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May 16, 2011

Windows Phone 7.5 Packed With New Features, Including Facebook Chat

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor

An exciting bunch of new features are racking up for the much-anticipated Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7.5, the updated version of the Windows Phone 7. While there’s much buzz about the new phone from Mango including Bing Audio/Video, dictation of texts, and audio navigation, developers have cranked it up a notch with the integration of several chat features.

According to, a Windows Phone Dev Podcast revealed on Sunday the hub of Windows Phone 7.5 will feature Windows Live Messenger, AOL instant messenger and the popular Facebook (News - Alert) chat. While Windows Live Messenger support was revealed last week, the newer chat service additions will also include group messaging, visual voicemail, and “auto-sensing” to find the best service and connection to send messages.

Windows Phone 7.5 will also come packed with SkyDrive and Office 365 for easier access to files in the cloud. Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that Microsoft (News - Alert) will be building support for document editing with Internet Explorer 9 mobile.

With this phone, there can’t be work without play, as the upgraded model will feature Xbox Live integration for users to automatically connect to the service and sync game data. Users will also have the option to display on the lockscreen the album artwork for a playing audio track.

While Mango currently contains Twitter, Internet Explorer 9 integration and multi-tasking, developers are looking to improve apps functionality, enhance camera capabilities to allow for a more augmented reality experience, and expand the Live Tiles feature.

Sunday’s podcast also revealed support for visual voicemail through the use of Open Mobile (News - Alert) Terminal Platform, also used for Android and iOS. In addition to improved battery settings, a Network Awareness feature will find WiFi hotspots, and a Network Connectivity Status Indicator will pinpoint network connectivity data and filter networks to select the best one for particular tasks.

Perhaps the new features will help the phone better succeed in today’s competitive market. As reported by TMCnet, the Windows Phone remains as one of the least desired phones. The Nielsen Company reports only 6 percent of consumers wanted a Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 smartphone as their next device, compared with 31 percent for Android 30 percent for Apple’s (News - Alert) iOS and 11 percent for BlackBerry.

But a new report carried by TMCnet said that Windows Phone will lead in mobile operating system market share by 2015, beating out the Android OS, according to Pyramid Research.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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