At TechEd 2011, Microsoft announced plans to deliver new business-oriented features in the upcoming "Mango" release of Windows Phone 7, including Lync and new email support.
its TechEd 2011 conference here, Microsoft announced
new business-productivity enhancements coming in the next release of Windows
features, slated for the upcoming "Mango" release of the Windows Phone operating
system, include the ability to save and share Office documents, as well as
pinnable email folders, a conversation view in email, server search and Lync mobile. Microsoft also indicated that by the
end of TechEd, which runs May 16-19, there will be more than 16,000 applications
in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
In a May 16 blog post on the new features, Paul Bryan,
director of business experience for the Windows Phone team, said, "Mango is
designed to make you even more productive right out-of-the-box-helping you
quickly and easily stay connected with the people and information that are most
important to you. For instance, we've heard that you like how the Office Hub helps bring together Office documents
like Word, Excel, One Note and PowerPoint in one place. In Mango, we're adding
the ability to save and share Office documents through Office 365 and Windows
Live SkyDrive, ensuring you have access to the latest documents when and where
you need them."
TechEd keynote, Augusto Valdez, a senior product manager for the Microsoft
Mobile Communications Business, demonstrated some of the new features and said
Windows Phone 7 is "designed for productivity right out of the box, so it's a
great productivity phone. We are releasing a new version or a new update for
Windows Phone called -Mango' toward the end of this calendar year by the
holiday season. We're taking the productivity in the phone to the next level."
Bryan said Lync Mobile brings the Lync experience to Windows Phone customers by
delivering unified communications capabilities, including instant messaging and
the ability to see the presence of your co-workers. The Lync application will
be a free download from Windows Phone Marketplace and will be enabled with
support from your business organization, he said.
Lync is an
instant-messaging client used with the Lync Server and is a replacement for
Windows Messenger. It is marketed as enterprise software and aimed at
businesses and corporate environments.
"So, now we're
using the secure Lync IM system to communicate with my work colleagues, and I
can have access to all that information at any time," Valdez said. "I can have
access to them, search for them, see what their availability is, and many more
other things that we're going to be announcing later on about what we can do
with Lync and the integration that we have with Lync services, again, whether
they are on-premises or they're online."
With the new
pinnable email folders feature, users can pin a folder to the start screen for
quick access. This could be an email folder for a specific project, from a
specific group or person, or an RSS feed the user has set up in Outlook. And
with the conversation view in email feature, emails in a user's inbox are
organized by conversation, bringing replies to a thread into a consolidated
view so it's faster and easier to stay on top of the conversation, Bryan said.
Further on in
the demo, Valdez said:
e-mail is not just about-it's not just letting me actually look at the
information, but it's also having information to connect me and to let me go
into SharePoint Online services. So, that's the last part of the demo where I
show you also how we can connect into SharePoint Online services, in Office 365
public cloud. So, if I
click on the link, what is happening is that instead of going into SharePoint
on-premises, it's actually going to Office 365 and it's showing me the list of
documents that I have in that particular shared folder, directly here from my
phone. What I can do is I can actually open up that Word document, and the
document, again, is being opened from the cloud down here to my phone.
Valdez said when the user saves the document, "the document is saved back into
the SharePoint Server in the online Office 365 service, so everybody else on
the team who has access to that same online service will have access to the
latest version of the document."
Also, the new
server search feature that is coming in Mango will enable users to search their
email server for older emails no longer stored on their phone, giving them
ready access to all of their mail.
And in his
post on the Windows Phone Blog, Bryan added:
to helping you stay productive, Mango also includes new capabilities for IT.
With new features, such as complex (alphanumeric) password support, Information
Rights Management support for protecting emails and Office documents, and
support for access to hidden corporate WiFi networks, your IT organization can
stay on top of its game-providing you access to information you need while
meeting corporate requirements.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.