Microsoft unveiled the next version of its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, code named “Mango,” at press conferences in New York City and London today. Among the most important details: Mango will be the first OS to run on the new Windows Phone-powered Nokia handsets. Acer, Fujitsu, Limited and ZTE will also be added to the list of smartphone makers to release Mango-based devices, along with Samsung and LG.
The OS update comes only seven months after Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 as part of its strategy to solidify its role in the mobile business.
Mango expands upon the Windows Phone 7 platform, bringing “hundreds” of new features to the OS. Microsoft says Mango’s new specs center around “three key themes: easier communications, smarter apps, and the Internet.”
In Mango’s communications category, new features include: Threads, which allows users to keep a running conversation between text, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger; Groups, which make it possible for contacts to be clumped together, enabling users to view IMs, texts or emails from an entire group; increased Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook integration; linked email inboxes, for viewing emails from multiple accounts in a single window; and built-in speech-to-text and text-to-speech support for hands-free messaging. Mango also adds real multitasking, and an Internet Explorer 9-based web browser engine.
Apps take center stage with the Mango update. The Microsoft Market currently has more than 18,000 apps available. A beta developer toolkit for Mango was also released today, meaning the number of apps are sure to increase quickly.
Microsoft says the first Nokia phones to run Mango will debut this fall.
Check back with Digital Trends soon for an in-depth look at the new features available in Mango.