Next Windows Phone 7 Update SDK Arrives Later this Month
Code named "Mango," Microsoft's next major Windows Phone 7 update is scheduled for this fall, while developers may be getting Mango tools on May 24.
The early rollout of Mango tools will allow developers to start building applications for this new mobile OS version, according to a Microsoft blog, translated from Spanish. Likely the new software development kit (SDK) for Mango will be announced at a press event scheduled for May 24, as noted by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary-Jo Foley. The Mango SDK also will be described by Brandon Watson, head of the developer ecosystem for Windows Phone 7, during a keynote talk at Microsoft Tech-Days United Kingdom, scheduled for May 25 in London, according to this blog post.
Microsoft is saying that there will be "more than 1,500 new developer tools" in Mango. The improvements to come include enhanced multitasking, improved memory efficiency and a SQL CE database, according to the Spanish language blog. The database can be used to "query the data within applications" and can be used with motion sensor and camera functions, according to that blog.
In March, Microsoft released the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 at its open source CodePlex site. This toolkit is designed to help developers tap Internet cloud-based services when building their applications. It includes Visual Studio 2010 templates and class libraries.
Microsoft has earlier explained that the Mango update will add Internet Explorer 9, access to Windows Live SkyDrive cloud-based storage and integration with Twitter. The IE 9 on Windows Phone 7 will be capable of tapping into the hardware acceleration capabilities in the device, which might be used for some HTML 5-based graphics capabilities.
Some new features expected in Mango, which also is being referred to as "Windows Phone 7.5," were attributed to a podcast in which Watson was interviewed, which can be accessed here. A Liveside.net report claimed that the new features include "Bing Vision, Bing Audio, Turn-by-turn Bing Maps navigation," along with "SMS Dictation." Watson denied saying that in a Twitter post, and it appears from listening to the podcast that he is correct. However, the hosts of the podcast do discuss these features. They speculated that Bing Audio may let users search for music by using their phone to listen to a song. Bing Vision might be a search service using the phone's camera and optical character reading technology, the hosts claimed.
Liveside.net also points to a Windows Live Messenger feature to come in the Mango release. That information was attributed to a Chinese developer, rather than through Microsoft.
Some Windows Phone 7 users are still waiting for Microsoft's first "NoDo" update. Customers have had problems getting it. In addition, Microsoft had an initial update before NoDo that was designed to help users get Windows Phone updates. That update too had trouble getting to many Windows Phone 7 users. Microsoft has explained some of the problems getting updates out to customers as due to the need to work with both hardware partners and service providers, which have different update release schedules.
Microsoft additionally had Windows Phone Marketplace issues earlier this month that prevented customer downloads of applications. However, Microsoft says that problem has since been resolved.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.