Microsoft reveals capabilities of next Windows Phone 7 update

14 Apr 2011

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Microsoft last night previewed the next generation of Windows Phone 7, which will come out in the autumn but will be available to developers free next month.

The software giant revealed that the next release, known as ‘Mango’, will enable multitasking capabilities in smartphones and possibly tablet computers, too.

The new developer tools are envisaged to help developers create apps faster.

Multitasking capabilities in the next generation of Windows Phone 7 will enable faster app switching, background processing, audio and file transfer and background audio playback for HTML5 pages.

The next iteration of Windows Phone 7 will also include deeper hardware integration, including camera and motion sensor access, including a gyroscope and compass.

A motion sensor library will enable the creation of apps that will control the device hardware.

The new operating system will enable deeper integration of apps into the operating system, allowing programs to leverage Live Tiles and make push notifications.

The company demonstrated some of the upgraded OS’ capabilities to developers at MIX 11, including apps from Skype, Spotify, Layar, Qantas, Amazon Shopping and Kik Messenger.

‘An ecosystem that serves developers, not the other way round’

Writing in the Microsoft Team Blog, Matt Bencke said the software giant aims to win over developers by creating more opportunities for them.

“For us, that means thinking about the market holistically and creating an ecosystem that, in terms of commerce and innovation, is truly greater than the sum of its parts. We believe the model should be one that serves the developer, not the other way around. We started with a commitment to quality and transparency and have steadily gained support and momentum for the burgeoning ecosystem.

“Now we are incredibly excited about what our alliance with Nokia means for our mutual developers and the long-term potential of our shared ecosystem. And as you may have read, we’re not alone. Several industry analysts have come out in recent weeks with projections that market share for Windows Phone worldwide would climb as high as No 2 over the next four years.

“Nokia ran a tough competition and a big part of why we won is our early developer momentum. Together Microsoft, Nokia and our other partners have huge, global ambitions.

“We’re off to a great start with nearly 13,000 apps, 38,000 registered developers and more than 1.5m tools downloaded already. Now we need to expand the opportunity for developers and get their creativity in front of more people,” Bencke added.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com