Microsoft has taken a lot of flack from users and tech sites for not delivering updates as quick as many would like, so we knew that Microsoft would be making some announcements regarding the updates and the direction of their new mobile OS at this weeks World Mobile Congress.
To briefly run through news coming out of Steve Ballmer’s keynote, future updates include:
Early March 2011
The update that many, including myself, have been waiting for has finally been given an approximate date. Steve Ballmer mentioned earlier this morning that the first Windows Phone update to include copy & paste, speed enhancements and support for CDMA handsets, will be coming in early March of this year. Many have speculated that the update has been finished, but has been held up by the carrier approval process.
Second half of 2011
“Mango” is supposedly the codename for a major update set to happen later this year, around the Fall. It’s said to include major enhancements for Windows phone including: IE9 mobile browser and HTML browser support. These updates are set for the “second half of 2011.”
Many people who have toyed with my Windows Phone have claimed how much they love the deep integration between Facebook and the OS. Now, native Twitter integration has also been announced for sometime in the second half of 2011.
Sometime in 2011
Microsoft also unveiled some big news concerning the future of Windows Phone, which included a technical preview of cross-platform gaming between Xbox for Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 console. Details on this gaming feature were scant, but it’s expected “sometime in 2011.”
The biggest feature announced for Windows Phone is the ability to multitask with 3rd-party applications. Windows Phone looks to have adopted the familiar card interface that webOS made popular and the Blackberry Playbook now uses. Many will claim that Microsoft is stealing the idea, but the fact of the matter is that webOS has the best way to multitask and if Microsoft wants to compete with iOS and Android, they chose the best feature from another platform to copy. No specific dates for multi-tasking have been announced, just the all-to-familiar “sometime in 2011.”
To summarize, via PressPass, the announced features coming to Windows Phone in the future:
- Copy and paste functionality via first major update, coming in the next month
- Twitter integration directly into the People Hub in 2011
- Support for Office documents in the cloud in 2011
- Dramatically enhanced Web browser experience based on IE9 in 2011
- A new wave of multitasking applications in 2011
- Targeting significant volume of Nokia Windows Phones in 2012
Windows Phone seems well on its way to becoming the next major player in the mobile market, but admittedly, Steve Ballmer mentioned in his keynote that Microsoft has “..a lot of work to do.”