Microsoft has been talking up the 'Mango' update to Windows Phone 7 practically since the platform first launched late last year, saying it would be the upgrade that would catapult the OS into the real mobile big time.
And that message certainly hasn't changed with Microsoft's latest reveal on the subject at the MIX11 conference in Las Vegas. In fact, with features like motion-sensing, full multi-tasking and fast application switching, Mango is looking sweeter than ever.
Microsoft's keynote at its own developer conference was always likely to focus some attention on Windows Phone 7, but we were given a good bit of new info to mull over, and it has us underlining that Mango update afresh as one of 2011's big mobile happenings.
Augmented reality is likely to be bouncing around inside WP developers' heads right about now given the news that Mango will allow access to the platform's camera and motion-sensing library for the first time.
Deeper phone integration makes for further good news, such as the ability to tap into the Live Tiles UI, while HTML5 sites will benefit from audio playback for the first time.
Big-time app releases being lined up for Mango's arrival include Skype, Amazon, Spotify and Layar, while Microsoft has plans to expand the reach of the Windows Phone App Marketplace to 35 countries, up from the current 16.
Developers will be able to get to work on Mango from next month, with the full rollout of the update still firmly pencilled in for the autumn.