyborg_X said,
MS should never had let the carries have a say. The updates will be few and far between. Back to the old Winmo update schedule ..... no updates unless the phone is hacked.
Carriers can only block / not push out 1 update...after that the update is pushed to phones regardless.

So like if AT&T blocks NoDo...the Mango update (and the NoDo update) will be pushed to phones on AT&T when its released (even if AT&T doesn't want it).

/- Razorfold said,
Carriers can only block / not push out 1 update...after that the update is pushed to phones regardless.

So like if AT&T blocks NoDo...the Mango update (and the NoDo update) will be pushed to phones on AT&T when its released (even if AT&T doesn't want it).

Correct, carriers can block an update for one cycle only.

neo158 said,

Correct, carriers can block an update for one cycle only.

Which really makes it pointless to do so. I don't think we have to worry about this to be honest.

M_Lyons10 said,

Which really makes it pointless to do so. I don't think we have to worry about this to be honest.

Exactly, from what I remember Microsoft stated that the updates are not cumulative, requiring the previous update to install the latest one.

What I mean is that updating to "Mango" will require the "NoDo" update.

I really want to support this phone but I MUST have VPN access (or a Citrix App) and 100% Outlook syncing would be nice too.

Garak0410 said,
I really want to support this phone but I MUST have VPN access (or a Citrix App) and 100% Outlook syncing would be nice too.

They said a few times that these are just some of the things coming, so I wouldn't rule support for VPN and some sorta Outlook sync option as well. We don't know what else they have in the works.

GP007 said,

They said a few times that these are just some of the things coming, so I wouldn't rule support for VPN and some sorta Outlook sync option as well. We don't know what else they have in the works.

Yeah, VPN is huge for them to get WP7 into businesses honestly. I know they focused on the consumer market initially, but that is really important. SSL VPN Support to be specific would be very important and a feature that I would definitely make use of.

tanjiajun_34 said,
Ie9 is like just a name. I seriously doubt all or most of the features in the desktop version will all be ported to wp7.

What features? I dunno about "features" but he clearly said the IE9 "engine" is the same, the same standards support IE9 has on the PC will also be on the phone.

GP007 said,

What features? I dunno about "features" but he clearly said the IE9 "engine" is the same, the same standards support IE9 has on the PC will also be on the phone.

and you are very sure they can bring everything in ie9 javascript and rendering engine into just a phone?

tanjiajun_34 said,
and you are very sure they can bring everything in ie9 javascript and rendering engine into just a phone?

Uhh, why not? The mobile version of all those webkit browsers are very close to the desktop version as well. They just have to optimize them like crazy, but look at the IE9 mobile demo on the phone they showed, it was running the same IE9 fish graphics acceleration demo they have for the desktop version and it ran it mad fast.

tanjiajun_34 said,
Ie9 is like just a name. I seriously doubt all or most of the features in the desktop version will all be ported to wp7.

?

Mobile Safari contains most of the features of the desktop version, including geolocation support, etc. Of course, the UI will be adapted for touch devices, but the renderer *should* be pretty complete, as long as they want to stay competitive.

We're no longer running crappy CPU's on these devices...

Michael Collado said,
Thanks. I just added that to the article (:

There's also a youtube video up showing the early multitasking and task switcher UI if you want that up as well.

GP007 said,

There's also a youtube video up showing the early multitasking and task switcher UI if you want that up as well.

I would love a link to that

wtf, anyone surprised by the fact that no new WP7 devices have been announced by either by LG, samsung or HTC?

guru said,
wtf, anyone surprised by the fact that no new WP7 devices have been announced by either by LG, samsung or HTC?

They could be waiting for the updates, no reason to talk them up now and hurt current sales. But who knows really, I have my phone and I like what I see coming from the demos they did.

GP007 said,
They could be waiting for the updates, no reason to talk them up now and hurt current sales. But who knows really, I have my phone and I like what I see coming from the demos they did.

end of the year is pretty far though = 2011. OEM's are releasing an Android device a day. at the very least the WP7. hardware specs are going to be "last year" pretty soon.
- No dual core
- No dual camera
- no galaxy mini like PMP phone hybrid
- no decent sat nav

all of these is gonna hurt WP7. what sense does it make to buy WP7 now, when HTC's new Inspire 4G comes for $400 unlocked ?

never mind all that Android comparison, whatever happened to Wp7 chassis 2 anouncement ?

1. Really isn't needed lol..I mean WP7 runs smoother on a 2 year old processor than Android 2.2 on my roomates galaxy S.
2. Giant gimmick that nobody cared about when it was released like 10 years ago?
3. I suppose you could consider the Zune HD to be that...but MS really needs to release an Zune Hd2 or w/e
4. Well that's just an app thing...wp7 supports GPS so you just got to wait for someone to release a GPS application or until then use Bing / Google.

guru said,

end of the year is pretty far though = 2011. OEM's are releasing an Android device a day. at the very least the WP7. hardware specs are going to be "last year" pretty soon.
- No dual core
- No dual camera
- no galaxy mini like PMP phone hybrid
- no decent sat nav

all of these is gonna hurt WP7. what sense does it make to buy WP7 now, when HTC's new Inspire 4G comes for $400 unlocked ?

never mind all that Android comparison, whatever happened to Wp7 chassis 2 anouncement ?

They did hint about it a few times, Ballmer and Elop both talked about lower end WP7 devices, I think they wanted to keep this keynote just about the OS and not dive into hardware. Keep it central to what's coming OS/platform wise. More phones are coming he said, I think a few times, probably just waiting to ship with a few of the big updates though, that's just it I think.

[quote=guru said,]hardware specs are going to be "last year" pretty soon.quote]
Well they did some out last year.

I wasn't surprised but I was a bit disappointed. The lack of rumors regarding any new hardware had me pre-prepared to not hear about anything But I still entertained the idea that we might hear about something.

Actually, I wouldn't even care if I got new hardware. Just releasing versions of the existing hardware with broader radio support would be great. A Samsung (Focus or Omnia 7) on T-Mobile AWS bands would have been awesome. There might be 9 phones available but most people really only have access to a few of them. For example, the only phones I could choose from were the beautiful but problem plagued Dell Venue (well, actually I couldn't choose that one because Dell isn't giving anyone unlock codes) or the HD7 (which is way too big for me and has poor battery life).

The myriad of Android devices do seem like overkill, but they also allow you to have a choice of hardware while still maintaining a choice of carriers. I guess I've just been spoiled because for some reason T-Mobile has always seemed like the go-to carrier for new android devices (G1, Nexus 1, Nexus S).

guru said,

end of the year is pretty far though = 2011. OEM's are releasing an Android device a day. at the very least the WP7. hardware specs are going to be "last year" pretty soon.
- No dual core
- No dual camera
- no galaxy mini like PMP phone hybrid
- no decent sat nav

all of these is gonna hurt WP7. what sense does it make to buy WP7 now, when HTC's new Inspire 4G comes for $400 unlocked ?

never mind all that Android comparison, whatever happened to Wp7 chassis 2 anouncement ?

Dual Core WP7 phones were announced last year and are still on schedule to hit in the next round of devices that have various 4G and LTE support. (WP7 is currently running WinCE 6.x R3/7.0 RC Hybrid)

As for the other hardware items, um you do realize that MFRs can produce everything else you mentioned, Microsoft only sets the minimum hardware requirements (just like they do for a PC if you want to run Windows7, they don't care what 'else' the PC features), the only 'hitch' are drivers, but Microsoft is willing to write or assist in writing any driver if WinCE doesn't already support the hardware.

Yes Bing maps is in transition, and lacks good navigation and they turned off the 3D technologies as Microsoft transitioned to a more web centric version of Virtual Earth/Maps as it became Bing.

If you are on ATT, you get their free navigation software for WP7, and it is far better than the free Android or iOS navigation software. I would expect to see Verizon do the same, as they have their own navigation software as well.

And if that is not good enough the highest rated Navigation software is available for WP7 from Navigon (also on iPhone and Android - Android version kind of sucks right now.)

The Navigon software is based on their GPS devices that they stopped selling in the USA a couple of years ago, and there is nothing that compares to them for accuracy down to the number of lanes for city traffic and merging and also have the best speed limit sign database, which is worth the cost of the software if you travel through any rural town on a trip that has a hidden 25mph speed trap. (Navigon devices used WinCE, even though most people had no idea as they only ever saw the Navigon software.)


Anyway, look for the next iteration of WP7 devices to start showing up after the first software update, and networks like Verizon start selling them.

I know that a couple of the WP7 devices are specifically waiting on Verizon and LTE, and one is a nice high end dual-core model, with rumors of a 1200x800 4.5" screen.

Sure there are Android phones dropping all the time, but very few offer anything outstanding, with even the new dual cores still not getting GPU benchmarks faster than WP7 with the old Snapdragon chipset in the current devices.

This is why a light kernel with a fast driver model and DirectX really is important, as the first generation WP7 phones are benchmarking faster than the iPhone4 and even the higher end Samsung Android phones that technically have much faster GPU hardware.

Developers are figuring out that a heavy kernel like Linux and iOS with OpenGL ES is slow. Which is why you see Google talking about openting up Android to direct hardware GPU programming to catch up to WP7. Which has to be a kick in the rear, since WP7 is using XNA for DirectX, and XNA runs as managed .NET code in the VM.

guru said,

- no decent sat nav

If only Microsoft could turn to someone who happened to own one of the biggest global mapping companies like Navteq for example, someone who already had experience of bundling a free, high quality, turn-by turn sat nav app with their products, someone who had just pretty much pinned their future on WP7 as the primary OS for their smart phones.

Wow, could such a company exist?

Having a decent sat-nav app for WP7 is not going to be an issue

20legend said,

If only Microsoft could turn to someone who happened to own one of the biggest global mapping companies like Navteq for example, someone who already had experience of bundling a free, high quality, turn-by turn sat nav app with their products, someone who had just pretty much pinned their future on WP7 as the primary OS for their smart phones.

Wow, could such a company exist?

Having a decent sat-nav app for WP7 is not going to be an issue


ok lol. but that'll probably be used by Nokia to differentiate their phones. and No p-hones are going to be released this year. December 2011 is probably a paper launch.

thenetavenger said,

...

thanks for that informative post. but the point remains that. the WP7 updates schedule seem s very very slow. Consumers will just go to Android/iOS because they have everything WP7 doesn't and more - NOW - with devices with better specs
MS imo, really needs pull a Kinect to convince consumers to buy WP7 device.

guru said,

ok lol. but that'll probably be used by Nokia to differentiate their phones. and No p-hones are going to be released this year. December 2011 is probably a paper launch.

It was stated, at the keynote that all the nokia maps stuff will be stuffed into and become part of Bing Maps which will then go out TO ALL WP7 DEVICES. It's not just limited to Nokia phones, it'll even show up on Bing for the desktop, not just phones.

thenetavenger said,

Dual Core WP7 phones were announced last year and are still on schedule to hit in the next round of devices that have various 4G and LTE support. (WP7 is currently running WinCE 6.x R3/7.0 RC Hybrid)

Interesting post. Does this mean that the phones coming to Verizon will be dual core? I'm waiting for Verizon to get WP7 so that I can upgrade, so that's particularly interesting to me. I haven't heard anything about devices that would be coming to Verizon at all, so the lack of news has been rather disappointing... I hope it comes soon...

GP007 said,

It was stated, at the keynote that all the nokia maps stuff will be stuffed into and become part of Bing Maps which will then go out TO ALL WP7 DEVICES. It's not just limited to Nokia phones, it'll even show up on Bing for the desktop, not just phones.


i see. Native and free Satnav would be f**king awesome

They also demoed multitasking and the quick task switcher (holding the back button, pretty webOS'ish). Didn't get into too much details though since it's early build so dunno how you close them now, guess they'll have something when the time comes. heh

GP007 said,
They also demoed multitasking and the quick task switcher (holding the back button, pretty webOS'ish). Didn't get into too much details though since it's early build so dunno how you close them now, guess they'll have something when the time comes. heh

Interesting. I really can't wait to see what they do with this OS going forward. They seem to be putting a lot of thought into it.

GP007 said,
They also demoed multitasking and the quick task switcher (holding the back button, pretty webOS'ish). Didn't get into too much details though since it's early build so dunno how you close them now, guess they'll have something when the time comes. heh

I guess there will be cross button just like IE tabs have. or through context menu via tap-and-hold

the better twin said,
My upgrade is due at the end of the year. Looks like I will be getting a WP7 at the right time . Will go nicely with the zune HD I just got.

just wish they would do an upgrade for the Zune HD so it was more like WP7