Great news for Windows Phone 7 enthusiasts. Microsoft just announced a “VIP Preview” for the upcoming version of their mobile operating system, code name Mango, later this month on May 24th in New York City. The company already demoed several features at MIX 2011, but most were geared towards developers such as a new Internet Explorer 9 powered browser, better multi-tasking capabilities, and several new APIs for building apps. While those additions are great, there is even more exciting news in the pipeline.
Several leaks over the past few days have revealed better Bing integration with new services. Bing Audio will apparently take on Shazam and SoundHound by letting users identify music on the go. With plenty of inspiration from Google Goggles, Bing Vision enables using the integrated camera to scan barcodes, books, CDs, DVDs, and more. Microsoft is not stopping their either. Bing Maps, which previously only provided directions, will now include turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance to take on Google Navigator for Android. Windows Phone users can soon also enjoy a built-in podcast client, speech-to-text voice dictation for text messages, SkyDrive integration with Microsoft Office, and Live Messenger support too.
Those are just a handful of features too. Microsoft probably has even more tricks up its sleeves. This news also hit the web just a day before the Google I/O 2011 conference kicks off and will definitely steal some attention. Although review of the HTC Arrive was pretty positive since it runs on the latest version of Windows Phone, there were still many missing features. Microsoft was still dealing with what feels like a first-generation operating system and a surge of updates such as these can bring more interest back to the platform. I think the platform is exciting and unique, but I still often recommend Apple iOS or Google Android over Windows Phone. I hope that Microsoft also introduces some unrivaled technologies to convince new customers to make the switch sooner than later.
Links: Microsoft Windows Phone