Microsoft lets slip new features in Windows Phone 7.5

Microsoft today sent out their regular developer communication newsletter to the community and let slip of a few features we haven't previously heard of for Windows Phone.

We recently discovered that Windows Phone 7 OS "Mango" is to be called Windows Phone OS 7.5 officially, and would be coming with multitasking support, IE9 + full HTML5 support as well as Twitter integration and massive improvements for developers. In the email today, Microsoft added that Mango would also bring "support for real time communication and messaging and a broader connectivity to Skydrive." We aren't clear what this is, but it sounds like Microsoft will be implementing OS-wide chat (this could be Windows Live Messenger or even Facebook Chat as we've previously reported), as well as utilizing the "Messaging" hub for all aspects of communication rather than just text messaging. The update also is likely to implement better support for accessing files already stored in Skydrive. 

On top of this, the email states that "the new Windows Phone Marketplace experience will include an improved design with panes and more panoramas, a better search experience with autocomplete queries and search results grouped by app, music, or games sections. A new jump list and a soft-search button will make it easier to find installed apps on Windows phones." This implies that the menu system for applications may be overhauled, and the marketplace will see a design refresh in the latest release.

Finally, Microsoft said in the email that the Windows Phone Marketplace will extend from 16 to 35 countries in the new release, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan. 

According to Microsoft, the latest version of the Windows Phone developer tools (which includes Mango support) will be available sometime in May. Exciting times ahead for Windows Phone owners!

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23 Comments

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ARTICLE said,
Finally, Microsoft said in the email that the Windows Phone Marketplace will extend from 16 to 35 countries in the new release, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.

Great! Finally I'll be able to get a WP7 device (and hopefully it'll be a Nokia).

Sounds good. I'm definitely moving to WP at my next upgrade, especially as Nokia is going WinPho. I just hope the keep Ovi Maps (even if it gets renames to Bing Maps, as long as functionality doesn't downgrade and it tremains free-for-life with downloadable map data, i'll be happy.)

MS should have already added very much needed features to the OS; some quick example:

Tasks
Categories
A decent, working, usable "Calendar": Week view, an usable Month view etc.
The option to sync with a desktop!!!!
Etc. Etc.

Without getting in the debate about how updtaes are made available to users the simple fact that the next update called "mango" will not be available before "sometimes before the end of the year" is,at least for me, unacceptable. I am almost ready to go to Ebay and buy a HTC HD2, actually buy again a HD2; I had it and I really miss its functionalities. I will surely miss the graphic interface of my WP7 device but.... I need functionality more than aesthetic.

still no china...
ok there is no twitter and facebook, but at least as a phone can still be used...
does WP7 support chinese type/reading?

Are we talking other users calendars that you have access to (in an 'assistant' type behaviour?) or do you have multiple personal exchange based calendars?

I also want 'multiple calendar from the same account' support but applied universally, I have 3 calendars on live and 2 on exchange, plus I need to view the calendars of other users on the same exchange server (I have permission to do so).

I also want native task support, a native CRM 2011 app and lync!

Along with the other updates coming in Mango - My life will then be complete

Very interesting. Hopefully we don't wait 'till 2012 as said before. The step to 7.5 is really very big, but maybe they count to 8 the next Update

I need to be able to sync down multiple calenders from Exchange (or at least subscribe to web ones) before I can move from my iPhone 3g to my HTC 7 Mozart.

man this sounds awesome, im hoping verzion will finally get these darn phones! but by now its so late im sort of hoping they have a newer phone than the trophy, since there are supposed to be new ones by the holidays

This is more exciting to hear, i like the multitasking and other features.... yayyyyyyyy
hope i get my wp7 very soon.... its so cool

JamesWeb said,
That's quite a jump. Why not 7.1? Or it's going to make the next increment look weird if they don't jump straight to 8.

It's a huge update.

I think they should call it WP8 so that it could inconveniently coincide with Windows 8 and Xbox 8 release next year. Oh oh....and then move to China market and they'll have really big hit...It'll be like the olympic 2008 all over again

flexkeyboard said,
I think they should call it WP8 so that it could inconveniently coincide with Windows 8 and Xbox 8 release next year. Oh oh....and then move to China market and they'll have really big hit...It'll be like the olympic 2008 all over again

WP8 is coming next year to

Koki.v3 said,
This was all announced at MIX11. Did anyone even watch the keynote?

"support for real time communication and messaging and a broader connectivity to Skydrive"
Wasnt

Owen W said,

"support for real time communication and messaging and a broader connectivity to Skydrive"
Wasnt

RTC was implied by the announcement that sockets will be available (and there was some app that they demoed showing it). I vaguely remember Skydrive improvements also being mentioned, but not in any real detail.

PCL said,

RTC was implied by the announcement that sockets will be available (and there was some app that they demoed showing it). I vaguely remember Skydrive improvements also being mentioned, but not in any real detail.

Correct. They already said socket support & Skype were coming which makes this old news to me since Skype is essentially RTC.

Owen W said,

"support for real time communication and messaging and a broader connectivity to Skydrive"
Wasnt

Ya it wasn't mentioned at MIX, it was mentioned back around Oct of 2010, as the messaging hub and integration was explained and why they chose the third party 'Messenger' app for the initial release.

This is also around the time they talked about what SkyDrive features were coming, some of which were added server side in December of 2010. Basically saying that all the desktop features of SkyDrive and Live would be added to the phone in the 'Second' update, with Mesh, and more SkyDrive Sync options.

It is also anticipated that Live Desktop applications will be showing up for WP7 between now and Mango or around the Mango update, basically adding in the Video and Photo Gallery type features, as well as the Mesh Remote Desktop features.

Small incremental updates with good update protocols will beat the big slow updates any day. You stay in the news and customers are happy.

Interesting to see a messaging hub for all things IM as well.

"This implies that the menu system for applications may be overhauled"
No implied about it, they demonstrated the new application list (using the quick jump list) at mix on the stage.

Games are getting their own marketplace, the Games Hub design has been tweaked showing the subscription level on the live tile, and the hub background in white and green with orange.