I just finished watching the press conference announcing many of the new features that will be coming with the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, this fall. I have to say that even as a somewhat jaded insider, I am very excited about some of these features, and several of them were a complete surprise (which is a testament to the ability of the Windows Phone team to keep things under wraps). Among the new stuff announced today:
- Threads – carry on conversations between text, Facebook, and Windows Live Messenger…no matter where the conversation originated, you can track it across multiple media, instead of being stovepiped inside an app.
- Groups – group your contacts into live tiles, for easy access to the people you care about most.
- Twitter and LinkedIn added to contact cards, in addition to the existing Facebook support.
- Hands-free messaging – text-to-speech and speech-to-text for text messaging and chat.
- Local Scout – hyper-local search provided by Bing. Where to eat, what to do, where to shop, all integrated into Bing search.
- Cards – info cards that provide relevant info on books, movies, events, etc., including links to relevant apps (e.g. – IMDB for movie cards).
But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a video of Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore demonstrating some of what’s new in Windows Phone “Mango”:
I am, as we like to say here at Microsoft, “super-excited” by what I’ve seen of Mango, and I can’t wait to get a hold of it.
The great news for Windows Phone developers, is you can start taking advantage of the developer-related features of Mango today, by downloading the beta of the Windows Phone Developer tools for Mango, which will be available later today at http://create.msdn.com/.
I’m looking forward to the new features in Mango, but even more so I’m looking forward to seeing what the creative folks in the developer community come up with using the new tools for Mango!