Major Overhaul Coming For Windows Phone 7

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has released test editions of its next update to the Windows Phone operating system (OS). It should mean some of the changes will be hitting new and existing phones relatively soon.

The update has been codenamed 'Mango' and is the largest set of changes to the Windows Phone 7 OS yet, though the company hasn't yet decided to officially dub it version 2.0.

There are two slightly different versions of the update in circulation at the moment. One has gone to phone manufacturers and is designed to allow them to test it on both existing and forthcoming handsets to spot any potential problems.

A second version has gone to application makers in the form of a software development kit, which is a set of tools used to take the idea of an app and make sure it is fully compatible with the updated system. (Source:

Social Networking Easier to Use

The update introduces a wide range of improvements and new features. Some of them include close integration of the phone with online social networks; for example, Facebook events can be instantly and smoothly copied into the phone's calendar, while there will be support for adding Twitter and LinkedIn friends to the phone's contact lists.

The email and text messaging system has been updated to use thread view, which means that any set of back and forth message replies will be grouped together rather than spread throughout the archive of messages. It's also possible to have multiple email accounts listed in the same inbox.

Multitasking Now Possible

Windows Phone 7 is also receiving what is effectively a "multitasking" update along the lines of that added to iPhones and iPads last year.

As with the Apple devices, users will be able to switch seamlessly between apps: although only one will be active at any time, the inactive ones will be frozen rather than switched off completely, meaning users can pick up where they left off.

The browser on the phones has been revamped and will now be based on the warmly-received Internet Explorer 9. There will be support for hardware acceleration, meaning that if a phone has a separate graphics processor that will be used for some of the work in displaying web pages (meaning the phone should run more smoothly with less freezes of sluggishness). (Source:

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