Microsoft has officially lifted the lid on Mango, the next major update for Windows Phone 7. It’ll be known as Windows Phone 7.1, and is expected to land in the autumn.
The most significant feature is the enhanced multitasking, which allows apps to run in the background with rapid switching by holding the back button. Microsoft promises us it won't be too much of a burden on battery life.
Conversation threads are a big dealio too. MSN Messenger, Facebook and SMS will all be integrated, allowing seamless conversation regardless of method.
In the realm of social networking, there’ll be deeper integration for contacts with Twitter and LinkedIn, and fancy facial recognition making it easier to tag photos and post them on Facebook.
Of course, it was no secret that Internet Explorer 9 would be joining the party. It’ll have HTML 5 support.
The Marketplace, which now has over 17,000 apps and rising fast, will be available in 35 countries when Mango arrives. There’ll also be a brand new web interface.
Can’t be bothered using your digits? Why not take advantage of hands-free messaging with Mango’s speech-to-text support.
Bing Vision allows you to point your camera at stuff and look up information. Location-specific searches will also recommend nearby restaurants, shops and activities.
Microsoft promises that developers will be able to access the Mango SDK (software development kit) within the next 24 hours.
Check out Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Program Management, showing off some of the key features in this official YouTube video.