Microsoft demonstrated some features of its upcoming "Mango" software update for Windows Phones at a small New York City presentation.
Andy Lees, senior vice president of Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business, suggested to the assembled media and analysts that Windows Phone offers "innovation and choice but without the frustration and fragmentation."
Lees suggested that Windows Phone is an ideal platform for rich apps. Seen here: British Airways' upcoming app, which allows users to take a virtual "fly-through" of a particular plane to their seat.??Ã
Mango will boost Windows Phone's communication abilities. Information from Twitter and LinkedIn will display in the "People" Hub, and a new "Groups" option will allow users to send emails to clusters of friends and family.
The "Groups" option allows users to view their friends' and colleagues' photos.
The "Groups" option will also enable mass-messaging via text, chat and email. Microsoft has been working on the algorithms behind its messaging, allowing Windows Phone to better anticipate words (such as "birthday" after "happy") and speed the messaging process.
Threaded messaging lets users keep track of conversations.
Mango will give Windows Phone the ability to link multiple inboxes into a folder and see multiple conversations linked to a particular email ("3 messages, 1 unread"), giving the mobile email interface a distinctly Outlook-like feel.
A protected-email option lets users lock down their messages to prevent them from being printed or forwarded.
Windows Phone's Office Hub is the center of its productivity options.
Office 365 and SkyDrive
With Mango, Windows Phone users will have the ability to share and save Office documents via Office 365 and Windows SkyDrive.
The Xbox Live Hub, meanwhile, has been completely redesigned for Mango, particularly to take advantage of the update's multitasking abilities.
Mango blends the Internet with Windows Phone's interface, including "Quick Cards" that organize Internet information on various things (restaurants, movies, etc.) into a series of, well, interactive cards.
Mango also introduces Local Scout, which allows users to access everything to see and do in a particular neighborhood.