Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 7 ahead of Nokia partnership


This week, in Steve Ballmer’s keynote address at Mobile World Congress 2011, Microsoft announced a variety of new features coming to its Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system.


In addition, Nokia's first Windows Phone will arrive by the end of 2011, following the announcement of their tie-up with Microsoft last week.

"Clearly there is significant pressure on the teams and the whole company to ensure that we deliver a great Windows Phone product as quickly as possible, and we would certainly prefer to see that in 2011," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recently told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Microsoft yesterday officially detailed the Windows Phone 7 roadmap for 2011.

The first version of the OS can be found on smartphones such as the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum and HTC HD7.

In the first two weeks of March, a free customer update will be made available for all Windows Phones, which includes new capabilities such as copy & paste and faster application performance.

By the end of 2011, Windows Phone 7 will have received Twitter integration in the People Hub, support for Office documents in the cloud, as well as an enhanced Web browser experience based on IE9.

The following features will also arrive later in 2011:

Availability on CDMA Networks

With added support for CDMA networks, Windows Phone will be available to even more customers on mobile operators such as Verizon and Sprint in the first half of 2011.

Twitter Integration in the People Hub

The popular social networking service Twitter will be integrated into the People Hub in the second half of 2011.

Office Document Storage in the Cloud

Document sharing and storage in the cloud via Windows Live SkyDrive will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011.

Next Generation Browsing with Internet Explorer 9

A dramatically enhanced Internet Explorer 9 web browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version.

Additional Multi-tasking Capabilities

We will add the ability to switch quickly between applications, run applications in the background (such as listening to music), along with a number of other capabilities in the second half of 2011. Developers will learn much more about this during April’s MIX conference.

For more information, please visit Microsoft’s Windows Phone blog.

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