Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango)

Last week Microsoft held a major press conference in New York City during which they previewed the next version of their Windows Phone software. They are calling it version 7.1, contrary to the earlier rumor that it would be labeled Windows Phone 7.5. This week I'll point you to the press conference video and other videos, as well as news and information about the 500 new features it will offer.

Press Conference Introduces Windows Phone 7.1

A press conference and webcast offered information about the forthcoming Windows Phone 7.1 software, which will be available this fall. Check out the Microsoft News Center for a streaming video of the press conference, their press release about the new software, and a video walkthrough highlighting some of the features.

In addition, Windows Phone Thoughts has posted an outline of the press conference that you can quickly skim rather than taking time to watch the event.

Features Highlighted in Short Videos

The features highlighted last week include multitasking, such that you can have more than one app running at once; built-in voice recognition, such that you can send text messages just by speaking them; the ability to group contacts into Live Tiles so that you can see status updates right from the Start Screen and can send a message to the whole group at once; and improved Live Tiles, which allow you to get real-time information from the apps without having to open them.

You can read a brief overview of the event and the state of Windows Phone on CNET. And the Windows Phone channel on YouTube has a good short video that gives an overview of the new software.

Also, Phone Scoop has posted a couple hands-on video demos. The first video shows searching for information using Windows Phone. Part 2 shows the People hub and groups feature, including functions such as sending group emails.

The Zune player on Windows Phone will be much improved according to a helpful article on Anythingbutiphone. Also, Microsoft's developer blog announced that around the time Mango is released, the Windows Phone Marketplace will become available on the web, such that you'll be able to view and purchase apps via your desktop computer.

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