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MWC 2011 - Microsoft Updates Windows Phone 7

MWC 2011 - Microsoft Updates Windows Phone 7


MWC 2011 - Microsoft Updates Windows Phone 7

Copy-and-Paste, Twitter and SkyDrive Joins the Party

MWC 2010 was when Microsoft revealed its grand plans for its revamped mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. So it is fitting that one year down the road, Steve Ballmer once more takes the stage to announce Microsoft's updated plans for the mobile OS during his MWC 2011 keynote. As promised back then, Microsoft will include copy-and-paste functionality as part of the update plan.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with a few other tricks up their sleeves. This includes more support for cloud services, things which we have been wishing for when we spent 7 days with Windows Phone 7. Here are some of the prominent feature updates that'll be coming for Windows Phone 7.

Twitter for People Hub

It was only a matter of time before Twitter is integrated into the People hub. In essence, it works in a similar fashion to Facebook within the hub, integrating your Twitter contacts as part of your message notifications. While this is a good move on Microsoft's part, we figure that there'll still be some users who prefer their own Twitter app, which can be found in abundance on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

SkyDrive for Office Hub

Cloud services on Windows Phone 7 get a significant boost when SkyDrive is implemented within Office Hub. In its initial stages, the Office Hub had a lackluster cloud support, with OneNote Mobile as its only form of over-the-air synchronization for Office documents. Even so, it lacked the necessary support for basic Office formats such as Word or Excel. With the implementation of SkyDrive onto Office Hub, we believe this will vastly improve our productivity level with Windows Phone 7.

Updated Internet Explorer Mobile

An updated Internet Explorer Mobile will be available in 2011, which is based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9. For this, Microsoft promises a dramatically enhanced web browser experience.

Besides the abovementioned updates, one of the most significant addition to the Windows Phone 7 functionality is multi-tasking. This will be done in the form of cards, which shows a thumbnail view of apps that are running concurrently. Think of it in the lines of mobile web browsers on iOS and Android, where pages are shown, which allows you to close the app. Accessing the multi-tasking feature will be done by holding the Back button.

In summary, by the end of 2011, you can expect the following updates coming to Windows Phone 7: 

  • Copy and paste functionality via first major update, coming in the next month
  • Twitter integration directly into the People Hub in 2011
  • Support for Office documents in the cloud in 2011
  • Dramatically enhanced Web browser experience based on IE9 in 2011
  • A new wave of multitasking applications in 2011

On the strategic front, Microsoft also announced that it'll be targeting a significant volume of Nokia Windows Phone in 2012. This doesn't come as a surprise, given our earlier analysis of how both companies will enjoy mutual benefits from its partnership.