Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7.1

Microsoft has announced the latest version of their Windows Phone operating system 7.1 aka “Mango”.

The 7.1 update has more than 500 new features including ‘threads’ for messaging, Facebook, email and Windows Live Messenger and deeper integration with social networks.

Full multi-tasking has been added and apps will now intelligently hibernate improving the power consumption of Windows Phone smartphones.

Microsoft also say that the inbuilt Office app has been improved to provide a desktop class experience. Corporate customers will have access to Office 365, which is available on subscription basis.

Microsoft has also integrated a version of Internet Explorer 9 that supports HTML 5 and full hardware acceleration.The newly redesigned Bing features Bing Vision, Music Search and Voice.

For gamers Windows Phone 7.1 has redesigned the Xbox live hub, which now features a more social experience, and greater customization options for Xbox live ‘Avatars’ similar to that on the Xbox 360.

The ‘live tiles’ in the operating system have been upgraded and will provide real time information related to the apps without opening them.

The Windows Phone 7.1 update be available for free to all current Windows Phone 7 customers later this year and will come preloaded on all new Windows Phone powered smartphones.

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