Today Microsoft officially showed off the first major update to its Windows Phone 7 OS.
Relentlessly referred to as ‘codenamed Mango’ despite the fruity appellation being on every official slide we saw, the update does indeed add a ton more functionality – most notably hyper-increased integration, high-powered new browser and support for more social features.
The contacts book, which already supports Facebook contact, photo and status sync, now supports Twitter and LinkedIn too. The new Threads feature shows you all communication with a particular friend across IMs, email and text. Corporate VP Achim Berg who started the presentation was quick to note that WP7 is the only OS that offers this, with BlackBerrys requiring the communication to be with another Berry user; Android phones with Google Talk only; and Apple not at all.
Groups lets you put friends into, uh, groups whose updates and new messages you can view from a single homescreen.
Web has also been given a shot in the arm with the new Internet Explorer 9, which doesn’t just claim to offer desktop functionality, it actually packs the same code too. Local Scout gives you the closest results for items you search for, including contact details.
The Windows Marketplace has also been confirmed to stock over 18,000 apps, an impressive increase on its opening count of 5,000, just seven months ago when Windows Phone 7 launched.
The Mango update will be available free to all existing Windows Phone from autumn, with new phones launching with the new version.