For Microsoft, WP7 is an all or nothing venture. The company is working hard to make sure that WP7 is not only competitive in the marketplace, but also has features that help set itself apart from the other platforms. Besides an alternative UI, WP7 is about glance and go rather than stop and stare. This mentality will be enhanced too with the next major update to the platform, Mango.
The Windows Phone blog has detailed several new updates that will be featured in Mango. The new enhancements are designed to increase productivity and will also bring several new desirable features. The blog states:
- Pinnable email folders: Pin a folder to the start screen for quick access. This could be an email folder for a specific project, from a specific group or person (like your boss), or an RSS feed you’ve set up in Outlook.
- Conversation view in email: Emails in your inbox are organized by conversation, bringing replies to a thread into a consolidated view so it’s faster and easier to stay on top of the conversation.
- Server search: Search your email server (e.g. Exchange Server) for older emails no longer stored on your phone, giving you ready access to all of your mail.
- Lync: Lync Mobile brings the Lync experience to Windows Phone customers by delivering Unified Communications capabilities, including instant messaging and the ability to see the presence of your co-workers. The Lync app will be a free download from Windows Phone Marketplace and will be enabled with support from your business organization.
There is also good news for the business side of WP7, as the update will bring many features that are critical for enterprise deployment. "Mango also includes new capabilities for IT. With new features such as complex (alpha-numeric) password support, Information Rights Management support for protecting e-mails and Office documents, and support for access to hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks, your IT organization can stay on top of its game—providing you access to information you need while meeting corporate requirements."
All of the new enhancements are turning WP7 into a more complete and desirable package. In the modern smartphone wars, it is not enough to simply provide the same functionality, but you must find innovative new features to set your platform apart. As Microsoft continues to build its platform and separate itself from the competition, the future looks bright for not only Microsoft, but also the consumer.