What Microsoft is revealing about Windows Phone today

Angry-Birds-Screenshot-1In advance of a proper article about all this, here are the high-level details of today’s Mango revelations at MIX’11:

General info: Mango, or the “forthcoming release of Windows Phone,” will provide developers with more hardware capabilities, better browsing and improved tooling, and expanded opportunities and Windows Phone Marketplace options.

New tools. In May, Microsoft will release a (beta version of) a new set of developer tools that will help developers create Windows Phone apps that are even faster, more capable, and better integrated with Windows Phone.

Application multitasking for background processing, audio and file transfer, and fast application switching.

Deeper phone integration. Vague, but will include new Live Tiles capabilities.

Camera and motion sensor access. Developers can build apps that work with the device hardware.

Internet Explorer 9 with HTML 5 and standards support, and hardware acceleration.

Also, there are going to be some new app demos today include Skype, Spotify, Layar, Qantas, Amazon Shopping, and Kik Messenger.

Oh, and this:

PvZ---Screenshot-2

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25 Responses to What Microsoft is revealing about Windows Phone today

  1. geek24 says:

    i would say too little too late. watch either next year or the year after Microsoft will kill phone 7 just like the Zune.

    • manyuabhi says:

      do remember onething…its microsoft we are talking about, if they want to be in something they bleed money untill they achieve the desired success….IE, XBOX are great examples of the microsoft desire to suceed. My point, they will be there in 2015 with more market share than iOS and will be hitting on android, which I believe will fizz out in a year or so, once people get bored of it

      • captiosus says:

        You can’t compare xbox to the smartphone market. Why? Microsoft doesn’t have 4 OEMs making Xbox 360s with their own branding.

        The future of WP7 is one part Microsoft, one part carriers and one part OEMs. If the OEMs decide to stop making WP7 phones.. well, that’s that. If the carriers decide to stop carrying WP7 phones.. again, that’s that.

        The whole “#2 in marketshare” thing was predicated on a number of fallacies: 1) Global smartphone marketshare is going to explode over the next two years (Possible, but pure speculation); 2) iPhone will start to peak because Apple will continue to release devices with very little differences between them (Possible again, but highly illogical); and 3) The folks at Microsoft were going to right the WP7 ship that’s teetering on capsizing.

        Speculation is just a guess. Real numbers are.. well, much more telling. 1.3% marketshare loss to Android since WP7 was released through Feb 11, according to comScore. How, exactly, does that fit into the idea that WP7 is going to be #2? Not only does it not fit in, it shows that the speculation is laughably inaccurate.

        @mrmcguire – I really don’t understand when people say Microsoft has to be in a specific market. They didn’t HAVE to be in the console market, they chose to be. They don’t HAVE to be in the smartphone market – and I think the way they killed KIN shows that they’re more than willing to cut their losses. They can’t pull an Xbox again where they continue to sell at a loss and then suck up a 9 billion dollar loss to protect their brand’s image.

        IMO, a large part of Microsoft’s current problems stems from the fact that they’re trying to be in TOO MANY markets. They have never been able to make WCE/WM market viable, and WP7 is looking to continue that trend. So why keep blowing millions, if not billions, on something they’ve utterly failed at for the last decade?

        Imagine, for a minute, if Microsoft invested a fraction of the money they’ve blown on WP7 and put it into R&D for a full blown Office Mobile solution that could run on Android and iOS, sync flawlessly with Office 2007, 2010 & Sharepoint Server, Sharepoint Online and SkyDrive. I guarantee that would earn them more money in the long run than tying Office Mobile to a platform that is immature by several years and not likely to catch up anytime soon (at current rate).

    • mrmcguire says:

      I would argue that the smartphone market is just a little different than the MP3 player market.

      Microsoft can’t afford to not have their hands in the smartphone pie, and they will be/have been be pushing WP7 much harder than they ever did the Zune.

      Microsoft can definitely win out business users from Android and the iPhone over time as long as they keep integrating with their existing software like Office. Once business grabs on, I think consumers will follow. It’s optimistic, but not nearly as out of the realm of plausible as the Zune beating the iPod.

      • weiterer says:

        Yes but they decided to do exactly the opposite. You can sync Outlook data with an iPhone and a Blackberry but you cannot with a Windows Phone.

        Otherwise please tell me how to sync Outlook emails, tasks, notes, calendar and contacts with a Windows Phone without using third party services or an Exchange server that 99.99% of people dont use. Even with an Exchange server you cannot sync all outlook data, just limited. And with the hotmail connected only contacts, and they dont sync back either, you cannot make changes on Outlook they will show up in the phone, so its not a sync process.

        Also tell me how I can drap my word and excel files to my phone and then take them with me and open it in the road. Again I cant.

        Microsoft is doing exactly the opposite of what you told. They are not integrating Windows Phone with Office, they are killing integration. Windows Phone doesnt integrate as Windows Mobile did, it doesnt with Office and it doesnt with Windows. The proof is you are forced to use Zune to connect to it. Software cannot connected directly to it. Windows Phone is allot of things but its definitive not a business phone.

        Its a media phone, for facebook, videos, music, and xbox. But its not a business phone the minute you cannot do stuff with it like you could with Windows Mobile and like you can with other smarthphones today. Just search on Internet how many frustrated and angry users there are that bought a windows phone to find the nasty surprise they cannot locally sync anything anymore. This users are people that will never again buy Microsoft products. They are angry and frustrated, because they thought Windows Phone is a upgrade to Windows Mobile, that means they thought they could do everything with it like they did and more. The fact is that Windows Phone cannot even do half of what Windows Mobile could, and that phone was very bad, so im not sure how people will quality Windows Phone in a year from now, because Winmo sucked big time, and it could do allot more stuff then the current WinPhone can.

    • Tim Smith says:

      Well I would hope Windows Phone isn’t still on version 7 next year and especially the year after.

    • sk says:

      Yeah, and they spent billions of dollars promoting Zune and creating partnerships, didn’t they? Zune was a relatively low cost project with an easy exit strategy. Moreover, MS entered the mp3 market during the decline phase. I doubt you can say the same about the smart phone market. Microsoft may well abandon its smart phone efforts, but not in the near term.

  2. Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Harper says:

    Thanks for this concise summary, Mr. Thurrott. I partly agree with geek24: Mango is too late, but not too little. The problem lies elsewhere. In some European countries (but not in rural India), the Dell Venue Pro is not even available yet – half a year after the WP7 launch. Microsoft should never have allowed Dell to fail on so many levels. If the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II becomes available before the Dell Venue Pro, I will buy it, and rub Michael Dell’s nose in it.

  3. thebigm72 says:

    Just saw Joe B’s keynote. I think it definitely says at least one thing: HE is listening.
    1) To start off his keynote like that must be embarassing at the least, but he did it and showed that at least he (if not eric h. et al) understands the frustrations re NoDo update debacle. I do believe him when they say they will improve, certainly I’ve had prompt updates from my carrier and htc.
    2) Many major things are coming in Mango, also plenty of little things e.g. custom ringtones.
    3) Seems like almost all of the APIs etc that developers wanted are being made available – hopefully the remaining major labels (like whatsapp) will be coming on board for this.

    Make no mistake, after the Mango update, Windows Phone 7 will still be behind the curve that was once set by iPhone and is now being set by Android (with innovations like NFC payment systems). The only hint of new hardware inclusions was the gyro.
    BUT, the gap will be a lot smaller. i.e. each new thing is of less importance. Of all the things I do on WP7, I think faster browsing with IE9 will improve my life the most.

    Overall, I’m pleased. Mango MUST hit before end-2011 and it will be a real shame if there are no updates in the meantime. (At least give us further optimisation and bugfixing).

    • captiosus says:

      The gap will be smaller? How do you reckon this.

      Consider, for a minute, that by the time Mango comes out, iOS and iPhone 5 will be out and Android Dev will probably have 3.0 and/or 3.3 ready for new smartphone (currently it’s limited to tablets). So we get the Mango update which brings it closer to where smart phones are currently, in April of 2011, but when it comes out all the buzz will be about the new features of iOS 5 and Android 3.3+ – Microsoft will still be 2 years behind the curve.

      This lengthy “service pack” style of update releases is not what was promised prior to the release of the OS and if Microsoft thinks it’s going to keep the platform relevant, they’re sadly mistaken.

      Mango MUST hit before end-2011? I’d agree. But the press release from Joe Belfiore’s own keynote says the schedule for Mango is to be released by the end of the year. Not Fall, not Winter – end of the year. That means, in all likelihood, existing devices won’t see Mango until next spring or summer!

      • thebigm72 says:

        It’s quite simply the principle of diminishing returns. Look at TV/movies – the move from silent movies to talkies and from black and white to colour are much more important steps than going from a resolution of 576/480 to 1080 lines.

        Each marginal improvement that iOS and Android can dream up puts less and less distance between them and WP7. Also think in a global context, many features have had a lot of hype in the US past couple of years but historically US has been way behind the curve in the mobile phone industry. Only since iPhone has it started to take a lead. For example, FaceTime doesn’t get much hype in Europe because we’ve had video calling (on a cross-platform, cross-network standard) for 8 years now.

        Some of the improvements the competition is dreaming up now will matter less in the face of things like Office Mobile with skydrive integration which is cleaner than an iOS user having to use say quickoffice and dropbox apps together.

        Android’s primary advantage for next 18 months seems to be hardware innovation (e.g. dual-core, HDMI out etc) hopefully Nokia will keep a good pace of hardware innovation for WP7.

        Also, “ordinary” users don’t feel most of the curve angst tech lovers do.

  4. dkb1898 says:

    So congrats Windows Phone users, you get to wait until Winter (just being realistic), until you get an update that MAY solve some of the very real holes and bugs/features your having with your phone. In the meantime you have NoDo…well unless you picked a premier carrier. Or if you were bold, you now have build 7390.WHO.THE.HELL.KNOWS because you got tired of waiting. Enjoy getting video message from iPhone users and not being able to respond!!! And if you get a picture message, don’t forget to redo your camera settings so you can send one back….cheers and magical delight to all

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  7. schultzeworks says:

    What the heck is that game screen — ‘Mowing for Zombies?’

  8. sk says:

    Holy Sh*t. Approximately 6 months after it was apparently completed, I still don’t see NoDo on my Focus. With this many features, it’ll probably take a few years before I see Mango.

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  13. Geoff Coupe says:

    Interesting that Belfiore tied both the availability of Dutch (one of the 16 additional languages) and the availability of Apps in the existing Dutch Marketplace to Mango in the Fall – when Microsoft Nederland has been saying that Dutch Language phones would be available mid-2011. See http://gcoupe.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/dutch-windows-phone-7-delay/

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