Windows Phone 7 has been quite a mixed bag so far. It does many things right, but there are still lots of places it needs improvement. Fortunately for users of the OS, Microsoft has announced that the next update (7.5 "Mango") will bring a staggering 500 new features and enhancements to the platform.
Microsoft themselves did not actually release a complete list; however, we did get specifics on some of the more important tweaks. Most noticeably, Mango will update the LiveTile home screen, adding live notification support for services like LinkedIn and Twitter. For communication, the update will introduce a unified inbox and conversation threads that run between multiple messaging services. Another significant improvement is the new browser, a reworked version of IE 9 made for mobile devices.
What seems to be the biggest enhancement in this version is the integration of other Microsoft services. Primarily, Bing has been improved and will take location into account when searching and recommend nearby business and activities. Additionally, Mango will integrate apps and searches with Windows Phone Hubs. Integration with existing products is one of WP7's best chances for success, but they will need to play it strongly to compete with the offerings of Google and Android.
On the hardware side, Microsoft announced that it made deals with manufacturers such as Acer, ZTE, and Fujitsu, who will ship handsets with the update when it is released this fall. Although we have already noted that WP7 devices usually have good hardware and the software is the problem, more choices in the device area will always be a good thing.
While Mango does not seem to offer any new or standout features that would be able to pull users from iOS or Android, it will be a welcome and useful update for existing users and bring many much needed features to the platform.[Tech News World]