Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7.1

By on May 24, 2011, 4:00 PM

Microsoft today announced and previewed Windows Phone 7.1 (codenamed Mango), which the company says will include over 500 new features. Frankly, with everything that is in the update, we're surprised it's not called Windows Phone 8.

The Mango release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers and is scheduled to ship on new phones beginning this fall. Details on device update timing will be provided closer to availability.

Microsoft has a lot slated for Windows Phone. In terms of communications, the company wants to make it easier to connect and share with the following five main features:

  • Threads – Switch between text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation.
  • Groups – Group contacts into personalized Live Tiles to see the latest status updates right from the Start Screen and quickly send a text, email, or IM to the whole group.
  • Deeper social network integration – Twitter and LinkedIn feeds are now integrated into contact cards, and Mango includes built-in Facebook check-ins and new face detection software that makes it easier to quickly tag photos and post to the Web.
  • Linked inbox – See multiple email accounts in one linked inbox. Conversations are organized to make it easy to stay on top of the latest mail.
  • Hands-free messaging – Built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice support enables hands-free texting or chatting.

Microsoft wants to integrate apps directly into the core experiences of the phone. In addition to making it easy to get timely notifications and updates from apps right from the Start Screen, the Mango release will also surface apps as part of search results and within Windows Phone Hubs. Here are the three main app improvements that are coming:

  • App Connect – By connecting apps to search results and deepening their integration with Windows Phone Hubs, including Music and Video and Pictures, Mango allows apps to be surfaced when and where they make sense.
  • Improved Live Tiles – Get real-time information from apps without having to open them. Live Tiles can be more dynamic and hold more information.
  • Multitasking – Quickly switch between apps in use and allow apps to run in the background, helping to preserve battery life and performance.

As for the browser, IE9 is coming. The Mango release will connect the Web to the unique capabilities of Windows Phones, such as location awareness, camera, and access to apps. Here are four online enhancements to look forward to:

  • Internet Explorer 9 – A browser based on the powerful Internet Explorer 9 and including support for HTML5 and full hardware acceleration.
  • Local Scout – Provides hyperlocal search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities in an easy-to-use guide.
  • Bing on Windows Phone – More ways to search the Web, including Bing Vision, Music Search and Voice so it's easy to discover and decide.
  • Quick Cards – When searching for a product, movie, event or place, see a quick summary of relevant information, including related apps.

On top of all this, Microsoft has announced new OEM partners: Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE. Of course, Nokia is also on board, as are the existing manufacturers Samsung, HTC, and LG. Curiously, Dell, which currently makes the Venue Pro, was not mentioned anywhere.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to declare that there are now more than 17,000 apps available on Windows Phone Marketplace. Access to apps will be expanded by launching Windows Phone Marketplace in new countries.

Support for additional languages is also being added. Microsoft has confirmed it will support the following additional languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.

Last but not least, a beta release of the free Windows Phone Developer tools, which will be used to create the next generation of Mango apps and games, should be posted as a public download to Microsoft's website by tomorrow. It's odd that Microsoft doesn't have it ready yet, but it's possible the company wants to draw out the hype around this update.

"Seven months ago we started our mission to make smartphones smarter and easier for people to do more," Andy Lees, president of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, said in a statement. "With 'Mango,' Windows Phone takes a major step forward in redefining how people communicate and use apps and the Internet, giving you better results with less effort."




User Comments: 41

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Let the bashing begin.

yRaz yRaz said:

It really needs this update. I love my windows phone but there are a lot of things that it needs.

dedparrot said:

yRaz said:

It really needs this update. I love my windows phone but there are a lot of things that it needs.

yeah, i have an omnia 7 and what i really want is an update to the browser.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

WoW looks good, hoping for more info about it, specs etc...Just if it was lil thinner :p

Now the price...

hassaan said:

Would love to load my HTC 7 Mozart with Mango

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

treeski treeski said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

If you're not in a rush, wait to see what windows phones are on the market with the release of Mango.

Jibberish18 said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

No offense to anyone or thing but unlike Android, WinPhone7 takes FULL advantage of what little and old hardware it has. So even though SnapDragon processors aren't fantastic, WinPhone7 runs fantastic because they use full hardware acceleration and that will include Internet Explorer 9.

aj_the_kidd said:

Jibberish18 said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

No offense to anyone or thing but unlike Android, WinPhone7 takes FULL advantage of what little and old hardware it has. So even though SnapDragon processors aren't fantastic, WinPhone7 runs fantastic because they use full hardware acceleration and that will include Internet Explorer 9.

I wasn't offended There's no real interesting Win7 phones out now and the SGS2 comes out next month (here anyway)

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I'm glad to see that they've included the landscape address bar in IE!

If there was one thing that I would request to be added, it's batch text message deleting! I've got so many old texts, but I'm too lazy to go through, one-by-one, and delete them.

Guest said:

You dont have to do one by one. Go to main where there name is and hold on their name. You can delete all msgs from that contact.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nice update. And my hd7 is quite interesting and fast

Guest said:

Awesome.....Now thats reducing the Iphone and Android to rubble... There is a reason why Microsoft is a Giant.

z0k! said:

hassaan said:

Would love to load my HTC 7 Mozart with Mango

..sure u would,would you like to count the seeds too?

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

Awesome.....Now thats reducing the Iphone and Android to rubble... There is a reason why Microsoft is a Giant.

Not sure how an update that hasn't been released yet reduces the most popular smart phone, the iPhone and the most popular mobile OS, Android, to rubble.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Jibberish18 said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

No offense to anyone or thing but unlike Android, WinPhone7 takes FULL advantage of what little and old hardware it has. So even though SnapDragon processors aren't fantastic, WinPhone7 runs fantastic because they use full hardware acceleration and that will include Internet Explorer 9.

I wasn't offended There's no real interesting Win7 phones out now and the SGS2 comes out next month (here anyway)

I agree with one part i.e. 'no interesting phone (hardware wise) is out there' when it comes to WP7 (may be a little exception can be Omnia because of SOLED); but when it comes to OS and user interface, WP7 is well ahead of Android's cheap looking copied interface (no offense to android users, by the way I have SGS) :p

aj_the_kidd said:

Archean said:

I agree with one part i.e. 'no interesting phone (hardware wise) is out there' when it comes to WP7 (may be a little exception can be Omnia because of SOLED); but when it comes to OS and user interface, WP7 is well ahead of Android's cheap looking copied interface (no offense to android users, by the way I have SGS) :p

Haven't played around with a win7 phone so i cant comment on how it operates. Even based on the new update and the current line of win7 phones, impressive as they are, a dual core android phone appeals greatly to me, not to mention the, supposed, improvement to GPS (SGS GPS == EPIC FAIL)

When manufacturers start bringing out dual core win7 phones, then i'll start getting serious at looking at a win7 phone, until then i will stick with Android, does what I want it to do.

I figured you would have gotten a new win7 phone by now

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have played around with Omnia 7, and I think MS has the best UI amongst the three top mobile OS (i.e. iOS and Android the other two). I think one main reason for Android's success has been the fact that 'it is a freeware' hence it make lots of economic sense for cell phone makers to sell smartphones based on it. But the same 'freeware*' nature of it is the epic downfall of this thing, because everyone slaps their own stupid UI on top of Android's pretty dumb one in the first place. This also means that most major instabilities Android suffers are because of the 'telecommunication company', hence, the technology company (i.e. Google) may not be responsible for all such instabilities.

I think one area where MS needs to review its policy is, hardware side of the offerings, instead of forcing them to use similar/same hardware they should simply state 'minimum requirements' and let them choose the maximum ones so it would help them differentiate from others.

On SGS GPS yes it is, brilliant hardware wasted by slapping Android with their stupid UI on it, I wish I could root it (I can't do it because from day one it simply refuses to connect via USB to any computer I can get my hands on) and perhaps even totally get rid of Android on it.

* By the way I don't believe in non-sense that open source or freeware is always good. If they were, open source would have taken over the IT world by now. Another way of looking at it is, Google's share price would never have fallen from 644$ (that is highest one I remember and could verify) to about 518$.

Guest said:

Most popular phone (Nokia) + WM7 = Most popular phone.

stupidusernames said:

4:58 into this video....

.... . . . . . .

. . . . . BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

sing and a miss!

stupidusernames said:

swing and a miss*

Guest said:

Will pass... not worth my cash!!

aj_the_kidd said:

Use Go Launcher Ex myself instead of Samsung's TouchWiz. I thought the MS hardware specs were already "min required" and that manufacturers could go above the specs as they please. Are you sure that's right, seems kinda silly to me?

princeton princeton said:

Archean said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Jibberish18 said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Interesting, would consider a W7P but the dual core SGS2 looks too alluring to me to pass up

No offense to anyone or thing but unlike Android, WinPhone7 takes FULL advantage of what little and old hardware it has. So even though SnapDragon processors aren't fantastic, WinPhone7 runs fantastic because they use full hardware acceleration and that will include Internet Explorer 9.

I wasn't offended There's no real interesting Win7 phones out now and the SGS2 comes out next month (here anyway)

I agree with one part i.e. 'no interesting phone (hardware wise) is out there' when it comes to WP7 (may be a little exception can be Omnia because of SOLED); but when it comes to OS and user interface, WP7 is well ahead of Android's cheap looking copied interface (no offense to android users, by the way I have SGS) :p

How is android cheap and copied. You're comparing touchwiz on your SGS to WP7 and calling that "android". That's idiotic in so many ways.

[link]

Yah, a 3D verical scrolling launcher with the apps running off of it on a 45 degree angle. Totally unoriginal, I mean every phone since 1802 has had that for the launcher.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Conceptually it looks like a copy of iOS, and I stand by my observation, and I don't offer any unthoughtful/stupid comments like that without my reasons. As an OS yes Android is a very different animal, but look at the mess a customer can find him/herself into when trying to decide about which one to buy, a good customer experience is never guaranteed. Now about the UI's which telecom companies are slapping on the these devices on top of Android's interface even more compounds the issue. Lastly, 3D vertical scrolling appeared only with gingerbread, which may look cool but that is that.

@aj

Yes it does, my assumption was the same as well, but I am not sure frankly. Also I do have Go Launcher EX, and it is much more stable than the TW UI, but somehow it drains battery a lot faster on my SGS. :o

Guest said:

Who the hell wants a half eaten apple when u can have a Mango

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Who the hell wants a half eaten apple when u can have a Mango
Well, if you don't have an iPhone, then you don't have an iPhone.

(I don't know what that even means, but for some crazy reason, it's been stuck in my head)......

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

swing and a miss*
Use the "Edit" button.

Whoops.....:o

fpsgamerJR62 said:

500 new features is a lot for a point update. Would have expected Microsoft to call it WP8 or even WP9. I hope that they've also worked out the bugs which plagued the initial update process.

mosu said:

For once I agree with Princeton.About WP7, must wait, see and play, eventually waiting for Nokia to provide.

Arris Arris said:

Played with the original WP7 phone in a shop. Can't say I like it and after having been burned by being stuck with a 6.1 Windows Mobile without a single update available for it, I wasn't that keen on adopting WP7. Didn't like the interface in the shop, so went with Android as I'd setup my girlfriends HTC Tattoo with 1.6 and liked it.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Archean said:

Conceptually it looks like a copy of iOS, and I stand by my observation, and I don't offer any unthoughtful/stupid comments like that without my reasons. As an OS yes Android is a very different animal, but look at the mess a customer can find him/herself into when trying to decide about which one to buy, a good customer experience is never guaranteed. Now about the UI's which telecom companies are slapping on the these devices on top of Android's interface even more compounds the issue. Lastly, 3D vertical scrolling appeared only with gingerbread, which may look cool but that is that.

@aj

Yes it does, my assumption was the same as well, but I am not sure frankly. Also I do have Go Launcher EX, and it is much more stable than the TW UI, but somehow it drains battery a lot faster on my SGS. :o

This is the first time I've ever read someone contradict himself, AFTER contracting himself.

You said:

Archean said: ...but when it comes to OS and user interface, WP7 is well ahead of Android's cheap looking copied interface

So, to you, Android's UI is a copied, cheap-looking interface. Alright. But then you say that as an OS Android is a different animal. Ok. By different, you mean, what? I suppose you mean, seemingly different (because it's a given the OS is different than the others), am I correct? So, to you, what is truly cheap looking and copied? The OS or the UI? And if you meant the former, how can YOU tell it is "copied, and cheap-looking?"

But wait, lets just say you meant the latter. You blame it on the manufacturers who put on their UI. Oh you said, telecom companies? Well, around here they are called manufacturers, but let's call them how you call them. These "telecom companies" slap their interfaces on top of Android, so doesn't that mean Android ISN'T cheap-looking, or copied, since these "telecom companies," cheaply copied other interfaces? If that's indeed the case, then it's not Android's fault that customers have a "hard time" choosing a device, but the manufacturers'. Ops, I meant telecom companies.

Android's default interface is compromised of very specific, unique elements such as the notification bar up top, the scrolling 2D (now 3D) App drawer, live wallpapers, etc. Manufactures simply add a flavor of their own, but all the Android native elements remain there. Just because, for example, HTC Sense's launcher is curved, doesn't mean it's a different UI. Sure it's curved, probably a different color and what have you, but the elements, the elements sir, are there, and that's what makes an Android an Android. It is exactly the very reason why, to you they might seem all different, but yet, all Android...?

You love WP7's fast, fluid, and simplistic approach? Great, but please, do us a favor, and don't subjectively judge, specially if you don't know that telecom companies have absolutely no say over design decisions on an Android device.

And about that supposed hard time consumers have choosing an Android device... You should ask yourself, why would they even go through the "trouble?" But I digress...

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Firstly I was only talking about to 'UI', and comment about the look isn't just mine by the way.

Now, I hate to say this but:

1. UI's slapped on top of Android are trying hard to be like iOS. Sense looks slightly better (I've played around with DHD for a bit) but then again it is a subjective issue. Consider this, what if HP/Dell/Sony/Acer etc. start selling their computers/notebooks with Win7 but a customized UI slapped on top of it? It will surely create a similar sort of mess.

2. Second issue is responsiveness; it feels so sluggish at times that it can drive someone to edge of reasoning. I must add, this probably happens due to 'freeware' nature of the OS, everyone grabs it, modify/tweak it according to their own needs which may result in less optimized implementaitons. Hence, there is no uniformed experience. One user may be very happy and another one just might not.

When it comes to user experience, iOS beats Android hands down, why? Because of one simple reason 'ease of use', and well that uniformed experience for every user which Android just can't have.

I don't 'love' WP7's interface, infact I don't love things which can be referred to by using the word 'it'. I do like it for its simplicity and more innovative approach. But do keep in mind it too have its own shortcomings; which are in dire need of addressing, hopefully with next update.

Lastly, my comment about choice was directed towards more 'cheaper' alternatives carrying Android, which can struggle to keep up with the OS. One of the carriers here are offering an IDEOS cell running Froyo, and that phone have a 500Mhz processor in it with 256MB RAM, and it properly feels sluggish most of the time.

So to close this all out, Google need to get control of this situation, and focus more on creating a compelling and uniformed 'user experience' aspect, because that is what sells for longer period of time in the market, not all those fancy names with which they launch their next updates.

princeton princeton said:

You're still yet to show evidence on how Android copies iOS in terms of the user interface. All you've referenced are third party skins and UIs. There are custom UIs on cydia that make your iphone looks like android gingerbread. Following your logic, that is to say, no logic. I could argue the iphone copies android.

Just face it buddy, your original comment was poorly thought out and was incorrect. Android has NEVER used the side scrolling grid for the apps, had the pulldown menu, uses widget screens before the app screens and a plethora of other differences.

You just said Touchwiz looks like iOS(p.s. touchwiz 4 doesn't) therefore android copies iOS. Now you're trying to change your argument to say that it's an issue with responsiveness and uniformity but that was never part of your original statement.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

How long is, "which came first the chicken or the android" going to continue?

princeton princeton said:

How long is, "which came first the chicken or the android" going to continue?

Until Archean admits he was wrong by saying.

Android's cheap looking copied interface

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'm sorry, I meant to say, "how long is the, which came first the chicken or the android debacle destined to continue".......

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Archean said:

Firstly I was only talking about to 'UI', and comment about the look isn't just mine by the way.

Now, I hate to say this but:

1. UI's slapped on top of Android are trying hard to be like iOS. Sense looks slightly better (I've played around with DHD for a bit) but then again it is a subjective issue. Consider this, what if HP/Dell/Sony/Acer etc. start selling their computers/notebooks with Win7 but a customized UI slapped on top of it? It will surely create a similar sort of mess.

2. Second issue is responsiveness; it feels so sluggish at times that it can drive someone to edge of reasoning. I must add, this probably happens due to 'freeware' nature of the OS, everyone grabs it, modify/tweak it according to their own needs which may result in less optimized implementaitons. Hence, there is no uniformed experience. One user may be very happy and another one just might not.

When it comes to user experience, iOS beats Android hands down, why? Because of one simple reason 'ease of use', and well that uniformed experience for every user which Android just can't have.

I don't 'love' WP7's interface, infact I don't love things which can be referred to by using the word 'it'. I do like it for its simplicity and more innovative approach. But do keep in mind it too have its own shortcomings; which are in dire need of addressing, hopefully with next update.

Lastly, my comment about choice was directed towards more 'cheaper' alternatives carrying Android, which can struggle to keep up with the OS. One of the carriers here are offering an IDEOS cell running Froyo, and that phone have a 500Mhz processor in it with 256MB RAM, and it properly feels sluggish most of the time.

So to close this all out, Google need to get control of this situation, and focus more on creating a compelling and uniformed 'user experience' aspect, because that is what sells for longer period of time in the market, not all those fancy names with which they launch their next updates.

Such a pathetic response, sir. Why don't you just admit you had a no argument to begin with. Now what does responsiveness have to do with anything? As a matter of fact, I can tell you, from the top of my head: HTC Inspire/Thunderbolt, Motorola Atrix, Samsung Infuse/ Galaxy S II, and so on. ALL of these phones perform better than the iPhone. Now, I'm now going to dwell too much into a now apparently senseless argument; I thought you would bring up a convincing point, but all that you seem to be saying is that you want to replace your current phone with another. You're subconsciously putting this desire for change into baseless arguments, to make yourself believe X phone is superior or that X phone copied the other. It might be, to you, but facts don't lie.

Princeton's reply sums up what I would say, anyway.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think you are pitting high end cellphones against the mainstream or low end ones (to which I was referring to), hence your response is rubbish to put it mildly. Now by placing UI elements slightly differently than iOS it doesn't mean they have came up with something genuine IMO. So the resemblance is there, if you don't want to accept it, it doesn't change anything. I remembered reading somewhere that Google stole Android logo from some Atari game, so I spent some time finding that just for you guys, [link] .

Baseless? I think you need to do a bit of research how much issues people face when it comes to Android, the same is true for iphone and WP or other platforms; as we are mainly focusing on android you are taking it bit more 'personally'. So the underlying logic in this may not be easy enough to grasp.

Guest said:

7.1 speakers on a phone?! SWEET

princeton princeton said:

Archean said:

So the underlying logic in this may not be easy enough to grasp.

Because it isn't there. You claimed that android is an iOS knockoff and that was disproved. Then you just tried to repeat what you're saying over and over to hope it somehow becomes correct.

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