Last week Microsoft presented us with a Samsung Focus smartphone that was running a recent pre-release build of Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango." Mango is the version of the OS that will replace Windows Phone 7, which launched last year. Windows Phone Mango brings many new things to Microsoft-powered smartphones, as you can see in the article's video.
From a messaging perspective, you'll find combined email inboxes, an improved messaging system that lets users switch between text, IM, and Facebook chat on the fly, and new integration of Twitter and LinkedIn into the social aspects of the People app. In this pre-release build I was testing, Twitter and LinkedIn support were missing.
The new, and much-hyped, task switching and multitasking features are very nice to have, and I'm looking forward to seeing new apps that take advantage of the background audio system and various other APIs that are being made available to developers. Users won't have access to pure multitasking in the Android sense, but what Microsoft is offering with Mango appears to be a step beyond what Apple offers in iOS. And that's more than enough multitasking for countless millions of consumers, if Apple's sales figures indicate anything.
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